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REVIEW: Dark Angel by Mary Balogh

Dear Mrs. Balogh,

Several of my friends once gave me tips on which books from your lengthy backlist I needed to try. The Dark Angel series was mentioned by almost everyone. Well, they can pat themselves on the back because this is a great start to a wonderful series.

Jennifer Winwood, newly arrived in London and betrothed to a handsome man she adores, is bursting with happy expectations. But she gets caught in the middle of a nasty feud between her fiancà© and the Earl of Thornhill when each decides to use her to hurt the other. When the dust settles, she finds herself forced to marry the earl in a union that seems to have nothing but bitterness and despair to offer both of them.

I loved the hero. Loved his darkness. Loved the way he realized what an ass he was being and how he changed. The scene when he discovers just how much his little revenge scheme has cost Jennifer, physically, and what she was almost willing to pay to avoid marriage to him is wrenching. I also liked how Gabriel didn’t start out trying to ruin Jennifer, just get back at the villain. His motives were good even if they did backfire and he was immediately willing to make amends to Jennifer for what he’d caused her. I loved that he wanted to spend the rest of his life trying to make up to Jennifer for his assness.

I liked the heroine once she got over her Seventeen magazine obsession about when Lionel was gonna snog her. Loved how she rose to the challenge of flipping the ton the bird and how she matured as a person. Loved how she didn’t want to wallow in her hurt but was willing to make the best of the marriage she got.

The villain was such a slimy, sleazebucket. I really enjoyed watching him get his. The scene of his downfall was a bit contrived but I guess when you’ve got a 218 page limit, you have to employ that kind of thing.

For readers who haven’t tried your earlier trad regency books, this is a great one to start out with and it makes me thankful to have you as an author.

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

14 Comments

  1. Rosario
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 14:46:24

    Oh, Jayne, you torturer! Now I’m dying to read this, and it’s very hard to find. Here’s hoping they’ll reissue it soon!

  2. Sarah
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 14:49:09

    Several people have recommended this book to me too but I’ve been leery about trying it because I haven’t really enjoyed any of Ms. Balogh’s recent works. However, I think I’m definitely going to have to go search this title out now. Thanks for the review!

  3. Jayne
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 17:17:39

    Sheesh, I just checked prices at addall. I had no idea this book was that expensive. Sorry folks. Maybe it will be among those rereleased soon.

  4. seton
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 20:19:13

    I really really loved the book that followed this one — LORD CAREW’S BRIDE.

    I wasnt too impressed with DARK ANGEL for some reason. Later, when I wanted to read the whole series again, I found I had kept the 3 books that followed it but had given DARK ANGEL to the UBS and i am not interested in getting it back at the astronomical prices they ask for it.

  5. Nicole
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 20:43:43

    I need to go check and see if this was in the ones that I bought.

    Nope. Darn it. Looks like a good book!

  6. Jayne
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 21:35:45

    Seton, don’t you just love it when you know you don’t need to track down an expensive book? Just wait, though, we have more reviews still to come. ;)

  7. Sybil
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 22:50:54

    hee I have it… haven’t read it but got it for a buck

  8. seton
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 00:46:35

    [quote comment="7494"]hee I have it… haven’t read it but got it for a buck[/quote]

    Yes but do you have Tangled? (evil grin)

  9. seton
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 00:49:53

    [quote comment="7490"]Seton, don’t you just love it when you know you don’t need to track down an expensive book? Just wait, though, we have more reviews still to come. ;)[/quote]

    I look forward to them as always.
    BTW, how did you come by your rare Balogh copy for the review anyway? :-)

  10. Rosie
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 02:43:38

    After Seton’s comment I held my breath while I checked my Balough keepers and breathed a sigh of relief I still had it. I think the older regencies are some of Ms. Balough’s best books.

  11. Rosie
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 02:44:39

    And I like her so much I must apologize for spelling her name wrong!! Balogh…Balogh…no “u” dammit!!

  12. Jayne
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 07:33:43

    IIRC, I found it in a UBS and paid about $1.25 for it and the same for the rest of the books in the Dark Angel series. After checking the prices yesterday, I’m treating it like fine porcelain.

  13. Julia
    Nov 22, 2006 @ 10:09:35

    I love this book. all the related books are very good, and all are different. Have you read The Famous Heroine yet? That one is a farce, and so different in tone from this one. And this series ties with another great one too with their last book: A Christmas Bride.

  14. Tasia
    Jul 30, 2007 @ 15:18:51

    I had to purchase a copy at the astronomical prices the online booksellers indicate. But I know that a UBS near me is willing to pay almost the same price, in fact a few dollars more, for it. So once I read it, I can sell it without a loss, I hope.

    We’ll see. I might just decide to keep the copy to myself ;)

    Nice review. Looking forward to reading it.

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