I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Someone Perfect by Mary Balogh
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Berkley on November 30, 2021
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: Simply Unforgettable, The Proposal, The Arrangement, Only Enchanting, Only a Promise, Only a Kiss, Only Beloved, Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed, Someone to Care, Someone to Trust, Someone to Remember, Someone to Honor, Someone to Cherish
Ninth in the Westcott historical romance series and revolving around the extended Westcott Family. The couple focus is on Lady Estelle Lamarr and Justin Wiley, Earl of Brandon, and Brandon’s sister, Maria. Oh, and Captain.
This is a story about family, their love, their support, and their forgiveness through Lackey’s use of third person triple point-of-view from Estelle’s, Brandon’s, and Maria’s perspectives.
I’d’ve given it a “5”, but it made no sense to me that Justin was such an idiot. Okay, he may well have reason for not automatically behaving as a gentleman, considering what his life was like, but he’s been back to the aristocratic life for the past six years. What the hell?? For his first twenty-two years, he was raised a gentleman. Then six years of banishment, and he forgets everything he learned?
How can he be so clueless about Maria’s feelings when he banished her and her mother to another part of the country, tearing her away from the home where she grew up?
I also don’t understand how none of Brandon’s family is Maria’s, as they share the same father.
Balogh does stretch this out and out and out . . . as to why things fell out as they did. It does finally explain why he banished his stepmother and half-sister six years ago. It must be a genetic thing, for I think his father was an idiot with his spur-of-the moment decision.
I do adore Estelle and Bertrand. They’re such comforting, sociable people.
Having Brandon try his hand at writing a novel was fun. I did enjoy how Balogh pulled in parallels between Brandon’s “hero” and his own life. As for his memories of his childhood before his mother died . . . I just wanted to cry for him.
More parallels between Maria, Brandon, and Estelle are the issues with their fathers and mothers. It certainly gives Brandon and Estelle some common ground.
As terrifying as Maria thought the family party would be, she discovers how much she missed. Aunts, uncles, and cousins who mingled freely with so many stories to tell. So much honesty with plenty of diplomacy.
It is pretty impressive that two weeks can so completely turn a girl around.
Brandon is finally attempting to get to know his half-sister and is insisting that Maria return to the childhood from which he had banished her six years ago. He does want her to be comfortable there and has invited every bit of family Maria and he have. He also invites Bertrand and Lady Estelle, as they’re the only people with whom Maria is familiar.
Only. None of the family ever visited her father and mother once they were married. The countess had told Maria stories about how awful the entire family had been. As for Justin, well, theft, enough said.
Lady Estelle Lamar and her twin, Bertrand, Viscount Watley (as his father’s heir, it’s a courtesy title), are twenty-five-year-old twins living together at Elm Court. Olga is Estelle’s maid. The deeply religious Aunt Jane and Uncle Charles Sharpe raised the twins when their mother died when the children were not yet a year old. Ellen and Oliver are their cousins. Marcel Lamarr, Marquess of Dorchester, is their father and has been back in their lives for the past eight years when he married Viola Kingsley, the new Marchioness of Dorchester (Someone to Care, 4). They live at Redcliffe Court in Northamptonshire. Oliver Morrow is the steward at Redcliffe and one of Aunt Jane and Uncle Charles’ sons. Aunt Annemarie Cornish (Dorchester’s sister) and Uncle William have a daughter, Isabelle, and Isabelle’s daughter, Margaret. Uncle André is Dorchester’s brother.
Justin Wiley, Earl of Brandon, a.k.a. Juss Wiley, is his half-sister’s guardian and lives at Everleigh Park. Captain is Justin’s bloodhound. Lady Maria Wiley, who lives at Prospect Hall, a few miles from Elm Court, is recently orphaned — her selfish and self-absorbed mother, Lilian Dickson, the Countess of Brandon, died a year ago. Miss Melanie Vane, the oldest of eight children, had been Maria’s governess and is now Maria’s companion. Mr Sheridan is a gentleman farmer whom Melanie declined to marry.
Wesley Mort is the foreman at a stone quarry; he’s living with Hilda. Ricky is Wes’ brother, a big man with the mind of a four- or five-year-old. Gertie had been one of Brandon’s women.
Phelps is the butler; his wife, Mrs Phelps, is the housekeeper. Bill Slater is the blacksmith.
Lady Jemima Hodgkins, a.k.a. Jim, is a local neighbor.
On Justin’s mother’s side . . .
Aunt Betty (mother’s younger sister) and Uncle Rowan Sharpe are the only ones who knew what really happened. Their children, Justin’s cousins, include Doris with her husband, Martin Haig, and their two young children: Eliza and Edward. Doris’ siblings include thirty-two-year-old Sidney, twenty-eight-year-old Ernest and, nineteen-year-old Rose Sharpe.
On Justin’s and Maria’s father’s side . . .
The old earl had two sisters: Aunt Augusta (Lady Crowther, a.k.a. Gussie) married Peter Ormsbury, Baron Crowther. Cousin Bevin Crowther is their oldest son and married to Esme with two children Olven and David; Cousin Miriam Rogers Hall is one of Augusta’s daughters. Aunt Felicity, a.k.a. Fliss, married Harold Ormsbury, Peter’s brother. I think Angela, Frederick, and Paulette are Felicity and Harold’s children.
On Maria’s Mother’s side . . .
Great-aunt Bertha, Lady Maple, married Sir Cuthbert Maple, a baron, and is widowed. Mom’s brother and sisters include Leonard Dickson (a wealthy textile mill owner), who married Margaret; their children include Sebastian and Nigel. Patricia is married to Irwin Chandler (a prosperous banker) and their children are Wallace, Gillian (she’s interested in carpentry), and Megan. Sarah was married to Thomas Wickford.
The Reverend John Mott has known Aunt Jane for years and had been Bertrand’s teacher and mentor.
The Earl of Riverdale and the head of the Westcott family is coming with his countess, Wren (Someone to Wed, 3). Elizabeth, Lady Hodges, is the earl’s sister, and she and her husband are off to Ireland (Someone to Trust, 5). The Dowager Countess of Riverdale can’t come, but her daughters — Matilda with her husband, Viscount Dirkson (Someone to Remember, 7); Louise, Dowager Duchess of Netherby (Louise’s daughter, Jessica, Countess of Lyndale, is pregnant); Mildred with her husband Lord Molenor — will. Harry Westcott just turned 30 and is Viola’s son, the twins’ stepbrother. Harry recently married Lydia Tavernor (Someone to Cherish, 8). Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, married Anna (Anna’s pregnant with their fifth child; Someone to Love, 1). Josephine is the duke’s oldest daughter and Jonah is his son. Camille (married to Joel Cunningham; Someone to Hold, 2) is bringing Winifred, her oldest daughter; Andrew, her deaf son; and, Robbie, their most troublesome son. Mrs Kingsley is Viola’s mother. The Reverend Michael Kingsley is Viola’s brother.
King George IV is in failing health and his heir is a young girl, Victoria, daughter of the Duke of Kent.
The Cover and Title
The cover is as peaceful and pretty as Everleigh Park. The soft greenery of the trees is the backdrop for the old stone bridge under which the water flows while Lady Estelle in her sky blue dress, her hair in curls around her head, and carrying a white umbrella, stands on the bank enraptured by the scene. At the very top is a darker blue info blurb with the same color used for the author’s name above Lady Estelle’s head. Starting at her hips is the title with the series info at the very bottom; both are in white.
The title describes the man Lady Estelle wants, Someone Perfect.