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Someone to Care
Cover of Someone to Care
Someone to Care
Westcott Series, Book 4
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**Instant New York Times Bestseller**
Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .

Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune—except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness—until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.
Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.
When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it. . . .
**Instant New York Times Bestseller**
Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .

Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune—except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness—until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.
Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.
When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it. . . .
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  • From the book The hired carriage in which Viola Kingsley had been traveling just a short while before the Marquess of Dorchester spoke to her at the country inn not only had been uncomfortable with its hard seats and surely nonexistent springs and its drafty windows and door and its innumerable squeaks and groans and pervading smell of oldness and staleness. It had also developed a severe limp and was proceeding at less than half its former speed and was listing somewhat to one side. Try as she would to sit upright, she had kept finding her left shoulder pressed up against the hard wood panel beside the seat. At any moment she had expected that the carriage would stop altogether and she would be stranded in the middle of nowhere.

    And it was all her fault. She would have no one to blame but herself.

    Two years before, something truly catastrophic had happened to Viola. She had been Viola Westcott, Countess of Riverdale, at the time and had recently suffered the loss of the earl, her husband of twenty-three years. Her son, Harry, had succeeded to the title. He had been only twenty years old at the time and had therefore been placed under the guardianship of Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, and of Viola herself. Her elder daughter, Camille, had already made her debut into society and was respectably betrothed to Viscount Uxbury. Her younger daughter, Abigail, was looking forward to her own come-out Season the following spring. Viola had been satisfied with her life despite the necessity of wearing deep mourning. She had not been fond of her husband and felt no great grief at his passing.

    There had been just one loose end to be tied up, and she had made an attempt to tie it. There was a girl, a young woman by then, whom her husband had kept and secretly supported—he had thought it was a secret, anyway—at an orphanage in Bath for as long as Viola had known him. She had made the understandable assumption that the female was his natural daughter by a mistress, and had done what she had considered the right thing after his death by sending her solicitor to Bath to find the woman, inform her of her father's death, and make a final settlement upon her.
    That was when the catastrophe had hit.

    For it had been discovered that the young woman concerned, Anna Snow, then twenty-five years old and a teacher at the orphanage, was in fact the late earl's legitimate daughter by a previous wife. By his only wife as it happened. He had married Viola a few months before Anna Snow's mother died of consumption. Viola's marriage had been a bigamous one. Worse, her son and her daughters were illegitimate. Harry was stripped of his title and fortune—the title had passed to his second cousin, Alexander Westcott, and the fortune to Anna. All of it. The earl had made only one will, and that had been drawn up while he was still with his first wife. Everything that was not entailed went to his daughter by that marriage. Camille and Abigail lost their titles and their portions. Camille was cast off by Lord Uxbury. Abigail would have no come-out Season or any prospect of making the sort of marriage she had been brought up to expect. They had been left destitute, though Anna had tried to insist that her fortune be divided equally among her half siblings and herself. But at the time, she was a stranger to them. In their pride and hurt and bewilderment they had all refused. Viola had resumed her maiden name.

    To say that the bottom had fallen out of her world would be severely to understate the case. The enormity of what had happened to her and her children had been too much for her mind to bear. She had lived on. How could she not, short of putting an end to her own...
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2018
    A second chance at love catches a jaded aristocrat and a disgraced gentlewoman off guard. Their adult children alternately worry and then root for the wary pair.Love blossoms for an unlikely couple who were unlucky in their first marriages and never thought to find romance in their 40s. In this latest in her Westcott series, Balogh (Someone to Wed, 2017, etc.) again breaks with the historical romance tradition of narrating the courtships of only youthful members of a family--Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series is a popular example of that tradition. Instead, we witness the journey of Viola Kingsley, a widowed former countess who's been stripped of her title, to a joyful union with the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr. Heartsick over revelations of her dead husband's bigamy, Viola is fleeing from her concerned family when she crosses paths with Marcel, a rake who once almost tempted her into infidelity. When he renews his offer for a no-strings dalliance at a remote cottage--he's escaping his own past and its repercussions--Viola throws caution to the wind. Despite their sexual compatibility and a nagging awareness that their relationship is more than lust, they're both too scarred to voice their feelings. Once their families intrude on their idyll, they must determine whether they want the tie that binds them to break or turn into matrimony. Balogh lingers a little too long on internal debates, and the novel is at least a third longer than it needs to be, even turning into a Christmas story by the end. But if a taut plot is not her strength, the careful explorations of human sentiment and values make her a standout in the genre.What alchemy of sexual desire, emotional connection, temperamental similarity, and personal courage does it take for two people to actively love each other? Recommended for readers who like their Regency romance with more contemplation than fireworks.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 12, 2018
    Balogh (Someone to Wed) continues the Westcott family’s recovery from the reversal of fortune first unveiled in Someone to Love. Lust, loneliness, and love are not merely for the young, as the former Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley, learns when she escapes from her family only to meet up with the rakish Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr. These two once fancied each other in the early days of Viola’s marriage to Riverdale. But now, 14 years later, after her husband’s death and the subsequent discovery that their marriage was invalid due to his secret other wife, Viola takes an unexpected opportunity to engage in a short-term love affair with Marcel. By indulging in his liaison with Viola, Marcel happily delays returning home to his now-grown twins, who are mostly strangers to him, having been raised by relatives. The lovers’ avoidance of responsibility not only bewilders their families but strains their unexpected deepening feelings for one another. Home, they discover, can’t so easily be shut away. Balogh gives the 40-something lovers refreshing complexity, not sugarcoating their character flaws, and these nods to reality will make Viola and Marcel all the more endearing to readers. Newcomers will find this a satisfying entry point to the series, and fans will be delighted to see Viola achieve happiness at last. Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency.

  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2018

    Fourteen years ago, Viola and Marcel fell deeply in love, but Viola was married (or so she thought), a young mother of three, and not about to have an affair--so she sent him away. Years later, thanks to a broken carriage axel, they meet by chance at a small country inn. Now both free and in vastly changed circumstances, they give in to their feelings and "run away" together--if only temporarily. But then children and assorted family members track them down, and suddenly their plans take an entirely different course. Personal, social, and familial expectations; trust and communication; and responsibility are but a few of the complex issues at the heart of this family-rich romance that features exquisite character development, tender sensuality, and a truly rewarding love story. VERDICT Two inwardly lonely people regain the love they thought they'd lost in a story that is searing in its insight, as comforting as a hug, and a brilliant addition to this series. Another gem from a master of the art. Balogh (Someone To Wed) lives in Canada.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Westcott Series, Book 4
Mary Balogh
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