[[ Pdf ]] Slightly DangerousAuthor Mary Balogh – Gsagency.co

Of course it s five stars This review first appeared at Romantic Historical Reviews.Slightly Dangerous was released in 2004, as the culmination of Mary Balogh s Bedwyn Saga series, which follows the lives of Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle, and his five siblings It has gone on to become her most popular book, with a 4.6 5 rating on and 4.2 5 on Goodreads, and is firmly placed among the top ten in All About Romance s Top 100 Poll I have read almost everything published by Mary Balogh, and this one is by far my favorite I am tempted to stop my review right here, because if these ratings by hundreds of readers don t convince you that it is a book worth reading, I m not sure that I can add anything Nevertheless, I shall try.Wulfric Bedwyn is the consummate arrogant, cold as ice duke, wealthy and powerful and not inclined to suffer fools or much of anyone else for that matter We have come to know him gradually in the first five books of the series, and there have been glimpses of a man who loves his brothers and sisters deeply, even as he exerts his considerable power to control their lives and to interfere with matches that he considers unsuitable As this book opens, all of his siblings are happily married and have moved away from the family estate, Lindsey Hall His long time mistress has died recently, and although Wulfric cared for her he did not love her and thus his grieving is for himself than for her Wulfric is feeling at loose ends, so when his friend invites him to a gathering of intellectuals at Lord Renable s estate, he accepts and then immediately regrets his impulsiveness His impeccable manners, however, will not permit him to cry off, but his regret increases when he discovers that the house party is filled with the usual frivolous haute ton characters.Christine Derrick also is a guest at the house party, as she is a friend of Lord Renable s wife Melanie She has been invited only at the last minute to round out the numbers, and she really doesn t want to go, but she also hates to leave Melanie in a bind Christine is twenty nine and the widow of the younger brother of Basil, Viscount Elrick Her marriage began with love but turned out badly as her husband became possessive, demanding, and downright paranoid, wrongly accusing her of having affairs Unfortunately, Basil and his wife Hermoine believed these accusations and they have declined to offer her any support and cut off all contact with her Christine lives in a cottage with her mother and elder sister, a schoolteacher whom Christine sometimes assists Christine is the utter opposite of Wulfric He is the ultimate aristocrat she a poor widow He is intimidating and humorless, wielding his omnipresent quizzing glass like a weapon she is full of life and light and joy, completely lacking in artifice or pretense He is the soul of propriety she tends to act impulsively, sometimes getting into embarrassing scrapes which she gaily laughs off But as the house party gets underway and even though she is not of the same class as the other guests, she quickly enchants them all Except for Wulfric Actually, they got off to a bad start In a classic scene, Christine leans over the balustrade to peer at the arriving duke and, when he looks up, accidentally spills lemonade in his eye Thinking her a servant, he growls and scowls she lightly utters, Sorry, and disappears in embarrassment When Wulfric spots her later that day among the guests enjoying afternoon tea, he employs his typical method of intimidation staring at her through his quizzing glass When Christine stares back and refuses to be cowed, he crosses the room to speak to her, and neither of the lives ever will be the same.Many readers have compared this story to Pride and Prejudice, and while there are some similarities to Lizzy and Darcy, Mary Balogh has created her own characters in Wulfric and Christine To begin with, while Austen left Darcy as something of a mystery by telling the story largely through Lizzy s eyes, Balogh shifts her point of view between the two main characters I daresay the reader understands Wulfric s motivations much than Darcy s Balogh s couple is much mature than Lizzy and Darcy, and each has suffered disappointments before meeting one another Moreover, Wulfric is orders of magnitude richer and powerful than Darcy, and he is exactly the type of aristocrat who Christine abhors He is rather appalled by her as well, as she repeatedly behaves with a lack of decorum that he finds unladylike And yet, Wulfric finds himself unwillingly drawn to her to the point that he rushes to her assistance when said unladylike conduct puts her in mortifying situations Christine is slower to see Wulfric s admirable traits, but eventually she is as unwillingly attracted to him and he is to her.Under the circumstances, Wulfric does what a duke would do he offers Christine carte blanche, which Christine angrily rejects Oh, but this is just the beginning of a back and forth that plays out over the next several months in Gloucestershire and London and at the Bedwyn country estate Lindsey Hall And while Christine is a delightful character, I find that Wulfric is really the star of the book He truly is the quintessential top lofty duke, and Balogh does not do him the disservice of having him melt into a pile of goo when he falls in love Other authors have written similar characters indeed they are a staple of historical romance but Wulfric Bedwyn stands at the top of the heap There is an old Italian phrase, capo di tutt i capi, meaning the boss of all bosses, and I like to think of Wulfric as the duca di tutt i duchi Perhaps I can be forgiven for falling in love with him myself.This is a beautiful love story, wonderfully told by Mary Balogh, and recently, for the first time in several years, the audio version narrated by the incomparable Roslyn Landor is available once Landor has recorded most of Balogh s audio editions, and in this performance she never puts a foot wrong This is not surprising, however, since Landor is one of the top four or five best narrators of historical romance I will just add that even if you haven t read any of the earlier books in this series, Slightly Dangerous is excellent as a standalone In short, it is a classic Do read it or listen to it Or better yet, do both. I am re reading all my 5 star rated romance novels There are 60 on my shelf This is book 36Tropes Unstarched hero , Widow, Class Difference, Opposites Attract, Unrequited Love, Enemies to LoversThis is how my 36th re read held up This book THIS BOOK.While not perfect it s perfect I love this book I haven t read it in several years, and as always I worry when I pick up one from my 5 star bookshelf, but thankfully this held up Maintains 5 stars He did not want a duchess.More especially, he did not want a duchess who was not his social equal, who looked pretty at all times and startlingly lovely when animated but was not at all elegant or refined, who behaved impulsively and not always with proper decorum or gentility, who drew attention to herself every time she became enthusiastic about something and then simply laughed when things went wrong instead of being suitably mortified. Quick plot Cold and reclusive Wulfric Bedwyn, finds himself at a house party where to his great irritation can t help but be drawn to the commoner, widowed and all wrong for him, Christine Derrick Wulfric is SO up his own ass, we really should not like him But at the start it s Christine charismatic character that really holds the attention She is not impressed by the lofty duke laughs at him, puts him in his place and drives him batsh t crazyHe was asking why he had amused her Amused was not quite the right word, but she had laughed at him as she was doing again now You were so very outraged you are so very outraged, she explained, that I failed to obey your command The Duke of Bewcastle was also watching, a look of supercilious weariness on his face But Christine took no notice of him beyond noticing that expression anyway He might have a reputation for lowering the temperature of any room that he occupied, but he was not going to chill her spirits She really distracts us from Wulfric s arrogant and sullen behaviour until we get to see his strong character and reasons for his behavior unfold At first a silly wager drives Christine to spend some alone time with him but to her horror she can t help but notice her attraction to himThe Duke of Bewcastle was definitely handsome in his cold, austere way But he had something else beyond that.He was sexually appealing Wulfric is baffled by his attractionIt did not amuse Wulfric to discover himself drawn to a woman who had none of the attributes he found admirable in women It positively disturbed him to find himself wondering what it would be like to bed her He was not in the habit of looking upon ladies or any woman, for that matter with lascivious intent.But he was drawn to Mrs Derrick He could not imagine finding a maze amusing, but he did not want to turn back yet He wanted to spend a little time in the aura of her light and vitality and laughter He wanted to spend time with her And their attraction is really somethingAnd then they were stranded within a foot of each other with nothing else to say, it seemed, and nowhere else to look except at each other The sense of seclusion deepened Somewhere not far off a bee droned.The flush of color in her cheeks deepened and her teeth sank into her lower lip He possessed himself of one of her hands and held it between them with both his own It was warm and smooth skinned I will simply concede defeat, then, he said, and raised it to his lips.His heart for some reason was pounding hard enough in his chest to make him feel slightly dizzy Her hand trembled in his own He held it to his lips far longer than was necessary.But would even a single second have been necessary Or wise She was gazing at him with wide eyes and slightly parted lips, he saw when he raised his head She smelled of sunshine and woman again.He leaned forward and set his lips to hers.And felt an instant shock of intimacy and desire.Her lips were warm and soft and inviting He tasted her, touched her with his tongue, probed the soft flesh behind her lips, breathed in the warmth of her, drugged his senses with the essence of her He held her hand between them and felt as if some core of ice that had always held his emotions safely imprisoned was dripping warm melted water into his veins.He did not know if she slipped her hand from his or if he released it But however it was, her arms twined about his neck, one of his circled her waist, the other her shoulders, and they came together in a close embrace, her soft, warm, shapely body arched in along the length of his.He teased her mouth wider with his own and pressed his tongue deep inside She touched it with her own and sucked it deeper This still doesn t mean he knows what to do about it, and the idiot asks her to become his mistressI would prefer it if you would remain here and count slowly to ten after I leave, she said The charm of your company has worn thin, I am afraid.Wulfric sat very still, staring ahead at the hedge and concentrating upon tucking his emotions neatly back inside that safe ice core But at the last night of the party, their attraction proves too strongWith his thumbs he traced the lines of her eyebrows, her cheekbones, her chin He ran one thumb lightly across her lips, drew down the lower one, and moistened the pad by running it across the soft flesh within She touched the tip of his thumb with her tongue, luring it into her mouth before sucking it deep She was hot, soft, wet.He withdrew his thumb and replaced it with his mouth.But only briefly.He drew back his head a few inches and gazed into her moonlit eyes I want you, he said.Even as he spoke he was aware that she could break the spell with one word And part of him willed her to do just that Yes, she said on a whisper of sound At this point Wulfric, is ready to propose, but Christine pulls the rug out under him before he gets his words outWhat just happened here was not the beginning of anything but rather the end For some reason that perhaps neither of us fully understands, there has been this something between us Now we have given in to it and satisfied it Now we can say good bye and go our separate ways tomorrow and forget each other Even as she spoke she realized what utter drivel she was mouthing Ah, he said faintly Will we I will not be your mistress, she said I did this for myself, for my own pleasure It was pleasant, I have satisfied my curiosity, and that is that The end Wulfric isn t quite ready to give up, but Christine does not make it easy, and I certainly see her point and fully respect her for itI did not think you indifferent to me, he said And contrary to popular belief, one coupling does not kill physical attraction Your prospects of living a fulfilled life here seem slender Life as my duchess would offer you infinitely Do you say no, Mrs Derrick, only to punish me Will you perhaps punish yourself too in the process I can offer you everything you can ever have dreamed of The fact that she was tempted drat her, she was tempted fanned the flames of her anger Can you she asked sharply A husband with a warm personality and human kindness and a sense of humor Someone who loves people and children and frolicking and absurdity Someone who is not obsessed with himself and his own consequence Someone who is not ice to the very core Someone with a heart Someone to be a companion and friend and lover This is everything I have ever dreamed of, your grace Can you offer it all to me Or any of it Any one thing Pride severely wounded, Wulfric retreats, but as faiths will have it, paths crossIs the world not large enough for the two of us, then, Mrs Derrick Sometimes, she said, I wonder And I do not suppose you have many kindly thoughts of me It cannot be every day that a lowly commoner refuses two very different but equally flattering offers from a duke You assume, then, he said, that I have had thoughts of you, ma am Her terrible discomfort fled, and she leaned a little toward him and laughed aloud I love it, she said, when you can be provoked into spite Or perhaps I insult you by accusing you of that A genteel word would be set down It was a rather magnificent one and certainly put me in my place He gazed haughtily at her And I love it, Mrs Derrick, he said softly, when you can be provoked to laughter even when you do it with just your eyes Unable to give up Wulfric asks her to come to his one and only house partyYou are as you are, and I am sure that in your own world you do very well indeed You command respect and obedience and even awe They are necessary attributes, I daresay, for an aristocrat in your position They are just not attributes that I look for in a lifelong companion I am a man as well as a duke, Mrs Derrick, he said.She wished he had not said that She felt as if a giant fist had caught her a blow in her abdomen, robbing her of all breath and strength in her legs I know She was whispering She cleared her throat I know And you have not been indifferent to that man, he said I know He touched the gloved knuckles of one hand to her cheek for a brief moment, and she closed her eyes and frowned Much of this and she would be bawling or casting herself into his arms and begging him to propose marriage to her again so that she could have the pleasure of living unhappily ever after with him Give me a chance, he said Come to Lindsey Hall And it s at this house party we not only get to see how Wulfric s out of character behaviour is amusingly viewed by his family, but also how hard he tries to show Christine there is to him than a cold dukeI believe I could stand the power of your light, Mrs Derrick My own identity would not be diminished by it And yours would not be diminished by my power You once told me I would sap your joy, but you belittle yourself if you truly believe it Joy can be sapped only by weakness I am not, I believe, a weak man During the few days she had been at Lindsey Hall she had already discovered that there was a real person lurking behind the formidable figure of the Duke of Bewcastle.They were one and the same, of course, the man and the duke Not for a moment did she suspect that he was somehow mad, that there were two quite different persons living within the same body But she was not sure she wanted to see any of the man or know any about him Her life had been so very safe again for almost three years He walked out along the branch that extended over the water, holding onto another branch for balance as long as he could and then doing it on his own He went to the very end of the branch, tested it for strength, bent his knees a few times, flexed his arms He was, Christine realized, playing up to his audience, which was loving it.And then he dived in headfirst, his arms stretched above his head, his legs straight and together, his feet pointed There was hardly a splash as he went in.There was, however, a collective gasp from the bank, followed by a cheer Christine clapped her free hand over her mouth until his head broke above the surface and he shook the water out of his eyes Someone, he shouted, should have warned me that the water is cold It was the moment at which Christine slid all the way irretrievably in love.And then something extraordinary happened something else extraordinary, that was Lady Hallmere stepped up in front of her, frowning ferociously, and hugged her hard, the duke s clothes squashed between them If this is what you have done for him, she said, I will love you all my lifeWhy was it, she wondered, that opposites attracted And they were such very extreme opposites Really enjoyed this one This is the first book by Mary Balogh that I ve read and I found it to be wonderful.So let s talk about the Richard Armitage, shall we As soon as I read the description of the Duke, I pictured Richard Armitage Granted, I might have enjoyed this book so much because of the resultant mental imagery However, I suspect I actually liked it because of the stellar writing, wonderful dialogue, and the interesting characters. 13 January 2015I have a Facebook page which I use primarily to follow my favorite authors Yesterday, however, I posted this photo on Mary Balogh s page and mentioned that it reminded me of Wulfric and Christine Almost immediately, Mary Balogh her own self responded, Yes, indeed I believe it was created for them Don t you get a little thrill when authors you admire speak directly to you Then I noticed the stats activity on my page is up 78,500% in 18 hours I don t really care about stats, as the page is just a convenience, but it s interesting to see the influence of a popular author I love Mary Balogh, and this is my favorite Balogh book Highly recommended 5 November 2011I read this before all the other Bedwyn books and liked it a lot Loved the Duke, and Christine was delightful.January 19, 2012 Just reread, and decided to bump it up from 4 to 5 stars I definitely recommend reading these in order because the Duke plays a crucial role in each story, which helps the reader understand him better in this one It was fun seeing all of the Bedwyn siblings and their spouses together Oh, and all of their children, which they are producing at an alarming rate For once, I can forgive the usually obligatory epilogue where the baby arrives. A beautifully done, sweet and heartwarming romance.As much as I started adoring the vivacious and irrepressible h, it s the H who steals the show A better replication of Mr Darcy I ve yet to read He s cold, aloof, unsmiling and as toplofty as they come His eyes, she noticed, were like two chips of ice Their normal charming selves, in fact But for all his quizzing glass put downs of her, he falls for the sunny and charming h in his typically silent but profound way And the story is about how he woos her awkwardly yet so sweetly, while she retreats for reasons of her own I understood the h s reasons for hedging but still my heart ached for him and his loneliness I wish the h had been able to see through his cold exterior to his honorable and loving heart a lot sooner I didn t like some of her harsh and overdramatic lines likeYou would sap all the energy and all the joy from me You would put out all the fire of my vitality Give me a chance to fan the flames of that fire, he said, and to nurture your joy So while he falls for her easily despite warning himself of her social unsuitableness , she takes her time to be sure and goes through falling in love to actually loving The revelations and the mild shocker at the end also lift the story. 3.5 ishOW and OM warnings view spoiler H had a mistress for 10 years and he went into a dark placed when she died Heroine had a previous marriage and she was supposdely deeply in love with her husband hide spoiler Some books are hard to review Do I love it Do I not Series The final nail in the coffin, as it were.Sexy times Yes Tame stuff Clinical at times as GR Ursula pointed out Plan on reading by the author I do Synopsis This is a long tale It felt longer than the other books in the series Perhaps that was just me Christine catches the eye of the oh so proper and restrained Wulf, the head of his clan and a very proper Duke She s nothing like he d imagine himself being attracted to and she certainly isn t good ton she giggles, jumps from trees, rips her clothing, flings children about and spills lemonade in people s eyes She s poor She s underdressed She s just short of ridic But, apparently, to know her is to love her Everyone, including the damned Duke, is enchanted by her boisterousness Silly woman, the equivalent of a regency party girl Her inclination to playfulness leads Wulf to offer for heras his mistress Duh, duh, duh, duhhnnnn Not well done, Wulf Not well done at all They end up connecting in the whole physical way, but that s all she s willing to give and inexplicably, Wulf makes the big M offer, which she summarily rejects His obsession with her never wanes and her irritation with him as a cold and domineering man only grows They won t suit That s all there is to it She s got history, he s got history, and somehow that history intersects with their future Things need to get cleaned up, conversations need to be had and stuff needs to get worked out before these two can see clear to their HEA Heroine Christine Gah This woman has put up with enough crap at the hands of plenty of people, but it won t change the fact that she s determined to enjoy her life, reputations be damned She can be ridic at times, but overall, I get it She s got some backbone and is done paying a price for something she never sold Hero Wulf Life dealt him some serious cards He carries the weight of his family, his title, the people he supports and somewhere in there, he may have lost himself When it comes to women, he s got no game None at all But it s not like he needs game He needs to breathe and enjoy and do this thing called life Why it did or didn t work for me I m pretty sure I really liked this story I think my reticence comes in when all of the back and forth just got to be too much for me However, that said, it was necessary All that should I, could I business These two are an unlikely match and in order to find their likely they had to work at it There were some interesting side plots with other characters that were actually integral to the MC s relationship What a nice break Cannot stand the secondary plots which are unnecessary They just take up space and I m over that Signed, I still don t know if I love this or not It s not a cut and dried kinda story But that s the point, rightI m out 3.5 Pride Prejudice with a slight twist stars BEST OF THE SERIES and of Mary Balogh a perfect ending for all of us Bedwyn family fans Slightly Dangerous is the sixth and final book in Mary Balogh s Bedwyn family series and takes place two to two and a half years it spreads out over several months after Rachel and Alleyne s wedding in Slightly Sinful It is absolute perfection and reading it will make you giddy and in several locations laugh out loud I think it s the best of the series, which is saying something since IMO often the final books in series aren t as good as the first ones and with a character like Wulfric I mean, after encountering him in six of Balogh s previous books, it almost seems impossible that he could possibly be a hero in his own romance One is compelled to read the book if only to discover how Balogh could possibly pull off such a thing and what heroine on earth could make it all believable.MAIN CHARACTERS, Christine and Wulfric Mrs Christine Derrick is 29 years old and has been a widow for two years She was married at the age of 20 to Oscar Derrick, the younger brother of Basil, Viscount Elrick She is absolutely enchanting as Wulfric himself calls her , a heroine full of vitality and genuine kindness who has a passion for life and living and lacks any pretension or artifice She is sometimes self conscious, since she has a tendency to get in embarrassing public scraps, but she easily engages and wins over everyone she meets best of all, she s able to laugh at herself whenever she does blunder.Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle is 35 years old and has never been married When Slightly Dangerous begins his mistress of 10 years has just died and with all of his siblings happily married off and reproducing at a rate you wouldn t believe he feels uncharacteristically lonely that s what propels him to impulsively accept the invitation to the house party, something he would normally never do He is austere, cold, hard, extremely haughty and arrogant every inch the powerful duke that he is and just the last man on earth whom you could possibly imagine falling in love or feeling passion Ah, but read this book and you will realize how wrong you are They are opposites in so many ways Christine is lightness and laughter and joy and Wulfric is austerity and haughtiness and oppressive duty Yet Balogh does such an incredible job at writing them and their relationship that the chemistry between Christine and Wulfric is unbelievably magnetic I mean you have to hand it to her Slightly Dangerous has a hero who does not I repeat, DOES NOT smile or laugh until page 347 out of 365 pages and yet the love story between them will sweep you off your feet and you will absolutely adore and believe every single encounter and every single progression of their relationship Now THAT, in my opinion, is talent.READ AFTER OTHER BEDWYN BOOKS If anyone is considering reading Slightly Dangerous having not read any of the previous Bedwyn books, I would discourage it for one simple reason to truly appreciate and understand Wulfric s character and heighten your enjoyment of the romance, it helps to be lead up to this point after having read the five sibling romances and A Summer to Remember if you like, a prequel where the Bedwyn family is first introduced This book can stand alone I suppose, though one could easily get lost with all of the various Bedwyn siblings, spouses, and children that appear joy But to feel what I described at the beginning a sense of complete incredulity that Wulfric could possibly be involved in a romance and a burning curiosity as to who such a romance would be with and how it would progress you would have to already know him from Balogh s previous Bedwyn books They re great reads There are many different types of heroes that we encounter in this genre, but no serious never smiles hero that you have EVER read could possibly live up to the Duke of Bewcastle So many times when we read about those types of heroes, they melt surprisingly fast in the presence of the heroine, they begin to change and start laughing relatively easily To fully be able to comprehend how ice cold this man is, it helps to know him from the other books literally, if someone hugged him you feel like they would immediately catch hypothermia However, we have also been teased with one or two moments in each previous book with a glimpse of not a top lofty unbelievably arrogant duke, but of a mere man who feels not only duty and responsibility, but who is very alone in all his power and feels a deep love for each of his siblings.SIGH FILLED HEART MELTING SCENE one of many I would be consumed by you, she said, and blinked her eyes furiously when she felt them fill with tears You would sap all the energy and all the joy from me You would put out all the fire of my vitality Give me a chance to fan the flames of that fire, he said, and to nurture your joy BOTTOM LINE READ IT after having read the other five books in the Bedwyn series Buy the book definite keeper and re read and prepare yourself for a read in one sitting romance filled with Bedwyn siblings and spouses, a hint of Pride and Prejudice, laugh out loud scenes, unbelievable chemistry, dialogue and thoughts by the hero that will have you sighing constantly, and a delightful heroine.P.S.1 WHY does Balogh always write head over ears in love instead of head over heels 2 Stop complaining about his quizzing glasses everyone they re horrid, yes, but Christine thinks so too and the two scenes where she lets her annoyance and humor about them show are priceless 3 And sorry but I have to write the following This is to all historical romance writers out there, including Balogh curls are NEVER EVER EVER brushed As a young woman who has had ridiculously curly hair all her life, I can tell you with utmost certainty that no one with curly hair would EVER dream of brushing their curls Show me someone who does and I ll show you someone who looks like they just put their finger in an electrical socket Sorry, but just had to get that off my chest. BONUS This Edition Contains An Excerpt From Mary Balogh S The Secret MistressAll Of London Is Abuzz Over The Imminent Arrival Of Wulfric Bedwyn, The Reclusive, Cold As Ice Duke Of Bewcastle, At The Most Glittering Social Event Of The Season Some Whisper Of A Tragic Love Affair Others Say He Is So Aloof And Passionless That Not Even The Greatest Beauty Could Capture His Attention But On This Dazzling Afternoon, One Woman Did Catch The Duke S Eye And She Was The Only Female In The Room Who Wasn T Even Trying Christine Derrick Is Intrigued By The Handsome Duke All The So When He Invites Her To Become His Mistress What Red Blooded Woman Wouldn T Enjoy A Tumble In The Bedsheets With A Consummate Lover With No Strings And No Questions Asked An Infuriating Lady With Very Definite Views On Men, Morals, And Marriage, Christine Confounds Wulfric At Every Turn Yet Even As The Lone Wolf Of The Bedwyn Clan Vows To Seduce Her Any Way He Can, Something Strange And Wonderful Is Happening Now For A Man Who Thought He D Never Lose His Heart, Nothing Less Than Love Will Do With Her Trademark Wit, Riveting Storytelling, And Sizzling Sexual Sparks, Mary Balogh Once Again Brings Together Two Polar Opposites An Irresistible, High And Mighty Aristocrat And The Impulsive, Pleasure Loving Woman Who Shows Him What True Passion Is All About A Man And A Woman So Wrong For Each Other, It Can Result Only In The Perfect Match