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Simply Unforgettable

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Simply Unforgettable PDF, ePub eBook New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh returns to the seductive world she knows so well—Regency England—in a new novel filled with her trademark wit, sensuality, and breathtaking storytelling. With this, the first in a dazzling new quartet of novels, Balogh invites us into a special world—a select academy for young ladies—a world of innocence and temptation. Drawing us i New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh returns to the seductive world she knows so well—Regency England—in a new novel filled with her trademark wit, sensuality, and breathtaking storytelling. With this, the first in a dazzling new quartet of novels, Balogh invites us into a special world—a select academy for young ladies—a world of innocence and temptation. Drawing us into the lives of four women, teachers at Miss Martin’s School for Girls, Balogh introduces this novel’s marvelous heroine: music teacher Frances Allard—and the man who seduces her with a passion no woman could possibly forget.… They meet in a ferocious snowstorm. She is a young teacher with a secret past. He is the cool, black-caped stranger who unexpectedly comes to her rescue. Between these two unlikely strangers, desire is instantaneous…and utterly impossible to resist. Stranded together in a rustic country inn, Lucius Marshall, who is the Viscount Sinclair, and Frances Allard share a night of glorious, unforgettable passion. But Frances knows her place—and it is far from the privileged world of the sensual aristocrat. Due to begin her teaching position at Miss Martin’s School in Bath, Frances must try to forget that one extraordinary night—and the man who touched her with such exquisite tenderness and abandon. But Frances cannot hide forever. And when fate once again throws them together, Lucius refuses to take no for an answer. If Frances will not be his wife, he will make her his mistress. So begins an odyssey fraught with intrigue, one that defies propriety and shocks the straitlaced ton. For Lucius’s passionate, single-minded pursuit is about to force Frances to give up all her secrets—except one—to win the heart of the man she already loves. Once again this incomparable storyteller captures a time and a place like no other. And in Lucius and Frances, Mary Balogh gives us her most unlikely lovers yet—a nobleman in search of the perfect wife and an unconventional woman willing to risk everything for an unforgettable love.

30 review for Simply Unforgettable

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dina

    I've been struggling to write this review for days, collecting my thoughts and, I confess, trying to find a reason to raise my 3-star rating. Sadly, I found none. :( 3 stars isn't bad in my rating scale, but I'm not used to giving Ms. Balogh less than 4 stars. I love her writing and the romantic feel she always evokes in me when I read her books, but alas, I'm disappointed to say that she missed the mark in this one. I've been struggling to write this review for days, collecting my thoughts and, I confess, trying to find a reason to raise my 3-star rating. Sadly, I found none. :( 3 stars isn't bad in my rating scale, but I'm not used to giving Ms. Balogh less than 4 stars. I love her writing and the romantic feel she always evokes in me when I read her books, but alas, I'm disappointed to say that she missed the mark in this one. Simply Unforgettable is the first installment in the Simply series, a quartet of books about three schoolteachers and the headmistress of Miss Martin’s School for Girls in Bath. They're all introduced in this first book and their different personalities are aptly drawn by Ms. Balogh, as usual. Schoolteacher Frances Allard was the chosen one to kick off the series and this is her story. After spending Christmas with her great-aunts in Somersetshire, Frances is on her journey back to Bath when a not-so-unexpected snowstorm makes her carriage overturn. Help comes in the form of Lucius Marshall, Viscount Sinclair, who's on his journey home to Hampshire after spending the holiday with his family in, guess where, Somersetshire. Considering their vastly different social status, Frances and Lucius have never met before - and things would have remained that way if fate hadn't intervened, stranding both in the middle of nowhere during a snowstorm. Even though Frances blames Lucius for her carriage accident, she has no option but to accept his offer to join him in his carriage so they can find shelter in some obscure country inn down the road. Luckily, they find an inn right before the snowstorm gets worse. As they're forced to spend the next few days together, stranded in the inn, the initial animosity they felt for each other turns into a sizzling sexual attraction that neither can deny. But once the snowstorm is over, the road is clear and Lucius takes Frances to Bath and drops her at Miss Martin’s School for Girls' doorstep, they part ways. They have to - after all, any relationship between them is clearly impossible. Well, fate doesn't think so and throw them back together again a few months later. That's when Lucius realizes he isn't over Frances and decides to pursue her, only to be rejected with no explanation. That happens more than once, to his increasing frustration. He guesses that something in her past prevents her from accepting his love, but she refuses to reveal her big secret. The truth will have to come out sooner or later, though. What will happen then? Is Frances' secret so damning that any chance of happiness will forever be denied to her? What can I say? I loved the beginning of this book and I was sure I was going to be an exception to the many so-so reviews/ratings I'd seen. Ms. Balogh's depiction of Lucius and Frances' days at the inn was perfect and I couldn't help smiling and sighing as they grew fonder of each other. Even though they went from "enemies" to lovers in a very short period of time, I had no problem understanding why Frances did it. Needless to say, there was never a question regarding why Lucius did it. He's a man. Nuff said, LOL. Unfortunately, the story started to drag after they left the inn and resumed their normal lives. Separately, Lucius and Frances were too bland, and there was nothing particularly riveting in their lives to fill the pages while I waited for their reunion. That's when this book lost the first star. No wonder I cheered when they got together again - not together together, but in the same space and time. At first, Lucius' determination to win Frances was a nice novelty. How often do we see the hero mooning over the heroine? It's usually the other way around, so it was fun to see Lucius' relentless pursuit for a change. However, Frances' continuing refusal began to grate on my nerves and I prayed her big secret was worth all the frustration Lucius and I were suffering. Alas, my prayers went unanswered - and this book lost the second star. Here's my favorite quote from the book, straight from Lucius' lips: "Good Lord, Frances. Is this the terrible past you have been keeping from me? What an idiot you are." Truer words have never been spoken. Obviously, Lucius forgave Frances for her stubbornness and they lived HEA. This is Romancelandia, after all. In RL, I wanted to shake Frances and call her ugly names. Then, I remembered the great beginning of the book and managed to calm myself down. :) All things considered, this was an OK read. Ms. Balogh's writing was good as usual, transporting me to Regency England right from the first paragraphs. But I can't help feeling disappointed, because the beginning hinted at a 5-star read and I ended up with "just" 3 stars. Oh well... I'm still a huge fan of Ms. Balogh and I'll definitely keep reading this series and tracking down her backlist.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rane

    Caught in a snowstorm and stranded in a small inn, Frances Allard, Lucius Marshall feel a spark of dislike that turns into a flaming attraction and a night of passion, but when they go their ways, they still a deep pull that memory wouldn’t fade, and Lucius is determined to have Frances one or another, as Frances fights to keep her past a secret or lose your heart to Lucius The first in the Simply series by Mary Balogh, was a good start for the series, but along the way it ended up being fla Caught in a snowstorm and stranded in a small inn, Frances Allard, Lucius Marshall feel a spark of dislike that turns into a flaming attraction and a night of passion, but when they go their ways, they still a deep pull that memory wouldn’t fade, and Lucius is determined to have Frances one or another, as Frances fights to keep her past a secret or lose your heart to Lucius The first in the Simply series by Mary Balogh, was a good start for the series, but along the way it ended up being flat and rushed even with it’s slow easy pace. Frances Allard is a school teacher visiting her Great-aunts on her way back to her teaching, when she’s overtaken by a fast moving carriage on a snow cover road. Thinking the man was crazy, she’s startled to see the man again whom informs her their both stuck and the snow won’t let them move on. Frances can’t believe her luck at being stuck in a deserted inn with this handsome and pushy stranger, but as the hours and day passes she starts to enjoy this man’s company and laughter and his company, she feels a unwanted a attraction that leads to having a great night of passion, but as she finds out this man is a peer, she feels there is no hope between them, and as they part ways, she still feels heartbroken but tries to put behind the face of Viscount Sinclair Lucius Marshall.. Lucius resumed his life, but can’t get the night of lovemaking with Frances out of his head, and when a chance encounter which he hear her sings like an angel, causes Lucius feelings to come back full force. Lucius sees this a chance to be with Frances, but as she fights him at ever turn and even turns him down to become his wife. Lucius still won’t give up or take no for an answer, and is willing to move mountains for Frances for become a singing star, even at the risk of loving her love forever. While the story is slow-paced many of the story have a blocky feel to them, which the events happen. The beginning had a lot of promise with Frances and Lucius, and as they parted ways, the theme of reunited lovers would have been perfect, expect with Frances keeping her great secret hidden for most of the book, and for the reader the great reveled wasn’t all that great. Not that Frances was a great character, but the bouncing back and forth between Lucius and her got old and when she sees what he’s been trying to do for her, she very suddenly let’s her emotions go. All I could think about was “eh” and keep reading. Lucius one the other hand keep pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing! I know he meant well, but I felt he was just going overboard with his schemes to get Frances as first his mistress, then wife and this for her to become a singing star. He didn’t take no for an answer, while that could be seen as endearing because he loved Frances, he was made me mule-headed, running blind without seeing all the facts. There was many returning characters along with new supporting characters that moved the story along, but the focus was well and truly on Frances and Lucius romance and their growing love and how they overcome each other’s barriers. Overall: a good start to the Simply series, but in the end Simply Unforgettable was simply a good story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Addie H

    I am re-reading all my 5 star rated romance novels. There are 60 on my shelf. This is book 27. (Tropes: Opposites Attract, Unrequited Love, Wallflower/Spinster, Forced Proximity) This is how my 27th re-read held up. Downgraded to 1 star Lucius is rude, self-centered, heavy handed, arrogant, narcissistic, temperamental, a meddler, manipulative, a tyrant, selfish, self-centered, entitled, a bully, inconsiderate, irresponsible, has a ridiculous high opinion of himself, treats everyone beneath him, and throws toys out o I am re-reading all my 5 star rated romance novels. There are 60 on my shelf. This is book 27. (Tropes: Opposites Attract, Unrequited Love, Wallflower/Spinster, Forced Proximity) This is how my 27th re-read held up. Downgraded to 1 star Lucius is rude, self-centered, heavy handed, arrogant, narcissistic, temperamental, a meddler, manipulative, a tyrant, selfish, self-centered, entitled, a bully, inconsiderate, irresponsible, has a ridiculous high opinion of himself, treats everyone beneath him, and throws toys out of his pram repeatedly. Where did my original 5 star come from? - “You look lovely when you are angry,” he said. “You lose the cool, classical madonna look and become the passionate Italian beauty that you are deep down.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Renae

    List of things Renae doesn't enjoy: meddling, high-highanded heroes who don't understand the word "No"; enemies to lovers romances than spend too much time on the enemies phase (I.e. 80% of the book); kissing books without kissing; Big Secrets that cause pointless drama and necessitate a Big Reveal. List of things happening in Simply Unforgettable: see above. Obviously, this was not the book for me. I love (rather, have previously loved) Mary Balogh because she writes novels t List of things Renae doesn't enjoy: meddling, high-highanded heroes who don't understand the word "No"; enemies to lovers romances than spend too much time on the enemies phase (I.e. 80% of the book); kissing books without kissing; Big Secrets that cause pointless drama and necessitate a Big Reveal. List of things happening in Simply Unforgettable: see above. Obviously, this was not the book for me. I love (rather, have previously loved) Mary Balogh because she writes novels that are honest and true and don't shy away from the uglier aspects of grown-up relationships. She doesn't sugarcoat. I appreciate and respect that a lot. But I think Simply Unforgettable is just...too difficult. The hard times are not compensated by sufficient emotion or soft feelings. There was too much difficulty—and it wasn't justified difficulty, because it was just the hero being a selfish ass. So, the book starts with a one-night stand. Frances and Lucius are snowed in at a country inn and decide to sleep together, as one does. At the end of it, Lucius offers to bring Frances to London to be his mistress. She says No to that. The he leaves, pissed. Frances returns to her life in Bath. A few weeks later, Lucius is hanging out in Bath and happens to run into Frances. He tries once again to get her to be his mistress, she says No. He tries to get her to marry him. She says No again. THEN Lucius tries to "help" by launching her singing career for her. She says No. He doesn't listen and drags her up to London and tricks her into singing in at a crowded concert hall where all of London's uppercrust hears her. Frances says she'd like to go to Bath now, Lucius doesn't listen. (Did anybody expect him to?) He chases her down again, they have another sexual interlude. Then they get married. I'm sorry, but here's how it goes: FRANCES SAID NO. She said no over and over and over. Lucius never listens. And because that's the dynamic between the two protagonists, Simply Unforgettable reinforces the sexist idea that women don't really know what they want, that "no means yes", and that creepy men who are persistent will eventually get the girl. I think Frances says it best herself, so I'll let her say it: "You are nothing but a meddler," she said bitterly. "An arrogant meddler, who is forever convinced that only he knows what I ought to be doing with my life. You knew I did not wish to return to London, yet you maneuvered matters so that I would come anyway. You knew I did not want to sing before any large audience, especially here, but you have gathered a large audience anyway and made it next to impossible for me to refuse to sing before it. You knew I did not wish to see you again, but you totally ignored my wished. I think you really do imagine that you care for me, but you are wrong. You do not manipulate someone you care for or go out of your way to make her miserable. You care for no one but yourself." (One wonders why Frances ever married him after this, but whatever.) This isn't romantic, guys. If Lucius had been an old man instead of a hella hot 20-something, none of this would have been okay. Yet you shouldn't get a free pass just because you're young and attractive! It's gross. What, exactly, was I supposed to find enjoyable about this book, I wonder? Lucius's persistence and inability to respect his love interest's clearly-stated dissent are not cute. They're gross. I don't know what Simply Unforgettable is selling here, but I am seriously not buying. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    While I liked the characters on their own, their interactions were pretty painful. Both had the reckless tendency to do things "for the other" that were mostly destructive. Frances keeping her stupid secret forever was pretty contrived, too, particularly when she knows she loves him really, really early. And keeping that secret from readers even as it becomes important to the actions of the characters always pulls me out of a story (because we're supposedly in the heads of the characters, so hav While I liked the characters on their own, their interactions were pretty painful. Both had the reckless tendency to do things "for the other" that were mostly destructive. Frances keeping her stupid secret forever was pretty contrived, too, particularly when she knows she loves him really, really early. And keeping that secret from readers even as it becomes important to the actions of the characters always pulls me out of a story (because we're supposedly in the heads of the characters, so having them shy away from details feels manipulative). I kept with the story because I liked both of them individually quite a bit. And that made me want them to be together. Unfortunately, that's also where all the friction comes from because the reasons they weren't together were either a) obscured (see secret keeping above) or b) contrived (see doing things "for" the other). Doing something that hurts a person you supposedly love "for their own good" is a suck move at any time but when it hurts you as well . . . yeah, that just makes you stupid. And I was down with the ending until I thought about it a bit. (view spoiler)[I mean, I get that she's worried that the secret of her bloodline being "tainted" might be a concern for his (noble) family. But by shoving it off on him she's ducking the responsibility, herself. Yeah, it's sensitive and all, but she's in love with him and if she's really worried about it she'd be a whole lot better off spending some time to get to know his family so that she can gauge for herself how shallow and judgmental they are going to be about it. More painful, yeah, because she's setting herself up for rejection directly. Only, the way she lays it on Lucius is an even worse rejection of him and it gives him the burden of laying things out and having the awkward conversations. (hide spoiler)] So nobody comes off looking as good as they do initially and that made me sad. A note about Steamy: There are a couple of explicit sex scenes. And they felt manufactured and a little silly. Indeed, I'd have bought them falling in love that fast better without the extraneous bed sport. At any rate, this is the middle of my steam tolerance.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ♥ℳelody

    DNF @ 50% I lasted longer than I thought I would. I was planing on quitting this 20 pages in to be honest but decided to at least read up to the couple's ‘one night of passion’ that seems to be the big moment readers love. And even then I did A LOT of skimming afterward to just get to the half way mark. There were so many things that didn't work for me DNF @ 50% I lasted longer than I thought I would. I was planing on quitting this 20 pages in to be honest but decided to at least read up to the couple's ‘one night of passion’ that seems to be the big moment readers love. And even then I did A LOT of skimming afterward to just get to the half way mark. There were so many things that didn't work for me or just plain bugged the crap out of me. THE PLOT So I knew this wasn't for me the minute I found out the dreaded 'heated night of passion then couple go their separate ways' plot device was used here. I usually never am a fan of the one night stand bit unless executed well. Things tend to happen ridiculously fast which then is followed by the h/hr parting ways and ridiculous reasons are used to keep them apart for a good portion of the story. Which is pretty much what happens here. And on top of that, the annoying overdone 'big bad shameful secret' plot device is used here as well. Why do authors do this? The more it's dragged out, the bigger it's built up, the more readers expect. If it turns out to be a silly overblown thing? Just kills the whole reading experience. If you are gonna tease it throughout the story it better be big. Like HUGE. The ‘flaming attraction’ was not as hot and intense as it was supposed to be. They had sweet moments at the inn yes, but overall? Meh. For me I guess going from strangers who can’t stand each other to panting and weak kneed off-to-tha-bedroom! overnight--literally--OVERNIGHT just seemed hard to swallow. Especially with someone as straight laced and proper as Francis. Chemistry or not (more like not), it's too rushed and sloppy for me, especially with the two day time span here. And what I hate even more? A hero pursuing an obstinate heroine who keeps turning him down. HAAATE. I just did not like how Francis kept telling him (and herself) their tryst meant nothing, it was a mistake and I’m sure she continued to find idiotic excuses to scorn him and say no to him after where I stopped. Like...why? It's not angsty, it's miserable. And it's suspending belief to have a guy keep pursuing a woman who keeps pushing him away and turning him down. Like damn. Have I mentioned I really hate this trope? And every time he would get upset and snark back at her for being unfeeling she has the gall to act put upon and hurt. Um girl...are you serious?? You keep saying your little adventure was 'nothing' to you and he means nothing to you and you keep turning him down then get butt hurt when he does exactly what you want?! For someone so sensible she played a lot of head games. THE HEROINE A fan of Frances I was not. I just needed her to get over herself and stop mentally cock blocking her true feelings. She measures and weighs her emotions like some ornery detached grandmother. Everything is either 'foolish' or 'sentimental drivel' to her. I just didn't understand what exactly Lucius found so intriguing in someone so bullheaded and closed off. Dynamics like this never work for me because one half of the pairing is showing more emotion and effort while the other keeps saying 'no' and throwing out words of discouragement. She’s as prim and tight laced as MB describes her and I found her tiring and frustrating around Lucius and an absolute bore without him around. *shrugs* THE CONTRADICTIONS The heroine dreamily admits (internally) to having fallen head over 'ears' in love with the hero after making love but 3 lines later..nope just kidding! she doesn't love him. Uh ok. She can't bear to leave him but is dying to leave and forget these horrid horrid feelings! Uh...ok. Their one night together will forever stay with her but meh...not to worry give her a few weeks and she will fahgetaboutit. WTH? The hero kept describing Francis as a plain, prim and "prunish" looking woman (what the hell does that even mean? Is she constipated?) but then suddenly uh, oh! Wait. She’s plain and gorgeous......wuh-huut? I point this out because the author hero kept dwelling on the heroine’s looks as being severe and stiff lipped. Excuse my complete shallowness but that doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies. And no I'm not just talking about physical appearance. I honestly kept struggling to understand what Lucius found so appealing and enchanting about Frances. Because she likes sex but won't admit it? Her mother is Italian? Her pinched mouth and flaring nostrils are cute? What? No I won't accept it. I needed answers. Sure. Whatever you say Kirsten Dunst. (NO I DON'T GET IT.) THE WRITING Now before I get things thrown at me for daring to judge Balogh's writing, yes I have read another book by her, the one following this one actually Simply Love which was quite good. She's a talented writer with a lot of depth and layers to her stories and characters. That being said, she tends to get a little too bogged down in internal dialogues and explaining events that already happened that it becomes quite tedious especially when it's unnecessary unexciting information. Having your characters tell you about a conversation that happened a week ago is just mind-numbingly boring and a little silly to me. Spending countless pages on characters going about their daily life and meaningless conversations that adds nothing to the momentum of the story? Delete please. When characters woolgather I really don't need to know the details of exactly what they are daydreaming about. Because of this, everything just *suddenly* happens, from the h/hr hating each other, to lusting after each other, the hero finding her attractive, etc, etc. Everything is more often than not, suddenly shown or told. And I'm no expert but I don't think the phrase 'by Jove' is used correctly in here, not in the context it's used and how the hero uses it. It made Lucius sound like a Dandy the way he kept using it so freely. I could go on with more examples but I already have dragged this out too long. Overall, obviously not a winner for me. I would be willing to give Mary Balogh another try I do have 3 other books by her I believe on my bookshelf I just think I need to get used to her slow, meticulous stylized storytelling. I *maybe* could have finished this one (with more skimming) but given my towering TR pile and little patience for 'ok' stories yeah....

  7. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this an A for narration and a B for content at AudioGals, so 4.5 stars. Mary Balogh’s Simply series, in which the heroines are four teachers working at a select school for young ladies in Bath, was originally recorded in the mid-late 2000s, but has been unavailable for some years and was never – as far as I know – made available digitally. After years of wishing on my part – and that of a number of fellow Balogh/Landor audiobook enthusiasts – these recordings are at last being re-releas I've given this an A for narration and a B for content at AudioGals, so 4.5 stars. Mary Balogh’s Simply series, in which the heroines are four teachers working at a select school for young ladies in Bath, was originally recorded in the mid-late 2000s, but has been unavailable for some years and was never – as far as I know – made available digitally. After years of wishing on my part – and that of a number of fellow Balogh/Landor audiobook enthusiasts – these recordings are at last being re-released, and I have to say a big and public “Thank You” to Tantor for making them available once more. Simply Unforgettable opens as Frances Allard is travelling back to Miss Martin’s School in Bath following the Christmas holiday she has spent with her great aunts. The typically English non-White Christmas is followed by a sudden snowstorm during which her somewhat elderly, lumbering coach is overtaken by a much smarter vehicle carrying a fashionable gentleman whose disregard for the safety of others infuriates Frances to no small degree. When both coaches are forced to stop, Frances makes her feelings on the matter very clear to the occupant, an irritable, somewhat abrasive man who introduces himself as Lucius Marshall. They immediately rub each other up the wrong way; he thinks she’s a harpy, she thinks he’s an arrogant arse, but they recognise that the bad weather isn’t going to suddenly disappear and that they need to seek shelter. You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brittany B.

    Wow! Hard to rate this book. So what I decided : 5 stars for the first 40%, and 3 stars for the rest. 3.5 Stars for this first book in the Simply series. Here's the dilemma: This book has the most charming beginning. I adored the way the couple met and fell in love. I was so sure this would be a quirky, passionate love story. But Mary Balogh turned it into an historical soap opera. The number of anticlimactic revelations was underwhelming. The heroine's past was so complicated with n Wow! Hard to rate this book. So what I decided : 5 stars for the first 40%, and 3 stars for the rest. 3.5 Stars for this first book in the Simply series. Here's the dilemma: This book has the most charming beginning. I adored the way the couple met and fell in love. I was so sure this would be a quirky, passionate love story. But Mary Balogh turned it into an historical soap opera. The number of anticlimactic revelations was underwhelming. The heroine's past was so complicated with nonsense that I was angry. It could have been one of my favorite books, if MB would have only used the parentage issue as a skeleton. The coverup alone could have made for an interesting story. But when the heroine tells all, it's a ridiculous amount of unnecessary drama. It just sucked the beauty and charm out of a book that was so full of possibilities. I'm disappointed. Not because it was a bad book, but because it didn't come close to living up to its potential. I loved The Proposal by Balogh, so I was excited to try more of her books. So far other books I've read by her have not lived up to the hype.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    After enjoying the Bedwyn series and being a little sad to see it over, I was not ready to let go of the Bedwyn world. While the Simply Quarter, is focused on four women teaching at a school for girls in Bath and all having their own reasons for choosing a career, it does possess some loose connections to the Bedwyn series so I was gungho to press forward with this next series. Simply Unforgettable introduces quite the contrary pair who had a long road of misadventures to happiness. L After enjoying the Bedwyn series and being a little sad to see it over, I was not ready to let go of the Bedwyn world. While the Simply Quarter, is focused on four women teaching at a school for girls in Bath and all having their own reasons for choosing a career, it does possess some loose connections to the Bedwyn series so I was gungho to press forward with this next series. Simply Unforgettable introduces quite the contrary pair who had a long road of misadventures to happiness. Lucius needed to grow up and grown into his responsibility as an Earl's heir to family and the duty that comes with it and Frances needed to start living after racing into the nearest safe rabbit hole she could find because of her big secret. They meet in a snowstorm and are snowed in together. They were both detestable to each other as they had been in terrible moods separately before they had their fateful encounter and subsequent night to remember. But, Frances is determined to return to her job teaching music and French and Lucius has a bride picked out by his family to work himself up to accepting. Subsequent meet ups are still full of the acrimony because Frances keeps refusing Lucius with various reasons or non-reasons tripping off her lips, but none are the real reason. She clutches her secret tightly to her bosom. But, Lucius' high-handedness flushes her and her secret out into the open and while he has ruined her contented life, he has made her unable to deny that he truly feels love to match her own. But, it can't be... because... reasons. So, this pair. This annoying pair. Yeesh, they were a mess. Lucius sees 'no' as just a fun challenge to circumvent and Frances' secret had me so impatient to know what the dickens had her so worked up that she was sending mixed signals with her firm nos, but emotions and attraction that is obvious. I'm not a huge fan of the 'big secret' device in romance conflicts and this story drove home why. It made sense when it first all went down- when age, experience, and no guidance available were tossed in, but that isn't the case now since she's twenty-six, has close friends and family, and a man who wants to be with her. Just tell him already and see what he says since you're already planning to say 'no' to him. Yeesh. And, Lucian needed slapping at times for pushing through her 'no' answers when she didn't want to do something and using trickery 'for her own good'. Not that her 'protect him from my secret' wasn't a variation of the same song. But, as much as they were little annoyances, I did want them together. And, the school friends and Lucius' family were the best. Oh, and I just could not wait to see the icy, pretentious Portia knocked down a peg or two. So, interesting start to the series and I can't wait to get our other three ladies' stories. Historical Romance fans should definitely reach for a Mary Balogh book full of well-developed sensual romance, fabulous historical setting, and a well-orchestrated plot. COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt Clue- Oldest Book on TBR Pile 4pts

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Simply Unforgettable is the first book in the Simply series by Mary Balogh. Francis Allard is a teacher at Miss Martin's school in Bath. If you have read the Slightly series you will recognize this as the school that Freyja Bedwyn patronizes. She is mentioned in this book but only as the anonymous patron who supports the school. Francis meets Lucius Marshall during a snowstorm and they spend two passionate days together at an inn waiting for the snow to melt. After the storm is over, he takes her back to the Simply Unforgettable is the first book in the Simply series by Mary Balogh. Francis Allard is a teacher at Miss Martin's school in Bath. If you have read the Slightly series you will recognize this as the school that Freyja Bedwyn patronizes. She is mentioned in this book but only as the anonymous patron who supports the school. Francis meets Lucius Marshall during a snowstorm and they spend two passionate days together at an inn waiting for the snow to melt. After the storm is over, he takes her back to the school and they both resume their normal lives never to see each other again (or so they thought). I think the only bright spot in this story was Lucius Marshall. This man simply couldn't take no for an answer. He fell in love with Francis and he started by trying to get her to agree to be his mistress. When that didn't work, he asked her to marry him. No matter how many times she rejected him, he kept asking again and again. Francis was hiding some deep dark secret that wouldn't allow her to accept his marriage proposal, but that secret was dragged out for over 350 pages. The pace of the book was incredibly slow and I just couldn't wait for the big secret to be revealed so the book would be finished! So, while this book wasn't terrible, it wasn't great either. One of the things that I really did like was that you could literally feel how much Lucius loved Francis and his desperation to have her. He not only wanted her for his wife, he wanted her to be happy with her life and tried to back her singing career to help her achieve that. Her feelings weren't quite as evident, but once her secret was revealed her love for him became more apparent. I'm giving this 3 stars because it's just an okay effort from Mary Balogh.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Debby "Piene Raven"

    Audiobook Review Mary Balogh is one of my favorite authors as well as the narrator, Rosalyn Landor who makes this book all worth the listening. A romantic story of Frances and Lucius takes place on an abandoned road in a blizzard that leads them to an inn and an illicit affair for a few days until it is safe to travel. The both go their separate way until they meet up later at a concert in Bath. The banter between the two characters throughout the story was entertaining. The story was Audiobook Review Mary Balogh is one of my favorite authors as well as the narrator, Rosalyn Landor who makes this book all worth the listening. A romantic story of Frances and Lucius takes place on an abandoned road in a blizzard that leads them to an inn and an illicit affair for a few days until it is safe to travel. The both go their separate way until they meet up later at a concert in Bath. The banter between the two characters throughout the story was entertaining. The story was nice but did drag on a bit too long for me. I could not get pass the secrecy that the heroine was keeping and why it would upset the hero although he did not care one iota about her past but only what he thought she wanted for her future. To finally get to the climax as to why she could not return to London was a bit of an excuse that could have been overcome had she let down her guard and let the hero help her. I also thought the other characters in the book were a nice touch with their different personalities and could have been developed a bit more. Overall, the plot was nice, the narration was very good and it was a nice and enjoyable listen. 4- Stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christa Schönmann Abbühl

    I liked the book and the main characters. The way they got to know each other because of being snowed in was lovely. I had some problems with the actions (or non actions) of the couple. But as I was able to hear their thoughts, I could understand them, even when they annoyed me. How I wished they had told each other what they were thinking! I was quite frustrated with them at times. And where is the line between persistence (which I can admire) and high handed ignorance of the other persons wish I liked the book and the main characters. The way they got to know each other because of being snowed in was lovely. I had some problems with the actions (or non actions) of the couple. But as I was able to hear their thoughts, I could understand them, even when they annoyed me. How I wished they had told each other what they were thinking! I was quite frustrated with them at times. And where is the line between persistence (which I can admire) and high handed ignorance of the other persons wishes? This is a slow book, there is lots of talking and thinking and waiting going on. Which did not trouble me, as I liked the pacing and the time given to everybody to get to the point when all obstacles have been cleared and all lessons have been learned. The narration was very good, both female and male voices were believable to me. Especially the dialogue was delivered superbly.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gilgamesha

    What I love about most Balogh romance is that she shows the most haughty, snobby, and proud men and women get humbled by love and its intensity. I would've normally hated someone as haughty and frivolous as Lord Sinclair....someone who did things for the pleasure of the moment without thinking of the consequences especially to someone less privileged in life...but boy did he make a 180 degree turn from that. He definitely did a lot of groveling and pleading and threatening and downright admittin What I love about most Balogh romance is that she shows the most haughty, snobby, and proud men and women get humbled by love and its intensity. I would've normally hated someone as haughty and frivolous as Lord Sinclair....someone who did things for the pleasure of the moment without thinking of the consequences especially to someone less privileged in life...but boy did he make a 180 degree turn from that. He definitely did a lot of groveling and pleading and threatening and downright admitting to even his willingness for kidnapping to get Frances to accept his love. I really enjoyed him, I also understood the reluctance and practicality of Frances behavior...she needed to not repeat past mistakes. I loved this book for many reasons...by no means one Balogh's best but my mood, the weather, the place I was reading this book all resulted in me loving this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Juliana Philippa

    Pardon the pun, but this book was "simply forgettable" for me [2.5 stars:] The first in Mary Balogh's Simply Quartet, SIMPLY UNFORGETTABLE was unfortunately not so for me. I am a huge Mary Balogh fan, but this is my least favorite book of hers and I actually had to stop myself from skimming parts at the end (which is just unheard of for me). Meanwhile, I have continued on to the second book of the Quartet, Simply Love, and found that book highly enjoyable - I recommend just skipping to that one.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kady

    First by this author...looking for something similar to Lisa Kleypas. This was not similar, but it was pleasant, if a bit slow.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olga Godim

    3.5 stars A very likable book, but I suspect it would be quite forgettable. The protagonists: a rich and powerful Lucius Marshall, a viscount, and Frances Allard, a poor schoolteacher from a girls’ school in Bath. They meet on the road during a snowstorm and spend a couple of unforgettable days together at an empty, snow-bound inn. They build snowmen. They have fun. They have sex. Then they part, but they can’t forget each other. The rest of the book follows their travails, as they meet again and a 3.5 stars A very likable book, but I suspect it would be quite forgettable. The protagonists: a rich and powerful Lucius Marshall, a viscount, and Frances Allard, a poor schoolteacher from a girls’ school in Bath. They meet on the road during a snowstorm and spend a couple of unforgettable days together at an empty, snow-bound inn. They build snowmen. They have fun. They have sex. Then they part, but they can’t forget each other. The rest of the book follows their travails, as they meet again and again, by chance and by Lucius’s maneuvering. He is in love with the teacher and he wants to marry her. She refuses him again and again because she feels unworthy, ineligible. He keeps up pursuing her despite her refusals. If she didn’t like him so much, it would’ve been a story of stalking. As it is, it is a romance, and the happy ending comes right when it is supposed to come – at the very end. Not bad but nothing special. I did sympathize with the heroine, but I think she was silly keeping all her secrets from Lucius. But if she didn’t, it would’ve been a much shorter book. Regardless, I don’t like secrets in fiction (or in life). They always explode in the characters’ faces at the most inappropriate moment.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I'm probably being a little hard on this book, but seriously....how many times did he have to offer to marry her while she refused him before the author even bothered to explain WHY she couldn't marry him? Maybe she was trying to increase tension, but as I've said many, many, many times before (broken record), withholding information does not create tension. Just the opposite -- it's annoying. If I'd known her problem, I might have been able to sympathize with her. Instead, I had to assume she w I'm probably being a little hard on this book, but seriously....how many times did he have to offer to marry her while she refused him before the author even bothered to explain WHY she couldn't marry him? Maybe she was trying to increase tension, but as I've said many, many, many times before (broken record), withholding information does not create tension. Just the opposite -- it's annoying. If I'd known her problem, I might have been able to sympathize with her. Instead, I had to assume she was being stupid. Actually, after I found out the truth, I still felt she was being stupid. And so....here is a concise summary of the book (includes spoilers): Francis and Lucius get stranded in the snow, fall in love, and consummate that love. Lucius: Stay with me. Francis: No. Tearful good-bye. Fate brings them together again, when Lucius returns to Bath. Lucius: Marry me. Francis: No. Tearful good-bye. Fate, with a little help from Lucius, brings her to London, where they meet again. Lucius: Marry me. Francis: No. Tearful good-bye. Lucius learns the truth, decides he still can't live without her, overtakes her on the road, and they spend another night together at an inn. Lucius: Marry me. Francis: No. You know what...how about if you just go ahead and go back to your school? I have to assume they didn't actually get together. I feel sorry for Lucius, although not for Francis, who never lifted a finger to reach for her own happiness. Hopefully, Lucius will find someone better next time he gives his heart. That's just my guess, though. I didn't actually read the last few chapters of the book. :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    notyourmonkey

    Put it down 10% in because of dickbag hero; picked it up again and enjoyed it in a procrastinatey manner. Then, about 65-70% in, I was committed enough to keep reading but spent the rest of the book yelling at the heroine to tell the hero exactly how much of a giant dickbag he was being. To my surprise and moderate gratification, she did, as well as a couple of other well-executed put-downs. I just - ugh. This book is built around the conceit of the hero and heroine saying goodbye to each other Put it down 10% in because of dickbag hero; picked it up again and enjoyed it in a procrastinatey manner. Then, about 65-70% in, I was committed enough to keep reading but spent the rest of the book yelling at the heroine to tell the hero exactly how much of a giant dickbag he was being. To my surprise and moderate gratification, she did, as well as a couple of other well-executed put-downs. I just - ugh. This book is built around the conceit of the hero and heroine saying goodbye to each other (well, let's be honest - the heroine shutting the hero down) multiple times (for good reasons that even the hero acknowledges are good reasons) but both of them regretting the goodbye, and the way the author gets them back together repeatedly is to have the hero repeatedly say, occasionally even explicitly, "I don't believe in her no." Which no matter how much you know he's right, she doesn't actually want to not see him again, I just can't get on board with a hero who ignores the heroine's no (thankfully never sexually, and how low a standard is that to have?) and where the narrative actively supports him in that. Blergle.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vashti

    I'am a fan of Mary Balogh, and all of her books that I have read thus far, that being said I enjoyed this book but the heroine Francois Allard drove me crazy. I understand there has to be some conflict and drama, yet this woman was an absolute idiot in my opinion. She had several chances for love and happiness, yet she kept throwing them away because at first she didnt believe Viscount Lucious Sinclair really loved her. Well when she discovered he really did she still refused him based on propri I'am a fan of Mary Balogh, and all of her books that I have read thus far, that being said I enjoyed this book but the heroine Francois Allard drove me crazy. I understand there has to be some conflict and drama, yet this woman was an absolute idiot in my opinion. She had several chances for love and happiness, yet she kept throwing them away because at first she didnt believe Viscount Lucious Sinclair really loved her. Well when she discovered he really did she still refused him based on propriety. I literally wanted to throw this book when I was reading Francois and her prim notions, while Lord Sinclair was showing how much he loved her. If she did not desire him as well, her refusals would have been understood, but she clearly loved him as she told herself, but she kept choosing to return to her shell of an existence because of her just sheer stupidity to me. Drove me crazy! Viscount Sinclair I liked a lot he was really funny, and determined. I also liked his sister Amy she was funny and I would love to read her story someday. Overall I did like the book but I will definately NOT re-read this one because I cant deal with these ridiculous heroines!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    I actually enjoyed this one, even though the reviews here were not that great among my GR friends. I loved the way Lucius did not give up on Francis even though he should have. She was a bit much on the good byes however. I loved the way Lucius (again with the stupid names) set down the woman everyone thought he was supposed to marry. I wanted to applaud him and yell HAH! take that beotch! Well at last now I can finally read the one I had been waiting for.. Simply Love It all has to do w I actually enjoyed this one, even though the reviews here were not that great among my GR friends. I loved the way Lucius did not give up on Francis even though he should have. She was a bit much on the good byes however. I loved the way Lucius (again with the stupid names) set down the woman everyone thought he was supposed to marry. I wanted to applaud him and yell HAH! take that beotch! Well at last now I can finally read the one I had been waiting for.. Simply Love It all has to do with my obsession of the scarred tortured hero's. I am not sure what that is about. :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julianna

    Reviewed for THC Reviews Simply Unforgettable is the first book in Mary Balogh's Simply Quartet, which follows four teachers at Miss Martin's School for Girls in Bath. I didn't realize until I'd already started reading it that this series is essentially a spin-off of her Bedwyn Family Saga, which I probably should have read first. I didn't have any trouble following Simply Unforgettable, but I have a strong feeling that Miss Martin herself was likely introduced in the Bedwyn books and there may have been some other common characters as well of whi/>Simply Reviewed for THC Reviews Simply Unforgettable is the first book in Mary Balogh's Simply Quartet, which follows four teachers at Miss Martin's School for Girls in Bath. I didn't realize until I'd already started reading it that this series is essentially a spin-off of her Bedwyn Family Saga, which I probably should have read first. I didn't have any trouble following Simply Unforgettable, but I have a strong feeling that Miss Martin herself was likely introduced in the Bedwyn books and there may have been some other common characters as well of which I'm unaware. According to Mary Balogh's website, the heroes of the remaining three Simply books were all introduced in the Bedwyn Prequels, so I'll definitely go back and read those first before continuing on with the Simply Quartet. As I mentioned though, Simply Unforgettable stood quite well on its own, and there was no indication that the hero or heroine had been previously introduced. The first teacher in this series to find her HEA is Frances. She had an Italian mother and emigrated to England with her French aristocrat father, following her mother's death, when she was only a babe. Frances is an extremely talented singer and works at the school, teaching music and French. After spending her Christmas break with her two elderly great-aunts, she's returning to the school in their carriage when a nasty snowstorm hits. After being passed by another carriage that in her estimation is driving rather recklessly, her own carriage slides off the road. She is rescued by none other than the passenger of the other carriage, to whom she promptly gives a piece of her mind. Needing to get in out of the snow and with nowhere else to take shelter, they end up at a country inn all by themselves and thus begins an epic love affair. Once she gets past her initial ire at her savior, Frances finds herself irresistibly attracted to him and very much enjoys the time she spends with him at the cozy little inn, which includes an unforgettable night of passion. In her mind, due to scandalous complications from her past, there can never be anything more between them, especially after she finds out he's an aristocrat and not the mere gentleman she took him for at first. Lucius offered to take Frances with him to London but with no real plan as to what she would be to him. At this point, I admired Frances for respecting herself enough to not become Lucius' mistress, even though I don't know if I could have done the same with the feelings between them being so intense. She also didn't handle the situation quite as graciously as she probably could have, leaving poor Lucius a tad demoralized, but I understood that she wanted to leave no question in his mind that those few days were all they could ever share. As things progressed though, and fate brought them back together, making Lucius press his suit more determinedly, I have to admit that Frances' stubbornness became just a little frustrating. When she turned down his first marriage proposal, I understood that it was because she felt it was made in an impulsive moment and that he wasn't truly in love with her, but as he kept coming back time and time again, I couldn't help wondering what could be so bad in her past that she wouldn't even entertain the mere notion of a deeper relationship with him. However, I can't deny that the constant back and forth and will-they-or-won't-they vibe definitely kept me on the edge of my seat wondering how they were ever going to work things out. I'll also admit that when the truth finally came out, Frances' misgivings did make perfect sense, so I was able to forgive her frustrating behavior. It was also abundantly clear that she loved Lucius, and at least in part, was doing it to protect him (as well as her aunts) from potential scandal. Lucius is a prince among men. He's been living the carefree life of a bachelor, with no immediate plans to settle down anytime soon, but that all changed for him over his Christmas holiday. He found out his grandfather's heart is failing, and with him being the heir to the earldom, he made his grandfather a promise to marry before he passes away. After spending those couple of magical days with Frances at the inn, he wants more than anything to continue their time together. Lucius could be so cute and funny. It was hilarious when he got miffed that Frances called their romantic interlude and love-making "pleasant." After that put-down and her subsequent refusal to see him again, he thinks he can brush her off as just another conquest, but for the next few months, he simply can't seem to forget her. When fate conspires to bring them back together, he takes the ball and runs with it. I absolutely adored Lucius for his persistence and determination to win Frances no matter what he had to do. Once he realizes she's the one he wants, he absolutely won't take no for an answer. Of course, she turns him down repeatedly with her mouth, but her body language always tells him something different, which makes him resolved to get to the bottom of her reservations. I also loved that when Lucius realizes the great talent Frances has, he's hell-bent on giving her the singing career she deserves, even if it doesn't lead to rekindling their romance. I just can't give Lucius enough props for keeping his eyes on the prize and never giving up in the face of seemingly impossible odds. I also have to give the author props for making me completely buy into this couple's love for one another. Lucius and Frances basically have a case of love at (almost) first sight. This usually isn't one of my favorite romance tropes, because most authors fail to make me feel that connection and to fully understand why they love one another in such a short time span. Not so here. Lucius and Frances begin by sharing some utterly witty bantering, which amused me greatly. I also enjoyed how joyous and playful they were – almost like children – when they really let themselves go and feel the moment, simply basking in each other's companionship. Their attraction is readily apparent, but goes beyond the physical. It's entirely possible their relationship might have continued without interruption if Lucius had been a mere gentleman instead of a titled aristocrat. I love how they both pine for each other throughout their three month separation, even though they both stubbornly try to deny it. At this point, their obstinacy was quite amusing, because it's so completely apparent how perfect they are for one another. They're simply trying too hard to deny it, a definite case of methinks they doth protest too much. Even when Frances became a bit too stubborn about it, I could still tell that some part of her wanted to give in, but because of the past she felt she couldn't. When Lucius kept coming back over and over and finally decimated her every qualm, Frances just couldn't say no anymore, and it was a wonderful moment that left me with a sigh of happiness. Simply Unforgettable has a great supporting cast as well. Lucius' family are all wonderful and supportive of him, even though he's kind of been avoiding them for a while. His grandfather and his youngest sister, Amy, were my particular favorites, because his grandfather was wise and understanding, while Amy's enthusiasm was infectious. Portia, the woman Lucius has known since childhood and is considering as his bride, proves exactly why being “perfect” is not a desirable trait. Then there are the other three teachers from the school who are also Frances' best friends. Claudia (aka Miss Martin) is a kind woman, but one who comports herself in a very proper manner that makes me eager for her to find a hero who will ruffle her feathers a bit. Susanna, the youngest of the group, was one of the charity girls who was previously a student but stayed on after graduating to teach. She dreams of marrying a duke, so I'll be looking forward to seeing if she realizes that dream. Last but not least is Anne, who as the mother of a young son who lives with her at the school, seems to have some intriguing secrets of her own that need to be uncovered, and I can't wait to see what they are. She's the heroine of the next book of the series, Simply Love. Simply Unforgettable is a very aptly titled book. Not only were Lucius and Frances simply unforgettable to one another, but their story is one I won't soon be forgetting either. It was a little more lighthearted than the previous two books I read by Mary Balogh, but certainly no less appealing. Ms. Balogh really has a way with expressing emotion that makes the reader connect with her characters and understand what they're thinking and feeling. Simply Unforgettable struck the perfect balance between touching and funny. I loved every minute I spent reading it and was always excited to get back to it when I had to lay it aside. It has earned this incredibly talented writer a spot on my favorite authors list, and I can't wait to read more of her books in the future.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karlyn

    It shouldn’t be hard to write men who listen when women say no. 😡

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bark

    I listened to this on unabridged audio and was very quickly bored and easily distracted. It's a shame because Balogh is usually one of my go-to author's when I'm in a slump. This book was so disappointing in so many ways. It's full of cliches and ridiculous behavior. You have the virgin schoolmarm who is beautiful but doesn't know it and the high society rake who must marry a high born lady to pacify his granddaddy. These two conveniently get stranded together (without chaperone) duri I listened to this on unabridged audio and was very quickly bored and easily distracted. It's a shame because Balogh is usually one of my go-to author's when I'm in a slump. This book was so disappointing in so many ways. It's full of cliches and ridiculous behavior. You have the virgin schoolmarm who is beautiful but doesn't know it and the high society rake who must marry a high born lady to pacify his granddaddy. These two conveniently get stranded together (without chaperone) during a snowstorm and within what seems like hours decide to have sex because, well, you can only make so many snowmen in a day, eh? Did I mention that she was a virgin? Wait? What? But the worst sin of this book is the fact that the writing is so freaking boring. Balogh usually excels at characterization and character motivation but this time it feels like she wrote it while on auto-pilot and it makes me so very sad. This isn't one I can easily recommend. Hopefully, the rest of the series will be better fleshed out but I'm almost afraid to give them a try.

  24. 4 out of 5

    TJ

    I was really torn on this one. I LOVE the way Mary Balogh writes and this books was no exception. I was infuriated at the storyline, though. It was frustrating to have the hero pursuing the heroine throughout the ENTIRE book and NEVER know why she keeps refusing (in very curt and rude ways)until the last couple of pages of the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    4.5 stars - this book has mixed reviews but I loved it; especially the audio version. Mary Balogh and Rosalyn Landor are a wonderful combination. A beautiful, gently moving story with a gorgeous hero and worthy heroine. And there's a bit of 'An Officer and a Gentleman' moment. There's more Mary Balogh audio books becoming available in the UK; I need the rest of the series please.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pamela(AllHoney)

    I haven't read much by this author but she seems to be well loved by many romance readers. The other book I read was just okay for me. I liked this one but didn't feel the "WOW" factor from it. I will probably to continue to give this author a chance to wow me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine (KizzieReads)

    This story was okay. I loved the ending, of course, but the beginning was slow and dull for me. It ramped up about halfway through, but it had so much repetition that it grew monotonous. There were other parts that bothered me as well. When Frances dances twice with Lucius, she felt that she had to give in sexually, as she saw herself as a tease. Then, after a man touched her hand, she again thought she was a tease. Even though it is a historical romance, that was a bit much. The othe This story was okay. I loved the ending, of course, but the beginning was slow and dull for me. It ramped up about halfway through, but it had so much repetition that it grew monotonous. There were other parts that bothered me as well. When Frances dances twice with Lucius, she felt that she had to give in sexually, as she saw herself as a tease. Then, after a man touched her hand, she again thought she was a tease. Even though it is a historical romance, that was a bit much. The other problem I had, was that Lucius took it upon himself to force Frances to do what he thought she should do, no matter how many times she vehemently said no. And when she finally gives and does it, (nothing sexual), she realizes that he was right all along. Unfortunately, that also was a bit much. I did, however, enjoyed seeing Lucius grow as a character, especially towards his family. I did not like his almost prearranged fiancee,. She was so superficially a miss know it all, and everyone else was nothing. It was great seeing what happens to her. I am looking forward to continuing on with the series, and I hope that they only get better.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Louisa

    Loved reading this book again! This couple just has an amazing story, finding each other over and over again, and yeah, just a great read!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Mary Ballogh’s SIMPLY UNFORGETTABLE: Sin, Singing & Secrets http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201... Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted. Nobody does it better: 19th century romantic fiction, that is. Mary Balogh has meshed the perfect balance of respect, history, romance and heat in each of her stories. This particular book is first in a series, originally published in 2006, centering around four Mary Ballogh’s SIMPLY UNFORGETTABLE: Sin, Singing & Secrets http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201... Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted. Nobody does it better: 19th century romantic fiction, that is. Mary Balogh has meshed the perfect balance of respect, history, romance and heat in each of her stories. This particular book is first in a series, originally published in 2006, centering around four teachers in a newish idea of the time: a school for girls. I believe this recording of the series is new. Each of the teachers, including the headmistress, has some kind of secret. Frances’ secret is more complicated than we are initially lead to believe and keeping it secret is an important part of her life. Mary’s heroines always feel a little ahead of their time to me. I think that has two major reasons: It helps readers relate to characters who are not too different in mind-set than we are; and, Maybe people really haven’t changed all that much. We might have an idea that women didn’t bristle against the strictures of Regency life or that they were meek. But, I don’t think it is the case; I believe women found ways to get around things when they had to. Think of Abigail Adams admonishing John Adams to “remember the ladies” as he helped write the Constitution. Frances, though, appears particularly “modern” and even likes having a career as a way of being independent. Lucius is a spoiled and arrogant aristocrat who has been living the expected dissolute life of an heir until his Grandfather’s health begins to fail. Then he antes up and promises to marry. I liked how Lucius was introspective and open to change, yet at the same time he is impulsive. Ugh, the woman his family wants him to marry is a block of ice; exceeding his arrogance level, prim, proper and prudish. Her arch remarks are always cloaked in a societal veneer of advice but, they are really poisoned barbs. Lucius does reflect on her being appropriate, well-bred and thinks she will probably be about as passionate in bed as a pillow is. On the other hand, not expecting marriage, and not anticipating any offers coming her way, Frances doesns’t really feel a compunction to hold on to her virtue. She approaches sex with passion, the same passion with which she defends her career, and decisions. The story builds and builds with a little heat at the start and the a little more. Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Balogh often brings us snippets from Austen as a nod to Pride and Prejudices similar relationships. It is interesting that the women in Austen’s books are also not meek, but as a product of the Georgian and Regency eras, Austen had to write for that time and a woman of today can never hope to truly emulate Austen’s style because she is not immersed in the period. I really enjoyed the book and marvels throughout at how well constructed it was and how much I was enjoying it. Many of the characters are really engaging, especially Lucius’ Grandfather and his littlest sister, Amy. I highly recommend this story and cannot wait to read another book in the series!

  30. 4 out of 5

    CatBookMom

    This first-in-series is another of Balogh's better books, but it bogged down in the middle for me; I've stretched a 3.5+ to 4 stars, just because I liked the characters, particularly how much fun they seemed to have in the first few scenes, when they were snowbound in a small inn.

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