Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Sophia Rose Reviews: Remember Love by Mary Balogh

Today Sophia Rose is reviewing Remember Love by Mary Balogh a historical romance and #1 in her Ravenswood series.

Remember Love by Mary Balogh

#1 Ravenswood

Historical Romance

Publisher:  Berkley

Published:  7.12.22

Pages:  367

Rating: 4.5 stars

Flames: 2.5

Format: eARC

Source: NetGalley

Sellers: Amazon

ADD TO: GoodReads

GoodReads Blurb:

The handsome and charismatic Earl of Stratton, Caleb Ware, has been exposed to the ton for his clandestine affairs—by his own son.

As a child, Devlin Ware thought his family stood for all that was right and good in the world. They were kind, gracious, and shared the beauty of Ravenwood, their grand country estate, by hosting lavish parties for the entire countryside. But at twenty-two, he discovered his whole world was an elaborate illusion, and when Devlin publicly called his family to account for it, he was exiled as a traitor.

So be it. He enlisted in the fight against Napoleon and didn’t look back for six years. But now his father is dead, the Ware family is broken, and as the heir he is being called home. It’s only when Gwyneth Rhys—the woman he loved and then lost after his family banished him—holds out her hand to help him that he is able make the difficult journey and try to piece together his fractured family.

It is Gwyneth’s loyalty, patience, and love that he needs. But is Devlin’s war-hardened heart even capable of offering her love in return?

Sophia Rose's Review

Within the opening chapters, an idyllic dream is shattered and nothing is ever the same again.  Historical Romance Queen, Mary Balogh, introduces a new Regency era series of broken family, new beginnings, and love that can survive any conflict.


Remembering Love starts slow and introduces a place, the people, and the fairy tale like atmosphere of a perfect earldom.  The reader is lulled to drowsiness nearly by this rarified atmosphere of perfection.  Then the illusion is shattered and the pace and tone of the story switched up and I had no desire to languidly flip pages.  The contrast the author created in the sections was clever. 


One young man has his eyes opened to the truth.  His anger at the pretty lies he was led to believe and the betrayal he feels over being lied to won’t allow Devlin Ware to ignore it when he catches his father flirting and flaunting his secret mistress at a family ball. 

The repercussions from Devlin’s choice to call it out publically break his own romantic plans, rupture his connection with his family save the half-brother who joins him, and he chooses his exile to be the warfront for six years.  To hold the pieces of himself together when his family turns their back on him that night, he boxes away emotion and the past living in the moment and content with his lot.  His father’s death brings the story to part two and Devlin’s return.  Devlin has changed, but so has his family and his home.  But is the woman who loved him and he loved in return only a thing of the past?


This book shocked me and roused my emotions.  Devlin’s choice was a no-win either way, but he made the choice for truth rather than expediency and I can’t be disappointed.  His further decision to completely sever the family and romantic connection was understandable if sad.  His knot-headed thinking that he was incapable of feeling love or believing in it?  Well, that was the heart of the matter and it would take a special woman to do a big ‘hang in there’ with him.  Gwyneth fell for the serious, broody Devlin as a child and that was that.  Not sure I buy into their ongoing deep love that not only built from childhood mutual infatuation and one day spent together, but survived six year’s absence, but I went with it.  I enjoyed having both their narration viewpoints and Gwyneth’s personality and warm Welsh family were bonuses.


As with past books, the author tucks in some thought-provoking themes such as cost of war on the soldiers, cost of infidelity on a family, women having little recourse when the husband did stray, tainted by association, and more.  Gives depth and authenticity to a solid plot.


This felt very much like an introductory book to a series, but I still liked it and read it swiftly.  There were certain vibes that reminded me strongly of characters and situations in the Westcott series.  It left me anticipatory for the rest of the Ware siblings to get their own stories.  If readers remember it gets off to a slow, sleepy start, but then gets going with the heart of the story, I think historical romance lovers will enjoy this latest offering of slightly spicy historical romance.

Author Bio:

Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curling.

Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first book, a Regency love story, was published in 1985 as A Masked Deception under her married name. In 1988, she retired from teaching after 20 years to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling 'Slightly' sextet and 'Simply' quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group, and her novel Simply Magic was a finalist in the Quill Awards. She has won seven Waldenbooks Awards and two B. Dalton Awards for her bestselling novels, as well as a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.


Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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  1. Wow Sophia Rose this looks really good. I love how she puts some social issues into the story and sometimes when there's a lot to get into your head a slow start helps us connect dots. Great Review thanks

    1. You make a good point about a slow start and yes, this one had some good complexities to it.

  2. Such a lovely review you have here Sophia. I am so pleased that it worked so well for you and I have been hearing some amazing things about it!

    Glad it was such a win! Happy Reading!

    1. Thanks, Renee! I'm not surprised this one is getting some chatter. It starts with a surprising situation. Hope you get the chance.

  3. It's been so long since I've read from the author. Now I can see which book to prioritize soon. Awesome review as always Sophia Rose :)

    Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

  4. It has been a while since I read my last Balogh