Only a Kiss
The survivors’ club, book #6
By Mary Balogh
Author’s website: http://www.marybalogh.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, injured in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendships forged in steel and loyalty. But for one, her trials are not over….
Since witnessing the death of her husband during the wars, Imogen, Lady Barclay, has secluded herself in the confines of Hardford Hall, their home in Cornwall. The new owner has failed to take up his inheritance, and Imogen desperately hopes he will never come to disturb her fragile peace.
Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, has no interest in the wilds of Cornwall, but when he impulsively decides to pay a visit to his estate there, he is shocked to discover that it is not the ruined heap he had expected. He is equally shocked to find the beautiful widow of his predecessor’s son living there.
Soon Imogen awakens in Percy a passion he has never thought himself capable of feeling. But can he save her from her misery and reawaken her soul? And what will it mean for him if he succeeds?
The Survivors’ Club series is some of the best historical fiction I have ever read and Only A Kiss does not disappoint. Mary Balogh has the unique ability to not only immerse her reader into the story but keep them turning pages. I know for a fact I waited with anticipation for this story as I had read the others and was dying to find out Imogens’ story in relationship to the other 5 survivors of the Napoleonic Wars.
We find Imogen at Hardford Hall where she has meted out a life for herself devoid of feeling. She exists in a self-imposed feeling of peace and tranquility yearning for the yearly contact with her fellow survivors. Her peace and tranquility gets interrupted when Percival Hayes the new Earl of Hardford arrives unexpectedly. Although initially disliking him Imogen finds she is attracted but is hesitant when the Earl arouses feelings in her that have long been suppressed. Having witnessed her husband’s death, Percy feels there is more to the story than is being told by Imogen. When Imogen finally realizes she is in love with Percy she knows she can never have him or can she?
In a drunken state Percy makes the decision to go to Hardford Hall. There he finds he is in the company of 3 women and numerous strays. Meeting his predecessor’s sons widow he finds himself attracted to her. He opens up to Imogen about things he would never talk about in London society and finds she is a delightful cure for loneliness. But Imogen has a marble exterior which is only broken when she smiles or laughs occasionally. Percy is determined to find out what made her so cold and unfeeling. He knows that he loves her but will it be enough to break the ice?
As said before I loved this series and I do hope there will be a seventh book to give us the story of the owner of Penderiss Hall. I would love to know the story on why he took the survivors in. All of these stories can stand alone however if you have read the others, the characters flow from one book to the other. Mary Balogh is definitely one of my favorite writers and I look forward to more books by her.