by Mary Balogh

April 2005
ISBN: 0-385-33822-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books

After the success of her Bedwyn Family series, one might expect author Mary Balogh to take a much deserved vacation. Ms. Balogh, however, has other plans. She has already begun a quartet of novels, based around Miss Martin’s School for Girls in Bath.

Frances Allard has spent the holidays with her elderly aunts. While she enjoyed their company, she wished there had been more lively activities for a person of her own age. Journeying back to Bath in the ancient family coach, Frances encounters treacherous weather. She hopes that her elderly coachman, Thomas, can find shelter before the roads become impassable. She would not like to be stranded in the countryside with only the carriage for shelter. She is dismayed when a speeding coach overtakes them and flies past in a flurry of horseflesh. She is outraged when that same coach blocks the road ahead and causes her vehicle to end up in a ditch. The nerve of that heedless driver and his selfish employer!

Lucius Marshall, Viscount Sinclair, knew that bad weather was approaching but continued on his journey anyway. Now he was stuck here in the countryside, with a bad-tempered female and her doddering driver. He could only hope that there was some sort of shelter nearby or he might be forced to throttle the woman!

Appearances can be very deceiving, as Frances and Lucius discover. Forced to make due in a deserted inn, they both must shed some perceptions along the way. After an illicit night of passion, Frances rejoins her fellow teachers and pupils. For an inexplicable reason, Lucius continues to find ways that they might meet. Frances is always in his thoughts, Simply Unforgettable.

This lively book is a fine start to a promising series. Frances and Lucius are a wonderful match, and many secondary characters appear to add depth. Ms. Balogh’s strength in character development and plot fine-tuning is evident with this polished book. Her fans will be thrilled, and new readers will delight to find another accomplished author to enjoy.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Paula.

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