It always takes me about 25% of the book to really get into a Mary Balogh novel. She has a beautiful writing style that makes you feel like you’re living in a Charles Dickens novel, but it’s definitely a different pace than most historical authors publishing today. The family Christmas scenes at the beginning of the book put me in the holiday spirit as nothing else can; it’s all so idyllic.
Someone To Trust is about two kindred spirits separated in age by nine years. Unfortunately for our kindred spirits, Elizabeth and Colin, Elizabeth is older than Colin by nine years which was taboo at that time. It was so frowned upon that Elizabeth and Colin don’t even consider each other as true romantic partners for most of the book.
Mary Balogh writes some of the most beautiful prose out there. I found myself highlighting passages just so I could revel in her use of language later. While this is a gentle friends to lovers novel, I could genuinely feel the angst as Elizabeth and Colin tried to reconcile their feelings, familial expectations, and societal pressures. If you’re expecting the characters to break the rules, cause a scene, or in any way act out of character for someone in their time period, this is not the book for you. But somehow that makes the more dramatic scenes have an even bigger impact.
This is the first book I have read in this series, and while Someone To Trust does standalone, I think my experience would have been richer if the secondary characters had less page time. Every time I started to get into Colin and Elizabeth’s chemistry, I feel like they were interrupted by 20 uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, who clearly all had previous books updating them on their lives. While people who have read the other books in this series might enjoy the updates, it read as filler to me, which I didn’t enjoy.
Overall, the excess of characters and slow pace didn’t detract much from my enjoyment. This book was addictive once the story really started at about 25% in and I recommend it to anyone looking for a change of pace and unique plot line.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
Someone To Trust releases November 27!
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