About the Book:
Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .
Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune–except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness–until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.
Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.
When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it.
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: Someone to Care (A Westcott Novel)
Viola Kingsley’s life changed drastically two years ago, when it was discovered that her late husband of twenty years married her while his first wife was still alive. Thus the former Countess of Riverdale was never legally married, and their three children are now illegitimate. In the intervening time, Viola left society and town, and kept a low profile. She has just attended the christening of her grandchild, and becomes overwhelmed by her family, and uncharacteristically takes off on her own. When her hired carriage is near to breaking down, she stops in a small village, and hires a room while the conveyance is being repaired. She glances up, and her eyes meet those of a handsome man, and her thoughts travel back fifteen years.
Marcel Lamarr, Marquess of Dorchester, is stunned to see Viola at this small inn, miles from anywhere. Fifteen years ago, the widowed Marcel, who was then only Mr. Lamarr, was blazing his way through a series of meaningless encounters and affairs after his wife’s death. He blatantly avoided married women, but Viola was different, and he fell a little bit in love with her. When she turned him down, he abided by her wishes and never approached her again. She still looks beautiful, and Marcel wonders if fate has granted him a second chance. He approaches Viola, and they agree to spend the day together, sampling the joys of a small town fair and dance. When night approaches, they decide to spend that together, as well, sampling the joys of each other’s bodies.
Little does Marcel realize, but Viola fell a little bit in love with him back then, as well. Her “marriage” to Riverdale was arranged, and was not a happy one. Still, she decided to take the right path and not indulge in an extramarital affair, but she has never forgotten Marcel, particularly since she continued to hear of his ongoing sexual exploits over the years. Their coming together now is sweet and hot and very fulfilling to both of them. They are enjoying each other so much that they decide to take a little holiday from reality, and retreat to one of Marcel’s small properties to spend more time together.
I loved seeing the dignified marquess and the sad, disgraced former countess act silly, be frivolous, and bloom in each other’s company. It’s clear that they are meant to be a couple and to have a second chance at happiness, but it’s not to be. Reality intrudes, their families become aware of their stolen time, and they end up parting ways, each believing that their love isn’t returned. I’m not a fan of the big misunderstanding, or situations where a simple, honest conversation could have precluded a whole lot of heartache, but author Mary Balogh demonstrates her considerable skill here. Though I knew there just had to be a way for this couple to be together, my heart was broken as time and time again, Viola and Marcel didn’t take the first step to bring about their reconciliation.
I was also chomping at the bit to find out Marcel’s history — what was the mystery surrounding his young wife’s death, and why did he choose to let his children be raised by someone else? There are many shades of gray to Marcel, he’s neither all good, nor all bad. I was thrilled to have a hero and heroine who are in their early forties, and having to deal with a whole different set of issues, like having grown children, who sometimes act like they are the parent. The previous cast of Westcotts was present, and though Mary Balogh did a credible job of explaining the relationships in this story, I feel readers will enjoy this book four much better for having read books one to three of the Westcott series.
SOMEONE TO CARE has all of Mary Balogh’s trademark emotional depth, and delves deep into the characters, as well. I find that I couldn’t read fast enough as I was racing to see how this couple could possibly reconcile. The conclusion was beautifully written, and emotionally satisfying, which left me one very happy reader. ~Rose