Review: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Posted December 13, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh
Someone to Trust

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: The Westcotts #5
Genres: Historical Romance, Holiday Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on November 27, 2018
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

The Westcotts and extended family all together for the holidays, a surprise wedding that carries over from the last book, and a new budding romance that is built on friendship and takes everyone including the romance pair unawares.  Gently-paced, sweet, and all the holiday feels wrapped up in one engaging story.


Someone to Trust is the fifth book in the Westcott series.  While it might seem all right to pick it up as a standalone or out of order because it is an all new pair with no earlier threads together, this series is one that really works best in order.  There is a strong connection of family and situation as each book builds on the last.  Many scenes involving the larger family and references to the past might not grab a new reader to the series.

Someone to Trust actually overlaps a little in the beginning with the previous book, Someone to Care, so it is a spoiler if someone was planning to read the fourth book.  This is Elizabeth, Lady Overfield’s book.  Elizabeth has been the sweet, tenderhearted support for everyone and hides her secret pain and loneliness behind a twinkling smile. Christmas is a joyous time particularly this year as the whole extended family assembles at Brambledean, her brother’s home, and she is enjoying it, but can’t help watching all the happy new couples and young families with envy.  That is a dream she feels that she cannot have; but she is determined to participate in the upcoming London she will settle for a nice man to give her her own family and home.  However, her eye and mind keep straying to Colin Handrich, Lord Hodge, her sister in law’s younger brother.  He’s too young for her to even consider, but she wishes it were not so because she enjoys the laughter and fun and companionship they have.  He even is the keeper of some of her saddest and darkest memories that no one else knows.

Colin, for his part, has never know this sort of feeling.  He is nearly overwhelmed by the love, support, and laughter of this huge, generous family who pull him into their group because he is Wren’s brother.  Elizabeth Overfield, most of all.  He knows that he needs to get about the business of doing his duty as head of his family by marrying and settling down on the family estate while taking his mother’s extravagance and wildness in hand.  He looks about and has some of the most beautiful eligible girls paraded before him, but they can’t compare to the one woman who refuses to consider him because he is her junior and she claims he can do better than her.  He has to watch sadly as she prepares to accept a boring, ‘safe’ match.  But, will he take his chance when he gets it and convince Elizabeth she can trust him to be what she needs?

This one was heartwarming and slow-burn.  It starts off slow with holiday and family and the early moments of Colin and Elizabeth’s friendship.  There are a few brief moments of flirtation and glimpses that they share an attraction, but then they try to be sensible save for a whimsy that they will dance the first waltz together at every London ball they both attend.  I didn’t mind the slow build and it made sense since Elizabeth is an abuse survivor and Colin has his own tangled past with his family.

And, that brings me to the family element.  Colin came from a cold, lonely background with a distracted father and a narcissistic mother.  He knows his sister was treated awful and sent away and he sees the way his mother twists and warps people to suit only her needs.  It is all in stark contrast to Elizabeth’s warm and giving family.  Incidentally, for fans of Georgette Heyer, I’m pretty sure there is homage being paid to the book, Venetia, in the form of another narcissistic mother.

The romance requires a lot of patience because it truly does take its time.  It’s not absent in the beginning and middle of the story, but it is in a unnoticed or denied form by the players and even when they come together there is still more needing to happen to bring about the true swoony happily ever after.  But, it does get there and was worth it.

All in all, I was in a mood to match with the tone, pace, world, characters, and friends to lovers in this holiday historical romance.  I love the series and the whole family of Westcotts.  There are a handful of stories that I really want and I’m not sure who is getting theirs next, but I’ll take any of them.  I can definitely recommend this one and the whole series.

My thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Holiday Delight

The Westcotts in the story really know how to throw a family party and this one involved lots of fun in the snow:  snow angels, snowball fights, building snow people, sledding, and sleigh rides.  I’ve only experienced these wintry activities since I moved to Michigan- still haven’t taken a sleigh ride yet.  But one thing these folks didn’t do with the snow was eat it.  I had the most fun trying Snow Ice Cream my first year here so I have to share the recipe my co-worker taught me for all those who still haven’t had the chance and live in a snow zone or may someday be able to stay where there is snow. Ingredients: One clean (never been used for cleaning) bucket (or, in my case, all my large mixing bowls and pitchers) 1 cup sugar 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2 cups of milk 1 gallon of snow Now, this is important.  Only use snow you gather in your pristine container and make sure its catching snow directly from the sky and not off the roof overhang.  Haha! Personally, I set out several bowls so I can get the whole gallon of snow needed (since we rarely have over six inches in a dumping from our snow storms).  When your snow is gathered, immediately add in all the ingredients and then eat right away. And, just for a little more if you’re interested in recipes that involve snow, I found this Food Network link for that:


Romance Roundabout #377 HR
New Release #194




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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Carole rae
2 years ago

awww yayy you liked it too. It was such a good story and I am glad that it was a slow burn. They both needed it.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

Not a relationship to be rushed. Agreed, Carole. 🙂

2 years ago

Ah, the holiday feels. Already sounds like a good one.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  vvb

For sure! 🙂 The opening chapters of the family Christmas were just that.

Angie Elle
2 years ago

So glad to see you enjoyed this one, Sophia. I loved the atmosphere of it so much I could never wait to curl up with it! 🙂

Great review.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

This was a perfect cuddle read with throw blanket and hot drink by the fire. I loved how they arranged to have the waltz at each hosted event. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

This sounds delightful,. I appreciate the warning about reading in order of release.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

They are sweet and gentle. I love the unique opening premise in book one. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

Wow, his family sounds awful. I haven’t read this author but this sounds good.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Oh yeah, they were something else. The mom’s evil shows up in an earlier story, too.

2 years ago

Oh everyone is reading this one!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

I’ll bet it seems that way. I know I’ve read at least four blog reviews for it, too. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one, too! The slow burn romance and wintry setting was so lovely. I do think it’s best to read these in order, but that’s no chore since the whole series is wonderful!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I agree. Why miss even one! Book one was one of my favorite reads that year.

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

It seems that this book is being very well received. I will keep in mind that the series does work best in order. I love a good slow burn romance and the family element sounds really interesting.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It was a popular one and definitely worth the fuss. Hope you like the series if you give it a try.