Someone to Hold is the second in Mary Balogh's Westcott series.
Camille Westcott has recently discovered she is illegitimate. It was brought to light in the first book that her father had already been married when he married her mother, making the union void. When this information is announced, Camille's life flips upside down. She finds herself living in Bath, where her older half sister, Anna, grew up in an orphanage. For some reason Camille cannot even identify herself, she is drawn to the orphanage and stepping into Anna's old life.
Joel Cunningham is an orphan who grew up with Anna at the orphanage in Bath. He is a painter and he has gained some popularity among the Ton for his portraits. He also volunteers at the orphanage a couple times a week teaching art classes. Joel has learned of Camille through Anna's letters and initially has a negative opinion of her because of her treatment of Anna and her appearance.
The two learn to work together and learn more about each other. The romance didn't feel as fluid to me as most. It's almost like it happened completely by accident, and they both deny it even to themselves for quite some time. There were some very sweet parts though that gave me the warm fuzzies!
The main reason I like this book as much as I do, is because of Camille. She grows so much as a character. Mary Balogh really dug deep into her emotions and soul to help the reader understand and know Camille. I absolutely loved her "blossoming". Joel was just kind of there for me. Not bad but not exceptional. This came as a shock, because when reading Someone to Love, I was very interested in him as a side character.
This book was what I call typical Mary Balogh, and I enjoyed it. I am excited to continue the series.
**ARC provided by Publisher**