Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh

Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh could possibly be described in one sentence, predicatable regency romance. However, I'll try to go into a little more detail than that.
Firstly, this is the final in a quartet, and I haven't read the first three, however, I don't think I was missing much essential information from the last three books, suffice to say, I suspect that they all ended happily, but, if by any chance you couldn't guess how the other three might have ended, reading this one will, technically give that away. However, if you pick up something like this then you pretty much know how it's going to end anyway.
So, basic plot. Claudia Martin is the head mistress at a girls school in Bath and is planning on going to Bath with two of her charity girls who have been offered work. Her match making friends have sent Joseph Fawcitt to escort her to London. Yeah, you guessed it, two pages max before you figure out how this is going to end. However, there are a few other characters thrown in, mainly to either get in the way of their romance or to try and assist it. Including Joseph's fiance and a man from Claudia's past.
However, this isn't quite as appalling as I'm making it out to be. Yes bits of it are predictable, but not all of it. I'd say that I'm quite cynical when reading romances, but there were actually a couple of twists that I didn't guess (and did kick myself for not getting), one relatively early on and one quite near the end.
Writing wise, Mary Balogh does have the deceny to avoid most of the obvious sexual cliches, which makes a pleasant change, yes, there are a couple of sex scenes, but by the standards of such books they're relatively tasteful, and I don't remember a single mention of a heaving bosom.
Writing in general, pretty good, I did find myself getting quite fond of Claudia, she was well written. She's isn't pathetic and waiting to be rescued, but Balogh also hasn't written a modern woman who just happens to be living in a Regency world. Claudia is confident and capable of looking after herself, but she lives in the right period.
Overall, quite enjoyable, pretty predictable. I probably would leave another couple of her books, they're good fun, trash, romantic reads that you don't have to concentrate on.

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