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Only Beloved (A Survivors' Club Novel)…
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Only Beloved (A Survivors' Club Novel) (edition 2016)

by Mary Balogh (Author)

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1187102,161 (3.8)4
Member:Laura_lita
Title:Only Beloved (A Survivors' Club Novel)
Authors:Mary Balogh (Author)
Info:Berkley (2016), 400 pages
Collections:eBooks, To read
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Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
It’s difficult to come into a series and begin reading with the final book. In a well-written series this should not be a problem and after reading Only Beloved I truly wished I had read the previous books in the Survivors Club series as there were many instances where characters and situations were referred to and it would have been nice to know the backstory. This is why I prefer to read a series from the first book.

It seems the Duke of Stanbrook had briefly met Miss Dora Debbins at the conclusion of book number six. She seems to have made an impression on him because based on their first meeting approximately eighteen months prior to the start of the story, Duke George takes himself off to visit her again and propose marriage. Dora has given up hope of finding a husband as she is thirty-nine years of age and set in her life as a spinster music teacher. But Duke George seems to think they are perfectly matched and so the marriage progresses.

What follows is a slow and oftentimes painful recounting of their first months of marriage. The story moves but not quick enough to maintain the reader’s interest. The characters were fine but could have used a bit more fleshing out. Of course there’s a dilemma since the duke is a widower and it is up to his new wife to help purge him of his demons. ( )
  AuthorMarion | Feb 6, 2017 |
This was basically a winding up of the series. Seeing all the characters again was interesting but I just found the initial remance between George, Duke of Stanbrook and Dora Debbins not to be quite believable. If there was some meeting before and yearning there I would have found it better. They also didn't feel like they were the ages they were supposed to be. They came across as much younger.

The thriller aspect was interesting but a little too much, it was like an afterthought in this wrap-up. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Sep 5, 2016 |
Amazing. Satisfying. Complete. The Best from the Best.

Ms. Balogh KNOWS her characters, and she never fails to bring forth their personality every time they show up. If you've read any of the previous Survivor's Club novels, you know there is a story behind the Duke of Stanbrooke's loss of his son and wife, and there sure was... and, of course, it is revealed in layers. Never all at once.

Even when I am tired of reading Historical Romance Novels, I can always read a novel by Mary Balogh. Her stories are never trite, repeated, or lackluster. She's not your average author!

About the Reader, Roslyn Landor: She, once again, reads Ms. Balogh's newest story with the right amount of everything, resulting in a well-told story where the narrator blends in, not stand out. ( )
  Conkie | Jul 12, 2016 |
Only Beloved by Mary Balogh is a 2016 Signet publication.

It is always sad when a series comes to an end, but it helps tremendously if it gets a solid, satisfying conclusion, sending it riding off into the sunset with style.

I rarely get the chance to read a series, in order, from start to finish, but I managed to do that with the ‘Survivor’s Club’. Each story has been centered around a survivor of the Neapolitan war, each one needing a little more emotional healing than is usually provided. But, the one person we never got to know, was George, the Duke of Stanbrook, the man who so graciously opened up his home for the survivors.

George has nurtured, listened, consoled, and bolstered everyone who sought refuge with him, but now that all the survivors have found love, are starting families and moving forward with their lives, he finds that he feels empty, lonely, and in need of companionship. At the thought of re-marrying, the first person that comes to mind is the woman he met briefly a year ago… Dora Debbins.

George doesn’t let grass grow under his feet. He immediately seeks Dora out and wastes no time in making an offer of marriage, which she doesn’t hesitate to accept. Both of them feel quite content with the knowledge they will be very good friends, companions, and lovers, sans the sweeping romantic gestures and proclamations of true love. Theirs is a mature relationship based on mutual respect and a genuine fondness for each other.

But, their wedding day is fraught with unforeseen drama when George’s former brother-in-law barges in making all manner of ugly accusations against George, intimating his first wife’s death was more than it appears. Could there be any truth to these slanderous accusations?

For Dora, the prospect of getting married without her mother present, has her contemplating the prospect of reaching out to the woman who abandoned her and her two siblings, running away with her alleged lover, never once attempting to make contact with them again. Is it too late to forge a relationship? Is there more to the circumstances than meets the eye? Can Dora forgive her mother after all this time?

To me, Mary Balogh is the queen of Regency romance. She sets the story around this era of time, but provides mature, adult characters with real depth and meaty dilemmas for them to face and work out, while writing the most sensuous and romantic love stories I have ever read.

While the story does not lead up to a wedding, which is usually the way a romantic story concludes, this one begins with a wedding, but don’t let that fool you. This couple is laboring under the illusion that all that romantic love and starry eyed romance is only for the young, but soon find that is not the case.

Watching Dora, slowly draw George out, getting him to open up about his sad first marriage and the loss of his only son, is very emotional, but it’s time for George to receive a little healing himself.

But the most rewarding part of the story was how I felt as though I was right there with George and Dora as they got to know each other, faced challenges, adjusted to married life, and delighted in one another’s company, falling hopelessly and helplessly in love with each passing day, right before my very eyes. Big sigh!

But, be warned, this almost whimsical part of the tale will lure you into a false sense of security, because while George and Dora may be blissfully happy, others are still harboring dark, bitter thoughts and could be plotting a horrifying plan of retribution, giving this story a true edge of suspense I had not anticipated.

Just like in the other segments of this series, the backstories are quite emotional and, once again, I found myself swallowing back a lump in my throat on a couple of occasions. George’s story is sordid and horrifying, but, while love is patient, so must we be, with good things coming to those who wait, and the wait for Dora and George was worth it, as they receive every good thing they deserve and more!

Overall, this love story was the perfect ending to a near perfect series. I loved touching base with the other survivors and seeing George finally have his very own happily ever after, especially after he selflessly gave so much to others. ( )
1 vote gpangel | Jun 14, 2016 |
A bit of nostalgia and remembrance colors my review, this being the conclusion to a seven book series. I’ve followed these characters through some tough times, watching them find romance and healing while building families. This book wraps up the series beautifully, giving our last Survivor a romance all his own.

I love that the older generation gets a bit of nookie; our leads are 48 and 39. Both George and Dora have dedicated their lives to family and as caregivers that it’s fantastic to see them build a life for themselves later in life. I love it when we get to see romance in an older generation; goes to show that love can happen at any time in life, no matter an age.

I especially love it that Dora and George get their own happily ever after. George has so much love and caring to give that it boggles the mind. His heart makes the Earth look small, and it wants to give shelter to all the world’s hurt, misplaced, or damaged individuals. After his past is revealed, the ability he has to heal and love all his Survivor club shines ever brighter.

Dora is just as caring and loving. She dedicated her entire life to her younger sister to provide her with a secure home, sacrificing her chance at a Season and family of her own. Even though she had resigned herself to a comfortable spinster future, I adored that she got her second chance at family and love. Her healing ways worked again at bringing George some peace and comfort after his past comes to light.

These two together are gold. Even though the marriage starts out as a comfortable agreement for all parties involved, it’s inevitable that a love match would follow given their personalities. They each provide what the other needs: a family, a future, a second chance, and everlasting love. While that sounds smoopy, it’s true. That’s the kind of emotion this book creates.

A resounding success as a conclusion to this beloved series, the book ties up everything and gives George and Dora their happily ever after that’s so richly deserved. Two individuals with a capacity to love that knows no bounds, the reader can’t help but love them back and root them on as they build a better future. Highly recommended for lovers of the series. Those who haven’t partook of past volumes may be a bit lost when secondary characters are discussed, but I think you’d still be able to appreciate and enjoy George’s and Dora’s story. It’s a romance worth savoring. ( )
1 vote Sarah_Gruwell | May 16, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Baloghprimary authorall editionscalculated
Landor, RosalynReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Books, RecordedPublishersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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George Crabbe, Duke of Stanbrook, stood at the foot of the steps outside his London home on Grosvenor Square, his right hand still raised in farewell even though the carriage bearing his two cousins on their journey home to Cumberland was already out of sight.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451477782, Mass Market Paperback)

From the legendary New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss and Only a Promise comes the final book in the rapturous Survivor’s Club series—as the future of one man lies within the heart of a lost but never-forgotten love...

For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again. 

Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.

For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 14 Sep 2015 12:00:57 -0400)

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