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Sunday, July 6, 2014

ARC Review: The Escape

The Escape by Mary Balogh is book three in her Survivors Club series. I have not read Mary Balogh before but if the other books are anything like this one I look forward to reading more. It is what I call a pleasant romance meaning it’s not a “sweet” romance but nor is it overly erotic, it’s a perfectly balanced. Their first kiss was… woo if I was a Miss from that era I would have suffered from the vapors. I love sexual tension it’s just as good, if not better sometimes, then the actual act and this has plenty of it. Reading as a stand-alone is fine but the beginning was a little confusing because it introduced six different people at the same time and only one of them is the main character. Reading as part of the series this probably wouldn’t be a problem because they are already established characters.

Sir Benedict Harper had one aspiration in life and that was spending the rest of his life in the military and one day maybe becoming a General. But that all changed after a brutal battle he was left crippled, his legs so badly damaged the surgeon wanted to cut them off. Ben would not have it and after three years he is able to walk with the use of crutches and now six years after he was injured he has come to the depressing realization he will never walk or be how he used to be. After the yearly trip to Cornwall and his visit with the other members of the Survivors Club he travels to his sister’s country home to keep her company until she is well enough recovered from her illness to travel to London with her husband. Ben is left not knowing what to do with his life or where to go next.

Samantha McKay married for love, or so she thought a few months after her marriage it all falls apart. She ends up sent home to live with her tyrannical Father-in-law and shrew of a sister-in-law. After years of marriage Captain Matthew McKay suffered severe wounds that lead his handsome face to become disfigured. Living in a house out in the country away from his family Samantha became a nurse maid to her husband. Five years Samantha suffered not only her demanding and hateful husband but his tight wad of a sister, Matilda, also. Now four months after his death Samantha is forced into deep mourning by her Father-in-law and Matilda. Samantha wants nothing more now to leave that part of her life behind but feels guilty about wanting to forgo her deep mourning. Her world is soon turned upside down by a handsome man on a horse who almost tramples over her and her dog.

Ben and Samantha know the rules of propriety, and try to adhere to them. Their just seems to be something about them that they can talk to each other so easily. Ben knows of Samantha’s desire to get to know her neighbors and finally become part of the community, but with the Puritan-like standards of her In-laws preventing her from doing so. Ben sets it up for her to meet the vicar’s wife and have her fears of mourning propriety lessened and quickly becoming friends with Ben’s sister. Matilda throws a fit over her actions and tells on Samantha to her Father-in-law, who demands her to remove herself from that residence and live with him so he can “impose the necessary discipline to put a halt the wayward behavior”. In a panic Samantha runs to her only friend. Unfortunately she just missed her and catches Ben instead. Together they form a plan to safely spirit her away to her property in Wales that she inherited from her mother.

All the way to her new home Ben and Sam are the very picture of propriety. But the more time they spend together the deeper their feeling start to go. When they arrive at her new home and realize it is not at all what she thought and that her family has lied to her about her mother’s side of the family, Sam is confused. Sam and Ben finally become intimate and fall deeper in love but with Sam still technically in mourning Ben decides it’s best to leave but will be back as soon as her mourning is officially over.

The events that happen when they reach Wales I won’t spoil but it goes without saying they do their HEA. The Escape is a very touching piece about forgiveness, salvation, new beginning and the healing power of love. I would easily recommend this to anyone who loves a good romance. The Escape also contains the very sweet novella The Suitor that takes place between stories in The Survivors Club series.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |


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