Friday, July 9, 2010

Simply Magic by Mary Balogh

I had a few of Balogh’s books in my pile and Simply Magic was the first I finished. It is part of the “Simply” series which centers around four teachers at Miss Martin’s School For Girls in England. You don’t have to read the books in order, although I did read one of the previous volumes in the series.

Most of Balogh’s books have a slow pace which enables her to concentrate in great detail on the relationship between the hero and heroine. Don’t expect any complicated subplots or strong secondary characters, it is all focused on the main couple who we get to know inside out. Her books make a nice change from the fast-paced, action filled romances and although it sometimes takes a little while to get into them, by the end of the book you’ll really care about the pair. Her books remind me a bit of Jo Beverly’s.

Simply Magic features the teacher Susanna Osbourne and Peter Edgeworth, who is Viscount Whitleaf. They are instantly attracted to each other, but there are complications beyond that of their different stations in life. Saying more would give away too much, but it was an interesting and original dilemma.

What makes this book stand out is the two main characters, Susanna in particular. I really felt that I understood her and she was a very believable heroine. Peter, on the other hand, was likable and his actions seemed realistic, but he wasn’t quite as interesting to me. I also thought the historical setting was very well done.

I’d recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a leisurely exploration of a relationship between two appealing characters. I’ll rate it 7.0 out of 10.0.

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