Book Review: Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh

Bedwyn Saga by Mary Balogh

I did something I rarely do and read this series out of order. I read Slightly Married first. That book, and the series, are more subdued—stoic and British than what I anticipated, but…different. I looked up Balogh, and she’s Canadian-Welsh and a Boomer, which obviously contributes to the fascinating turns in character arcs.

When I expected a left turn, Balogh turned right; when I figured the standard beauty and power, she threw out descriptions like ugly and hook nose and a handsome woman and embraced the erratic and eccentric, the weird and whimsical; and the quizzing glasses and pretention constructed an even more odd world that I found incomparable in the historical romance genre.

The contrasts didn’t end there.

Those slight incidentals shaped realisms in a much more appealing adventure, though a mildly copacetic one given that many of us prefer the passion and challenge of living narratively on that proverbial emotional edge (not to be confused with a bastardized and Americanized appropriation of over-emotionalized and weaponized toxic tripe that sometimes passes for romance here in the States). The aloof nature of the Bedwyn narratives skillfully and gradually eased over into realms of sentiment and zeal as you would think the keep calm and carry on British Boomer culture would, but rendered with such grace that to have completed any differently would have done the characters a huge disservice. I found this philosophically fascinating on a geo and sociopolitical front that I’m sure some or most would be bored and easily dismiss (I am no professional). I got tired of and stopped watching Downton Abbey a few episodes into season three (Maggie Smith was the only highlight of that show); no surprise, after all, I usually find British romance written by British men to be shallow and lacking emotionally (Shakespeare was a queer woman)—so, Balogh, a Canadian-Welsh woman of course, was a lovely change.

The overall family saga of it all intrigued me—Wulf, Freya, and Morgan‘s stories were my favorites; however, all the characters seem to stir the other in me, which I found captivating, alluring, and, as usual, endearing. The two additional books: A Summer to Remember and One Night for Love were also good. Overall, the series, including the two additional books, would make compelling television given such intriguing characters, which I wholeheartedly urge Netflix to jump right onto.

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