Cover Image: Remember Love

Remember Love

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed Devlin and Gwyneth's story. I loved watching these two find their way back to one another!
Was this review helpful?
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)
https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/remember-love-a-ravenswood-novel/
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
REMEMBER LOVE
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
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local independent retailer
Visit our Amazon Storefront
Was this review helpful?
Disillusioned with his father, the gregarious Earl of Stratton, Devlin Ware becomes estranged from his family and leaves behind his love, Gwyneth Rhys, and purchases a commission during the Napoleanic wars. Returning home to Ravenswood after his father's death, 

Now nearly an old maid, Gwyneth is ready to move on and make a match when Devlin, the man she has loved most of her life, returns. Devlin has returned a more mature, hardened man who professes to no longer believe in love. Can she accept a relationship based on duty alone?

Mary Balogh is still a relatively new author to me, and I so enjoyed Remember Love, the first book in her new Ravenswood series. After making it through the first part of the book, consisting of an introduction to Ravenswood and the Ware family, the story picked up and became a page-turner. From the hypocrisy and heartbreak of his banishment, to Devlin's experiences in the war, and then to the attempts at reconciliation with his family and Gwyneth, this is a touching story filled with appealing characters. Be prepared to be glad this is not a stand-alone.
Recommended with a note that this is a general market Regency Romance, with a scene of intimacy on the page.

This review refers to a temporary digital galley I voluntarily read via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed the writing style that Mary Balogh uses in this novel. It was very atmospheric and made me feel like I was in the scenes with the characters as an observer looking into their lives. I liked how the characters were impacted and changed due to their circumstances, but I felt that in the second half of the book there was less refinement in how the relationship between Devlin and Gwyneth was written and the information that we got on the other characters. We never really got to see behind the veil as to what was going for both Gwyneth and Devlin, and their decisions seemed rushed in the second half of the book without really allowing for processing time. Even though I wanted more depth and information, I did really enjoy the plot and how the book was approached.
Was this review helpful?
BOOK REVIEW:  Remember Love by Mary Balogh
Series:  A Ravenswood Novel Series | Book 1
2022 Publication Date:  July 12

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐⭐️

T.I.M.E. Favorite Books To Read
T.I.M.E. Best Book Club Books
T.I.M.E. Best Books By Genre | Historical Romance
T.I.M.E. Most Anticipated Books Of 2022

CONNECT WITH A BOOK | T.I.M.E. SIMPLE LIVING TIP
Keep the faith in a "winter" season... The "spring" will always come...

T.I.M.E. BOOK REVIEW:  
Loved, loved, loved this book!

Mary Balogh stole my heart with her previous book, Someone Perfect, and forever placed her future books on my "auto-buy" list as an historical romance author that is never satisfied with just writing a fabulous romance story... But raises the ante by infusing her story with a standout strong female character lead and story elements that explore societal issues as well.  Feeding your heart, your soul and your mind.

And I am so thrilled to now have the opportunity to “get in on the ground level” with her new series, A Ravenswood Novel, with Book 1 entitled Remember Love... So just try to keep me from gushing in this review!

To begin with... I am naming this book a T.I.M.E. Favorite Book To Read and Best Books by Genre | Historical Romance.

Plus, you are reading correctly when you see I have also placed Remember Love on my T.I.M.E. Best Book Club Books list as well.  It is super-rare that I name an historical romance novel as a best book recommendation for book club reading selections.  Only because my top picks for book clubs are relegated to books that generally explore topics that would encourage meaningful discussions which often stretch or challenge our understanding of the human condition.  

Literary fiction always tops the list... But I am always looking to stretch the boundaries of best book club books recommendations with additional genres that still present the solid underbelly that nurtures a great book club discussion.

In Remember Love, an exploration of recognizing, acknowledging and accepting responsibility for the truth is at the core of this story.  And I would love to be a part of a book club discussion where each reader dissects and comes to their own conclusion of the events in this story... And perhaps connects their conclusions to modern day headlines.

As one of the characters surmises... "We are a bewildering species."

But, I must admit... Even without the "girders" of this strong undercurrent, the characters, setting, culture, music and romance completely swiped my calendar clean, as I could not put this book down.

All of the characters are absolutely enticing... And I can't wait to see who will be the focus in Book 2 of this series... Save me a place on the waitlist!

Perfect for readers who are looking for a "literary fiction package" tied up with a gorgeous "historical romance bow"... ✨😎✨
 
Pages:  368
Genre:  Historical Romance   
Sub-Genre:  Soul Mates Romance
T.I.M.E. Jalapeno Rating:️  🌶 (Mild Spicy)
Time Period:  1808 - 1816 (Regency Era)
Location:  Hampshire & Wales (England)

IF YOU LIKE THIS BOOK THEN TRY…
Book Series:  A Westcott Novel Series by Mary Balogh       
TV Series:  Poldark 

BOOK SYNOPSIS:
Devlin Ware thought his family was perfect when he was younger until he discovered that they were putting on an act for the public and he exposes the truth about his family.

But in a turn of circumstances, Devlin is the one banished from home. Burdened with feelings of guilt and disappointment, he enlists in the army. After six years away, his father dies and he has been called back as the heir. He is not sure what to expect, but he knows that he will have to confront his past.

When Devlin returns home, he finds that Ravenwood and his family are struggling. Devlin is determined to help them, but he also has to deal with his feelings for Gwyneth Rhys, the woman he loved and lost years ago amidst the fall out of exposing the truth.

Gwyneth still loves Devlin, but she knows that he is haunted by his past. She is patient with him as he tries to piece his life back together, but she wonders if he will ever be able to open up to her again.

Will Devlin finally have a chance at happiness with Gwyneth by his side?

Remember Love is a story of family, love, second chances... and the ever elusive razor's edge of living in the truth... or at least with the truth.

BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION:
Is it ever too late for second chances?
The truth can be difficult to face, but is it always worth it in the end?
Can love overcome anything if you are willing to fight for it?
Explore modern-day examples of recognizing, acknowledging, and accepting responsibility for the truth

RELATED QUOTE:
"You have always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself." - The Wizard of Oz

--------------------

All my book reviews can be seen at This Is My Everybody | Simple Living | Denise Wilbanks at www.thisismyeverybody.com/blog/what-book-should-i-read  

♡ Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. I voluntarily chose to review it and the opinions contained within are my own.
Was this review helpful?
My joint review with Kaetrin was posted on July 19th, 2022 and can be found at Dear Author. Here is an excerpt.

Kaetrin: Remember Love is clearly the beginning of a new series for Balogh – the first chapters introduce a huge cast of characters (so many names!!). I counted a potential of at least 6 more novels in the Ravenswood series.

Devlin Ware is the eldest legitimate son of the Earl of Stratton, owner of Ravenswood Park in Boscombe. There is an older brother, Ben Ellis (and I want his story so much now) who is illegitimate and was born before the earl’s marriage to Devlin’s mother. He came to live with the Wares as a very young child and appears to have been largely raised with the Ware siblings. Ben is now the steward at Ravenswood and he and Devlin run the estates for the earl.

The book begins in 1808 when Devlin is 22. The earl is vibrant and entrepreneurial, great at socialising and always the life of the party. Devlin is… not. Devlin’s next younger brother, Nick, has inherited their father’s affable flair but Devlin is more contained and introverted. He’s a serious young man and very self-righteous, valuing duty and integrity and service to those he loves. He’s not a stick in the mud though and he’s also not jealous of his brother constantly outshining him.

Janine: I thought what happens later revealed him to be a bit of a stick in the mud, actually. There was a rigidness to him.

Kaetrin: I guess it depends on your definition of “stick in the mud”. He was pretty rigid about duty but he was not humorless or lacking in emotion.

Janine: Yes, you’re right.

Kaetrin: Devlin is in love with their neighbour Gwyneth Rhys, daughter of Sir Ifor and Lady Bronwyn Rhys who own a property which borders Ravenswood.

The review continues here: https://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/overall-b-reviews/b-minus-reviews/joint-review-remember-love-by-mary-balogh/
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars

Devlin Ware is a young viscount, seemingly living an idyllic life at his family’s country home.  He is learning how to manage the estate for that distant time when he inherits the earldom.  His family is happy, their tenants and the town are content, and they are well respected.  If only Gwyneth, from the neighboring estate loved him instead of his brother.. Then one magical day, at the annual fair, Devlin learns that Gwyneth is indeed best friends with his brother, but they have no romantic feelings for each other.  In fact, Gwyneth has been in love with Devlin forever, too.  A sweet kiss starts what would seem to be a beautiful romance, until disaster happens.  A sordid family secret, Devlin’s reaction, and the ensuing fallout tears the family apart.  Devlin is sent away from home.  The serious and dutiful young man who only knew how to be a gentleman, enlists as a common soldier and goes off to war. 

Gwyneth Rhys has enjoyed her friendship with her neighbor, Nicholas, for many years.  They played as children, and still maintained their friendship even into young adulthood.  Yet, when people begin to speculate that an engagement if in the offing, they both agree to spend more time apart.  This gives Gwyneth the opportunity to spend time with Devlin, the man she really loves.  Their magical day ends horribly, and Devlin visits her the next morning to advise her that he has been banished, and is leaving forever.  Gwyneth’s anger, tears, and harsh words don’t change Devlin’s mind, and he departs, with both of them being broken hearted.

Six years have passed, and Devlin has become a hardened, scarred soldier, rising to the rank of captain on his own merit.  Two years ago, he learned that his father died, and he was now the Earl of Stratton.  Still, he didn’t return home until now, with the fighting finally over.  He reluctantly returns to his former home, finding that his family has changed as much as he has.  His broken relationship with his mother is polite, at best.  His sister, once outgoing and social, has become a recluse.  His other siblings never knew the full details of the fallout from years ago, and tread lightly.  Devlin only hopes that Gwyneth has long since married and moved far away.  He is soon to find out that Gwyneth has turned down proposals, and is still living next door, though equally hoping not to encounter Devlin.

Of course, Devlin and Gwyneth are bound to meet again.  They are both stilted and polite, and their contact is initially painful.  My heart broke for the gentle, kind, dutiful, and moral young man who only acted in what he felt was a justifiable manner, and had his whole life upended.  He now feels he has lost his ability to love, and only exists to do his duty to his title.  Ever so slowly, the warmth of the townspeople begins to chip away at his walls.  At long last, his family begins to talk, and a little more of the walls come down.  When a convenient marriage to his former love comes within his grasp, he accepts, while making it clear that he has no love to give.  REMEMBER LOVE is a compelling book, with a very complex situation at the heart of the conflict.  I truly love Devlin, as I admire the qualities he had as a young man, plus, I always feel for a soldier (or anyone) who bears wounds, physical or mental.  The heartwrenching story is a sometimes painful, but ultimately joyful, tale of Devlin’s journey, which takes him back to happiness, once he is able to REMEMBER LOVE.  This is another beautifully written book by Mary Balogh, who is a master at penning stories that delve deep into emotions, and hold the reader transfixed.
Was this review helpful?
Best-selling author Mary Balogh has outdone herself yet again with her latest novel, Remember Love, the first title in her new Ravenswood series.

Growing up, Devlin Ware had always been so proud of his family. Devlin believed that his family was comprised of honest and honorable people who stood for everything that was right, decent and proper. However, Devlin soon learned that he had been mistaken. The scales had well and truly fallen from his eyes when he realized that he had been lied to his entire life and that the foundations of his very existence had been built on dishonesty and deceit. At the age of twenty-two, Devlin had called out his family publicly and he had been denounced as a traitor and thrown out of his family home. Being ostracized by your own kin is bad enough, but Devlin’s departure from Ravenswood, the family estate, also meant bidding farewell to the woman he loved: Gwyneth Rhys.

Devlin had gone to war to fight against Napoleon. He never believed that he would ever set foot in Ravenswood ever again – until he received news that his father had died, his family’s broken and he is now the new Earl of Stratton! Returning back home means having to face old ghosts and demons head on, however, going back to Ravenswood will also force him in close proximity to the woman he has never quite managed to forget: Gwyneth.

Kind-hearted Gwyneth is ready to let bygones be bygones and to hold out her hand in friendship in order to help Devlin navigate the choppy waters he has found himself adrift in. Gwyneth will help him to piece together his fractured family and her kindness, patience and understanding once again manages to get past the barriers he had built around his heart. But is Devlin willing to let Gwyneth in? Is he prepared to take a chance on love? Or is he about to lose her all over again?

Mary Balogh’s name on a book cover is a surefire guarantee of high quality historical romance and Remember Love is another exceptional example of her storytelling prowess. Sparkling with exquisite period detail and full of emotion, pathos and intensity, Remember Love is a gentle, hopeful and heartwarming second-chance historical romance that brought a tear to my eye.

Mary Balogh’s characters are complex, layered, and beautifully drawn and both Devlin and Gwyneth are wonderfully realized protagonists it is impossible not to care about. Their love story is splendidly evoked and readers will feel every single emotion Devlin and Gwyneth go through.

Poignant, engrossing and immensely enjoyable, Remember Love is the latest first class tale from the grande dame of historical romance: Mary Balogh.
Was this review helpful?