The beloved queen of Regency romance is back with a brand-new series perfect for fans of Bridgerton. Discover New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh’s Ravenswood series. The handsome and charismatic Earl of Stratton, Caleb Ware, has been exposed to the ton for his clandestine affairs—by his own son.
As a child, Devlin Ware thought his family stood for all that was right and good in the world. They were kind, gracious, and shared the beauty of Ravenswood, their grand country estate, by hosting lavish parties for the entire countryside. But at twenty-two, he discovered his whole world was an elaborate illusion, and when Devlin publicly called his family to account for it, he was exiled as a traitor.
So be it. He enlisted in the fight against Napoleon and didn’t look back for six years. But now his father is dead, the Ware family is broken, and as the heir, he is being called home. It’s only when Gwyneth Rhys—the woman he loved and then lost after his family banished him—holds out her hand to help him that he is able to make the difficult journey and try to piece together his fractured family.
It is Gwyneth’s loyalty, patience, and love that he needs. But is Devlin’s war-hardened heart even capable of offering her love in return?
Mary Balogh has written more than one hundred historical novels and novellas, more than forty of which have been New York Times bestsellers. They include the Bedwyn saga, the Simply quartet, the Huxtable quintet, the seven-part Survivors’ Club series, and the Westcott series. Learn more online at marybalogh.com. Authors Photo – Sharon Pelletier
I had been looking forward to this book because it is the first book in a new series – and – because – well – Mary Balogh. The book is presented in two halves – Part I takes place before the ‘event’, and part II takes place six years later. I thought Part 1 was a bit slow and dragged. Its purpose was to present the Ware family as the idyllic family, living the idyllic life, in an idyllic place – until the ‘event’. Another purpose was to show the budding romance between young Devlin and Gwyneth. The purpose of Part II is to show all of the damage caused by the ‘event’ and to begin the healing process for all involved. Part II moved faster, but was very predictable. We were introduced to the siblings in the Ware family as well as their mother, and I assume the series will feature each of them in books of their own.
Devlin Ware is the son and heir of the Earl of Stratton. He adores his father, his mother, and all his siblings – Nicholas, Owen, Philippa, Stephanie, and their older illegitimate brother, Ben Ellis. They were all happily raised together at Ravenswood where the wealthy earldom sponsored fetes, picnics, and other community events and opened the Ravenswood grounds to the villagers. It was a happy time in a happy place. They are the perfect family, living the perfect life – until – it was all ripped apart and they were separated for six long years. Devlin had just proposed to Gwyneth and they were ecstatically happy – until they too were separated.
After six years apart, the old earl has died, and Devlin has been summoned home to assume the role. Nobody would recognize the hardened, cold man who arrives as the same joyful, naïve, very hurt young man who left. Everyone he finds at home is different too – they have all suffered. Can they make it right? Can they find their joy again? Can Devlin and Gwyneth find their way back to each other?
The sound of the story was good, but I just couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t see the real romance between Devlin and Gwyneth because they spent very little on-page time together. But, to me, the ‘event’ was just much ado about nothing. I certainly didn’t personally like what happened, but it isn’t anything compared to other ton scandals and I can see absolutely no reason for the major chaos it caused. So, I was happy to meet the Ware family, but I don’t believe I’d be interested in reading this book a second time – and I’m not sure I’ll read the next book in the series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.