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The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring Mass Market Paperback – 28 Feb 2012


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The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring + A Counterfeit Betrothal/The Notorious Rake + The Famous Heroine/ The Plumed Bonnet
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 511 pages
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing Company (28 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440245451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440245452
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.9 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Balogh is a New York Times bestselling author. A former teacher, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada. Visit her website at www.marybalogh.com


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By CJ VINE VOICE on 27 Feb. 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Temporary Wife is my favourite Balogh ever (5+ stars). It was one of the best of her old Signet Regencies and brilliant news for Balogh fans that it's now been republished. Mary Balogh is my next favourite Regency author after Georgette Heyer. Whilst I love all her books I find her earliest stories (many of which have been out of print) amongst her best and this is one of my favourite ones.

The Marquess of Staunton advertises for a governess intending, in fact, to find himself an unsuitable wife. He wants the plainest, dullest and mousiest candidate to take home to his meet his estranged family with the intention of flaunting her in front of, and annoying, his autocratic father. Charity Duncan is desperate for work and answers his advertisement for the position of governess in order to help provide for a large but destitute family of several younger brothers and sisters. She is persuaded by the cold and disagreeable Marquess into a temporary marriage in return for a comfortable settlement for the rest of her life. Once she arrives at the ancestral home she can't help but become interested and involved and gradually unravels the reasons behind the long estrangement between the Marquess and his father. In the process she and the Marquess find out much more about each other than was ever the intention and inevitably and reluctantly they fall in love. Its a lovely story, very subtle and very moving. The character development, as in most Mary Balogh books, is brilliantly and believably done.

4 stars. A Promise of Spring is slightly linked to the "Web" books - many of the characters from those books have minor appearances in this one.
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I discovered Mary several years ago when I read her Slightly series which is excellent. I am now reading the republished books of Mary as they come out and have been amused to see Wulfric appear in the guise of a different character in many of her earlier works. In fact, many of the stories appear to be re-writes of her earlier works with a bit more of a twist and more interesting character development. I really hope I don’t find a re-working of A Promise of Spring, unless it has undergone a massive improvement.

I have always loved Mary Balogh’s books. I have read them over and over, pre-ordered, even written to her as I love her books so much. How pleased I am I didn’t read The Promise of Spring first.

I bought this book as part of a two book compilation. I really liked the characters, Grace and Perry and kept reading hoping something was going to happen. I had wondered at the start when they married within the first several pages what the ‘fly in the ointment’ was going to be and already had a sinking feeling. I trudged through the first few chapters which is so unusual for me with a Mary Balogh book but it was simply boring, page after page describing what the characters had felt over the past several weeks and how they now felt. I thought it had to get better so pushed on, having to re-read paragraphs over again when my thoughts had strayed into what I was going to cook for dinner. Surely it had to improve, it was a Balogh book for goodness sake and they never disappoint.

Mary’s books usually deal with problems between the couple which they sort out prior to getting wed, usually after the lady has refused the gentleman at least once before he persuades her.
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First of all I think Mary Balogh is a great writer. She seems very good at creating believable likable characters that you see gradually fall in love. For me she excels at doing a great love story with just the right amounts of humour, yearning, angst and love. That said sometimes I think that authors like her are judged on a different level. If I don't absolutely love one of her stories then I am genuinely surprised and disappointed, and then have to force myself to think objectively about how I should rate it.

In this book, there are 2 stories:

The first is "The Temporary Wife":

I think this is pretty classic Mary Balogh and I would rate it 5 stars. It's 245 pages long, there are a few sex scenes but I don't think it's especially steamy.
The basic plot line is that Lord Anthony Earheart decides to advertise for a governess, but he really wants a wife, basically to annoy his father. He plans after taking her home to embarrass his father, to give her a generous pension and basically never see her again. He chooses Miss Charity Duncan on the faulty assumption that she is very meek and colourless - his "little brown mouse".
Both characters are very different but both very likable, Charity comes across as very warm, sweet but with a strong back bone. Lord Earheart is arrogant and cold but not intentionally unkind and you see him gradually unthawing with Charity.
It was a very enjoyable read and if you like Mary Balogh, chances are you'll like this.

The second story is "A promise of Spring":

This story is harder to rate, but I think probably about 3.5 stars. It's about 250 pages. Although there are references to love scenes again it's not especially steamy.
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