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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Review: The Escape (The Survivors' Club #3) by Mary Balogh

The Escape (The Survivor's Club #3) by Mary Balogh
Hello there! First post here. 
Big historical romance fan, are you?
Well, are you bored of:
  • Rakes with mistresses at seventeen. Seriously? Did your mama never teach you about respect and equality?
  • Matrons who yather on and on about snaring a wealthy husband.
  • Stitch, sew, horseback riding, water colors, anyone? Balls and poor excuses for flirting?
  • Miscommunication. Iloveyou declarations after sex. No PTSD after heroine kidnapping.
  • Filthy rich nobs who hunt. Oh you pathetic sonofa *Shh*. Oh I do hate you’ll the most. Argh!
  • Wedding night = we must do our duty. *Rolls eyes* Baby, your sperms ain’t running away. Get to know her first. 
  • Overflowing bosoms. Hm. This couldn’t be so bad, could it? *raises eyebrows*

There’s more. But we’ll continue this ‘areyouseriouslykiddingmetropesthatmakemeyawn’ list some other time. Okay?
Where were we? Right. Book review of Mary Balogh’s “The Escape”. Thank you very much Edelweiss (through MaryChen) for an early advance reader copy.
I liked this book. Really really did. Did not have those tropes I mentioned above.

“If you had been married and you had died,” she said, “would you have been shocked if your widow had wanted to dance three months later?”
So tell me, would you have been shocked?
After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. And they meet in my favorite manner: He pounces on her. Quite literally.

Tramp had just returned with the stick she had thrown for him, and she was bending to retrieve it with one hand while she held her posy in the other , when it seemed that a thunderbolt came crashing down upon them from the heavens, only narrowly missing them. Samantha shrieked with terror, while the dog went into a frenzy of hysterical barking and leaped aimlessly in every direction, bowling Samantha right off her feet. Her buttercups went about in a hail of yellow, and she landed with a painful thud on her bottom.
Can you visualize this scene? I burst out laughing.
They meet again, at the church and he apologizes. And my dear readers, it was at that moment, I knew I was going to like him a lot. So humble. So patient. Exactly what a gentleman would do. 

Samantha and Ben meet again, from casual acquaintances, they become friends. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws—until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited and being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey. And they decide to have an affair.

But no, they do not jump into bed immediately. Simply them sleeping on the same bed brought about a sweet smile on my face and an ‘Awww’. They were just so cute together! The pillow fight. *Swoon*
You grumbled some nonsense and grabbed me when I would have beaten a strategic retreat back to my edge, and, being the gentleman I am, contrary to your unjust accusation, I remained where I was and allowed you to burrow against me.”

I constantly rooted for Samantha’s happiness. She had an overbearing husband but does not complain or whine. She wishes for more than being a nursemaid to her family and longs for freedom. Strong-hearted, she makes the best of her situation, enjoying whatever she can and I loved this about her.
“I am mortally weary of war and wounds and suffering and death. I want to live. I want to ... to dance.”
“I am not pleading for your pity,” she said. “Heaven forbid. My life is as it is. There are worse lives. I have never been hungry or literally homeless. No one has ever used physical violence on me worse than the occasional rap over the knuckles or smack on the bottom when I was a child. And now, I have been offered the gift of freedom and a hovel of a cottage and a small competence with which to enjoy it. Do you understand what a wonderful thing that is for a woman, Ben? I can be a new person.”
See what I mean?

Ben too. Oh, he is the kind of guy you marry and spend your life with. He is patient and listens to what people have to say, hardworking-he decides to work in spite of being financially well-off and is humble, knowing when to concede to the other person. Funny and teasing too. An utterly darling hero.
“I suppose it would be a bit absurd if every rider felt obliged to dismount and push through a hedge before he jumped it just to make sure that some stray pedestrian was not strolling along on the other side. He could, perhaps, cry out a tallyho! as he came, but that mind sound rather peculiar.”
He is injured but he fights. Does not let his scars keep him away from doing what he truly desires. He wants love. Forever Love. *Sighs* Not an occasional shag or two.
'He kept those ideas to himself at the early stage of his career. This was the time to listen and learn.' 
Oh oh! My papa tells me that too!
Ben could have wept. Not only could he remember how to swim, but also he could swim. He could move his legs without pain.
He could move.
Without pain.
He was free.

It is a story about rediscovery, renewal and forgiveness. Welcoming relatives who had once ignored you. Following your dreams and working towards goals. There is no villain or scheming family members. Everyone was mature and relatable. It is probably the simple love story our parents had. Big changes in life starting with small steps.

So yes, in the end, this story was a well escape from those ‘ouchmyheadhurts’ tropes I mentioned in the above list. And this particular cover is quite pretty, isn't it.
Go ahead. Read it. 
And tell us how you feel.

~Reviewed by Minesha~


  1. I loved the first two books in the series - of course, I love all of Mary's books!

  2. I like how her characters act their age and show maturity.
    When I first started romance, I was not too keen on her stories. I preferred overly dramatic and explicit books. But now, after some six hundred novels, I cannot stand them anymore and prefer the peace and quiet Mary Balogh's stories bring me,



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