SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED–AND FORGOTTEN?

Someone asked a few interesting questions on my Facebook page earlier today. After a book is written and delivered and produced and published, she asked, do I think much about it afterward? Do I remember it? If someone were to give a summary of a book from the 1980s or ’90s without saying it was one of mine, would I recognize it? They were questions that got me thinking.

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A Masked Deception, my first book, was written in 1983. Ouch! That is a long time ago. Have I thought about it much since then? Not really. Have I reread it? No. Would I recognize a summary of it? Oh, yes. That book is a part of me just as all my other books are–and just as all the experiences of my life are. There is a whole lot about the younger years of my children, for example, that I never think of and have “forgotten” to all intents and purposes, but if someone were to describe an incident, I would know immediately that it happened to my children and not anyone else’s.

It’s a bit strange, perhaps, that I do not reread my books once they are published. I am certainly a re-reader. I love reading books that have enthralled me a number of times before even if I remember them in great detail. In the case of my own books, though, I probably read them a hundred times or more while writing them. Once they are finished, I am done, and I am on to the next book and the next set of characters and the next love story to be worked out. Even so, I enjoy being reminded by readers of favorite characters or quotes or scenes from my books.

s-dangerous4

Someone recently mentioned the scene close to the beginning of Slightly Dangerous in which Christine , leaning over a balcony rail to catch a glimpse of the dread Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle, inadvertently drips lemonade down into his eye. And I remembered that that scene was actually written after the rest of the book when my editor suggested that Wulfric and Christine have their first “meeting” rather earlier in the book that I had put it. And then someone remembered Christine snatching away Wulfric’s quizzing glass in exasperation one day and tossing it up into a tree. The very dignified duke has to climb up to retrieve it. I enjoyed reminiscing, just as I might enjoy (well, sort of) being reminded of my elder daughter at a very young age cutting off the central couple of inches of her lovely bangs right up to the hairline.

I do reread my books, by the way, when they are republished. I have to read through the proofs to make sure there are no errors (the typo gremlins always creep in anyway, of course, but both the publisher and I do our best to keep them out!). It’s a funny feeling reading something I wrote long ago. It’s a bit like looking at an old video of yourself. Sometimes I am relieved to find that the book is still something I would be proud to write and turn in now. A few times, however, I have been a bit uncomfortable. The Web trilogy, for example, (The Gilded Web, Web of Love, The Devil’s Web) were a little too heavy on long, introspective paragraphs for my current tastes. I try now to include more dialogue in my books and to have a bit less interior monologue. But some change is inevitable in any writer who has been at it for thirty years. After all, everything else about me has changed!

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To someone who leaves a comment (perhaps in the form of a favorite character or scene or quote from one of my books?) before the end of next Tuesday, August 21, I will send my last remaining advance reading copy of THE ARRANGEMENT. I know I said that a couple of weeks or so ago, but the copy I thought was spoken then actually for wasn’t! There will still be time for me to send it to one of you before the book goes on sale on August 27. Last week’s winner was Kathy Taylor.

 

176 thoughts on “SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED–AND FORGOTTEN?

      • Mary, your characters become so real when reading about them. I had read the “Slightly” series as each book came out (always anxiously awaiting the next). The start of this summer I gathered them all up and read through the entire set book by book. It was wonderful. That is the sign of good writing and great characters – you want to reread their stories. And yes, I loved Wulf!

        • I have been an avid reader of your books and enjoy the read, story line and especially the women in the books. I am partial to romance and I have at least over 26 books and it would be great to have another added to my collection. I live 3 hours away from Thunder Bay and when I get the chance to head to the city I always purchase a book or two of yours. Keep them coming love love love them all.

          Eve

    • Well as many have said, Wulfric Bedwyn is my favorite character. But you had six books to build him up and others to show his good (yet haughty) side.
      I also love Hartley Wade in Lord Carew’s Bride. Hartley was hurt rather badly by his cousin (Lionel who we first meet in Dark Angel). Harley falls in love with Samantha and marries her only to find out that she was in love with the very Lionel. I like this character who has pain in his life but tries to work through it an eventually proves that he is a worthy husband for the lovely Samantha and a worth foe for Lionel.

    • Just finished Heart of Christmas again!! I love the Christmas stories, even though I am Jewish!! my daughter also finished it and is now starting Precious Pearl.

    • Between Wulfric Bedwyn and Sydnam Butler, I’m not sure who my favorite is, but you did steal one of my favorite scenes- in which Christine thinks he’s winking at her and then realizes she’s spilled lemonade in his eye. My other favorite is when she throws his lorgnette into the tree and he sits there arguing with her. The most fun is when he goes diving off the tree into the lake and Freya hugs a very startled Christine ! That’s the one

    • My favorite scene is from Slightly Dangerous. Wulfuric and Christine are in the dovecote. Wulfric bares his soul. Mary, your books are so real because we can we can truly understand what motivates people.

    • I love all of your books, Mary, but my favorite “person” is Freya the firecracker! Being petite myself, I can understand her frustration and having to be just as good as the boys! I have slugged a few fellows in my time! And I love her unladylike “tell it like it is” attitude. And finally I love that she finds love with someone who lets her be herself and loves her just the way she is.

    • A summer to remember is the first book of yours I read. I think I will always love Lauren Edgeworth. I could relate to her, after my first marriage ended at the age of 29 (and we had been separated for 5 years) I thought I never wanted to marry again. Just be alone for the rest of my life and be “the aunt that taught my nieces and nephews to play their instruments badly”. This book was inspiring that you never know what can happen and be open to new experiences.

    • I love all of your books, but I must say the Bedwyns are my favorite! Wulfric takes the cake and I found myself waiting for his story long before it was due! Thank you for taking us along with you in your wonderful imagination!

  1. I am not sure which of the “Slightly” books it is from, but a favorite moment is when one of Wulfric’s siblings walks in on him…without his knowing or recognizing…and he is grieving over the brother he thinks he has lost in the war. The SOLITUDE of his grief…that’s what I will remember.

  2. I have loved your books for years and especially love the Bedwyn series. Wulfric is my all time favorite character from any book from any of my favorite authors. His attitude throughout the whole series is incredible and progresses thoroughly in each book. Thank you so much for creating such an incredible person for me to get to know!

  3. Susan Elizabeth Phillips ask earlier today on her facebook what our favorite quote was and my it turns out is from one of your books.Is from Simply Perfect, and is one that has stuck with me for a long time…. “Every moment is a moment of decision, and every moment turns us inexorably in the direction of the rest of our lives”.

  4. Some of my favorites of yours are the stories for the Regency Christmas collections such as The Bond Street Carolers and the story (the title escapes me) with the three orphans who have never had Christmas and their uncle (mother’s brother) and aunt (father’s sister) come to decide who will take the children & end up falling in love again.

  5. I love all of your books that I have ever read, but my favorite character probably had to be Cora Downes from The Famous Heroine. I relate to her so much because we share a sense of grace, or lack thereof. I love that she screws up and then gets called a heroine. If only life was so fun!!!

  6. My favorite series would have to be the Bedwyns. 🙂 I would never be able to pick a favorite specific character since I love them all so much.

    I hope to win a signed copy!! That would be so awesome!!

  7. Remember reading A Masked Deception when it came out. As a voracious reader I consume books. Library is my best friend for keeping me supplied with my habitat.

  8. Along the lines of this subject, when you’re writing later books in a series, do you have to go back to the previous books to make sure that you aren’t contradicting something you established earlier? Or do you write the series books close enough together that you hold them in your memory for that long?

    Glad you mentioned Slightly Dangerous, btw, as it is my favorite of the Slightly books – I think the maturity of the characters and their self-assessment and self-growth make it one of your best.

    • I do write the books of a series quite close together, Janice. I keep notes on details I may use in more than one book. And I keep my fingers crossed that I don’t make any bloopers!

  9. I would love to be the lucky winner of your newest book. Thanking you in advance . I forgot to say congratulations on your new book

  10. I love that you use controversial topics in your story line without making it dominant. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

  11. Mary, I love your books and would like to win this one. Thank you for sharing your imagination with the world.

  12. Hi Mary
    I would love the opportunity to read your beautiful book THE ARRANGEMENT in exchange for a review with my honest opinion. I have a profile on Facebook and Goodreads where I share all my reviews. thank you for this giveaway!

  13. “Was it only today that you decided to turn to the profession of whore?” he asked. “No,” she said. “Yesterday. But no one wanted me.” One of my many favorite books from you! The first time I read this book, I had a very difficult time getting into it because of the beginning but I was very thankful that I continued reading because it was such a dramatic turnaround! Thank you for working such wonderful magic with the written word!

  14. I have always wondered about authors reading “themselves.” I enjoy your books and have several in print and ebook, makes it easier to travel and read. Thanks for the mini vacations you give me!

  15. Hello 🙂 I have to say that one of my favorite characters is ‘Fleur’, from The Secret Pearl. I love this novel, and am looking forward to re-reading it soon (after the advance copy of The Arrangement, hopefully!). Thank you so much for interacting with your fans, we all appreciate it so much!

  16. I read so many books, it’s hard to remember. But I would say it’s any Christmas themed one. I have a thing about Christmas so that puts them a hair above the others. 🙂

  17. One of my favorite scenes from First Comes Marriage is when Vanessa proposes to Elliott and shows him how she would seduce him. I thought it was funny and also painful at the same time to what she thought a kiss and seduction was.
    Also in Simply Unforgettable when Lucius and Frances dance a waltz in the inn they are stranded in. I love the Simply Quartet.

  18. I’m not sure that I can pick a favorite character. But I do like the moment when Stephen forgets everything and kisses Cassandra at a ball and they are seen by the whole ballroom! He finally relaxes enough to do something that he shouldn’t do!

    But I guess, my favorite couple is Anne and Sydnam. I love the way that they heal each other and the way that they challenge each other to face their fears.

  19. I actually like The Web series. I had no problem of getting into them.
    I think I have almost all of your books in print. A few of the earlier ones I am missing and a few of the recent ones. (sadly money has been tight and have not been able to buy as many books as I use to)
    I do have to say my all time favorite is the Huxtable Quintet. I was able to get into that family and follow it. Loved the story lines and flow of them. The first on I loved how the sister stepped in to “save” her sister. The fact that Elliott and Vanessa did not get along made the story just more entertaining to read. I have reread that series a few times now. 🙂

  20. So many favorites…love all the Bedwyn books but Eve/Aidan are my favorite. Also love the Huxtable books and Vanessa/Elliott are my favorite. Let’s not forget More Than a Mistress…love Tresham and Jane!

    Just love books….Penny

  21. When I immigrated to the US 13 years ago, I brought along 2 of your books which are my favorites, “The Unwilling Duchess” and “Lady with the Black Umbrella” to occupy my time during the long 14 hour flight. Since then, I have bought ALL your books except for 2 which I’m hoping will be re-published soon 🙂 I found those 2 on ebay but sadly, they cost an arm and a leg 🙁
    Anyway, my favorite was from your book “Lady with the Black Umbrella”. That was when Daisy conked Lord Kincaid’s head with a chamber pot, and when he found out what it was, he said “empty, I hope” and Daisy tried to muffle her giggles that poor Lord Kincaid thought she was crying due to remorse..lols…so so funny 😀

  22. I am so excited to read The Arrangement. I have been going methodically through the list of all your books and plan to read them all even though they are not all at my local library. Reading books has been a lifelong pleasure for me and my mini vacations into another world. Thanks for sharing your incredible gift!!!

  23. I enjoyed your honesty vis a vis re-reading your own books–it’s refreshing! After drafts and edits galore, it seems like each story is worn out by the time it’s printed (that’s my experience, anyway). I recently had to search for something in my first book, though, and surprised myself by laughing aloud. For just that instant, it was new to me. That was a blessing!

  24. I love your work, Mary! I know I cannot go wrong with any of your books!
    I just loved the Huxtable Family and their stories! I cannot quote just one scene or passage, though! That’s likely due to the fact that, no matter how much I enjoy a book, even if I loved it, I do not reread it!
    Thank you for this chance! I just finished The Proposal last week and look forward to Vincent’s story!

  25. I just finished re-reading “More Than A Mistress”. I love this book, it is one of my favorites. I love my kindle and I love getting books for it, but there are a few special books that I just need a paperback edition for. This is one of those books. Something about holding a well loved book in my hands, I suppose. It’s a contentment that I haven’t found in my kindle yet and I’m okay with that. =)

  26. I love”A Summer to Remember.” After visiting a little park that used to be a part of the Vauxhall Gardensn I went and re-read the book to get a feel for what it used to be like. I would have loved to spend an evening there back then!

  27. I read through all the Mary Balogh books the library had in record time when I discovered her. Then bought the rest at Amazon. My favorite character ( it’s so hard to choose) would be Constantine Huxtable. I was so curious about him and was delighted when I got his story.

  28. I have loved many of your books. But the one that always sticks out in my mind is,
    The Secret Pearl. I read the book, liked it and passed it on to a friend. After months of thinking about Fleur, I had to buy another copy! I have probably read that book four times! I think I have a soft sport for flawed or damaged characters. Fleur’s story really touched my heart. Thank you!!

  29. I love thinking back on favorite moments from books. I think I love the funny moments just as much as the sweet moments. There was such a journey for Wulfric and Christine. I loved their funny moments, and I loved that Christine was so moved the first time he used her given name.

  30. Just wanted to let you know how much I have been enjoying all your books and am so looking forward to the next one coming out! You are one of the special authors that I don’t even NEED to read the back cover as I KNOW it is going to be GOOD!!! Thanks for providing me with wonderful “get aways” !

  31. I love all your books, I loved the Huxtable Quintet, the way that the family deals with life and the craziness of not knowing what really happens in one own family. BUT my Favorite BOOK is Simply Love. The scene where Anne first sees Sydnam and she runs away is what got me hooked on the book, I did not put it down until I finished it. I love how two souls who are badly hurt learn to love again. That book has a special spot in my heart. The two books I have not been able to find in any Library is Heartless and Silent Melody. I have pretty much read all of your books but for a few.

  32. The scene in Slightly Sinful. When Alleyne is standing on the front porch. And everyone is coming home…….When Duke Wulfric takes him up in a hug. There are so many wonderful heart warming scenes in this series. So many.

  33. I absolutely love your books… I have read so many of them. My very first book of yours was Slightly Sinful. I fell in love with Alleyne. After reading Alleyne’s story, I then had to track down every Slightly book and devour the entire series. I love when Rachel and Alleyne find their way to his home and family to find the family pulling up from his sister’s wedding and Rachel is the only one to see Bewcastle’s emotional reaction. I of course cried while smiling… I would love to read your newest book before it’s released. Please pick me!!! I know my punctuation and spelling may be killing you but I’m just so excited. 🙂

  34. I love your books and am addicted. I have many of your novels and love the story lines. They really suck me into the era. I feel what they feel and can’t wait to pick up the next book. Remarkable…Thank you for bringing that world to life. You have great talent. I would love to meet you someday. Your books are such a treat on a cold night, a rainy day, on a road trip or just anytime I need to get away from the real world for a bit.

  35. I’ve never thought before about authors rereading their own works. I have heard about actors/directors and their movies. It seems that some never re-watch their movies, and some watch them over and over. Now I wonder if authors are the same!

  36. I love your books because they lighten my day. I love stepping into another era and reading about believable people. I love it when you bring in members of a family or a group and tell their stories with the other characters caring and trying to help each other. It is your special talent that you can make your readers care about your characters. Also when a book ends I want another, which is why I enjoy your books so much–my guide of a good author. I love your Facebook posts as well when you post things about enjoying reading. This is my downfall, because sometimes the world falls down around me when I read. I have to stop and take care of life before going back to my books. My children laugh because I like to ‘read the character out of this predicament!’ and then
    I will be there. I could not tell you my favorite character from your books, because it is usually the one I am reading at the moment. I may not get your advanced copy, but I am so glad you continue to write.

  37. I have been a great fan of yours for as long as you have been writing. I have collected all yours books so far and always look forward to the new ones. When I am short of money I always reread them or whenever I remember a scene I have to look till I find it and then I would reread it again.

  38. Oh, Mary. I think I am the Kathy Taylor that won!! My FB name is Kathleen but my auto fill is Kathy Taylor. Yipee. Now what? And would I love to win another? Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!

  39. I fell in love with your writing after reading the Devil’s Web, and after having exhausted your entire available body of historical romances, I just re read the Web series last week. I love your work, love that you are first generation Canadian and an English teacher (so is my husband). He writes wonderful stuff too, on his blog http://fragmentals.blogspot.ca/
    I hope I get to read the Arrangement soon, the wait seems interminable. The Winnipeg library has 29 copies on order, and I am 24 th on the wait list….
    P.s. I love the glimpses of your life you share on FB.

  40. I think my favorite is when Sid first begins painting again. Proving that of you have the right encouragement and the courage to try again that you can do anything you want to

  41. Constantine Huxtable! He was intriguing, delicious, an enigma. So glad he had his own story. He touched my heart in many ways!

  42. Hi Mary,

    I remember The Masked Deception. I loved the cover. It reminds me of Cinderella at the ball. Like the other comments here, I, too, would love a copy of your latest book. I haven’t read you in a long while and it will be interesting to see how your writing has grown.

  43. I read as many of your books as possible as you have a writing style that I just enjoy … I have copies of a series you did in 1995-1997 – Heartless and Silent Melody. What struck me with Silent Melody was that Emily could connect so well with Ashley and he understood her so deeply. This current series has a bit of the same themes in that you’re dealing with people who are wounded in one way or another and still have the capability to fall deeply in love. Nice to think outside the flaws and see the inner person – you bring this out nicely.

  44. I’m a writer (my first novel Airesford just came out) and I have to agree with you, once I finish writing/editing a book I’ve read it a hundred times and I’m DONE with it. I just want to move on to the next thing! But I would remember a plot, even if it’s something stupid I wrote when I was a child or teenager–not that anyone else has access to that stuff to read it. 🙂

  45. One of these days one of your brilliant fans will write her career defining script of one of your novels. I am hoping it is of the Slightly series. From novel to big screen, I can forsee! 🙂
    In my dreams I am the casting director. Casting Michael Fassbender (Jane Eyre) as Wulfric, Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle. Kiera Knightly as Christine Derrick. Joe Weight of Pride & Prejudice directs.
    IMHO ~ Rachel Evangelista:))))

  46. Mary, I read several comments from you regarding your feelings about the Web series, but Web of Love is a book I would take with me if I were shipwrecked on a deserted island. Well, I might also have to bring A Precious Jewel, and One Night For Love, and A Promise of Spring, and The Famous Heroine, and Indiscreet, and Longing … hey, my island is starting to sound like a pretty fun place to hang out!

  47. I look forward to the upcoming release. I’m an avid re-reader but there comes a time where I’ve memorized the storyline so I have to switch to reading only my favorite scenes.

  48. Having read as many of your books as I can get my hands on via my cities libraries (thankfully we have 17) You were the first author whose books I fell into, was completely absorbed in the story and didn’t put them down until they were read cover to cover. Can’t wait for the new one to land on the shelves (my other half won’t let me buy books as he says I read them too quickly!!)

  49. Wulfric is probably my favourite character of yours, but it’s difficult to pick. Perhaps I will have a new favourite when I get to read your new book!

  50. I love the cover and faceplate. So excited for this to come out already! I would love to win one of your books. I always enter book giveaways on goodreads but never get picked. Stiff competition for books it seems, but that is a good thing. 🙂 I am hoping to get all of your books that are available as ebooks at some point for reading (and revisiting some old favorites) on the go. Love the kindle. Thanks for all the wonderful stories and the insight into a writer’s world.

  51. I am just finishing of The Proposal, my favourite quote from the book and one i will remember is when Hugo says to Gwen “If you imagine that you love me and think you can spend your life with me, come to my world. You will find that wanting, even loving, is not enough”. It is such a lovely saying and really sums up what the book is about.

    Do you want to know what the worse thing about a book is?. It’s when you get to the last page, and know that the story has to come to an end.

  52. I liked that you mentioned Wulfric; he’s quite my favorite in the Slightly series. And the constant unintentional positions Christine puts him in make the plot one of the better ones of the series as well (a series which I’ve read numerous times and may have to re-read yet again after these comments and thow in the Mistress books as well. Sighhh, another week’s reading set up already!)

  53. Mary,

    I am looking forward to reading your latest! You never fail to amuse, inspire and take me far away from whatever worries are weighing me down. I am so grateful for your gift of story-telling!

    Warm regards,

    Beth Pitoniak

  54. Dear Mary, I’ve already pre-ordered The Arrangement on Kindle and I’ve been chafing at the bit to get my eyes on it, counting down the days. I’m a rabid Mary Balogh fan and own all your books. 3 sets of many in some cases, since, before the advent of Kindle – I found that I could not stand to be separated from my particular favorites which I re-read many times over… (that sounds rather pathetic doesn’t it? But not to worry, I do manage to squeeze in a fairly full and active life in between readings!) My job took me all over the globe, and carting boxes of books becomes prohibitively expensive, so I would buy used books from Amazon and happily pay the postage to wherever my snail-shell toting gypsy life had dumped me. Penny wise, no doubt. I owe the inventor of Kindle a debt that I could never repay in 8 or more lifetimes. My favourite character to date is Wulfric Bedwyn. I remember one of the earliest descriptions of him in, I believe it was the first book of the series, said of him, that he had a light voice. Being partial to a manly baritone myself, I found this rather offputting, and his high-handed arrogance thereafter didn’t exactly endear him to me either. Interestingly though, he started to grow on me with each subsequent book. Definitely, the moment when he is inadvertently seen crying over the supposed death of Alleyne, alone in his library, is incredibly memorable. My gut remembers it vividly, because it clenched, quite painfully, each time I read it. The culmination of it all, his revealing more and more of his true self here and there and finally the oh-so-right-though-it-really-ought-to-have-been-oh-so-wrong relationship with Christine, just capped it all off perfectly. Wulfric became Viggo Mortensen in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy for me! The first time he opened his mouth as Aragorn, I said “Oh, HELL NO! Bring me the head of whoever was responsible for this awful miscasting!” By the end of the Return of The King, I could not imagine any other actor bringing that character to glorious life one smidgen better than Viggo did. If they ever put the Slightly series on celluloid or whatever it is they use these days, do you think Viggo could be persuaded to play the part of Wulfric?

  55. I think maybe Freyja Bedwyn is my favorite character, but it is hard to choose. I enjoy strong, determined women characters. Uh-oh, I’m going to have start a re-read of the series again!

  56. “Well, this changes everything, Jane.” This is the line that comes instantly to my mind when its comes to a favorite quote from your books. It really changes everything or gave Jocelyn a chance to change everything. Besides the Bedwyn series – I like the Mistress series especially Jane and Jocelyn story. If I remember correctly – there was an additional scene you wrote about their wedding. I enjoyed that.

  57. I enjoy getting lost in your books and I enjoy reading your posts on Facebook. About the comment: signed, sealed and delivered…I want to say it would be impossible to forget !

  58. The Bedwyns are the series that introduced me to your books. Freya is my favorite!

    I am generally not a re-reader, because I remember too much of books I have already read, and I find myself skimming too fast because I know what is coming.

    I have my calendar marked for August 27!

  59. I have read the Simply series, The Slightly series, and the books in between. I absolutely love the Bedwyns and the Huxtables. I don’t have a favorite character as they are all my favorites. I love that you write about the time period and the romance. I first read “The Proposal” and was hooked on your books. I am anxiously awaiting the release of “The Arrangement”

  60. I think most writers got away from inner dialogue for the most part, unless what they are saying contradicts what they are thinking for some reason. I started my reading experience with the classics, such as Jane Eyre which is filled with inner dialogue, I like reading it, although it’s no longer in vogue. Most writers like to write characters who speak their minds more than in the past. Your works are special favorites of mine. I like the contrasts you use between perceptions and reality. I look forward to more of this new series. I enjoyed The Proposal a lot.

  61. the very first novel of your collection i ever read was Slightly Tempted. i found it at my local library when i was pregnant with my son and really got into reading. i did not know the novel was part of your Slightly collection until much later. but out of all your characters in that collection i find Wulfric is my favorite because he is there during all the Slightly stories and i was just waiting breathlessly to see the heroine you dreamed up for him. though he seemed cold and distant from his family, it is clear he loves them and would do anything for their happiness. one of my favorite scenes is with Wulfric is not even in his novel but when he is crying for the brother he believes is dead. i have not started your new collection yet as i am rereading your Mistress books over again since i just got my copy of The Secret Mistress and it has been awhile since i read the first two. especially No Man’s Mistress, the first time i read that novel i was surprised and amazed to find a great romance novel where the hero was not as experenced in love making as the heroine. i have never read a romance before or since like that but i loved it. thank you much for sharing your love of books and writing with the world.

  62. Too bad you aren’t popular! LoL. I was introduced to you and your novels by my daughter, who loved reading your books from the very first one she tried, which was the first in the “Slightly” series. Now we both are avid fans. I like how you take taboo subjects and turn them on their heads. I truly wish that more of this happened in “real” life. As a writer myself, I find guidance and inspiration when I read your stories. Thank you!

  63. Dear Mary,

    I have read and reread most your books. When a new book in a serie is about to come out, I will reread all the previous. So guest what I’ve been doing the last few weeks 🙂

  64. I just finished reading the Counterfeit Betrothal and the Notorious Rake. I took them out from my library and I loved them both so much that I ‘m going to buy copies of my own. I am a re-reader. I finished the entire Bedwyn series and I’m going to start reading it all over again. Thank you for giving me an escape from housework and walking the dog!

  65. I absolutely love your books! My favorite is The Secret Pearl and the scene near the end where the hero and heroine do the honorable thing and vow to never forget their love was so poignant it made me cry.

  66. Can’t wait for “The Arrangement” to come out, and an ARC would be wonderful!! Your comment about your daughter cutting her bangs brought back memories of my daughter doing something similar…although at the time she did not have bangs, but long straight hair we parted in the middle. She decided to cut it up to the hairline in the front, so with a bit of extra shaping on mom’s part, she ended up with bangs….LOL

  67. I always enjoy your books, for the characters and how you develop them so that they seem real, and for the romance. Thank you!

  68. A chronic rereader, I have been rereading almost all your books since I discovered your work. Characters that stick out are the usual suspects, like Wulfric, but also Perry Lampman, and Edward Downes, and I loved how Hugo Eames berates himself in his internal monologue. I liked the first of the web series but the second and third didn’t hold my thrall. i am really hoping that some of your earlier works will get republished. I finally started on The Counterfeit Bethrothal and am sad that I am almost done because I think once I read The Notorious Rake, I shall not have anything new of yours to read and it will be a long spell of rereads till your next book is out, next year. Thanks, Mary, for the countess hours of entertainment. If only I could live in Mary Baloghland full time 🙂

  69. I think I may have an understanding about not wanting to read your books after publishing. I am a singer and after spending so much time recording and mixing my CD I didn’t want to listen to it for a long time. Looking forward to THE ARRANGEMENT!

  70. I’ve often wondered how author’s felt about their older books, so I am glad you wrote this piece. I imagine its like looking at old photographs as well, you’re embarrassed at the style of your hair, but overall you still look good! 🙂

  71. As everyone else here, I love your books, and would love a signed copy of your latest. I have a listing of all you have written, and have so far accumulated almost all of them, it is my hope to eventually have them all. I just last week finished re-reading the Web trilogy, and must admit I cried so much trying to read James and Madeline’s story, that I had to wait until my husband went to bed to finish so he wouldn’t see me crying so. I love a book I can “get into” .. thanks for sharing your talent with us.

  72. I feel like your books are very “re readable.” I’ve read the Huxtable series numerous times.
    My favorite book is still First Comes Marriage. I love the characters and the boldness that Vanessa shows
    was wonderful to see in a gentle bred lady. This new book looks like my kind of read as well!
    I can’t wait to read it, and I will buy it as soon as it is out! (unless I win it ) Thanks for all the hours of fun romping through your characters lives!!

  73. As a military wife I moved frequently and books I kept often remained unpacked. Favorites were kept out to revisit like old friends. All these years later I still have Snow Angel, A Certain Magic and Web of Love accessible. Those are my favorites of your older books. For about ten years I didn’t read any Romance novels. A couple years ago I looked up favorite authors online and started catching up on the books I missed. The plus side was getting to read a whole series without waiting for the next book to come out. I have developed patience in my old age and while I pre-ordered The Arrangement in February, I look forward to reading it in peace when the kids return to school.

  74. In A Christmas Promise – we find Eleanor Transome and Randolph Pierce, Earl of Falloden. The 2 of them are absolutely wonderful characters. They are forced into a marriage of convenience and he particularly hates the situation and wants to hate Ellie. But, she is so sweet and so generous with her love, he is drawn in. This book was very moving for me. And I believe that she is one of the dearest of your heroines.

  75. Kit was my favorite character of the Slightly series. Wulf was intriguing but not enough known until he had his own book. Now Wulf is my favorite but only because he had the clear good sense to woo Christine even if she “didn’t know how to behave.”

  76. Slightly Dangerous, Christine and Wulfric’s story, is my favorite book of all time! I have a very tattered paper back copy, a well read paperback copy and it is on both my Kobo eReader and my Nook eReader. Love the story, and I think the lemonade in the eye was a great first meeting for the two of them. All of your books are great!
    I can only imagine with so many books published, that you may not read them once printed. I think it’s great that you can remember them though when some part of them are brought up!

  77. To date, my favourite is Slightly Dangerous. I fondly remember the first “meeting” between Christine and Wulfric in the drawing room, where their eyes met and held, and he “raised one arrogant eyebrow,” which of course was followed by his raising of his quizzing glass halfway to his eye. I think maybe I need to re-read this favourite again very soon. I am also looking forward to reading The Arrangement.

  78. It’s too hard to pick a favorite character or scene – there are just too many of them. I loved reading comments in this trip down memory lane and have found so many I agree with – Lucius and Frances dancing, Wulfric grieving, and of course I always cry for Sydnam and Anne. Since I recently read the mistress series, Tresham and Jane are fresh in my mind. I love at the end when Charles (Jane’s neighbor) comes to claim her and announces at a ball that they are engaged. Tresham is so smooth when he says, “I must protest … your imagined betrothal to her (Jane). I really cannot permit you to marry my wife.” So funny! Further back in the Huxtable series, there was a favorite scene when Elliott comes to the aid of Constantine and says, “But this pompous a.. has not come all the way from London only to be sent to the nearest coaching inn. He is going to throw his weight around – for what it may be worth.” It is your dialogue that is always spot on and so amazing, Mary! Love your books!

  79. Hello Mary and everyone,
    First of all, thank you for hours and hours of absolute pleasure in reading your books. Some of the scenes I love best are in your book Heartless when both main characters engage in a courtship “dance” that lasts throughout the book. For me, it is the epitome of what makes falling in love so darn FUN!
    Again brava!

  80. My friend Dr. Jonnie and I love your books, we donate our read (and re-read) books to my addiction medicine patients. these books encourage women to behave with courage and to expect to be treated as ladies. the books where the main characters overcome a disability are the best!
    please continue. We would love to take you out to lunch when you come to Manhattan.

  81. When you write a series over a long period, do you keep extensive notes or do you reread when you have a question about the characters?

    • A bit of both, Susan. Sometimes I use the same scene in two books, but seen from a different point of view. I will always read over the first description so that every detail is consistent.

  82. Hmmm…..favorite characters. I guess for me it is a close race between Christine and Wulfric (Slightly Dangerous) and Constintine and Hannah (Secret Affair). Although there are so many others that come so close it’s hard to choose a winner. Oops, let’s not forget Joseph and Claudia (Simply Perfect).

    Thank you for so many wonderful characters and stories. I can’t say that I love them all equally, but even the most average among them are well worth the time spent reading them.

  83. It’s easy now with my Kindle to highlight a favorite passage, but those piles of old Signet novels of yours have Post It Note markers stuck in them from my many re-reads.

    I have so very many favorite scenes and characters, but since you mentioned the Web series, I’ll go with one from the prequel, A Promise of Spring. I have such great admiration for you that you had the courage to write a heroine ten years older than the hero!

    Following is a beautiful piece of introspection from the hero, Peregrine:
    “For love cannot take anything for itself. It can only give and leave itself wide open and defenseless against emptiness and pain and rejection.”

  84. I love your characters, always have, but I love Wulfric the most. He reminds me of my fiancé actually… I did wonder if the style was different in your web series or if it was just me. It’s intersting to see you comment on it as well. I’m happy you are still writing and started a new series. And I am really glad that your books are being republished in pairs. I enjoy omnibus books. Enjoy the last bits of summer!

  85. My favorites are the Huxtable Series. Those are definitely re-reads. I have to admit though, sometimes my husband has picked up a book I’m reading and talked to me about a person he’s met not telling me he is describing a character from a book to see how long it takes fro me to catch on!

  86. Maybe my favorite novel is “Irresistible”, ’cause Sophie is not young, not beautiful but so strongminded, determined, indipendent and very lovely! And also because of Nathaniel, who is a wonderful friend, and also a tenderhearted, sweet lover. Aaaaaaah!
    But I also loved the Wulfric Bedwyn (so powerful, magnetic and lonely, poor little love!), and I’m particulary fond of Constantine Huxtable (so dark and cool!) and of Hugo Emes, the hero of your last novel: rude, sexy and complex character!
    Well… I love almost all your novel, that is!

  87. One of the reasons you are one of my favorite authors is the joy of re-reading your stories. A few of my favorite re-reads are Slightly Dangerous, The Notorious Rake, The Temporary Wife, A Summer to Remember, Thief of Dreams…..I could go on and on. Thank you for all the wonderful stories!

  88. The interesting thing is, I’ve been reading your books for years (started with the Simply series), but didn’t always realize they were by the same author! Now, when I go to the library or book store, your books are the first ones I look for! As for a favorite character, I’d have to say James Purnell from Devil’s Web. Partly because I just finished reading the Web trilogy, and partly because he was so afraid to love or be loved, but Madeline never stopped loving him. It was a strange relationship those two had, but that made it all the more special when they did finally figure things out and realize they were meant for each other!

  89. I remember your first book, I recognize that cover as I thought the dress on it was fantastic. At one time I had most of your paperback books but have lost them over the years with all the moves I’ve made. Right now I’ve got 2 or 3 that I know of and probably more as I have a very large storage tote in my living room loaded with paperback books, to move it out into my storage shed I’ll have to unload it, take it outside to the shed, then take the books out in several trips as it’s too big to carry with it loaded down with books. Eventually I hope to collect many more of your books so I can reread them at my leisure.

  90. I would love to win this book. I have not been allowed to purchase any new books in over a month. So I desperately need a new book. Thank you for your talent.

  91. I think my favorite series is the Huxtables, with Meg being my favorite character. But you do know it is very difficult to choose!

  92. I love the cover…and the stepback! One thing I miss about e-books is that they don’t include the beautiful stepbacks.

    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

  93. Mary,

    Slightly Dangerous is one of my favorite books and I found your comment about the lemonade scene very interesting. I can’t imagine Christine and Wulfric meeting any other way but it would be interesting to know how you originally had them meeting.

    I love the new series and loved the The Suitor – it has really whetted my reading appetite for The Arrangement!

    Melanie

  94. I have been keeping a diary/journal since I was in my early teens and I find it very interesting to occasionally read back over what I thought about 20 years ago. It’s fun to see how I’ve matured through my writing. I can certainly image how you ‘forget’ about a situation until it’s brought back to your attention, then all the memories come flooding back. I guess that’s why I also love to reread some of my favorite stories, to be reminded of those wonderful characters and the emotions they evoke. Thanks for giving me such great stories to want to reread.

  95. Okay, clearly I want to make a comment since I’d like to be the lucky one to win the book. However, beyond that, I’ll just say that I’ve noticed that most of my favorite authors’ styles changed over time. I think it’s wonderful since my own outlook and perspective changes so a book that was my favorite at 20, might no longer speak to me as much now and yet I love that feeling of being transported back to that 20 year old when I reread it.

  96. Hi Mary
    I’ve already pre-ordered The Arrangement on Amazon. But if I’m lucky enough to win another copy, I will donate it to my local library . The wonderful librarians there will absolutely love me forever for doing just that!

  97. I have read all of your recent books and most of the old ones after searching in used book stores. I was interested to see that the WEB books are not your favorites. I read one or two of them and decided not to read more. I can’t even remember my reasons and have been thinking that I should try again. We’ll see. I am loving the new series so far.

  98. Mary, I do so look forward to all of your books. I love to get lost in the characters and settings. It amazes me how much you know of the Regent times. Thank you and keep them coming!

  99. Freya Bedwyn is my favorite of your characters. She is so haughty (which is a trait I generally don’t care for) and so much her own woman, I cannot help but admire her.
    Freya’s husband, Joshua is so lighthearted he is the perfect foil and match for Freya.

    Wulfric Bedwyn and Sydnam Butler, are my two favorite male characters of yours. I thought Wulfric deserves someone more suitable than Christine, which is why this is not my favorite of your novels. However, Simply Love is a reread for me. It is wonderful.

  100. Just recently I have found you as an author in your Slightly series. I found myself laughing (with the antics of a lemonade drip in Wulf’s eye and Christine rolling down the hills with the children) and crying (such as when Allyn can not remember who he is) as I read. Allyn, Wulf, in fact all the Bedwyns have a home in my heart. I did enjoy them immensely! I am now just finishing through your Simply series and again find myself laughing with them and crying (like with Claudia’s compassion for Lizzie and Joseph’s love for her despite social expectations). You have reminded me that though reality is not as enjoyable as your books, I have much to be thankful for. I look forward to delving into many more of your books! Thank you for sharing your fascinating imagination, and your romantic knowledge of history with us. : )

  101. “Slightly Dangerous” has to be one of my favorite books of all time. I just reserved it at my library to read for the third time when I go on vacation next week! I cry every time I read it. I love that Wulfric (and the other Bedwyns for that matter) are not necessarily the most gorgeous people. It makes his and Christine’s love that much more real. I love that such an extremely conservative, disciplined duke falls in love with a regular person, and is willing to possibly give up fatherhood for her.

  102. Right now my favorite characters are the twin sisters Lucy and Laura from The Trysting Place – as a mother of three months old twin girls I often think about their future and hope that both of them will find their happily ever after. Whenever I am troubled about it, I think about Lucy and Laura and know that it is possible, eventhough they are „only“ novel characters. And that is what I love about your books – that although I know they are „only“ books, they make me believe that love really is everywhere, it just takes some courage to find it.
    I thought about naming my girls after Lucy and Laura, but Laura is very uncommon name in my country (Czech Republic), so your future massive fans are Agata and Beata. BTW „Summer to Remember“ helps me to survive my first maternal „summer to remember“  THANK YOU!

  103. So many Mary Balogh books…so little time. I am having my own Mary Balogh marathon right now with 10 books on loan from the library and 9 of my own Kindle books! I love your books and enjoy each and every hero and heroine as I read each book but my favorites are Jane and Jocelyn (Duke of Tresham), Fleur and Adam (Duke of Ridgeway) and of course Christine and Wulfric (Duke of Bewcastle). I have read each of their books 3 times or more and still want to read them again. If you notice the pattern there is something that attracts me to Dukes!

  104. How can I ever forget the luscious Lord Gabriel when he first scandalously referred to Jennifer as “My Love”? What so endeared me to this man was especially when he leaned over the desk and threatened Jennifer’s father if he dared to beat her again. He put her under his protection and in his heart, not even realizing how much he really loved her. A “match” that started out as a game of vengeance turned into a deep love. I have read my copy of Dark Angel until the pages are tattered. It is one of my favorites and one that I return to time and again. It’s nice to know that at least in the pages of your books, love does win out and the unhappy ones can sometimes turn into the loved and happy. You have given us two wonderful characters who let us escape and dream for awhile- and rid ourselves, at least temporarily, from our cares.

  105. Mary, One of my favorites of your older books is Lady With A Black Umbrella. It is funny and clever and touching. Here’s a quote from one character that is a bit hot ” I was holding your body to mine and had your mouth covered with my own” he said bluntly. “In the vocabulary of most people, that constitutes a kiss…” Can’t forget that one.

  106. Hi Mary,

    There are many of your characters I really enjoy, that it is hard to pick one; however, my favourite character is Hannah, the Duchess of Dunbarton. She is an amusing, warm, kindhearted, honourable, women; “I hover a little uncertainly behind the invulmerable armour of the Duchess of Dunbarton.”
    I believe great deal of people hide behind their public images and the revealing of the true person behind that image is truly fascinating.
    Thank you.

  107. Mary,
    I have enjoyed reading all of your books. My favourites include the Dudley family (More than a Mistress, No Man’s Mistress and The Secret Mistress) and the Bedwyns (especially Slightly Married and Slightly Dangerous). But two of my all time favourites are still The Ungrateful Governess and An Unacceptable Offer. Could be because they were the first books of yours that I read. They are also stories where the hero has to let the heroine go before pursuing her. I like that, when the guy thinks he has lost the girl and has to chase after her.

  108. I would love to have one of your books! To be honest, I had never heard of you until I saw your name here on Facebook about one of your books. I read a lot when I can, I have just finished the Miss Julie books series….If I don’t win a book, I will try to purchase one….Thank you, Joyce

  109. The Bedwyn Family is memorable to me not only because the characters were magnificent but also because it was the very fist series I was introduced to, and it was my first time experiencing the frustration a reader gets when waiting for the next book. Mary Balogh was the very first author’s name I memorized who was a contemporary writer and I’m glad to say that I have enjoyed your books ever since. May God grant you long life and will to continue writing the stories I love to get lost in. Thank you!

  110. Of all your books, one is non-pareil, “More Than a Mistress.” I was listening to Kathleen Ferrier’s luminous performance of “Art Thou Troubled?” When I realized how unutterably grateful i am to have encountered what you so poignantly describe. As Eliot said, words slip, slide, perish with imprecision . . . but you have caught the fugitive essence of music . . . and so much else. Thank you. The offer of a copy of your next is kind, but would not be useful to me. Tresham and Jane, however, are so extraordinarily *alive* my wonder would be what their next generation might be like . . .

  111. I fell in love with a Beta Hero, and I’m proud to admit it’s Sir Gerald from “A Precious Jewel!” What a lovely couple and story, Mary. I love that you felt the need to tell his story even though you thought it would not be commercial enough to publish. It is such a heartfelt story and yet quite realistic; not all male or female protagonists have to be Alphas.

  112. I would love to have this book. I’ve become a frequent flyer at the library. They know exactly what author I go for. If I can’t find it on the shelf they get it from another library for me. It all started with The Proposal. I was interested in Wulfric, The Duke with his infamous quizzing glass. I got sucked, willingly, into the Slightly series and, naturally, moved onto the Simply Quartet. I just finished Simply Magic and can’t wait to head back to the library to get Simply Perfect. I want to finish the Survivor series and dig into some others I have found here. Thank you for bringing me back to good old England. Present day should be like this again. I love Austen and can’t get enough of your books.
    My favorite characters are Fre and Allenye Bedwyn, but I love the Duchess of Bewcastle too!

  113. I think I have probably read all of your books and have enjoyed every single one of them! It would be hard to pick my favorite story or character because there’s always been something special about each one. I do love your sense of humor and thank you for the many good laughs I’ve had. And, thank you for the happy endings as well. It’s nice to know that no matter what sadness or hardship the character has previously endured, I can count on you for a satisfactory conclusion.

  114. I have many favorite characters, but have to say one of the top ten is Hartley the Marquess of Carew – The scene in which he confronts Samantha on her reasons for marrying him is heartbreaking and the moment he puts his head on the mantle and cries well… that just says it all.
    Looking forward to the next book – Many thanks-

  115. My favorite character of yours? The Duke of Withingsby from The Temporary Wife. One of the great enigmas you ever created. We will never know the full story of the relationship between him and his wife, and how he viewed it, other than a few tantalizing glimpses we receive over the course of the book. And that’s why he sticks in my memory and jumps to mind when asked this question.

  116. One of my favorite quotes is from Helena in THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE, talking to Edgar after the birth of their son. She says, “And if I had everything to do over, I would seduce you again. I swear I would.”
    Another is the scene form SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS when Wulf and Christine regard each other across the ballroom floor with quizzing glasses. Then Wulfric crossed the empty ballroom floor to Christine and, noticing the silence, asks, “Have I missed something?” Christine answers, “Yes”, A looking glass. You missed seeing yourself smile.”…”I understand that it is as rare as a rose in winter.”

  117. How can I pick a favorite charactor. I’ve loved every story you wrote. Just keep them coming is all I can ask for. I keep a record of all the titles and to date I have read 29 of your books. the title of one in this e-mail I somehow missed. I am going on a hunt for A Masked Deception. Don’t know how that slipped by me. Keep writing and I will keep reading.

  118. Love all your books including your recent series–love following families and groups of friends across time and space. Remember “A Masked Affair” very fondly as I do “Lilies of the Field” (am probably messing the titles up.) Even though I am not religious, I was really moved by a story of a woman who wanted a life committed to others, not to the glitz of the ton. Of course the passionate, sexy minister in that story was a bonus!

  119. Slightly Dangerous is by far my favorite. I have read it many times. The absolute best part of the book is when Wulfric jumps into the lake astonishing everyone and then Lady Hallmere grabs Christine in a hug and says “If this is what you have done for him, I will love you all my life.” I cry every time it read that.

    • Me too! The best by far. I think my only other favorite scene from a book is when Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth the second time. That’s high praise indeed.

  120. “The worst thing about loneliness is that it brings one face to face with oneself” Beautiful quote. I felt lonely reading it.

  121. Masked Deception was one of the first books I bought from the library in the early 90’s. I really loved that story and became a fan of your work ever since. I kept that paperback until it literally fell apart. I look for the reprint or ebook version anywhere I think I could find it. It hasn’t happened yet, so I wait patiently.

  122. I love the thought of writing what you know and don’t know because research and especially today the Internet allow you to physically thanks to you tube visit another Country. Great Articles. I would SO love to read this Book.
    Marilyn (ewatvess@yahoo.com)

  123. Just finished the Arrangement, can’t wait for next one. I love your books, I think I’ve read them all. Made the mistake of not keeping a list of titles. I might be reading them all again. Carol

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