Susanna Osbourne, a young teacher at Miss Martin's School for Girls in Bath and at one time a charity pupil there, has gone to stay for a few weeks of the summer holiday at the home of her married friend, Frances, Countess of Edgecombe (Simply Unforgettable). There she meets the handsome, charming Viscount Whitleaf, who flirts with her and leads her to believe that he is a shallow young man. But her main objection to him is that she recognizes him as someone she knew as a child--and the memories are ones she has spent all the years since then repressing. A friendship grows between them nevertheless, but although by the end of the summer friendship has blossomed into something more, Susanna is as relieved as she is broken-hearted to return alone to school for the autumn term. She is fated to meet the viscount again soon, though, and this time there is almost no alternative for either of them but to face a past that can either destroy them both or bring them healing and understanding and forgiveness--and a lifelong love.
Dell Historical, ISBN 0-440-24198-7
The third in Balogh's Simply series of Regency romances, centered on a group of friends who teach at a private girls' school in Bath, is absorbing and appealing. Susanna Osbourne is one of the teachers at Miss Martin's School for Girls, a gentleman's daughter who has been alone in the world since she lost her father and her home at age 12, leaving her with depth, complexity and a cautious nature. At 23, Susanna's satisfaction with her life and career doesn't waver, even when she meets Viscount Whitleaf, Peter Edgeworth, 26, while visiting a friend's estate for the summer. Peter's good looks, charm and easy flirtation strike Susanna as frivolous, and his connection to her childhood home and early trauma frighten her. But despite Susanna being "gauche as a girl just stepping out of a schoolroom for the first time," they are drawn to each other, a friendship develops, and it looks to lead someplace both of them are afraid to go. The conflicts are mostly to do with the way Susanna and Peter resolve to accept the social realities of their time, and how in failing, they bring out the best in each other. This is an unusually subtle approach in a romance, and it works to great effect.
Susanna Osbourne is enjoying a perfectly lovely holiday in the countryside until she meets the wealthy nobleman Peter Edgeworth. Despite Susanna's best efforts to let Peter know she has no interest whatsoever in him, the viscount, who is visiting a friend at a neighboring estate, insists on flirting with her. Peter's persistent charm gradually melts Susanna's icy reserve, and the two end up sharing one wonderfully romantic afternoon together. But then Susanna disappears, forcing Peter to solve the mystery of her past if he is to have any chance at all of a life with her. New York Times best-selling Balogh continues her superb Simply romance series featuring four teachers from Miss Martin's School for Girls with another exquisitely crafted Regency historical that brilliantly blends deliciously clever writing, subtly nuanced characters, and simmering sensuality into a simply sublime romance.
John Charles, Booklist