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Mary Balogh

Author of Slightly Dangerous

184+ Works 40,062 Members 1,388 Reviews 105 Favorited

About the Author

Mary Balogh was born in Swansea, Wales on March 24, 1944. She received a B.A. with honors from the University of Wales in 1965. From 1967 to 1988, she taught high school English in Saskatchewan, Canada, becoming principal of the school in 1982. Her first novel, A Masked Deception, was published in show more 1985 and she won the Romantic Times Award for best new Regency writer. Since then, she has written more than 60 novels and has received a lifetime achievement award for her work in the genre of historical romance. Her works include The Wood Nymph, Christmas Promise, The Plumed Bonnet, Famous Heroine, A Matter of Class, No Man's Mistress, More than a Mistress, One Night for Love, and Only a Kiss. Her title's Someone to Hold and Someone to Care made The New York Times Bestseller List. (Bowker Author Biography) Mary Balogh grew up in Wales. She later came to Canada to teach & there she began a second career as an author. (Publisher Provided) show less
Image credit: Photo of Author from her Official Home Page


Works by Mary Balogh

Slightly Dangerous (2004) 1,267 copies
Slightly Married (2003) 1,159 copies
Slightly Scandalous (2003) 1,071 copies
Slightly Wicked (2003) 1,028 copies
A Summer to Remember (2002) 1,004 copies
Slightly Tempted (2004) 973 copies
Slightly Sinful (2004) 968 copies
First Comes Marriage (2009) 959 copies
Simply Unforgettable (2005) 917 copies
Simply Love (2006) 905 copies
Then Comes Seduction (2009) 861 copies
At Last Comes Love (2009) 856 copies
Simply Magic (2007) 788 copies
More than a Mistress (2000) 784 copies
The Secret Pearl (1991) 767 copies
Simply Perfect (2008) 728 copies
Seducing an Angel (2009) 724 copies
One Night for Love (1999) 721 copies
A Secret Affair (2010) 677 copies
The Proposal (2012) 658 copies
No Man's Mistress (2001) 632 copies
The Ideal Wife (1991) 609 copies
The Gilded Web (1989) 601 copies
A Matter of Class (2009) 578 copies
The Arrangement (2013) 548 copies
Irresistible (1998) 519 copies
The Devil's Web (1990) 497 copies
Web of Love (1990) 478 copies
The Secret Mistress (2011) 460 copies
A Precious Jewel (1993) 446 copies
The Escape (2014) 427 copies
Someone to Love (2016) 421 copies
A Christmas Promise (1992) 399 copies
Only Enchanting (2014) 393 copies
It Happened One Night [Anthology 4-in-1] (2008) — Contributor — 356 copies
Silent Melody (1997) 349 copies
Heartless (1995) 346 copies
Indiscreet (1997) 341 copies
Someone to Wed (2017) 331 copies
Only a Promise (2015) 331 copies
Only a Kiss (2015) 326 copies
Only Beloved (2016) 294 copies
Someone to Hold (2017) 283 copies
Someone to Care (2018) 257 copies
Someone to Trust (2018) 254 copies
The Heart of Christmas (2009) — Contributor — 251 copies
It Happened One Season (2011) — Contributor — 247 copies
Unforgiven (1998) 247 copies
Someone to Honor (2019) 245 copies
Longing (1994) 215 copies
The Temporary Wife (1997) 211 copies
Truly (1996) 188 copies
Someone to Romance (2020) 179 copies
Someone to Remember (2019) 179 copies
Lady with a Black Umbrella (1989) 177 copies
Lord Carew's Bride (1995) 177 copies
Dancing with Clara (1994) 175 copies
Thief of Dreams (1998) 171 copies
The Famous Heroine (1996) 171 copies
Tangled (1994) 163 copies
Beyond the Sunrise (1992) 161 copies
The Plumed Bonnet (1996) 161 copies
Dark Angel (1994) 158 copies
Bespelling Jane Austen [Anthology 4-in-1] (2010) — Contributor — 156 copies
An Unlikely Duchess (1990) 156 copies
The Obedient Bride (1989) 154 copies
Someone to Cherish (2021) 154 copies
A Christmas Bride (1997) 147 copies
The Last Waltz (1998) 146 copies
The Notorious Rake (1992) 141 copies
Someone Perfect (2021) 140 copies
An Unacceptable Offer (1988) 136 copies
Remember Love (2022) 136 copies
The First Snowdrop (1986) 136 copies
A Masked Deception (1985) 135 copies
Tempting Harriet (1994) 134 copies
A Chance Encounter (1985) 132 copies
The Incurable Matchmaker (1990) 130 copies
Snow Angel (1991) 129 copies
The Double Wager (1985) 127 copies
Love's Legacy [Anthology 11-in-1] (1996) — Contributor — 125 copies
A Counterfeit Betrothal (1992) 123 copies
The Ungrateful Governess (1988) 123 copies
Courting Julia (1993) 115 copies
A Certain Magic (1991) 114 copies
Christmas Keepsakes (1998) — Contributor — 114 copies
Christmas Belle (1994) 113 copies
Daring Masquerade (1989) 111 copies
The Suitor (2013) 110 copies
The Trysting Place (1986) 110 copies
Red Rose (1986) 110 copies
A Promise of Spring (1990) 107 copies
Deceived (1993) 104 copies
Secrets of the Heart (1988) 100 copies
Christmas Beau (1991) 100 copies
Rakes and Rogues (5-in-1) (1993) — Contributor — 99 copies
The Wood Nymph (1987) — Author — 94 copies
A Gift of Daisies (1989) 87 copies
Gentle Conquest (1987) 87 copies
A Regency Valentine II (5-in-1) (1992) — Contributor — 82 copies
The Constant Heart (1987) 82 copies
Dashing & Dangerous (5-in-1) (1995) — Contributor — 70 copies
Captured Hearts (5-in-1) (1995) — Contributor — 69 copies
A Regency Valentine 1 (5-in-1) (1991) — Contributor — 69 copies
Full Moon Magic (5-in-1) (1992) — Contributor — 68 copies
Moonlight Lovers: Five Love Stories to Enchant You (1993) — Contributor — 62 copies
Once Upon a Dream (Anthology 2-in-1) (2016) — Contributor — 62 copies
Angel Christmas [5-in-1 anthology] (1995) — Contributor — 60 copies
Blossoms: Five Stories (1995) — Contributor — 59 copies
Tokens of Love (5-in-1) (1993) — Contributor — 56 copies
Now a Bride (2011) 55 copies
From the Heart: Five Love Stories (anthology) (1994) — Contributor — 44 copies
A Regency Summer (5-in-1) (1992) — Contributor — 41 copies
Second Chances [4 in 1 anthology] (1992) — Author — 17 copies
The Betrothal (Anthology 3-in-1) (2010) — Contributor — 6 copies
No Room at the Inn (1993) 6 copies
Playing House 4 copies
The Best Christmas Ever (1991) 3 copies
Racconti di San Valentino: Valentine Tales (2003) — Author — 3 copies
A Handful of Gold (1998) 2 copies
The North Tower 2 copies
Spellbound (2008) 2 copies
The Bond Street Carolers (1997) 2 copies
The Surprise Party (1995) 1 copy
Another Dream (2016) 1 copy
Only Love 1 copy
My Lady Weihnachtsband '94 — Contributor — 1 copy
Miss Catastrophe (2022) 1 copy

Associated Works

Sense and Sensibility (1811) — Afterword, some editions — 37,150 copies
The Talisman Ring (1936) — Foreword, some editions — 1,547 copies
All This, and Heaven Too (1938) — Foreword, some editions — 218 copies
The Weaver Takes a Wife (1999) — Foreword, some editions — 103 copies


19th century (965) anthology (509) audio (154) Austen (471) Balogh (184) Bedwyn (149) British (550) British literature (515) Christmas (273) classic (1,579) classic literature (191) classics (1,633) ebook (935) England (1,089) English (227) English literature (463) family (140) fiction (5,750) historical (1,675) historical fiction (730) historical romance (3,749) Jane Austen (621) Kindle (412) library (187) literature (704) love (173) Mary Balogh (514) novel (695) own (484) owned (204) paperback (174) read (1,138) Regency (3,624) Regency England (217) Regency romance (675) romance (6,947) series (442) sisters (289) to-read (2,914) unread (609)

Common Knowledge



regency romance about forced engagement in Name that Book (February 2016)
Romance Novel Help in Name that Book (June 2013)


This is a traditional Regency, with all that entails. I like the hero (Avery) and heroine (Anna). Imagine believing you are an orphan, and then, without any warning, you find you inherit a great deal of money and a family. Money is good, but your new family isn't all that fond of you. Avery is a fascinating character whose past slowly unfolds.

There is much to enjoy in this book. Recommended for fans of Regencies.
Jean_Sexton | 29 other reviews | Dec 3, 2023 |
My favourite in the series so far. I really enjoyed the characters and the dialog. An enjoyable read.
PurplOttr | 19 other reviews | Dec 1, 2023 |
A Precious Jewel had a few precious moments and overall was a sweet and simple romance with an emphasis on the simple. Some of the things I appreciate about Balogh's style of writing is her more nuanced world. Her books tend to have some symbolism and are a bit more "literary", for lack of a better term. The plot of this was fairly straightforward, but it was intriguing and fun. I like the idea of a mistress turned wife. Since her stories are simple, so are her characters, but this is where she falls short. While they do have layers, there's an over-arching dimness to them that doesn't dissipate, mainly because there's no great trial to rid them of it.

Take the hero Gerald: we are immediately told that he's not particularly strong or handsome. Just average looking. Later on, we learn he's not particularly smart, quick, a good dancer, athletic, nor brave or generous. Normally, I like reading about realistic characters, and there's nothing more realistic than an average person all too aware of their shortcomings and who are self-conscious of them. But when I read romance, I want the exciting fantasy. I don't need a hero who's both Hercules and Prince Charming, but I want someone with redeeming qualities. Gerald has none. Just a tale of woe that should make me pity him but doesn't. It doesn't help that he continually sees the heroine as his property, an object, and refuses to see her as a human being with a past and feelings.

Which brings me to the manic pixie dream girl heroine. Priscilla Wentworth certainly has a past, hobbies, a personality, desires, fears, strengths and weaknesses. She can play the piano and can balance accounts. She's a very compelling character. I like her, but I can't for the life of me understand why she falls for Gerald. The only reason I can think of is that he's easy to please in bed. She literally just lies there. After a few sessions of this, she falls in love. Even after he's rude and dismissive towards her, she still loves him. It's beyond my comprehension.

This book is a missed opportunity. With Balogh's style of writing and world-building, this should've been a home run. Instead, we have a male wish-fullfillment fantasy novel, which has no place in the romance industry. Sorry not sorry. There are already enough of those out in the world.
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readerbug2 | 14 other reviews | Nov 16, 2023 |
I preferred The Plumed Bonnet over The Famous Heroine. The former was a solid 4 for me with an intelligent if somewhat flighty heroine and a hero who goes back and forth between dashing and rakish. In spite of all his faults, Stephanie wasn't a pushover, and I appreciated that about her. I really believed their happily ever after, and I think they're a good match.

When you like a book, it's easy to praise, but disliking a book is so much more complicated. There are a few reasons why I didn't like The Famous Heroine that contributed to its 2 stars that I gave it. First of all, Cora (the heroine) is the most insipid character I have read in a while. I can't stand stupid women, and she is as stupid as they come. Readers are supposed to see her good heart because she's willing to dash into danger to save someone, but she ends up being reckless and endangering everyone more. Her inability to think under pressure is extremely aggravating to read about.

The second thing I disliked was her relationship with Francis. Throughout the story, Balogh shows us how Francis is never taken seriously by his friends and family in anything because of how he dresses and because he can always laugh away a bad situation. He's supposed to love Cora because she constantly makes him laugh at silly situations. What I wish is that Cora had the ability to see the hero in all his dimensions. She never appreciated or even noticed his more introspective moments. She never saw anything behind the mask he showed society. That's not an equal relationship, and I was disappointed in her shallowness of character.

Overall, this installment was middling for me. Perhaps someone else will enjoy reading about a hero who carries the emotional weight of the relationship and prefers a simple story. If you want something a little more complex and interesting (but not overly so), I recommend The Plumed Bonnet.
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readerbug2 | 3 other reviews | Nov 16, 2023 |



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