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Simply Love Hardcover – 15 Aug 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (15 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038533883X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385338837
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,427,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'Balogh's protagonists are complex and charismatic - the kind of people you hope to be sitting next to at a party. With its impeccable plotting and memorable characters, Balogh's book raises the bar for Regency romances.' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 'a powerful love story with the special touch only Mary Balogh can bring.' JO BEVERLY 'A new Mary Balogh book is a gift every woman should give herself.' TERESA MEDEIROS 'Balogh knows the Regency era, all the customs, mores and social innuendoes... latest read features deft plotting and creative characterization.' ROMANTIC TIMES" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Simply Love is a book about Anne, a girl's school teacher with an illegitimate 9yr old son, and Sydnam, a *severely* wounded ex-soldier. He is working as a steward at an estate in Wales where they meet when she and her son go to visit for a month. Nearly all of the secondary characters are Bedwyn's from the Slightly series (which my be confusing for those who have not read the series).

It is a VERY slow moving, but deeply touching love story. Balogh once again creates two characters with raw depth and emotion. One carries obvious external pain, while in the other an internal turmoil exists. These are slowly peeled away and exposed to the reader. I loved how Balogh took the time to describe and remind the reader of Sydnam's physical limitations, how he could no longer to this or that. The same went for the Anne and her difficulty with physical intimacy.

Although the pace is very slow, it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. This isn't a firecracker romance where two people meet and fall in love instantly. Rather it (to me anyway) is very realistic. Two very wary individuals meet and something stirs, but because of their own fear/inhibition nothing happens. They become good friends first and then a bit more. Again, its a slow road but one definitely worth taking.

A beautifully romantic book. Recommended
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Format: Paperback
"Simply Love" is the second in Mary Balogh's "Simply" series following four teachers at a school in Bath (the first was "Simply Unforgettable"). It features the teacher Anne Jewell who works at the school along with her nine year old son, the result of a rape when she was a governess in Cornwall. Anne Jewell was first introduced to readers of Balogh's novel in "Slightly Scandalous", the book about Freyja Bedwyn in the "Slightly" series about the Bedwyn family. Anne and her son David accompany Freyja and her husband Joshua, the Marquess of Hallmere, to a family gathering in Wales, one of the Duke of Bewcastle's properties. Anne hopes to remain in the background as she isn't a member of the family and is the mother of an illegitimate child, but things don't work out exactly as she hopes.

Sydnam Butler is the disfigured and disabled brother of Kit Butler (hero of "A Summer To Remember") who now works as the Steward at Glandwr, the Welsh estate. He doesn't work out of financial need but to help him to feel worthwhile and it is work that he can do despite having only one eye and one arm.

Sydnam and Anne meet in less than auspicious circumstances and yet as they both see each other in company with the rest of the guests they start to build a friendship which is strengthened by their shared experiences. However their past history causes them problems and when Anne returns to teaching in Bath they both think it unlikely they will meet again. However events cause them to be thrown back into company with each other and despite some setbacks they are able to help each other to overcome some of their problems, to rebuild family relationships and rediscover talents they thought were lost to them.
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Format: Audio Download
Every time I read a Mary Balogh novel – new or old, I am struck anew by how much I love her work. She has covered every conceivable subject/scenario in her long and highly successful career with empathy and a deeply insightful understanding of human nature. In Simply Love, the second in her highly acclaimed Simply Quartet, she highlights the issues and prejudices surrounding a single mother and her illegitimate child in Regency England. With great understanding, Ms.Balogh immerses us in the life of Anne Jewell, her nine year old son, David, and that of Sydnam Butler, a horrifically scarred veteran of the peninsula wars.

Anne and David are invited to spend a month on the south west coast of Wales in company with members of the powerful Bedwyn family. This unconventional family, with a duke at its head, thumbs its collective nose at the restrictions under which most aristocrats are obliged to live. Kind and thoughtful all, they welcome Anne and David to share their family holiday without reservation. Whilst walking the coastal path on the first evening, Anne happens upon the dreadfully scarred Sydnam Butler, and flees from him in fright. Sydnam is employed by the duke as steward of his estate, and is attempting to carve a life out for himself away from his own overprotective and loving family; he is a man completely lacking in self-pity and understands the picture he presents on first sight.

So expertly drawn is Mary Balogh’s description of this tragic but gorgeous man, that I shed more than one tear on his behalf. Anne is appalled at her own crass behaviour and apologises to him at the first available opportunity. Friendship flowers over the course of the month long holiday further developing into affection, and finally into something more sensual.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply Love tells us the story of two people bearing their scars that life has dealt them.
After having read A Summer To Remember, I was very well pleased noticing that Ms. Balogh had written a romance for Sydnam Butler. He had immediately aroused my sympathies with his person, simultaneously sensitive, intelligent, and strong. I really wanted to hear about something good happening to him. And I can gratefully say that Ms. Balogh did not disappoint me.

Again, the psychological picture of both Anne and Sydnam is accurate and believable. So is their development as persons. Their friendship is described in a very true and touching fashion, and I have to say that some of Sydnam's lonely meditations felt heart-rending to me. Sentimental meanderings don't appeal to me at all, so they must have been seasoned with realism. It does not very often happen that I truly love a person in a book, but I really loved Sydnam. Thank you, Ms. Balogh. Anne is sympathetic as well, but she did not reach me as intensively as Sydnam. On the other hand, few protagonists of books do. Anne was also a very coherently written person, if we don't count the episode of her confronting her family, in which her tone of voice did not sound her own (actually, it reminded me a bit too much of my elder sister, which can have been one of the reasons I did not like the scene).

The problem that Regency novelists have to face - how to justify the protagonists' having sex without marriage in the middle of the book - has in my opinion been solved quite beautifully here. I even believe that Anne and Sydnam would maybe really have made love, even in the 19th century, without possibility for birth control and with the threat of social ostracism.
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