Review: Simple Unforgettable by Mary Balogh

Posted July 16, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 22 Comments

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Review: Simple Unforgettable by Mary Balogh
Simple Unforgettable

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Simply Quartet #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Dell
Released on July 25, 2006
Pages: 422
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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The Delight

After enjoying the Bedwyn series and being a little sad to see it over, I was not ready to let go of the Bedwyn world.  While the Simply Quarter, is focused on four women teaching at a school for girls in Bath and all having their own reasons for choosing a career, it does possess some loose connections to the Bedwyn series so I was gung ho to press forward with this next series.


Simply Unforgettable introduces quite the contrary pair who had a long road of misadventures to happiness.  Lucius needed to grow up and grown into his responsibility as an Earl’s heir to family and the duty that comes with it and Frances needed to start living after racing into the nearest safe rabbit hole she could find because of her big secret.

They meet in a snowstorm and are snowed in together.  They were both detestable to each other as they had been in terrible moods separately before they had their fateful encounter and subsequent night to remember.  But, Frances is determined to return to her job teaching music and French and Lucius has a bride picked out by his family to work himself up to accepting.

Subsequent meet ups are still full of the acrimony because Frances keeps refusing Lucius with various reasons or non-reasons tripping off her lips, but none are the real reason.  She clutches her secret tightly to her bosom.  But, Lucius’ high-handedness flushes her and her secret out into the open and while he has ruined her contented life, he has made her unable to deny that he truly feels love to match her own.  But, it can’t be… because… reasons.

So, this pair.  This annoying pair.  Yeesh, they were a mess.  Lucius sees ‘no’ as just a fun challenge to circumvent and Frances’ secret had me so impatient to know what the dickens had her so worked up that she was sending mixed signals with her firm nos, but emotions and attraction that is obvious.
I’m not a huge fan of the ‘big secret’ device in romance conflicts and this story drove home why.  It made sense when it first all went down- when age, experience, and no guidance available were tossed in, but that isn’t the case now since she’s twenty-six, has close friends and family, and a man who wants to be with her.  Just tell him already and see what he says since you’re already planning to say ‘no’ to him.  Yeesh.
And, Lucian needed slapping at times for pushing through her ‘no’ answers when she didn’t want to do something and using trickery ‘for her own good’.  Not that her ‘protect him from my secret’ wasn’t a variation of the same song.

But, as much as they were little annoyances, I did want them together.  And, the school friends and Lucius’ family were the best.  Oh, and I just could not wait to see the icy, pretentious Portia knocked down a peg or two.

So, interesting start to the series and I can’t wait to get our other three ladies’ stories.  Historical Romance fans should definitely reach for a Mary Balogh book full of well-developed sensual romance, fabulous historical setting, and a well-orchestrated plot.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #62
Romance-opoly #40 Mayfair- class difference
Series That Never Ends #8
Oldie But a Goodie #14
Library Love #20
Reading Assignment #6 Prof. Author Love
COYER #31  Oldest book on TBR


About Mary Balogh

Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curling.

Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first book, a Regency love story, was published in 1985 as A Masked Deception under her married name. In 1988, she retired from teaching after 20 years to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling ‘Slightly’ sextet and ‘Simply’ quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group, and her novel Simply Magic was a finalist in the Quill Awards. She has won seven Waldenbooks Awards and two B. Dalton Awards for her bestselling novels, as well as a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.

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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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2 years ago

I hope the others will be great!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Crossing my fingers, Melliane. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

The ‘for her own good’ reasons irritate me sometimes when I read them. I don’t like being pushed so I don’t like reading others being pushed. I can be stubborn. lol

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Seriously, I get grumbly when that starts. I don’t like being left out on decisions about me, either. 🙂

2 years ago

I can’t remember the last time I read anything by her. I loved some and then found a few other ones irritating like this.

Karen @ For What It’s Worth

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Karen

I’ve been trying to get through a few of the older ones for my series challenge and find them more hit and miss than I have the most recent ones like the Westcott series.

Melissa (Books and Things)

I really do need to start on this author’s books. Might be this one. Sounds good!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I really appreciate the way she melds history and romance. Her characters have depth and she puts thoughts into their personal and romantic journeys. Hope you like her stuff when you get the chance, Melissa.

2 years ago

Despite the annoyances I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope the other books are much better.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Nadene

LOL, yes, it was more a hit than a miss, Nadene. I find that I end up loving her books even if her characters annoy me now and then. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I’m not a fan of the “big secret” as a romantic plot device either. It stresses me out. I do love Mary Balogh so I’d probably like this series, but maybe skip this book.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I kept muttering ‘just tell him already’. LOL She was stressing herself out along with the reader and the hero. 😉

I think you can easily skip this one because each book tackles a different one of the teachers and their stories.

Carole rae
2 years ago

OoooOOooo now that does sound good.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

Go get ’em, Tiger!

Lover Of Romance
2 years ago

This one sounds disappointing, sounds like some toxic treatment on both sides. I am glad the story was still redeemable and worked in some ways for you.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Exactly, Renee! They both had a bit to learn about treating people and trusting others with secrets and decisions, but overall, it wasn’t bad.

2 years ago

I’m working my way through her Bedwyn series and am really enjoying it. I’ve read another from another series-not sure-and liked it as well. Not sure about this one though. It’s going to be a wait and see for me. As in if it’s on Audible Escape or not.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

How fun! Glad you are enjoying the Bedwyns. They are a fun family. This one was so-so, but I still look forward to the next ones in the series.

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

Mary Balogh sounds like a wonderful historical romance author! I think it’s great that the series you love, got this spinoff. I’m glad you enjoyed it, despite the annoying big secret device! Hopefully, you get to enjoy the next book in the series even more!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Oh, yes, Lindy! She is definitely a fab writer.
Yeah, the secret was annoying. 🙂

Angie Elle
2 years ago

I’m not a fan of the big secret trope, either. If the author holds out too long, I often veer into thinking that the character has to be overreacting, and that’s how I feel at the big reveal. The payoff is rarely worth it.

I have the newest Mary Balogh waiting on my TBR, and I can’t wait to get to it. I do love her books!

Great review, Sophia.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

Exactly! And, the secret keeping like this only makes sense if she’s planning to be with him anyway.