Simply Unforgettable
Mary Balogh
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Simply Unforgettable
Mary Balogh
448 pages
July 2006
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Every now and then, a book comes along that is so completely amazing, so beautiful and touching that it leaves you sighing in delight as you turn the last page. Simply Unforgettable is very nearly that book.

Simply Unforgettable is set in Regency England, and much of it takes place in Bath at Miss Martin’s School for Girls. Fans of Balogh’s "Slightly" series may remember Miss Martin from Slightly Scandalous. The school in Bath is home to four schoolteachers, each of whom will have her own story. The first book in the new series is about Frances Allard, a woman who is much more than just a teacher of music and French. She is a very gifted singer with a secret past.

Lucius Marshall, a handsome and charismatic peer of the realm, rescues Frances from a capsized carriage during a snowstorm. They find themselves staying in an empty roadside inn with only their coachmen for company. Lucius and Frances cook, clean, scoop snow, and engage in a very improper snowball fight. Along the way, they fall in love.

Frances returns to the life she has built for herself, determined to be content again with what she has. Lucius is just as determined to have her in his life. Permanently. The only problem is that he’s expected to marry well, and she’s just a lowly schoolteacher. Or is she?

Attention to period detail is plentiful in Balogh’s newest portrayal of life among the aristocracy of Regency England. From the fashions to the hobbies to the entertainment, readers will be swept back to a time where men where everyone wears gloves all day long and seeing a glimpse of a lady’s ankles can set a man’s heart to racing. But it’s not all purity and modesty, thanks to Lucius’s efforts to seduce Frances whenever possible.

As with her previous efforts, Mary Balogh has created original and exciting characters and breathed new life into an overwritten genre. This is a very encouraging start to what will be a highly anticipated new series.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Kelley Sittner Hartshorn, 2005

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