Someone to Cherish (The Westcott Series)

Written by Mary Balogh
Review by Ray Thompson

‘Are you ever lonely?’

It seems an innocent enough question, but this is Regency England, where the rules governing conduct among the gentry are restrictive. When spoken by a young widow to an unmarried gentleman, they are highly inappropriate.

Neither Lydia Taverner nor Harry Westcott wants marriage, but both recognize an affair in a small village would be scandalous and impossible to conceal. Despite contentment, however, life for both has been rather dull lately, and one thing leads to another…

Since this is eighth in the Westcott series and major figures from the earlier books play an active role, however small, the stage is confusingly crowded, especially by Harry’s ‘sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts’. Those who have savored this fine series from the start will welcome them back, nonetheless. They are an entertaining brood.

The focus here is upon the problems created by overly protective families. However well-intentioned, their actions stifle independence and character growth. The challenge is to provide support without being controlling, and it is never easy, especially when one cares deeply. Fortunately, Balogh steers her characters through the turbulent waters with her customary skill and subtle humor. Highly recommended.