Monday, August 2, 2010

Author of the Month: August 2010

Mary Balogh

   The Beloved Balogh, as I love to call her, is an authority (in my eyes) in the world of Regency Romance. (And I have been pronouncing her name as BAL-LOW, instead of BEL-OG) Her books are insta-classics that every reader of romance should definitely have grace their bookshelves.
   "Balogh was born Mary Jenkins in Swansea, Wales.She moved to Canada on a two-year teaching contract in 1967 after leaving university. There, she met and married her Canadian husband Robert Balogh and settled in the small prairie town of Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada. She taught high school English for a number of years, and rose to the level of school principal. She has three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian, and four grandchildren, Matthew, Shianne, Jayden and Cash.
    As an adult, Balogh discovered the world of the historical romance as written by Georgette Heyer. The vast majority of Balogh's novels have been set in Regency or Georgian England or Wales. Balogh began her writing career in 1983, when she wrote her first novel A Masked Deception in the evenings at the kitchen table while home and family functioned around her. A Masked Deception was accepted by Signet and published in 1985. Mary Balogh won the Romantic Times Award for best new Regency writer that year.
   She is the author of more than 60 published novels and over 30 novellas and has met with critical success. She has received numerous awards, including a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Regency Short Stories in 1993 and has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list."Source

-For a complete list of Mary Balogh's works, there is a very helpful list on her website on the 'books' page with cover pics, blurbs and everything else you need to know: click here

-Also, check out the Mary Balogh content I have right here on the blog: click here

And there is your Author of the Month for August 2010
*For more info on Mary Balogh, you can visit her website: 



  1. I've only read one Balogh book, Web of Love, and thought it was okay. But I have several others, and you've peaked my interest again. I'm slowly slogging through Ten Things I love About You by Julia Quinn. If I can ever make it through that, I might pick up one of these. Which one do you most recommend?

  2. Thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment. Ten Things wasn't my fav JQ, but it all works out at the end so you'll at least enjoy the ride once its finished.

    As for a Mary Balogh title I most recommend, I'd have to go with my favorite by her called 'Slightly Married'. I loved it and I think you will too! Another one that was really enjoyable is another book from the Slightly Series, 'Slightly Dangerous', which I have reviewed on the blog if you want to see my thoughts on tit. You can find a link to it on the Reviews page! (page links are underneath the banner)

    Happy Readings!

  3. Sadly I think I'm going to give up on 10 Things for now. I'm sure I'll read it eventually, but it's been WEEKS and I just can't get into it (and normally my reading is in day - singular - so this is NOT a good sign). I recently picked up the latest Stephanie Laurens, so I'll probably read that next. I've been really bummed with what I've been trying to read lately (partly due to mental state and stress, partly due to the quality of what I've been TRYING to read). I haven't read a JQ in a year at least, after I read "When He Was Wicked" and it was... too much of an emotional roller coaster for me. So I maybe need to start back up with something with a bit more Oomph, if you know what I mean.

    I have Slightly Dangerous, so I can put it on my list. You'd think with all these freaking books (We're at about 3,000 now) I'd have an easier time finding something worthwhile!

  4. lol.. Adventures of the avid reader =D
    June was 'June with Julia Quinn' month and I reviewed every book in the Bridgerton series and bonus reviewed Ten Things. I tried to stick to positive reviews, but 'Ten Things' was one of the more...not-so-praise worthy ones I've written.

    Sometimes there's that hump in the book that you just can't overcome for whatever reason. You just move on.(I've been dying to read that stephanie laurens book!I've read all the other black cobra books. such an adventurous series)

    I don't think I've ever had a real dry spell because I don't limit myself to just new releases. I am constantly in the library, getting books from like 1995 and I always go for the good stuff ;). You can never go wrong with the classics. You should check out some of these all-time historical lists on or goodread. May give you some ideas.

    A really fun JQ novel is It's In His Kiss (hyacinth's story).. a bit lighter than When He Was Wicked, with that classic JQ humor. Oh and 'Splendid' by her is just... KUDOS! the beginning (minus the prologue) is just stellar! Which JQ's have you read?

  5. Aw, man, I had made a long comment and it just vanished somehow!

    I've read most of the Bridgerton series (including It's in his Kiss, which was the first in the series that I read), Everything and the Moon, Brighter than the Sun, Minx, Splendid, How to Marry a Marquis, and the anthologies. I was slowly working through them when I got bumped out of my groove because of When He Was Wicked. Don't get me wrong -- I liked it! It just was too emotionally draining.

    I rarely just read new releases. We've got a collection of ~3,000 romance novels, because of the blogs, spanning several decades, and I pick and choose from them often. It just so happens that I've read pretty much all of Stephanie Laurens (I may have skipped some anthologies, but I've made it through all the novels). I like her style, and I think she's an eloquent writer. My only real "complaint" is that the heroes are all pretty much the same. So far The Brazen Bride is a little different than what I expected, but it's not bad. I'm reserving judgment. :)

    My favorite author is Kasey Michaels. I've at least *liked* all of her books (at least those that I've read, lol). I got hung up on one book because the heroine of the next was a character I wasn't fond of, so I got out of the mindset for it... Any reviews of her work?

    I also really like Mary Jo Putney, although she has 2 books I didn't like (Dearly Beloved, which I all but hated, and The Bargain which was barely okay). Her Lost Lords series is decent, but I'd say it's probably sub-par for her.

    I suppose I should go through your archives, eh?

  6. lol, I am so bad with my archives. I think I am missing a few, but I'll get to updating soon.

    I think my fav JQ from what you've just listed was 'Brighter Than The Sun'. I got it from the library just to move along in JQ's work (read all BUT the anthologies) and it was just so...I just loved it! It's twice as nice when you don't expect it to steal your breath away! I haven't read too many Stephanie Laurens', and that Bastion Club series is just downright intimidating (14+ books?), but I like her as well.

    -I think I actually dislike Kasey Michaels. I've seen her books around, but I think I picked up a book by her and was so thoroughly turned off I didn't finish and never touched her books again. did she write 'The Dangerous Debutante'? I am not sure, but if she did, but that book threw me off the author's work entirely! Do you have any suggestions so I can re-try her/ try her for the first time?

    and for some reason, I absolutely LOVE the Lost Lords series. The first had it's moments where it kinda lost me (for a second or two), but I loved it overall. And I just finished 'Never Less Than A Lady' and I ADORED IT! It's a book I am discussing heavily in this topic I started in RomanceNovelNews' group on Goodreads. Some didn't fall head over heels like I did, but I am anxious for the next one regardless.

  7. LOL! Yes, that's Kasey Michaels. But in all fairness, it's the second (and weakest) in a very involved 7 book series. It would be difficult I'm sure to get into it there. Out of curiosity, what part was too much? Most people complain about the final book in the series because the hero basically helped raise the heroine, and people found it skeevy (he wasn't THAT much older than her, but he was very attached to her when she was a baby). I didn't care for the heroine in that book as much, but the hero was okay. In the Dangerous Debutante, I just found Morgan to be annoying. So, that said, where to start? The Kissing Game, hands down. A fantastic historical. Or Someone To Love, which is part of a series but can work as a stand alone. If you want contemporary, her "Maggie" series (start with "Maggie Needs An Alibi") is very good, though closed-door.

    I think you're confusing The Bastion Club with the Cynsters. The Bastion Club is only 7 books, not 14. The Cynsters stretch on into eternity, but the first 5 are the core of the series. It gets pretty absurd when you get into the second cousins of best friends, or something like that. But they're consistently decent enough reads, so still better than forehead slappers.

    I'm still reading the Lost Lords series, don't get me wrong. But it's just not as good as, say... her Silk trilogy. Or my absolute favorite book by her, Angel Rogue (a sort of off shoot of the Fallen Angels series -- which is great, too). I'll check out the goodreads topic (you posted it on Facebook, right?).

  8. Lol, I don't remember what it was about the story that did it for me. I hated Morgan, that was for sure. I skimmed enough of it to understand most of it, but it just didn't do it for me. I'll try the kissing game though.

    And yea, I did confuse them. And I'll probably embark on the core 5 books sometime in the fall. I read a cousin book I think, 'The Taste Of Innocence'.. which.. eh.. was alright. A bit of a trail with the secret meetings. It was just like , girl goes to abandoned cottage, guys waiting for her, they make out, he touches some boobs and they make plans to meet up the next was the after wedding part that I really liked. Although (sadistic that I am) wanted the heroine to get a little more banged up. (I am hazy on the ending, but I am pretty sure she was just shot at a few time, nothing life threating (sadly, those are my favs.. the almost dying but miraculous recovery)..

    I'll try some more MJ's and see, because multiple people have told me Lords isn't AS (blank) as her older works, but I am relatively new to her, so we shall see =D

    and yea, I linked my goodreads topic in my recent fb status)

  9. Seriously, The Kissing Game is quick, fun, and a clever read. Good dialogue, cute story, and the LEAST TSTL heroine I've ever read. In fact, she's probably my very favorite heroine. I like deep and "meaningful" books, but this one just made me feel good. Same with The Runaway Duke by Julie Anne Long -- just a happy read all around. I'm glad you'll give it a chance, because even if it doesn't live up to the expectations I've given in, I don't think you'll find any FAULT in it. :)

    The Taste of Innocence? Man, you really do tend to start with the worst books, don't you? lol I actually RETURNED that one, and I NEVER do that. I didn't *hate* it so much as it was just sooo... well, I wrote up a really long review right after I read it, but Amazon ate it. It was, by far, my least favorite by her, and that includes the novellas with no sex! The constant references to her "taste of innocence" drove me crazy. How sad is it that I would still consider that an "okay" read given some of the quality of books I've read? :-P

    As for MJP, Angel Rogue is my favorite book by her (I *ADORE* the hero!), but it's worth waiting until or if you intend to read the rest of the Fallen Angels books. If you're not up for a series (and the religious aspects of Uncommon Vows isn't to your taste), I whole-heartedly recommend The Rake (also called The Rake and the Reformer). It deals with alcoholism pretty seriously, and I don't know if that would put you off, but the book itself is SO well written. The sex is pretty tame, and infrequent, but the love story is beautiful. I don't think that it will diminish your enjoyment of her current books -- I think you'll appreciate her as an author even more.

  10. Yay, there needs to be a list of the best book to try a new author out on. Taste was alright-ish after that unnecessarily long and boring courtship was taken care of.

    And I'll make sure to add all the titles you've suggested to my list. If I come across them, they'll be devoured and we can compare notes! woot!

  11. Sounds like a plan to me. Sorry to hijack your Balogh thread. lol

  12. Lol, no problem. Got a new book buddy out of it, so it all evens out =D




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