Saturday, April 05, 2008

Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh

In the first three books of this series, teachers from Miss Martin's School for Girls find true love.  In each book we see Miss Claudia Martin as "the older woman" who is their dear friend and supporter.  She encourages them in finding their paths to happiness.  We catch glimpses of her conflict with the aristocracy and we suspect that the anonymous benefactor of the school might be her greatest nemesis.

In Simply Perfect,  Miss Martin finally gets her HEA! Joseph, Marquess of Attingsborough, shows up unexpectedly at the school to escort Miss Martin and two of her students to London. Before they leave he asks for a tour of the school and charms everyone. In an amusing refrain after he visits each room, Miss Martin thinks to herself that everyone was "gazing worshipfully at him" and you can tell she's not happy about it.   What she doesn't know is that he has an illigitimate daughter who is blind and he is thinking of her welfare when he talks with Miss Martin about education.

A year or so ago I read Simply Love (second in this series) and was delighted with the unusual characters. At times it was confusing because people were mentioned who obviously had backstories of which I was totally ignorant.  When I read that Simply Perfect had come out, I knew I needed to read the other books in the series before I attempted it. So this week I read Simply Unforgettable, Simply Magic and Simply Perfect. Whew! Balogh marathon!

I'm glad I read these books before Simply Perfect because everyone shows up in this story, including all the aristocracy from previous books which I haven't read. Amazingly, their characters came through quite clearly and this almost felt like Ms. Balogh was finished with these people and their world. Except Lizzie, Joseph's daughter, is so lovingly depicted I wonder if we'll get her story next.

Although Ms. Balogh's voice is consistent, I was impressed with how different she made her H/h in each story.  Each was clearly drawn, especially the men.  I'd recommend every one of these books.  Although Simply Love can be read before Simply Unforgettable they should both be read before Simply Magic.  And since Perfect is probably the culmination of the series,  the others should be read first.  Not that this should be considered a hardship. LOL



  1. I am so glad to see you enjoyed this book. I just finished (literally 10 minutes ago) the second to last book in the Bedwyn series. I think the family needed fewer siblings. It is good to know she has found a way to keep her new series a bit more fresh.

  2. If I remember correctly, some of the heroes in the Simply books are related to the Bedwyn's, cousins or some such.

  3. Claudia Martin, the main character of this last book and head mistress of the school, was once Freyja Bedwyn's governess. She was the one person who stood up to the family and quit, refusing any compensation. Because of this, Freyja actually respects her. She secretly (because Miss Martin would never accept it if she knew) funds the school as a benefactor. This first comes to light in Freyja's book. The school's secret benefactor is mentioned in the first of the two Simply books. I have yet to read the last two, but I'm guessing it is refered to again.

  4. Yes that tidbit is confirmed in Simply Perfect although there are hints of it in all four Simply books. Claudia is the only one who seems shocked by the info. LOL


Have you read it? What do you think?

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