From New York Times best-selling legend Mary Balogh - the beloved author of Longing, Silent Melody, and Beyond the Sunrise - comes a ravishing novel of passion and duty, love, and menace....
Life has taught Lucas Kendrick, duke of Harndon, that a heart is a decided liability. Betrayed by his elder brother, rejected by his fiancée, banished by his father, and shunned by his mother, Luke fled to Paris, where he became the most sought-after bachelor in fashionable society. Ten years later fate has brought him back home to England as head of the family who rejected him. Unwilling as he is to be involved with them, he must assume responsibility for his younger siblings, the family estate he once loved - and the succession. He faces the prospect of marrying with the greatest reluctance - until he sees beguiling Lady Anna Marlowe across a ballroom one night.
Anna, far from being the bright-eyed innocent Luke takes her for, is no more a stranger to the shadows of a painful past than he is. But for her, marriage cannot so easily solve what is wrong in her life - not when a tormentor stalks her to the very doors of Bowden Abbey, where Luke and Anna must learn to trust in each other or risk any chance they may have for a happy future.
©1995 Mary Balogh (P)2015 Recorded Books
I don't know. I'm a great fan of Mary Balogh's work but this story just didn't gel for me.
None of them really.
I'm sorry I wasted my credit on this.
"Hero's redemption makes this worth reading"
I'm always pleased to see more of Mary Balogh's back list coming out in Kindle editions -- the latest being her Georgian series from the mid-1990s. Since the Rosalyn Landor audio version was issued at the same time, I chose to listen rather than read.
My ratings: 3.5 stars for the story; 5 stars for the narration.
The love story is beautiful -- classic Mary Balogh -- especially Lucas's gradual realization that he really isn't "heartless" after all. Anna's Big Secret, however, was dragged out too long, although it was so awful that I could understand her reluctance to confess it to her husband.
As for the Georgian setting -- I didn't feel it -- other than mentions of the clothing and hairstyles. Perhaps I'm spoiled, having just read several titles by the consummate Georgian-era author, Lucinda Brant.
Mary Balogh can't write a bad book, though, so if you're a fan like I am, try this one. I will definitely read the sequel, Silent Melody.
"Mary Balogh/Rosalyn Landor. What's Not to Love?"
Balogh is a MUST listen, add Landor to narrate and you have a GREAT listen.
The story flowed impeccably, as MB's stories always do.
RL's narration was spot on.
Goes in the 'Read Again' file.
"Interesting from beginning to end"
Anna and Luke's story was quite interesting. It kept me wondering what was Anna's secret, what really happened between Luke's brother and his fiancé right until the end. It also made me very curious about the possible relationship between Anna's sister and Luke's brother so I'm definitely getting the next book. This was an interesting and romantic story with excellent narration. If you enjoy historical romances then it's totally worth a credit.
"Totally Absorbing - Great Performance of Narration"
I’ve read this book before and just had to buy it for my audio collection and am so very glad I did. Naturally, when you combine the amazing writing of Mary Balogh with the perfection of Ms. Rosalyn Landor’s performance you can will experience complete and utter enjoyment.
Lucas Kendrick, banished years ago by his family understood that a heart was something that could be broke. Betrayed by his elder brother, rejected by his fiancee, banished by his father and shunned by his mother Lucas fled to Paris. There he became the most sought after bachelor in fashionable society. Ten years later Lucas has returned, now the Duke to the family that had rejected him. Hating to be in any way involved with them, he must assume the responsibility for his younger siblings, and the family estate he once loved. Reluctantly, he knows he must marry to secure the succession, and then he spies the beguiling Lady Anna Marlowe at a ball.
Lady Anna is far from the bright eyed innocent he thinks and has her own torments and shadows in her life, and a stalker who torments her from London to the very doors of Bowden Abbey the Luke’s palatial family seat. But trust is a fragile thing and when the heart has been broken - sometimes it may take an enormous love to heal.
What a wonderful story this was, so many secrets, betrayals, love and amazing characterizations. Mary Balogh is a genius and her prose is to die for. She is an amazing author who has the capacity to make me swoon, cry, laugh, feel and never want the story to end. I feel so invested in her characters lives as they reach right into my heart.
Lady Anna was a saint in every sense of the word for protecting her family, so much so that it endangered her very life from a madman. Lucas’ heart had hardened so much it was a wonderful thing to see him accept that which he couldn’t change, but love Anna and her family like they were his own. HEARTLESS was so rich in detail, and emotions that it will remain a favorite of mine for a very long time and one to be reread, or listened to many times over.
"Masterful Mary Balogh"
Once again Mary Balogh knits together a tangible story of love, mistrust, and scorn to produce a positive predictable conclusion of boy meets girl, boy wins girl, girl has secret she's afraid to share with boy, boy works to win girls trust, outside forces work to tear boy and girl apart, boy saves girl, all is well with the world. Yeah, I know that's a huge run on sentence, but you get the drift. The story is customary 18th century behavior, and nothing out of the ordinary. Not one of Ms Balogh's best, but also not the worst I have ever read , so three stars. Rosalyn Landor is her usual elequent, impressive self, and always makes for a wonderful listen, so five stars. Overall not a waste of time, but I wish it had been better. I think I'm jaded by the Survivors Club series!
"Not Mary Balogh's Best"
not from this series and not before reading all the review I can find.
This was too dark and graphic..
As always, her reading was wonderful. I have read almost all of her historical romance performances and while not always being happy with the story itself, have had no complaints with the reading.
The story and characters are very well told and developed in true Mary Balogh style. I question why the author found it necessary for the dark tone and graphic, violent descriptions for this book. It seems out of character for her.
I have read most of Mary Balogh's books. Most, many times. I will continue to look forward to each new book that becomes available, After this one, as I have said, I will read all reviews before I buy one.
"Too stupid to live"
Normally I love MB- especially the Survivors Club, but the one writers sin I cannot forgive is a protagonist who is too stupid to live. In this one, every character, except possibly the villain and the deaf mute, behaves in ways so colossally stupid that I would have quit in disgust for a less loved author.
"A LOVE STORY WITH A TWIST"
I really enjoyed this book. The romance between the two protagonists had some twists and turns and there was a good amount of plot twists. Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators and Mary Balogh provides enough mystery in her romance novels that keep the reader entertained and beguiled until the very satisfying ending.
"A pair that I love"
I love this Arthur but Rosalyn Landon brings the story alive. She is the very best of all the narrators.
"A great read!"
Story, narration & characters were all great in this regency romance by Mary Balough. The narrator does such a good job with the accents that one does not hesitate over male & female characters. Clever plot twists & tension built in story line. A nice romance too.
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