cover image Someone to Trust

Someone to Trust

Mary Balogh. Berkley, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-58610-1

Balogh’s emotionally rich fifth Westcott Regency (after Someone to Care) is the best installment yet. Colin Handrich, Baron Hodges, joins the Westcott family for Christmas, where he renews his friendship with Elizabeth, the widowed Lady Overfield. Caught up in the magic that only an unexpected Christmas snowfall can create, both begin to realize that their affection for each other has deepened into attraction and even love. But Elizabeth is 35 years old and Colin is a mere 26. Acknowledging the societal double standard that sees women marry much older men but scorns the reverse, Elizabeth nonetheless refuses Colin’s proposal, and they seek other partners. But their agreement to dance one waltz at any ball they attend allows their feelings to grow and eventually precipitates a challenging choice. Amid the battle between love and social convention, Balogh addresses family tensions and trauma: Colin’s bizarre, semi-estranged mother provides both comic relief and a hint of darkness, while Elizabeth must deal with painful memories of her alcoholic, abusive late husband. The balance between sweet and bitter produces a complex and winning love story. Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (Dec. )