Mary Balogh: Simply Magic

by FlamingJune on August 24, 2008

Simply Magic Mary Balogh

I picked this paperback up at my local big mart on a blind whim.  I needed a romance fix and thought I had low enough expectations to put up with about anything.  It is titled, Simply Magic, which reeks of cheese, and there’s already at least one out there by Balogh called Simply Love.  So maybe I even made this purchase against my own better judgment. But, to my great surprise, there was something substantial about this cheesy romance novel!

The prose was strong.  The dialogue, fluid.  There were transitions written in to scene changes that made it easier for a reader see the story unfold.  And the author was knowledgeable of the Victorian period.  Now don’t get me wrong; this was not a literary geek novel by any means.

It was a sweet love story with a plot rich in social conflict.  Do I dare say “Austenesque”?  Perhaps.  With the exception that it included the carnal side of the romance that some of us feel is missing from authentic Victorian novels.  In this case the physical intimacy was tastfully descriptive and not completely unrealistic.  Another tweak on the authentic period pieces: the heroine, Susannah, was a feminist spinster!  A strong-minded and independent school teacher…who falls in love, despite herself, with the most handsome man she’s ever seen.  Thanks to character development, there’s more to Viscount Whitleaf than meets the eye.  And, yes, he’s practically royalty and she’s a nobody.  Let’s all sigh together, “Aww”.

As much as I wanted to completely discount the author as one of the hundreds who somehow find publication without skill, I can’t find fault with Mary Balogh.  In fact, I think I might have to go get Simply Love and Simply Perfect, and see what other Simply …’s are out there.  Maybe there’s a Simply Ecstatic.  Simply Inextinguishable?
Simply, good writing.  Pick up one of Balogh’s stories next time your in the mood for an historical romance and you will be simply satisfied.

Editor’s Note: FlamingJune is the newest member of the Old Musty Books team.  

To join in or start a discussion on this book, visit the Old Musty Books book club community.

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