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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

on 25 March 2004
Again Mary Balogh has given us a work of believable emotion that goes beyond the superficial (though usually enjoyable) wit, games and flowery love of other romances, to give us a satisfying journey into the hearts of two people. I contentedly sobbed my way both with joy and sadness through several sections of the second half of this book, and was very glad I had not given up on it as I was almost tempted to do at the beginning.
Initially I found neither Lauren or Kit particularly sympathetic characters. Lauren especially is so tightly locked up inside herself that she seems to have little to live for and little desire for a life. However along comes Kit Butler. Kit's older brother has died and Kit is now expected to give up the life he has made to go home, learn to be the heir and marry the woman his estranged father has chosen. Kit, understandably, is determined to avoid a marriage to the woman who had abandoned Kit to become engaged to his older brother. Though his initial thought is to marry someone totally unsuitable, to spite his family, he is mature enough to go in the opposite direction and pick out the most proper and suitable Lady he can find, Lauren Edgeworth. He sets about cold bloodedly courting her.
This is the bit of the book that is difficult to get through, they are stilted and superficial and you keep waiting, impatiently in my case, for them to start communicating with each other. And that is the point, once they do it's like watching a flower open as they get to know each other. Kit produces his calculated marriage proposal, Lauren turns him down, then much to her surprise demands an expanation of him as to what is going on. Once he's told her she further surprises herself and him by suggesting she masquerade as his fiancee at his parents country house party and help him establish his place back in his family and avoid the arranged marriage. In exchange for which she asks Kit to help her try to live a little (not be her lover), to try and be a bit more like other people. So in freeing Lauren to live and in helping Kit reconcile with his family, Lauren and Kit heal, grow and learn to love. Just fabulous.
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on 29 October 2006
This book is a semi-sequel to "One Night For Love" which told the story of Neville Wyatt, Earl of Kilbourne, and the discovery on his wedding day to Lauren Edgeworth that his former wife Lily, that he believed dead, was alive. One Night For Love tells the story of Neville and Lily and Lauren appears in that as a cold, hard woman.

A Summer To Remember is Lauren's story and picks up a year after "One Night For Love". She has continued living in the dower house attached to Kilbourne's estate and so is constantly reminded of her wedding day disaster. She is enticed to London by her friend, the Duchess of Portfrey, who is due to give birth and wants London doctors. Lauren believes she can safely go to Town with the Duchess as she won't be required to go to ton events and be laughed at as the jilted bride.

Kit Butler, Viscount Ravensberg, is a misbehaving rake who continually gets into scrapes. He first lays eyes on Lauren whilst brawling with 3 labourers in a park and then being kissed enthusiastically by a milkmaid. But he has a problem - his father is arranging a marriage for Kit and Kit doesn't want to go along with this - he needs a bride of his own choosing.

He decides to choose Lauren, sight unseen, and court and woo her. And so he begins, knowing she has a reputation as an ice maiden but relishing the challenge. Lauren's well-meaning relatives warn her off him which causes her to spend time with him - time which is fun and different from anything else. When they realise that a fake betrothal would serve for both of them to extricate them from awkward situations they agree to it. Kit needs a fiancée so that his father's choice for him, Freyja Bedwyn, knows to look elsewhere; Lauren needs some time away from her family to prepare to live retired as a spinster in Bath. Kit promises Lauren a summer to remember at his father's estate, Lauren promises to help him try and heal the rift with his family.

These two people - Kit the fun, warm, lighthearted man and Lauren the ice-cold maiden - have hidden depths and part of the excellence of this book is how their lives are unpacked and they learn to understand each other. I enjoyed this book even more on a second reading as I was able to read it more slowly, rather than racing through the plot, and see some more of the nuances of behaviour.

This book also features the Bedwyn clan in the `slightly' series. I've never been that keen on them all and this book didn't change that, but it's an interesting intersecting of her other series of books with this one. I believe there's also a book in progress about Kit's younger brother which would be part of this series.

As this book moves on it becomes more and more gripping and moving as Lauren and Kit understand each other better. It's the sort of book that can bring tears to your eyes and I think it a real triumph that you are rooting for someone like Lauren who initially seemed so cold and unpleasant. I strongly recommend this as a read just as a well-written story but especially if you like to look deeper into your characters' thoughts and motivations.
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on 27 February 2007
In the course of my life-long search for an author to be compared to Georgette Heyer, I have come across Mary Balogh, and I now notice that I have half a shelf of her work above my metre-long row of G.H. There must be a reason to this. I don't love her books, but I must say I like them.

Ms. Balogh, though there is humour in her texts, is not a wizard of sparkling wit (compared to G.H. nobody is). On the other hand, her persons are psychologically coherent and believable, and they develop in a very endearing way during the course of the book. This goes for A Summer To Remember, too. Kit Butler is a wild and rakish, funny and sexy care-for-nobody who is shown to have a deeper, darker side hidden from the world, a side that he has to learn to handle before being able to live his life as a happier person. Lauren Edgeworth is beautiful and "perfect", and the greatest marvel about this book is how Ms. Balogh can make out of this very controlled and reserved person (as such totally contrary to my poor self) someone so thoroughly sympathetic and deserving my warmest regard. She doesn't suddenly change into a wildly romantic and hilariously witty person after coming to contact with Kit, whom at first she despises and little by little learns to like and trust; instead I seem to learn to understand her while she learns to understand herself. She allows herself to breathe more freely and finds ways to let herself love herself and her Kit, and this happens without a total change in her fundamental personality. On the other hand, this personality, in the beginning of the book unsympathetic, has during the course of the book become something lovable and understandable to me. Is this evidence of good authorship? I think that it is.

So as not to frighten away people searching for a good Regency romance with generous splashes of eroticism in it, I must say that actually this is just such a book and not a psychological novel; on the other hand, it is a better novel than many other romances. Ms. Balogh's heroes and heroines tend not to be the standard protagonists, which in my opinion makes them more interesting. Of course I (as always) find it peculiar that protected maidens of the 19th century so willingly part with their virginities, but that is neither here nor there, and it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy reading about it, as Ms. Balogh is never clumsy writing the erotic scenes.

A Summer To Remember is one of the best by Ms. Balogh I've read so far. I am eagerly waiting for the story of Kit's brother, Sydnam Butler, to appear in paperback.
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on 19 June 2015
I absolutely loved the hero of this book - the outrageous fun-loving Kit Butler who, although continually pulling stunts seemingly to gain attention, is at heart a very honorable, caring man who has loads of pain inside his soul.

Having served in the military as a type of spy, he has been banished from the family home after fighting with his elder brother, who had the unmitigated gall to die while Kit was fighting in the war before Kit had the opportunity to make things right. Now, Kit is the heir to the earldom and is being beckoned home at long last to celebrate his grandmother's birthday. But, there is one demand/command/request being placed upon Kit. His father and the Duke of Bewcastle have made arrangements for Kit to become betrothed to the duke's sister, Freya.

Kit decides he will choose his own wife, thank you very much - Father! His friends suggest the lovely ice queen who was "left-at-the-altar" by her cousin and the man she was formerly betrothed to - none other than Miss Lauren Edgeworth to whom we were first introduced in One Night for Love (Bedwyn Saga) and Kit and his friends agree to wager regarding whether or not Lauren will accept his offer. But, once Kit becomes acquainted with Lauren and she becomes a "real" person to him, he finds himself confessing all to her. Much to his surprise, Lauren tells him she will be his fake fiancee for a few weeks which will give him time to find a real fiancee. She wants only one thing. She wants a "summer to remember" whereby Kit will give her some adventures. She's is as stiff as a starched apron and any other gentleman might find her request nearly impossible to fulfill. For example, when he tries to get her to go swimming or climb a tree or other simple types of things, she resists but eventually does participate.

In time, their relationship turns into something very sweet and although I didn't care for Lauren's personality previous to this book, I couldn't help but admire her as she dealt with people, including the intimidating Bedwyn family. She was a peacemaker and was never afraid to wade into deep waters if it meant helping those in her sphere come into a better relationship with one another or help them resolve past issues in their lives.

A very sweet relationship. I loved Kit Butler from the get go and eventually I also began to see great value in Lauren.
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on 7 July 2011
Kit Butler, Viscount Ravensberg...He is tall sexy and very bad, he turns heads where ever he goes, he likes people thinking the worse of him, or at least he thinks he does.But then lauren comes into his life and he learns it is all a show and he wants to be accepted back into his family. and with the help of lauren it all happens and he finds out that he loves her and never wants to let her go....oh this guy is so charming and fun to be around, I think all men shoud be like him.

Lauren, quiet and a proper ladie, she starts finding life really dull. Untill she meets kit, the man who helps her open her eyes to all the fun she could be haveing....He takes her swimming and climbing tress.All the things real ladies dont do....But she finds she really likes it and cant get enough.Kit has brought out her wild side..BUT how will it all turn out..

i really enjoyed this book, i so think its worth a read, it kept me reading from start to finish, over all a really good read..
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 8 January 2016
I felt quite sorry for Lauren when I was reading One Night for Love, after all it wasn't her fault that the man she was about to marry already had a wife and being left at the altar would be rather humiliating for anyone! So, I was glad when I found out we were getting to read her story next and I think I ended up enjoying A Summer to Remember even more than the first book.

After having her heart broken Lauren has pretty much given up on the idea of love and marriage, instead she's decided she's going to remain a spinster and she's making plans to move forward with life on her own terms which I thought was incredibly brave of her. Before she moves to a little cottage of her own in the countryside somewhere she is facing one last season in London, blithely ignoring the gossips and playing the part of a perfect young lady because a friend is relying on her.

As the second son Kit never expected to inherit the family title and he's been happy with his carefree life able to do what he wants when he wants. Then the unthinkable happens and his brother dies and now Kit is faced with returning home to pick up the reigns as his father's heir and even worse be forced into an arranged marriage with the woman who rejected him so long ago. Kit may not have a choice about his duties but one thing he absolutely will not budge on is marrying Freyja, she chose his brother over him once and he's not going to let her come back to him now that she knows he'll inherit everything. So, Kit decides it's time to choose his own bride and on a dare from his friends he picks Lauren since she has a reputation as a bit of an ice maiden and he can never resist a challenge.

I have to admit I was fully prepared to dislike Kit from the moment he made the bet but thankfully he comes clean to Lauren about it very quickly. After discussing his situation like the adults they are Lauren offers him a deal, she'll accompany him home and pretend to be his fiance for the summer if he gives her a few weeks of adventure and passion before she settles down to a quiet life on her own. Kit is more than happy to agree but his plans soon change when he starts to fall for the fun loving woman who has been hiding behind her frosty facade.

I really loved both Kit and Lauren, their relationship builds slowly and was very believable and I enjoyed seeing Kit push Lauren out of her comfort zone. She had been through so much but she was tough as steel and I was really proud of her for the way she stood up for herself, particularly around Freyja. These two books have been a prequel for the Bedwyn Saga but I have to admit it they haven't really shown the Bedwyn siblings in a particularly great light. Freyja in particular is a nasty piece of work but her brothers haven't been much better and it's not really making me want to dive into the rest of the series. Friends keep telling me I'll be pleasantly surprised when I get to know them though so I'm going to give them a chance and if they end up being as good as the prequels then I'll have discovered a new favourite historical romance series.
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on 13 December 2010
Review taken from my Blog Post (#52) in December 2010 after borrowing the book from the local library:

After recently reading the final book in the Bedwyn Family series, which literally enthralled me, this was a little bit disappointing.

Lauren Edgeworth didn't really grab me as a multi-levelled character, I really wanted to up and shake her at some points in the story.

Kit on the other hand worked, and I felt a little sorry for him .... his lady was such hard work.

Definitely worth a read though with a 3 and a half star rating.
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on 6 October 2017
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on 25 September 2017
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on 20 August 2013
Mary Balogh is one of my favourite authors. On the whole her books are consistently good. This one is no exception the characters are well drawn and the storyline is interesting. Definitely a favourite and one I will enjoy reading over again.
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