Cover Image: Remember Love

Remember Love

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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

Keep the faith in a "winter" season... The "spring" will always come...

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)

Book Series: A Westcott Novel Series by Mary Balogh
TV Series: Poldark

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.

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

"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

♡ Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. I voluntarily chose to review it and the opinions contained within are my own.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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You can't go wrong with Mary Balogh, her stories are incredibly written, always full of intense emotion and drama and this is no different. She really is the mistress of the historical romance!!

Remember Love is the first in a brand new Ravenswood series, it's always good to start a series from the very first page as we get to be introduced to the characters and in this case the entire family right from page one. I liked how the first chapter is all about introducing the reader to the Ware family, each member from his lordship right down to his youngest daughter. Each character is wonderfully developed from the off, and we see real personality coming through in those first introductions which set the series up perfectly.

This book as well as getting to know his lordship; Caleb Ware, but the main focus in this is his son Devlin, now anyone who knows me will know how much I love a soldier and Devlin has me all a dither, I will only say one thing about Devlin; think Sharpe, with less swearing.

This story is all about rebuilding and building bridges where they have been blown up, rebuilding relationships and the importance of it would be a Mary Balogh book with an enticing and mesmerizing love story, and that is just what we have here between Devlin and Gwyneth!

A definite must-read, another series to become addicted to, from the great Mary Balogh!!

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Gwyneth Rhys and Devlin Ware, the future Earl of Stratton, have been in love with each other from afar for years, until one perfect day when they discover their mutual feelings. That same day the situation unravels when Devlin finds out his father’s fidelity is a farce. Devlin calls him out on it in a very public way and is cast out ruining their plans, at least for now.

Devlin goes off to fight in the Napoleonic War while Gwyneth stays home and attempts to move on with her heart. Six years later, Devlin returns to take up his duties of Earl since his father has died, but he’s a changed man who feels incapable of being in love after everything he’s gone through. However, seeing Gwyneth and his beloved family reawakens feelings he never thought he’d have again, feelings that he’s intent on denying.

Remember Love, the first book in the Ravenswood series, was oh-so-lovely! I’m a huge sucker for a second chance romance. I just loved every minute of the story, from Devlin and Gwyneth’s initial time together, longing from afar and that magical time spent together, to years later discovering that attraction and pull had never died, even though Devlin was in a bit of denial and had to work through his feelings. But I also adored the rest of the families. Gwyneth’s parents and brother were so loving and supportive, and Devlin’s siblings were as well, even though I can see Philippa, Stephanie and Ben bear the scars from finding out that their father wasn’t the man they thought. That very public revelation had repercussions they each had to endure, and I think we’ll be finding out just how it affected each of the siblings in the books to come. I hope we get a story for each of the Ware’s and for Ben, the oldest son, of the clan from a dalliance before the senior Earl was married.

Mary Balogh’s writing is beautiful, she brought each of the characters to life, and I felt their hopes, dreams, disappointments, heartbreak, and joy deeply! I eagerly await the next story!

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Ravenswood Series Book 1
Mary Balogh
Historical Romance

Set in the Regency era, this book is about two people madly in love who are ripped apart due to duty and honor. They are untied six years later. Will they be able to rekindle that love or be trapped in a loveless marriage?

I absolutely loved this book. Mary Balogh is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I am so glad I got to read this from the beginning of the series. It was definitely a 5 star book for me. I will be on pins and needles until the next books in the series.

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I haven’t read a Mary Balogh book for a long time and was very excited to be reading this one and the start of a new series, yay. We get to meet Devlin Ware heir to the Stratton title and Gwyneth Rhys neighbours who have grown up together and after a slow start to the story part two brings out some truths and lots of emotion.

Devlin has grown up in a close and happy family, their country estate of Ravenswood is open to the village and all are welcome, they hold many events including fetes and balls, Devlin is twenty two when the world as he knows it is turned upside down and he speaks up about his father and is sent away from all that he loves, his family and home and the girl he wanted to marry.

He enlists to fight Napoleon with not much care about his safety and wiping his family from his memory, but six years later his father is dead and he now is the Earl of Stratton and it is time to go home and take up his position, his family are all different and Devlin is a very different person having decided that there is no such thing as love, but when Gwyneth decides that Devlin does have a heart and wants to pick up where they left off six years before, things move with her strong determination and there are lots of smiles from this reader.

Although this books starts very slowly with too many characters and names and descriptions, when Delvin returns, part two of the story it moves really well and digs deep into the emotions of Devlin and Gwyneth, will she be able to help Devlin return to himself and find love, because I really loved Devlin and Gwyneth they were made for each other, will the family once again become the happy family they were before the scandal, and who’s story is next, it is one that I am really looking forward to.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy to read and review

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I usually like Mary Balogh's novels--I find them slow yet comfortable--but I really struggled to finish Remember Love.

As the series starter, it has to introduce all the Ware siblings and their situation, which left the first half of the story feeling overly descriptive and almost stuffed with narrative exposition. We're introduced to Devlin and Gwyneth, but also to his brothers and sisters and father and mother and extended family members. I found those early chapters very slow going, perhaps because Devlin and Gwyn's feelings for each other only play out over ONE day.

Around the 40% mark, we jump forward six years to Devlin returning to Ravenswood, and I felt some disconnect between younger Devlin and present Devlin. His emotional changes make sense considering what happened to him, but it's all offscreen developments. And the romance really doesn't pick up again until three-quarters into the novel, which didn't feel like enough time for it to develop.

It felt like two separate stories--Devlin and Gwyn's initial feelings for each other, and then the conclusion six years later--and I almost would have preferred that it was split into two separate stories. (That's atypical for a historical romance, but it might have worked!) Or perhaps their romance would have worked better as the series ender rather than the series starter, for maximum slow-burn potential?

In short: very slow, but I'm interested in how the series continues

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✔️ a good debut novel and I assume start of a new series series
✔️ definitely highlights the lack of choices for women in this era
🔘 the characters - especially Kitty - didn’t feel to have a lot of depth . She came across scheming and shallow at times
✖️ i would have liked more interaction and witty banter between Kitty and Radcliffe - I felt like they didn’t really have enough time to form a strong bond

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Mary analogy is the queen of a family romance epic and in Remember Love she introduces us to her new family saga. Balogh had the lyrical skill to slowly build a romance that is full of care and heart. If you love a slow burn romance that is peoples by many interesting characters, Balogh is always a fantastic option. Her prose reads a bit like an Austen or Brontë. It holds a depth of feeling and history that give a gravity to her characters and the situations they find themselves in. Through care and patience Balogh builds tension and chemistry that feels really to the work and her characters.

This is a second chance, unrequited romance between Devlin and Gwyneth. When they were 22 years old they both finally found the courage to confess their love for the other but then are torn apart by a family secret on Devlin’s side. Now 6 years, a war, a father’s death and a title inheritance later, Devlin is back and ready to take control of his family.

Mary Balogh takes her time in building up the past and relationships before time jumping to the main plot points of the novel. When reading a Balogh you should expect a slow build with low heat but full of emotion that will grip your heart and make you not only just fall in love with the hero and heroine but also with all the secondary characters. Balogh is definitely on track to create a large and interesting series that can build upon the relationships and characters introduced in this novel. Devlin and Gwyneth are both well rounded, understandable while being frustrating on their journey to their happily ever after. I love that Balogh is not afraid to take her time building the world and relationships with in that world. I love that her characters feel like really people with real problems and I love that Balogh can create a dynamic between Devlin and Gwyneth that makes them the perfect partner for the other.

If you love to read about a time where things felt slower paced but the family and friend dynamics feel timeless, Balogh is always a perfect choice. Her novels are like a comforting and warm hug and this is a new start to a new epic that I am excited to watch explore and grow.

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It’s been awhile since I have read a Balogh romance, and I don’t recall them being so overly descriptive. In fact, there was essentially no dialogue until well into the 2nd chapter. As a result, it was difficult to engage because it seemed to take so long to get to the actual story. An example is when she chose to devote almost three pages at the start of chapter four to introducing by name and description most of the guests at the Earl and Countess Stratton’s summer fete.

At its core, this is a Regency romance between Devlin Ware, heir apparent to his father, the Earl, and Gwyneth Rhys, daughter of a neighboring nobleman. He is the older brother of her best friend, Nicholas, and she’s been in love with him for years, but is convinced that he has no regard for her. The evening of the fete, they go from zero to sixty, professing their love and proposing marriage after a one-hour courtship. Within the hour, their bliss becomes heartache and Devlin is banished.

What follows is a glimpse of his life over the intervening six years until he returns home a changed and hollow man. His righteousness has been tempered by war and the knowledge that keeping up appearances is more important than truth, but his sense of duty and care he has for his family, friends and neighbors are still at the core of who he is, despite outward appearances. Balogh does a good job of developing Devlin’s character, but Gwyn seems little more than a free-spirited young girl who has grown up to be idealistic and optimistic young woman. Since there’s not enough given to get to a good sense of who she is, it’s difficult to really understand what draws these two to each other or to be invested in this 2nd chance romance.

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Remember Love (Ravenswood 1) Mary Balogh, 2022

Many Regency romances use the trope of a financially ruined family and the second generation, usually the son, compelled to retrieve the family’s honor. This book completely turns this trope on its side. It’s not the family’s financial ruin that has been uncovered, but rather, the family’s moral ruin – parents who have willingly entered into a marriage based on infidelity, and a son who is profoundly outraged and wants nothing to do with the lies. How Devin Ware comes to terms with his disillusionment and loneliness is the heart of the story, which has stayed with me as I have considered all of the implications of this “romance” premise. Balogh never fails to provide complicated and engaging characters but the key to my love for this book is the unusual premise. It is thought- provoking, satisfying, and as it is the beginning of a new series for her, quite thoroughly welcome!

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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.

Would you believe that I had never read a Mary Balogh book before Remember Love & I’ve been reading historical romance for about 24 or so years & see her books around all the time?

(That’s a rhetorical question since I know we all have authors like that 😆).

But this book really got to me, so much so that I found myself being okay with certain things that might have given me pause if written by someone else.

Because Mary Balogh’s writing is intricately descriptive (please ask me about Ravenswood Manor & one of the leads’s siblings bc this woman has learned so much 🤣), & the story is marvelously told, & it felt very much Wharton-esque to me but with that HEA.

The premise of this book is that “before,” Gwyneth Rhys & Devlin Ware are total opposites & neighbors who have been closely linked throughout their childhoods but only because they’ve been best friends with each other’s siblings.

Secretly they’ve pined for each other, though, & they have *one day* of luxuriating in the fact that their feelings are not unrequited before it comes crashing down in heartrending fashion.

At 40% into the book, we’re fast forwarded six years & Devlin has returned home where he again meets Gwyneth, the woman he “once loved” (ok yeah whatever Devlin).

I mentioned the storytelling, but there’s a lot of other things to commend this one: the bravery of Gwyneth, who is a quiet joy & a bold joy & whom I was cheering on.

There’s introspective Devlin, who, as Gwyneth points out, feels so much even while not recognizing that in himself.

There are well-rounded secondary characters whose happiness I’m also devoted in, & an overall plotline regarding parents and hero worship that feels relatable & heartbreaking to me.

Forcing me to slow down & pay attention, to just really enjoy the immersive story of love & heartbreak & ultimately, always love, Remember Love is lovely.

4.5 ⭐️. Out now.

CWs: Devlin catches his beloved father cheating, he confronts his dad, no one in his family defends Devlin for his public confrontation, & Devlin’s mother makes him leave his home. During the confrontation Devlin calls his father’s mistress a “whore.” War references.

[ID: an ebook rests on an open red hardback. Above left is a blue crocheted blanket with three flowers on it (red, yellow, & pink). In the background is a yellow wall & white curtains.]

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Bridgerton author Julia Quinn perfectly said it when she was quoted as calling Mary Balogh “The queen of Regency romance”.

She is a 37 time New York Times best selling author and the creator of fan favorite series such as The Bedwyn Saga and the recent Westcott Series. Her standalone novels from the 1980s are so popular and well loved that they have been reprinted and digitized in the last six years.

I remember sitting in the stacks in the public library in high school and college reading classic Mary Balogh romances in between my studies. My favorites were always her stories of second chance love. For a fan of Jane Austen’s Persuasion (my all-time favorite romance), I think the first Mary Balogh romance I ever read was The Constant Heart that to this date still makes my throat constrict with the raw emotion when the hero goes crashing through the trees after proclaiming his passion for our heroine. A speech by a Balogh hero (and heroine) is not one to be easily ignored nor dismissed.

Fans also adore when Mary Balogh draws upon her native Wales for inspiration such as she did with Simply Love and Longing, to name but two favorite Mary Balogh novels. It is with delight that we see the heroine of Remember Love, Gwenyth Rhys, is Welsh and prone to spout Welsh lyrics and terms of endearment.

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Thank you to Net Galley for an advanced copy of this book. It was a wonderful start to what looks to be another great series from Mary Balogh. The main characters in this book are both strong minded and strong willed people, however by telling the truth Devlin suffers a severe setback to his life's plans which alternately upsets Gwen's life plans as well. As these two navigate through this upset you find yourself cheering for them to be reunited. It looks to be an interesting family which will lead to many more stories about the Ravenswood's. As per always Balogh has written a wonderful story with great characters and has y0u already thinking about all of the other family members stories and what they will be. Thoroughly enjoyed book one and can't wait for book two!

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