Saturday 30 August 2014

BMBR: Mary Balogh, Everything

No, there isn't a book titled Everything by Mary Balogh (as far as I know). I'm talking about almost every book she's written. Rough estimate: I've read 95% of her books, and mostly from the library, thank goodness, because she's written a lot of books.

What they are: Regency-era romance.

Why I like them: I had to think about this one because until recently I couldn't put my finger on it. I mean, they aren't necessarily spectacular (but they are really good) and the writing has never struck me as being awesome (but they are well-written, and some are better than others). But I finally figured out what it is. But I'm going to tell you what it is later on.

I love that a lot of her characters are so different. Oh sure, there are some stereotypes and some common character themes, but I have no memory of ever thinking that any character was the same person with a different name in another book. I also love that a lot of the characters are wonderfully flawed. I'm not talking hey-she's-absolutely-perfect-in-every-way-but-she's-a-little-clutzy. I'm talking they've been in wars, been emotionally or physically abused, physically damaged, not necessarily beautiful or perfect or socially adept or even rich (although somebody usually is). Oh sure, the overcoming of social conventions to make a relationship work is sometimes a little hard to believe, but I didn't live back then, so what would I know about how things really worked, and the ending is almost always happy and perfect, but you did catch the part about these being romances, right?

I also like that the writing isn't always exactly the same. Most of the time it's "normal" with lots of good conversation, but there was the one novel (sorry, I can't remember the title) where it was mostly he was thinking this while she was thinking that kind of thing, and it was actually kind of frustrating because you just want to shake the characters (and a bit boring), but it probably fit with the characters and with who they were.

Anyway, I've enjoyed every one that I've read, and I'm so glad that the library has them. I did find one of the newer ones at the local second-hand book store, but they're rare there, and there are so many that I could never afford to buy them new (although a lot of them come as two novels in one book), and holy cow they're $9 bucks a pop as ebooks!

I really hope that your library has them; if they do, please take advantage of your card! If money isn't an issue, you may find the price to be worth it. On principle I can't spend full price on an e-book, but if they were $5, or maybe even $6 per e-book, I'd probably consider downloading them all for about a minute before doing so.

Bottom line: I'd say that they're worth a good $5 a pop.

Oh, yeah. The solution as to why I like them so, so very much: they're soothing. I've had some emotional stuff going on lately, and I read The Arrangement. I felt soothed and relaxed the whole time I was reading it. And when I really think about it, I'll binge-read Mary Balogh when I have a lot of stress going on.

I'm going to the library tomorrow, I think.  ;)

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