Cover Image: Remember Love

Remember Love

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Member Reviews

Remember Love by Mary Balogh is regency love novel.  I recommend this delightful book to all who enjoy a good love story.
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I must admit that I had two different experiences with this book. The first one I didn’t make it through the first couple of chapters but I have been able to finish this time. Is it the best Balogh book? No.p but it is readable. My biggest issue is that we spend so much time with the characters inner thoughts that everything else seems rushed.
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Lord Devlin Ware always believed he had the perfect family, pleasant and willing to share their beautiful estate, Ravenswood, with the entire surrounding countryside. But at age 22, during one of their elaborate parties, Devlin had his illusions shattered and thought to publicly take his family to task, only to find himself the one being sent away.

Devlin took his banishment with determination, enlisting in the army to fight Napoleon and only returning six years later, after his father’s passing, when he was forced to assume the title of Earl. Upon his return, Devlin finds the woman he loved and subsequently lost when he left, Gwyneth Rhys, is still unmarried and paradoxically, willing to help him make sense of the broken family he left behind. Devlin obviously needs Gwyneth’s patience and love, but his ability to offer the same to her in return is questionable at best.

The writing of this book was beautiful, but the pacing was incredibly slow, especially in the second half. I may get a bit spoilery as I get my thoughts out. With all the mutual childhood pining in this setup, I was anticipating a devoted, celibate hero and was sadly disappointed as Devlin becomes just as loose as any other rake there for a while as he adjusts to life as a soldier. I hated the fact that he returned with all this experience while Gwyneth still had none. I loved him at first and was so hopeful about him and instead, we just got another bitter rake hero. Devlin certainly wasn’t the one in the wrong, and his family treated him abominably, but he also acted like a spoiled child and was very unforgiving in his own views. I just felt like he did Gwyneth so wrong that he really didn’t deserve her, so she definitely shines as an incredibly patient and loving heroine for slowly making him see sense and realize he did in fact still possess feelings. Though I must say I did find it rather tiresomely trite to see yet another hero who’s afraid of his emotions. He may have returned from war a bit more mature, but he was still a bit of a prig. On the plus side, I loved Gwyneth’s parents and her brother and found myself very envious of her whole familial situation and there were also some really profound examinations here about what love really is.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Not my favorite. Does fit the history this author writes. If you follow her you should enjoy this story line.
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Mary Balogh remains the queen of regency romance with Remember Love.  Devlin Ware finds that the Earl of Stratton his father has conducted a private live of mistresses and has dared to bring his mistress to a family and community celebration.  Devlin challenges his father and their family about the lies and is ejected so he joins the army with an officer's commission to fight in Spain against Napoleon. Six years later his father is dead, the war is over and he has to return to his duties as Earl of Stratton.  Gwyneth Rhys, the daughter of the local choir director, Sir  Ifor Rhys, loved Devlin but wondered how she felt on his return.  Can Devlin rebuild his family and community and find love in his local community.
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Remember Love is a moving and earnest love story which seems doomed at first and concerns  Devlin and Gwyneth, who take the long road back to each other.
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This is another well written historical romance from Mary Balogh. She takes awhile to set the stage, in this first book in a series, but her main characters, Devlin and Gwyneth are captivating. I recommend this second chance at love romance.
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REMEMBER LOVE is the first book in Mary Balogh’s “Ravenswood” historical romance series. The first half of this book is reminiscent of a fairy tale. Mary Balogh gives readers all the necessary background information on the seemingly idyllic setting and the main characters. There is enough foreshadowing to set readers up for the eventual upsetting of the proverbial apple cart. Apart from the evolving love story, this is a story about family dynamics and the importance of substance versus artifice. Pleasing lies versus complicated truths. Mary Balogh superbly weaves together a compelling story with all these elements.

This is a good story for readers who enjoy the “second chance at love” trope. Gwyneth Rhys grows up having Nicholas Ware as her partner in crime and BFF. Everybody assumes that the pair will eventually be a couple in a romantic sense. The truth is that Gwen pines for Nick’s brother Devlin. Unbeknownst to Gwen, Devlin secretly yearns for her as well. When Devlin’s family unexpectedly explodes, a wrench is thrown into a potentially epic romance. Just as Mary Balogh invites readers to question the definition of happiness in her stories, in REMEMBER LOVE, she has characters who venter into morally gray areas. So many relationships in REMEMBER LOVE have been broken – whether by circumstance or neglect – and the challenge for many of the characters is figuring out how to rebuild while living their truth. This is one of the reasons I love Mary Balogh’s books. Her characters are so multidimensional and work hard to find their version of happiness and sense of self. Like many first books in a series, a good portion of this story involves establishing the main characters and the world they live in. There is an epic quality to this love story, but it isn’t told more intimately until much later in the novel. This is different than many romances that focus on the couple for much of the tale. Although I usually prefer stories focusing almost exclusively on the main romantic relationship and its evolution, I appreciate REMEMBER LOVE because of the terrific storytelling.

REMEMBER LOVE is a story that starts as a fairy tale and evolves into a more complex character-driven tale. I like how Mary Balogh touches on the many ways in which the lives of several characters were forever altered by the same events, but how it took them each in a different direction. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
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I really enjoyed Devlin and Gwyneth's story. I loved watching these two find their way back to one another!
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1808. When a fortune-teller warns Devlin Ware, heir to the Earl of Stratton, that he is ‘a man of principle… about to be faced with an impossible choice between a destructive truth and a corrosive lie,’ surely this is no more than entertainment? But when Devlin publicly accuses his father of shaming his family, it is he whom the assembled family banishes in disgrace. Disillusioned and embittered, he joins the army in the Peninsula and severs contact with them.

1814. Captain Ware returns, scarred by his experiences. Since his father has died, he is now the earl, but might it be impossible to reconcile with offended family, neighbours, and, most importantly, Gwyneth, the girl he left behind? Believing himself no longer capable of love, he hopes she has found it elsewhere, but he is wrong on all counts. Many always did take his side, and more have come to recognize the necessity for decisive action (‘Self-deception was a powerful force,’ his mother acknowledges); he has never been replaced in Gwyneth’s heart; and does not his strong sense of duty prove that he does care for others?

Balogh manages the journey towards healing and reconciliation with her usual keen insight and heart-warming wisdom. As Gwyneth recognizes, we pay a high price for ignoring a reality we find uncomfortable: ‘When people live in denial of the truth . . . they lose something precious . . . integrity, perhaps?’ This warning resonates today more powerfully than ever. Highly recommended.

HNR, Issue 101 (August 2022)
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We'll buy it for my library. Folks love Mary Balogh, though her pacing is a bit slower than I prefer. That being said, this was a solid read.
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Remember Love is the first in a new series by prolific historical romance writer Mary Balogh. I was excited to crack this one open; I was not disappointed.

Devlin Ware has no reason to doubt the goodness, the honorability of his family. His father is the Earl of Stratton, and a family man beyond reproach, or so it is believed. Devlin is his heir, and admires his father in all things, until a celebration on their estate reveals a horrible secret. Exiled from Ravenswood, Devlin goes off to fight Napoleon, leaving much behind.

Gwyneth Rhys and Devlin were in love, but his banishment put an end to their budding romance. It would have been an excellent match, but it wasn’t to be, and Devlin disappears from her life for six long years. When Devlin does finally return, it’s to a devastated family and a life that no longer feels like his. He must set things right, but it’s been a long time, and Devlin doesn’t think he can ever be the person he was, if he can love again, or even if he should.

I am a sucker for a second-chance romance, especially in historicals, although I was a bit taken aback by the structure of the story, since most with a similar plotline and time jump between ‘then’ and ‘now’ have less exposition at the beginning, but it really works here. A lot of books would just begin after the return of the heir and the reader would spend the rest of the plot trying to unravel the mystery of his traumatic banishment. In this case, giving us the full story at the start is a good call. Not only does the reader understand the characters’ motivations, the two principals mostly understand each other. Misunderstandings as a trope have a time and a place, and I’m glad this book doesn’t rely on that.

Remember Love is a pretty angsty read, and Devlin does not always cover himself in glory when it comes to the way he treats Gwyneth. A lot of his coldness to her and others is certainly because of the trauma he experiences, and he does redeem himself in words and in actions by the end. Devlin’s central struggle is with himself; he goes through a lot of change in a very short time, and he needs to reorient his worldview, which is realistic and understandable. Gwyneth is patient without being a pushover, and I really appreciated that. She isn’t shy about what she wants, and she’s seen as desirable by others.

I enjoyed Remember Love a lot. I remain a big Balogh fan, and I’m looking forward to the next few books in the series. The Ware siblings intrigue me and I can’t wait to read the rest of their stories.
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I really enjoy reading Mary Balogh and I always love the chance to read her new ones! I really enjoyed these characters and following their romance! 

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review!
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I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

Devlin Ware, heir to the Earl of Stratton, thought his family was perfect. The entire clan adore parties, and the Countess of Stratton is famed for hosting. But when Dev comes across his father and his mistress in the summer house, during a party, and reveals all, he's shocked to find that he is exiled from all those he loves and cares about, including neighbour Gwyneth Rhys, who he has just revealed his heart to. Now 6 years later, Devlin is heir, and has been hardened by war. He returns to Ravenswood to find the family broken, and Gwyneth nearly engaged to a Welsh musician. Will he be able to remember what it was to love others, or has Devlin been irrevocably changed?

When I first heard about this book, I couldn't wait to read it. I love Mary's books, and the synopsis to Remember Love sounded perfect to me. Devlin was a character I really felt for. His whole world was shattered when he found his father in the arm's of his mistress, and learnt that the perfect image he had of his family was a lie. And to top it all off, he's exiled from home, and has to give up on the love he was just opening himself to. I hated how hard and changed he became before his return home, and was desperate to see him come into his true self again - though it wasn't easy. Gwyneth was perfect for him. She had loved him since a young age, and though people expected that she would one day marry Nicholas, Dev's younger brother and her best friend, it was always Devlin in her eyes. Even after he left, she couldn't bring herself to marry anyone else, though it was becoming a very close this with Alec Morgan. Alec was alright, but he was wrong for her, and she would've hated being his wife, always playing second fiddle to his music. There are some quiet moments in the book, where we get to see the Ware family in a little more detail, as they start to repair their relationships after the 6 long years. I really enjoyed how this book brought together Gwyneth and Devlin, and set the stage for the sequels to a new series!
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An enjoyable series start from Balogh, whose novels are always a treat to read. My only quibble is that the love story felt like it received a bit of short shrift from the world building and character introductions necessary in starting a new series.
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By Mary Balogh

First of all, Mary Balogh has always been a gem and naturally writes the best books ever.  This book was truly a bit different from most of the books I’ve read by her.  

Devin Ware was an incredible and lovable young man who was perfection in his family.  Yet in one evening he discovered life was something he couldn’t deal with, specifically his father’s .  That particular evening was something he couldn’t quite understand.  It started out as perfect but ended up that his life was completely screwed up.  His life was changing, so fast and the next day he was leaving. 

He had enlisted in a fight against Napoleonj and didn’t look back or contact his relatives or friends.  After 6 years life had changed and he was bound to return home.  Mostly because his father was no longer alive and Devin was actually in charge.  Life back home would be quite different, and so was he.  

Between the woman he almost married; his mother, and his brothers and sisters,  Devins life needed to be opened up and lived again.     Very incredible and loving story I truly admired.  

Marilyn Rondeau
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This book was not for me. I don't want to rate it because I did not finish it, but it felt super front heavy with too much presented in the first few chapters. I felt overwhelmed with the entire first chapter attempting to introduce characters. It felt unwieldy and hard to process.
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Within the opening chapters, an idyllic dream is shattered and nothing is ever the same again. Historical Romance Queen, Mary Balogh, introduces a new Regency era series of broken family, new beginnings, and love that can survive any conflict.

Remembering Love starts slow and introduces a place, the people, and the fairy tale like atmosphere of a perfect earldom. The reader is lulled to drowsiness nearly by this rarified atmosphere of perfection. Then the illusion is shattered and the pace and tone of the story switched up and I had no desire to languidly flip pages. The contrast the author created in the sections was clever.

One young man has his eyes opened to the truth. His anger at the pretty lies he was led to believe and the betrayal he feels over being lied to won’t allow Devlin Ware to ignore it when he catches his father flirting and flaunting his secret mistress at a family ball.
The repercussions from Devlin’s choice to call it out publically break his own romantic plans, rupture his connection with his family save the half-brother who joins him, and he chooses his exile to be the warfront for six years. To hold the pieces of himself together when his family turns their back on him that night, he boxes away emotion and the past living in the moment and content with his lot. His father’s death brings the story to part two and Devlin’s return. Devlin has changed, but so has his family and his home. But is the woman who loved him and he loved in return only a thing of the past?

This book shocked me and roused my emotions. Devlin’s choice was a no-win either way, but he made the choice for truth rather than expediency and I can’t be disappointed. His further decision to completely sever the family and romantic connection was understandable if sad. His knot-headed thinking that he was incapable of feeling love or believing in it? Well, that was the heart of the matter and it would take a special woman to do a big ‘hang in there’ with him. Gwyneth fell for the serious, broody Devlin as a child and that was that. Not sure I buy into their ongoing deep love that not only built from childhood mutual infatuation and one day spent together, but survived six year’s absence, but I went with it. I enjoyed having both their narration viewpoints and Gwyneth’s personality and warm Welsh family were bonuses.

As with past books, the author tucks in some thought-provoking themes such as cost of war on the soldiers, cost of infidelity on a family, women having little recourse when the husband did stray, tainted by association, and more. Gives depth and authenticity to a solid plot.

This felt very much like an introductory book to a series, but I still liked it and read it swiftly. There were certain vibes that reminded me strongly of characters and situations in the Westcott series. It left me anticipatory for the rest of the Ware siblings to get their own stories. If readers remember it gets off to a slow, sleepy start, but then gets going with the heart of the story, I think historical romance lovers will enjoy this latest offering of slightly spicy historical romance.
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Mary balogh has a way with writing stories. While the prose itself is well written, it's how she writes stories about relationships that sets her appart from other writers, historical romance and otherwise. 

In Remember Love, I once again fell into her story and couldn't put the book down. 

Devlin comes from the perfect family. He has always tried to uphold the values taught to him, and at 22, is just staring to learn the ways of the world. He finally makes a move on the girl he's always loved only for his life to fall apart when confronted with the truth of his family and the world he lives in.

Gwyn has always loved Devlin. And though both thought the other barely knew they exist, their mutual pining was finally ended. But one perfect day ends at night and they both are forever changed. 

When they come back together years later, they both need to look inward to determine what they truly want. They mature in life and love as they choose happiness. 

I loved Gwyn. How she thinks and acts was intelligent and thoughtful. Balogh often writes characters that seem real which help the story feel deeper and more impactful. 

5 stars
1 spicy
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OK, HERE is a series that could be likened to Bridgerton because it is both a historical romance and a family saga with a large cast of characters you can't wait to watch fall in love. This is the story of the oldest legitimate son and heir, Devlin and the girl next door, Gwyneth, but it's foremost the set-up of a brand-new series. It took me until Chapter 5 to get into this story. There was a LOT Of backstory and scene setting that lost my interest. 

The story kicks off when Devlin is 22 and Gwyneth 18. They have one day of romance before his family drama drives them apart. Then you get a six-year time jump and this becomes a second-chance romance as Devlin returns home from war to take over his birthright and fix his family, never expecting that the girl he loved was still waiting for him. Can he believe in love again?

Setting up the characters relationships with each other takes the majority of the book. Devlin has three brothers and two sisters plus a mother and father. He has complicated feelings to work through with each of them. At least we get a glimpse of who may star in future books! I'm looking forward to his illegitimate older brother Ben's story the most. 

The love scene is open door, but not very steamy. You shouldn't be embarrassed to buy this book for your mom. I did the audiobook and the arc of the e-book in tandem. The narrator, Rosalyn Landor, is FABULOUS. I always enjoy her romance readings.
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