Review: Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh

Posted June 12, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 14 Comments

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Review: Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
Slightly Dangerous

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three-flames

Series: Bedwyn Saga #6
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Dell
Released on March 1, 2005
Pages: 365
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

What happens when a man reared from his formative years to be a duke, loses his parents young, gains the guardianship of five younger siblings and many other responsibilities finds that he’s in a time in his life encounters a hoyden of a woman full of joie du vie and wants nothing to do with his lofty title?  Wulfric Bedwin can finally lay aside duty and responsibility and do something for himself and his eye is set on Christine Derrick, the last woman in the world he should want.  Wulf has met his match and fireworks ensue.

Review

Slightly Dangerous is the six and final book in the Bedwyn Saga.  I suppose it could be read alone and the reader would have a good time, but this book will mean ever so much more to the reader who has seen Wulfric from the beginning in the background of each book and making the reader anticipate what his story would be like.

A country house party comes along at the time in his life when Wulfric is feeling decidedly low with all his siblings married and settled in their own lives, with his responsibilities in the House over for another year, and with the sad loss of his long-time mistress.  He’s looking for something to distract him and gets more than he bargained for when the widowed Christine Derrick drops lemonade on him and tumbles into his notice often enough to catch his interest when her plan was to stay in the background at her friend’s party and definitely not gain the notice of the ice cold, arrogant Duke of Bewcastle.

As many who follow my reviews know, I have been anticipating Wulf’s story since I started this series just as many have before me.  Wulf is the oldest and most difficult Bedwyn because he seems so aloof and unentangled by emotion.  Yet, series readers see glimpses that this is not true.  He loves his siblings and will do anything for them, but he was chained to duty early by a parent who was dying and saw no other choice for his heir.  Wulf knows how to take responsibility for others, but has never had the freedom to be carefree.  I liked seeing that this was the challenge the author set for such a wondrous character who deserves so much.

Now, at the same time I was anticipating Wulfric’s story, I was also curious with what type of romance and heroine he would get.  The author went with an opposites romance, and as others have pointed out, it did have echoes of Jane Austen’s most famous novel.  Wulf offends and his true, generous and good character is misunderstood while he takes a bit to understand how he can win the woman who, without trying, has captured his heart even as she gets to know him and realizes his worth almost too late because she is willfully blind about him.

Christine Derrick had the potential to be a true delight for me and thrill me to see her make Wulf get his chance at happiness.  I really was poised to like her and did at first.  She has a free spirit that engages others and she went with the flow when she would rather not be at that house party.  I thought it was hilarious the way she accidentally dropped lemonade on him and was cheering for her in the face of some stuffy guests and her rude former in laws.  Her reaction was just the wake-up call that Wulf needed when he insulted her with his first offer.  He deserved her reaction.

But- yes, there’s a but… Christine got on my nerves after a bit and she lost her shine for me as things progressed.

Here’s the thing.  She is twenty-nine and the widow of a man from the upper classes, she has been in the highest of society and was the daughter of a teacher.  In other words, she knows how to conduct herself at a country house party.  I’ll grant you, she had a bad time of it right after her husband died and I can see wanting to thumb her nose at some in the crowd of guests who didn’t treat her well.  But, “act like you’ve had some raising” as my grandmother used to say.  She didn’t want to be there, but she is there and has a responsibility not to embarrass her hostess or ruin the party.  Did I say she’s 29?  She acts like she’s 9 rather than 29, climbing trees and tumbling down grassy hills and bouncing around with vivacity and a flirty attitude without a care in the world (though she’s doing it to hide that she does care).
This wouldn’t have bothered me that much if she had been paired with fun-loving Rannulf or Alleyn, but it did make it a huge stretch for me to see her in the role of Wulfric’s duchess or see what he saw in her goofing off, spouting hasty words, flirting around and naively not getting that she’s doing it and giving a poor impression.  A woman who takes on that role has to demand respect because she takes on a dukedom and not just a duke- just how it is.  There are opposites and then there are too opposite for me to believe.  Let me put it this way since there is already the comparison earlier to Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Christine act like silly and irresponsible Lydia rather than her older sister Elizabeth.

But, it wasn’t only that.  Wulf deserved her first tongue lashing when he made her a shocking offer, but then after that, she held a grudge like nobody’s business.   Nothing he says or does is worthy of more than her scathing snap opinions and judgmental attitude.  It got ridiculous and soooo hypocritical after the way she knows how her in-laws judged her wrongly.  She is ignorant of so much that a little time and effort to verify the truth would have set her straight.  She calls him arrogant because he is quiet and aloof and doesn’t suffer fools, but man, did she demonstrate some pretty deep amount of arrogance looking down her nose because he doesn’t lark about and act the buffoon.  I could not get her attitude.  It’s like the worst thing to her that he behaves with dignity and maturity.  Just what is she expecting from a man who has been responsible for a dukedom, the wealth to run it because lives are depending on him, and not to mention his siblings?

On the other hand, Wulfric was just what I was expecting.  His chance to finally come into his own that had been stifled back before he was twenty when he was bowed down with all that responsibility and duty thrilled me to see.  He stayed Wulfric in all the ways that mattered, but he was the version who got to be happy and fulfilled like his siblings.  This book slowly saw him exploring this opportunity and tentatively trying new experiences and learning more about himself.  Wulf is a gem as a character who deepens and grows even more wonderful even as he opens himself up to exposing vulnerability and takes chances with his feelings.

I still count this as a solid read even if the heroine drove me to distraction.  I mentioned Austen’s P&P a few times, but I don’t want to give the impression that this is a version of that tale lovely that it is though Austen lovers would enjoy some of the parallels, I think.  I’m going to keep going with the spin off series because I enjoy the author’s writing, her historical settings, and her character and romance development.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #57
Austenesque TBR #25
Reading Assignment #1 Professor Author Love
Oldie But a Goodie #12
Library Love #18
Series that Never Ends #7
COYER #2

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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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Tracy Terry
Guest

Oh I do like a well written, strong, feisty female lead and this heroine sounds far from that.

I know they say never judge a book by its cover but …

Hmm! I can’t make up my mind about this cover. Am I intrigued to find out more given that there is no hint as to what the book might be about or would I merely pass it by because of its simplicity and the fact it gives nothing away?

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL, Cover crisis for Tracy!

Several of her books written in a certain time period got this style of cover. Hers weren’t the only ones so I never worried about recognizing what genre I was looking at, but I can see how it would be tough to know these days.

Debbie Haupt
Guest

Oh Wulfy yes you go! Great review Sophia Rose I’m wanting this series now too LOL
Sorry I’ve been awol a bit lately but dealing with this flood situation is all consuming. I’m hoping to have a blog post about it up sometime soon
xo

Sophia Rose
Guest

It was wonderful to finally get to his story. Yes, definitely worth hitting the backlist for this series.

I’ve seen some of your posts on Instagram and Tumblr so knew you were up to your ears in flooding complications. No worries about being active here, lady!

Melliane
Guest

Hmm I think I a book in this series but I’ll have to verify

Sophia Rose
Guest

Very possible! I think this is one of her most popular aeries. 🙂

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland
Guest

Wulfric sounds like a wonderful character. I love how the series builds to this moment when his story is finally given. His love interest does sound inappropriate for his character; I would have a problem with her behavior given her age and the position she’d be expected to fill as Wulfric’s wife. That said, this series sound wonderful. I’d be interested in reading it!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Loved how Wulfric really opened up and grew ready to fall in love in this one after all the years of holding back and taking responsibility for everything.

Yeah, she wasn’t a bad person and I liked her a little, but I really couldn’t see her with Wulf for the life of me. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
Guest

I can see why the heroine drove you to distraction! I hate when characters/people hold grudges, and don’t know how to let things go. Plus the way she sounds arrogant would bother me too! Wulf sounds like a character that I would enjoy. I’m glad you liked the story even though the female lead was difficult to like. I hope you end up enjoying the spin-off series! Wonderful Review Friend!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, she seemed to relish misinterpreting everything he said or did after that even when he apologized for insulting her and showed he meant it. In a sense, it just made him look even better. LOL

I’m curious about the spinoffs. The first book is about a side character I really liked from book three.

Lorna
Guest
Lorna

Bummer! I had just read how much you wanted this book and then to get a heroine like that? No, just no. I hope that didn’t ruin things too much, but I can certainly see why it would!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, she was something else. If it had been almost any other of the brothers I might not have been so frustrated with her, but I was so bummed that she was the heroine Wulf was stuck with. 🙁

Carole rae
Guest

Ugh those characters drive me coocoo. But I’m glad it still worked out for ya

Sophia Rose
Guest

For real! Grrr!