Title: Someone To Love (Westcotts Book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Mary Balogh
Publisher: Berkley, Nov. 2016
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 4
Description from Amazon.com:
Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had… Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna… Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.
Leave it to Mary Balogh to make the Regency era come alive with what feels like true characterization of people of the times. The orphanage is not a horrid place ala Dickens, it is where our heroine grew up in poverty but surrounded by caring people. The aristocracy is portrayed with an all-encompassing entitlement and blood lines be damned if you are found to be illegitimate. Our hero, or perhaps he is an anti-hero, is short, slender, “angelic” looking and yet he exudes an aura of danger and power. The Westcott family is outraged by the turn of events and yet our heroine, Anna (Anastasia), maintains her dignity throughout.
The romance is subtle and more like friendship at first. There is not any strong attraction only mild interest on both sides. I was wondering why Anna wasn’t more attracted to Alexander the new Earl instead of The Duke. There is a rather huge character dump in the beginning of this book and keeping everyone straight was difficult even with the family tree in the front of the book. This is not one of my favorite books of Ms. Balogh but I did like it, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, SOMEONE TO HOLD, especially since I now think I have all the characters straight.