Review: A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh

Posted January 17, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 28 Comments

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Review: A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh
A Summer to Remember

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two-half-flames

Series: Bedwyn Saga #.6
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Dell
Released on March 4, 2003
Pages: 361
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

I couldn’t say specifically when I first picked up this author’s books, but it was about ten years ago.  Even so, I missed many fabulous backlist titles.  I have chosen this year to focus specifically on the Bedwyn Saga series because I’ve always been a softy for a family group finding their chance at romance.  The author’s description of setting and background, fully developed characters, and romances that grow organically through the story had me in no doubt that this would be a fun project from start to finish.

Review

Now then, A Summer to Remember is one of two Bedwyn Prequels that focus on non-Bedwyn characters, but still introduced this colorful and quirky family of siblings.  This particular prequel is the follow-up to One Night of Love.  The heroine in A Summer to Remember, Lauren, was the embarrassed woman who learned right during the start of her church wedding that her intended’s long lost- ‘thought to be dead’ bride has turned up when she interrupts the wedding.  Now, it is Lauren’s turn to leave off hiding and hold her head high- take back some of her own.

Lauren is turned off of matrimony forever, but she doesn’t appreciate being treated like a delicate flower either so when the rakish Kit, Viscount Ravensberg offers her a summer pretending to be his affianced to fool his family and give her one blazing summer to remember, she joins him in their mad scheme.

Kit has been exiled from his family for some time and is only important to the Earl now because his older brother died and he is the heir.  Kit was hurt by the past and feels some responsibility toward some members of his family so, while he is pleased to rub his father’s nose in it with his own choice of bride, he is still planning to do his duty.  That duty got more palatable when he persuades the strait-laced Lauren Edgeworth to be his for the summer.
The pair are pretending and enjoying their mutual friendship and support, understanding and healing from separate past hurts until love sneaks in.

At first, one is introduced to a rake who cares little for reputation and a prim lady who is all about toeing the line, but, as with many of the author’s characters, the layers start to appear and things are more than they seem so that the reader gets the why behind the behavior and the motive behind the conflict.

Even though I read this to meet the Bedwyns, and they are there and charmed me well, I found Kit and Lauren a fabulous couple.  I cheered them on over the course of the summer even though certain things set in motion early on had me worried for when the truth came out.  Let’s just say making the ‘winning a woman’s hand’ as a bet is never conducive to retaining your prize.  But, that was not more than a blip for me compared to other elements that were the real story conflict.  Family has a way of doing a number on people whether it is Kit who has gone wild to hide his pain or Lauren who desperately tries to measure up her whole life.

As to the prequel aspect that has this book introducing a series about the Bedwyns, it did a great job.  Loved meeting them and also got a pleasant surprise when I realized that Lauren is actually the cousin to a heroine who got her story in the later The Survivor’s Club series.  I am greatly anticipating the stories of each Bedwyn finding their match.  Meanwhile, I’m still basking in my satisfaction of seeing Lauren tame the wild Viscount and Kit helping Lauren start to really enjoy life.  A classic style Regency romance that has depth and heart which I have no worries recommending to other historical romance fans.

Challenges

Mt. TBR #8
COYER Winter #42
Literary Pickers #9 Yellow cover
Series that Never Ends #1
Oldie But a Goodie #2
Reading Assignment #2 Professor Author Love

Book Recommendations

  

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
Guest

I still have not picked up this author although I love the sound of her books. This sounds like a great introduction to the characters and Kit and Lauren sound like a wonderful couple.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh man, she has written so many books. It’s intimidating seeing her backlist and of course I got in a collecting binge. I do hope to make a dent in that pile for the series challenge of reading one a month this year.

Melliane
Guest

It looks good and it’s nice if that’s a good introduction too

Sophia Rose
Guest

I agree. It did a great job as a prequel, Melliane. 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Guest

Nice review Sophia Rose, I too am trying to clear my mountain of a tbr pile. Good luck to you!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Take one off the pile and stack on three. LOL
But yes, I am working at the older ones this year and have made this series my once a month backlist series challenge which also clears the TBR pile a bit. 🙂 Cheering you on, too, Debbie!

Rachel
Guest

Mary Balogh always writes the most wonderfully complex characters! I don’t like when there’s a secret hanging over the plot just waiting to be revealed that you know will cause drama, but this sounds like something I’d like especially with the connection to her Survivors Club series. Loved that series!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I just groaned when he made that silly bet because I knew it would bite him in the butt later, but there were some much more important issues going on with this pair so I had a lot to keep me focused.
I did a little squee when I saw her sad widow cousin and knew she would get a lovely HEA in her own book from the Survivor’s Club.

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
Guest

I can’t imagine how awful it would be to have another bride turn up to your wedding, long-lost or otherwise!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, no matter how much it was someone else’s drama and fault, you still get to be the one everyone whispers about, pities, and laughs at. The wedding wasn’t in this story. It started several months later and I enjoyed seeing her raise her head and work to get her life back after she hid away.

Tracy Terry
Guest

It sounds like this is a series you are really enjoying. I have to say I’d never have guessed the genre of that book looking at its cover.

Sophia Rose
Guest

My first book in, but we’re off to a good start.

I think this was the style the publisher picked for a couple decades ago since I have four or five others where its metallic with an arch and flower scene like this. Two or three other historical romance writers also had covers like this so I’m used to them, but I could see how they wouldn’t hint much if you didn’t already know. 🙂

Laurie | Bark
Guest

Mary Balogh has written some lovely romances. She’s always been one of my favorite romance writers and I really need to hit up her newest books.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh fun! I agree, Laurie. I’ve managed to stay on top of her last two series and some standalones, but am focusing on an older series this year that I missed before I started reading her books. It’s interesting reading them because the styling is so different compared to modern historical romance writing.

Carole rae
Guest

I love prequels. 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

And, this one was done right. It had a fully developed and finished standalone story while still getting the reader enthusiastic for the rest of the series. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
Guest

I’ve never read this author but I do like a fake romance that turns real.

Sophia Rose
Guest

This pair had their families so stirred up and were having the time of their lives. Then they got their own shock when they realized they were in love. Good times, Mary! 🙂

Melanie Simmons
Guest

I’m glad you enjoyed this one. Great review.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Thanks, Melanie! I’m in high anticipation for the rest of the series now. 🙂

vvb
Guest

Sounds good. It will be interesting to see how the reviews for this series pans out this year. Happy reading.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes! I’m hoping to enjoy the whole series. 🙂

Lover of Romance
Guest

I have missed many of her backlisted titles too….my first book from her was Slightly Dangerous and boy that was a fun book and I loved the family she wrote but she writes some of the best regency romance.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh cool! That’s one of the Bedwyns. I hope I love these, too.

Lorna
Member

I’ve read, I think, one by this author, but the name escapes me. I have been really getting into this time period romances and I’m enjoying the Bridgerton books by Julia Quinn so I know what you mean about reading about a quirky family of siblings. I’m glad you are diving back into a series that you enjoyed in the past. I need to do that with a few I can think of!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh, yes, the Bridgertons. They are on my list to get to as well. I have the first book in that series for when I do.
Love the idea of quirky siblings. 🙂

Vanessa
Guest

Haven’t read anything from Balogh for a long time now, I guess it’s high time to start scouring my TBR lol. I’m glad you enjoyed this book Sophia Rose 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

I’m glad to be picking up an older one. Way to go with getting to some of your older TBR, too, Vanessa! 🙂