by Mary Balogh

April 2003
ISBN: 0-440-24104-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Dell Publishing
Mass Market Paperback

Slightly Married starts on a somber note. A deathbed promise brings Colonel Lord Aidan Bedwyn to Ringwood Manor. He has promised Captain Percy Morris to deliver the devastating news in person, along with Aidanís pledge to protect Percyís grieving sister, Eve. He never expects this promise to completely change his life.

Eve Morris cannot believe her beloved brother has died. Colonel Bedwyn was most kind to deliver the news himself, but she cannot impose upon the severe, stoic nobleman to help her sort out her family problems. She has to find a new home for her wards and gaggle of unconventional servants before she is evicted from Ringwood Manor by her odious cousin Cecil. When Aidan suggests that a marriage of convenience might be sufficient to secure her home, Eve is touched by his thoughtfulness and sense of honor. It might be the perfect solution, since he would soon be returning to his regiment, and she would be free of Cecil once and for all. Of course, the marriage is completely unacceptable, socially. The daughter of a coal miner and the son of a duke would never meet with the tonís approval.

Of course, things get complicated. Without complications there would be no story, and we would all be disappointed. Ms. Balogh sets just the right tone with these two characters, and fashions a story that is suited to their personalities. This mesh of character and plot is appreciated. While this story is not as lively as the prelude, A Summer to Remember, neither are the characters. They have too much duty and responsibility to be frivolous. I enjoyed watching them grow into their relationship, not just have it suddenly appear full blown.

I also enjoyed further glimpses of the remaining Bedwyn siblings, and the insights into their characters that will be further explored in the series. This is proving to be a set of books worth keeping.

Reviewed in May 2003 by Paula.

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