Review: Slightly Married by Mary Balogh

Posted February 7, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 24 Comments

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Review: Slightly Married by Mary Balogh
Slightly Married

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three-flames

Series: Bedwyn Saga #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Dell
Released on April 1, 2003
Pages: 342
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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The Delight

I had no doubt that I would enjoy the Bedwyn Saga series after I was introduced to many of the siblings in the prequel, Summer to Remember.  But, that said, meeting the taciturn Colonel Lord Aidan Bedwyn and the eccentric, big-hearted coal-miner’s daughter, Eve Morse in their marriage of convenience story was sheer delight.

Review

Slightly Married is book one in the Bedwyn Saga with loose connections to the two prequels.  It can be read behind the others, as the first or even as standalone.  The Bedwyns are slowly introduced after the second oldest, Aidan, finds himself performing his duty to a dying comrade by marrying the man’s desperate sister to help her keep her home and inheritance from a greedy cousin.  Aidan is a military man and thought to marry a woman who had been reared in a military family, but he sets this aside for Eve Morse.  The woman confounds and confuses him, but they have agreed to go their separate ways after the wedding.

Only, Aidan is a Bedwyn from a ducal family who have obligations.  Lowly coal miner’s daughter with a gentle woman’s education or not, Eve and Aidan won’t be allowed to sweep the marriage under the rug and go on with their lives.

Eve was desperate to save all her well-loved, but ‘lame ducks’  household as Colonel Bedwyn observes of her eccentric household and the orphans she took in and she can no longer wait out her secret crush  to save her so she will marry the big, dark, and frankly scary taciturn man who saw to his duty and came to report her brother’s death and offer her the only chance she’s got.  Perhaps she was naive, but the cold as ice and proper Duke of Bewcastle perfunctorily sets her straight that Aidan aided her in her time of need so she will not hide away in the country while gossip runs wild in London that Aidan hid away a bride out of shame or cruelty.

The pair find themselves in a marriage of inconvenience and that was before they acknowledged there might be feelings.

I was glad this was a dual point of view story so that I had both Aidan and Eve’s thoughts and motives.  They both are strong people who hide behind masks and rarely say what is on their mind.  They are protectors and givers, but go about it in different ways.  Aidan doesn’t seem to understand what is happening to him until he feels jealousy and even then he is convinced that Eve doesn’t want him and he promised to stay out of her idea of a happy, but Eve is smarting under the class difference and the feeling of being an obligation for Aidan and his family so she pushes him away and won’t speak the truth.

The author doesn’t make things easy on this pair and forces them to really break it all down including encounters with those they both thought were their dream spouses and they are forced to melt into the larger Bedwyn family and society rather than going back to their former lives.  I enjoyed seeing them work things through, get to know and appreciate each other.  It was also fun to engage with the whole Bedwyn family again who, in their own ways, tried to help Eve’s matchmaking aunt help this pair along.

So, class difference, marriage of convenience, and a few other conflicts along the way had me thoroughly enjoying this entry in the series and excited to keep going with the next Bedwyn to meet his match.  Historical romance fans who enjoy some spice, family, and a slow-burn romance should try this one.

Challenges

Mt. TBR #16
Literary Pickers #35 flower pot
Reading Assignment #5 Professor Author Love
Series that Never Ends #2
Library Love #2
Oldie But a Goodie #3
COYER Winter #61

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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LornasharondaStephanie Jane (Literary Flits)Rachel @Waves of FictionDebbie Haupt Recent comment authors
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Melliane
Guest

I wonder if I have this one, like far far aay in my TBR pile because the cover does ringa bell

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL, it is an oldie so it will be far back on your shelf. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

Now this makes me want to read a romance! I love this trope. The dual POV sounds great too!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, it was a little old-style, but I did enjoy seeing this pair figure things out. And, love the family that are all set to get their stories. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Some marriage of convenience stories are fun to read and this sounds like one of those.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, exactly! She lives in this menagerie of cast off people for servants, some orphans and even a cast off dog. I loved seeing poor overly-serious Aidan ride to the rescue and discover how much he enjoys Eve’s simple life there in the village. 🙂

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
Guest

I have several of her books but haven’t read any of them yet. After reading your review, I am convinced I would enjoy her writing. Great review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

This series, of course, is over a decade old, but the way she brings her couples along steadily with good chemistry and spice along with the surrounding development is much the same as the more recent series. Most of the series center around families or groups of friends which I love. I’ll look forward to seeing what you think when you get to try one.

SEWhite
Guest

I completely adore the Bedwyn series. Aidan’s story is one of my favorites, along with Wulfric’s. Oh, Wulf! Sigh. So glad you enjoyed this book!

Sophia Rose
Guest

After meeting Wulf, I rather thought his story would be a good one, too. 🙂 I adored Aidan.

Jen
Guest

Sounds good! I love the title, too. I do enjoy a good HR, but I haven’t read/listened to too many of late. Although my binge listening to Lady Sherlock does give me some historical. Thanks!

Sophia Rose
Guest

It has an interesting flavor to read a HR from so many years ago. It feels nostalgic and not just because its a historical.
Love Lady Sherlock, Jen!

Angie Elle
Guest

I read the first three (I think) books of this series years ago, and for no good reason stopped. You’re making me want to pick it up. I remember the ‘Fair enough’ scene from this book so vividly, and I mean it’s been years! It’s also bringing up memories of other books I read around that time – namely Suzanne Enoch and her Griffin family series that I remember being wild about! I want to read those again, too.

I’m glad you enjoyed this, Sophia. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the rest.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I’ve done that. Get distracted from a series and never finish. 🙂 Ha! Glad I could remind you of this one and the Enoch series.
I like all the Bedwyns so it will be fun getting each of their stories for my once a month challenge.

Debbie Haupt
Guest

hmmm an oldie but goodie, glad you liked it Sophia Rose. I could probably go back that for for a Historical romance but when I read some from the 80s and early 90s I really had some issues with how the heroines were written. Thanks for the blast from the past

Sophia Rose
Guest

I know what you mean. I think you’d enjoy this one. She is no shrinking violet and stands up for herself without going into shrew territory. 🙂 And, Aidan totally respects her as a capable woman who can make her own choices.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

I love a marriage of convenience troupe, and watching the couple slowly fall for each other. I also enjoy Mary Balogh, so I’ll have to look into this series. Wonderful review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes! If you are looking for a good one from her backlist, I totally recommend this one, Rachel. 🙂

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
Guest

I wondered if this was an older book from the cover style? I like the idea that both partners are strong people, but think repeated failures to communicate effectively would irritate me too much

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yep! I’m hitting the backlists for this series challenge read, Stephanie. 🙂

Yes, it was tough when near the end they were scared to speak up about their true feelings. Though, to give Aidan credit, I don’t think he had his feelings figured out enough to articulate them as soon as Eve did.

sharonda
Guest

I came here for that title, lols. But as always great review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Haha! Titles have been the source of my one-clicking a few times. 🙂

Lorna
Guest

I’ve been getting into HR’s lately and have actually read two this past week. I do have at least two by this author to listen to and I think maybe at least one to read. Unfortunately, not in this series I don’t think. It sounds good though. Maybe someday. Glad you enjoyed it!

Sophia Rose
Guest

It’s neat getting back to this older series and finding a real gem. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the ones you have on your shelves, Lorna.