Someone to Love is the first book in Mary Balogh's new Westcott series, and I fell in love with it! There was a reluctant start, but as with the story line I grew more and more intrigued! This was one of those books you can't put down for silly things like food and sleep.
Anna Snow was raised in an orphanage in Bath since she was four years old. She was financially looked after by an anonymous person as long as she stayed with the orphanage. So Anna found herself becoming a teacher there. She is content with her life as a teacher, but as with all orphans, she wishes and wonders about her origins. Anna is then surprised by a unexpected letter telling her to come to London! She can only hope to discover a part of her past.
When she arrives at the arranged meeting place (a Duke's mansion of a home), she is almost turned away to the servant's entrance. The solicitor who summoned her, though, makes sure she is admitted. I won't get into much of the details, but it turns out her father has passed away and all of his fortune is left to her. This is quite a dream come true except her new found family (a half brother and two half sisters) become upset and leave.
Avery, the Duke of Netherby, is entranced by this dignified young woman who holds herself so well in this extremely foreign of places. This is most peculiar since he is a man of distinguished taste and finds most everything tedious and boring. When Anna's father's sisters then decide to take her under their wings and educate her on the world of the ton, the Duke finds himself helping her in numerous ways.
What Mary Balogh does with this seemingly boring plot is encompass you. I loved Anna from the start, and therefore all I wanted was for her to find happiness. Quite honestly, Avery frustrated me at the beginning until Balogh started to reveal bits and pieces of his past. Then I started to understand the protective shell he put around himself. They are perhaps not two personalities perfectly made for each other, but the romance was breathtaking none-the-less.
The absolute only misgiving I had about the book was the very beginning when the whole family tree was being explained. I was a tad overwhelmed and confused because so many characters were being introduced. How they were all related seemed very messy. But I truly suggest trying to get through that odd part. As the story continues, people and where they are placed begins to sort itself out, and the story is well worth getting through that bit.
I loved Mary Balogh's Survivor Club series, and I was so excited to so quickly dive into this series. She really develops each character and it makes the emotions so much richer. I found myself really liking a minor character where he was only in a few scenes. I'm excited to discover he will be featured in the sequel. I am a huge fan now of Mary Balogh's work, and I'm excited to continue this journey.
**ARC provided by Publisher**