Hello, and welcome back! We're just into July here, though the weather is more mid-spring today than early summer, and that suits me just fine, though I would like it to be a little less humid. I suppose that can't be helped until the rain moves through later.
I've saved one of the best of the June romances for last: Mary Balogh's Seducing an Angel (Delacorte). This time out, Stephen Huxtable, Earl of Merton, crosses swords, so to speak, with Cassandra Belmont, Lady Paget. Cassandra is determined to be in control of her life, and she has some standards for her next lover: rich, handsome, and desperately wanting her. She has her eyes on Stephen, but he turns the tables on her, for he is set on having her as more than a mistress, and she is as resistant as he is persistent. She is quite unsuitable to be a wife to an Earl, after all she's been through publicly and privately, but he doesn't seem to mind that. However is Cassandra to resist a man who tries so hard to win her heart, and the hearts of those closest to her? But she must, because she knows there can be nothing more serious between them. Stephen is patient, though, and wily. Cassandra stands no chance at all of remaining aloof from the emotions he stirs in her, and it's an absolutely delightful trip. Ms. Balogh is, as always, a fantastic storyteller, weaving such believable emotions into her tale that you get caught up in the characters' happiness and sorrows. Along with the pure pleasure of watching Stephen and Cassandra fall in love, we also get to revisit Stephen's sisters and even his cousin Con (who deserves a love of his own). Stephen, though having been described as 'angelic' in previous stories in the series, is hardly an angel, but an absolutely fantastic romance novel hero, with just the right flaws and foibles. And Cassandra is his match, stubborn without being mule-headed, and caring for those closest to her so that she will do nearly anything for them. A Mary Balogh book is always a keeper, and this one is no exception. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for it.
Until next time, happy reading!