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 to Cherish by Mary Balogh
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Berkley on June 29, 2021
Source: my own shelves
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audibles
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 Perfect
Eighth in the Westcott historical romance series and revolving around the extended Westcott family. The couple focus is on Harry Westcott and Lydia Tavernor.
It’s about being lonely with chapter one a recap of all that’s happened so far.
I do love and adore this series. Despite agonizing troubles, the family supports and cares about each one — including the ones who suddenly became illegitimate.
It is so sad that Lydia had such a controlled life, and I cannot blame her for wanting her independence.
It says a lot for Harry that the villagers have such a high respect for him. And as is the truth in any group of people, there are a few nutjobs.
Balogh uses third person global subjective point-of-view, as we experience the thoughts, emotions, and events through the perspective of a number of characters with Lydia and Harry the most prevalent.
There is some action, but most of the story is driven by Harry’s and Lydia’s introspections. She’s angry over her family thinking they can direct her life and the surprise her husband pulled on her, on her wedding day. It’s no wonder she doesn’t trust men. Harry’s primary issues are his PTSD from the Napoleonic War as well as having the rug pulled out from under him shortly after he inherited the earldom. Which makes it interesting how Harry reassures her.
The annoying bit is how back and forth Lydia is, which slows down the pace. Jeez.
Now, don’t y’all worry your pretty little heads . . .
Lydia Tavernor is asserting her independence: refusing to go back to her childhood home and buying her own home. She’s happy, but lonely.
It’s that party at the Cornings that starts the cascade of events that will lead to that first “indiscretion”.
Lydia Tavernor is gratefully widowed. Snowball is the white fluffy dog she rescued in spite of Isaiah’s demands. James (Esther is his wife), William, and Anthony are her brothers. Jason and Julia Winterbourne had been their parents. The Reverend Isaiah Tavernor, the second son of an earl, had been her uptight, too religious husband. Bruce Tavernor, Earl of Tilden, was Isaiah’s oldest brother.
At twenty (hmmm, in Someone to Love, 1, Harry inherited when he was 17), Harry Westcott became the Earl of Riverdale. A short time later, he lost the title. After joining the army and suffering through too many injuries, the major retired to Hinsford Manor, formerly his childhood home that Anna now owns (and who’s been trying to get Harry to accept it). Mark Mitchell is Harry’s valet. Mrs Sullivan is the housekeeper. Brown is the butler. Mr Carver is one of Harry’s tenant farmers. Daniel Hack is one of Harry’s gardeners; Timothy Hack is his ill son.
Fairfield is . . .
. . . where Hinsford Manor is located. Harry’s particular friends (from boyhood) include Lawrence Hill (the son of Sir Maynard Hill) and Tom (and Hannah) Corning, the village schoolmaster. Rosanne and Mirabel Hill are Lawrence’s sisters. Mrs Ardreigh is Lady Hill’s sister; Miss Vivian Ardereigh is her daughter. Theresa Raymore is the daughter of the local magistrate. The Reverend Jenkins, who retired when his wife died, is the man Isaiah replaced. Isaiah is replaced by the kindly Reverend Bailey and his wife. Mrs Elsinore is the vicarage’s tyrannical cook and housekeeper. Denise Franks, one of Solway’s daughters, is one of Lydia’s three first friends. Mrs Bartlett is Lydia’s neighbor. Reginald “Reggie” is the blacksmith’s son who helps out. The viciously pious Mrs Piper is the mother of Jeremy whom Isaiah had saved. Mrs Wickend is always dying. John Wickend is her grandson.
Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, had been Harry’s guardian. Avery married Anna Snow in Someone to Love. Josephine, Rebecca, and Jonah are their children.
The Westcott Family
Alexander Westcott, a second cousin, is the current reluctant Earl of Riverdale, and he’s married to Wren (Someone to Wed, 3). Nathan is their son. Elizabeth, Alexander’s sister, is married to Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges (Someone to Trust, 5). They have two children: Eve and George?? Althea Westcott is Alexander and Elizabeth’s mother. Brambledean is the country seat for the Earl of Riverdale.
Viola, the former countess of Riverdale and the current Marchioness of Dorchester, is married to Marcel Lamarr, Marquess of Dorchester (Someone to Care, 4). Marcel has twin children: Bertrand and Estelle. Viola’s now illegitimate children include Camille who’s married to Joel Cunningham, a renowned portrait artist (they have nine children, including Winifred, Jacob, Robbie, Alice, Emma, Susan, and the latest twin baby girls the couple adopted; Someone to Hold, 2); Abigail, who married Gil Bennington (a bastard son of Viscount Dirkson) have three children: Katy is Gil’s daughter and Ben and Seth (and Beauty, Gil’s huge dog) are their sons (Someone to Honor, 6); and, Harry. The Reverend Michael Kingsley is Viola’s brother and married to Mary.
The late bigamous earl’s family includes his sister Matilda, Viscountess Dirkson, who married Charles Sawyer, Viscount Dirkson (Someone to Remember, 7; Adrian Sawyer is Dirkson’s son); Mildred, Lady Molenor, who married Thomas Wayne, Lord Molenor (they have three sons: Boris who is engaged to Miss Leeson, Peter, and Ivan); and, Louise, Dowager Duchess of Netherby and Avery’s stepmother (Jessica, Countess of Lyndale is Louise’s daughter and Avery’s half-sister, who married Gabriel, Earl of Lyndale; Evan is their one-year-old son). Eugenia is the Dowager Countess of Riverdale and Harry’s paternal grandmother. Great-aunt Edith, Eugenia’s sister, has a great-niece and -nephew, Miranda and Gordon Montieth; Miss Fanny Leeson; and, Sally Underwood who is the niece of Viscount Dirkson’s first wife are “special” guests.
Eastleigh is a nearby market town. Mr Johnson is a new neighbor to Lydia’s father.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a country dream with its two-story thatched cottage and a wild English garden in the front under a pink and peach sky. It’s Mrs Tavernor in the front in a turquoise dress with a straw bonnet and red ribbon. Snowball is racing toward her. At the very top is an info blurb underneath which is the author’s name; both in a deep pink. Starting mid-thigh is the title in white. At the very bottom is the series info in yellow.
The title is Viola’s dearest wish, that Harry find Someone to Cherish.