The Survivors’ Club: The Arrangement and The Escape by Mary Balogh

My theory that there are more soldiers in Regency romances with PTSD than served in the Napoleonic Wars continues to hold water.

Mary Balogh has been publishing romances since the year I was eligible to vote. Not surprisingly, she is a consistent writer of good quality. I have only read about six of her books, but I believe that the final book of her Slightly Series, Slightly Dangerous, is a classic. She likely has at least one more and as I wait for new books from my favourite authors, I should probably try to find out what they are.

The Survivors’ Club Series:
The Proposal  (Hugo/Gwen) – pleasant
The Arrangement  (Vincent/Sophia) – very sweet, understated
The Escape (Benedict/Samantha) – meh
Only Enchanting (Flavian/Agnes) – Wonderful, read this one. Read it twice.
Only a Promise  (Ralph/Chloe) – very good
Only a Kiss (Percy/Imogen) – meh
Only Beloved – sweet

The Arrangement

From Amazon: Desperate to escape his mother’s matchmaking, Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh, flees to a remote country village. But even there, another marital trap is sprung. So when Miss Sophia Fry’s intervention on his behalf finds her unceremoniously booted from her guardian’s home, Vincent is compelled to act. He may have been blinded in battle, but he can see a solution to both their problems: marriage.

A book about kind, broken people falling in love, Vincent and especially Sophia are lovely people dealing with the blows that life has seen fit to give them. He, blinded in battle, is trying not so much to rebuild his life, but to rediscover his freedom and she, belittled and unwanted, the liberty to be herself and  make a life on her own terms. The gentle, but deep, mutual devotion they come to share made this a sweet story

The Escape

From Amazon: After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws—until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited. Being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey.

I remember swimming and that the heroine’s mother-in-law is a b*tch of the first water. Those two aquatic-themed tidbits are unrelated. The Escape may not have been my most closely read book of the year, but it’s not the least. Other than the swimming and the bitchiness, I’m a little fuzzy on the whole thing. It’s one of those novels where a couple is thrown together, go on a road trip, and decide on a brief affair that gets a permanent extension. He’s wounded in body and soul, she’s a mentally abused shut-in from a kingdom far, far away. Things work out and this process involves canoodling.

The Arrangement and The Escape were both library books and I am likely to seek out more books from The Survivors’ Club, but not to pay for them. Mary Balogh’s publisher is not savvy when it comes to e-book pricing. If copies were $3.99 or less, I would stock up, but they leave their prices high, even for her back catalogue, so it’s the library for me.

Captious Aside: Does anyone else question whether it should be “Survivor’s Club” or Survivors’ Club”? It should be the latter, right? It’s not even consistent when I look it up online.

Also by Mary Balogh:

A Handful of Gold – Meh, but I did have fun reviewing it.
Slightly Dangerous – CLASSIC

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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