From New York Times best-selling legend and author of the Survivors' Club series comes a cherished novel about the risks and the compromises that come with falling in love....
Governess and mistress - he wanted her as both....
The illegitimate daughter of an English lord, Sian Jones abandoned her heritage to live in a stalwart coal-mining community in South Wales. Empowered by their cause, she's engaged to be married to the leader of a revolutionary movement that is bracing itself against the tyranny of English mine owners. But Sian's principles are unexpectedly shaken when she accepts a job as governess under Alexander Hyatt, the mysterious marquess of Craille, the oppressive symbol of everything she has come to resist.
She never expected Alexander to upend all her expectations. He is sympathetic to her cause. He is a loving father. A man of wealth and position, he is fatally attractive. And he is offering his heart to the independent woman who has illuminated his life. Now, caught between two worlds and between the promises and desires of two men, Sian must make a choice that will define her future - one that can only be made in the name of love....
©1994 Mary Balogh (P)2015 Recorded Books
The story is set in a Welsh mining community at a time when workers were badly exploited and unions for protecting workers rights had not been fully developed. A new aristocratic owner with humanitarian views and a more enlightened approach, experiences hostility but falls in love with one of his workers. Tradition forbids marriage and as the relationship develops, many hurdles, some brutal, have to be overcome before a HEA is possible. I think that this is one of Ballogh's best and is beautifully narrated by Rosalyn Landor. I believe that Ballogh spent her childhood in the South Wales valleys where she may have imbibed some of the community spirit of these mining communities, giving plausibility and strength to her writing. Some of the love scenes are out of this world .... highly recommended for romance enthusiasts!
"Wonderful writing frustrating characters"
Some times I got so frustrated with the stubbornness of the heroine that I would stop listening to the book to process my irritation! That is my only complaint really. Mary Balogh's writing is always a treat. The character development was solid and constant. It is a great listen or read for anyone that enjoys this genre!
"What a fantastic story!"
I was completely enthralled from the beginning. I listened to the book almost in one sitting. I love Mary Balogh and gave read many, many of her books but this one is in a class by itself.
"Hauntingly beautiful (and educational!)"
These days I prefer to only read books that expand my consciousness in some way. In this case, I was able to reflect on the themes of class, belonging, the beauty of nature and the destruction of it, and how love can transcend boundaries, while also learning about Welsch culture, language, and history. I happen to be a quarter Welsch but prior to listening to this book I knew almost nothing about Wales except that it was in the UK (I'm American).
As far as the romance goes, it does have a bit of a Harlequin feel and has some very racy moments. However, I didn't mind these because they were tasteful and succinct.
The narrator was great, although I did find her accents and breathy-ness to be a bit heavy handed at times.
The audiobook overall was highly evocative and well done. Highly, highly recommend!
"Mary Balogh's best!"
A lot of research went into this book. The writing was excellent and the characters well-developed. It's better than most romances. This is my favorite of Mary Balogh's books.
"Good, but repetitious"
It was a good story and I always enjoy her characters, but the love scenes a tad painful and she tends to repeat the same words and phrases over and over again. Rosalyn Landor did a wonderful job of narrating, but I would expect no less. I'd listen to her read the dictionary.
"Great book very entertaining love Mary Balough!"
I love a good long story, but this one seemed to have a lot of filler in the beginning (slow start) and end (boorrring - it kept on and on even after the end was plain to see). But the positives far outweighed these things for me - the narrator does an amazing job, and the story was strong, characters nuanced and well developed...I liked it very much.
This story was well developed and very involved. Typical Bolagh style and content.
Heroine was likeable but seemed somewhat confused at times.
The book started out strong and maintained tension and good development of characters. I was disappointed by the two main characters developing love story. The ending was weak. Not nearly as good as many other Mary B books I have read and loved.
"Finally a love story with some depth."
I never read the book. Loved this audio.
She had a varied range in her voice. I was able to easily understand which character was speaking.
Longing to belong.
This is the best book Mary Balough has written. It has less fluff and a lot more substance. I now want to learn more about the Welsh culture.
"Fun romantic jont in Wales"
Interesting story set against the forming of the miners' union. The reasoning for the two characters not to be together are a bit silly. One of those situations where they just need to communicate better. Fun sex scenes.
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