Sir Benedict Harper was a second son who dreamed of one day becoming a general. He never imagined he’d end up crippled before his 30th birthday, or that he’d inherit the family title after a freak accident killed his elder brother, but that’s exactly what happened. Still reeling 3 years after the accident that nearly cost him his life, Ben finally begins to realize he won’t be going back into the army, and must find a new future for himself.
Samantha McKay has been in mourning for the four long months since her husband finally lost his fight against his war wounds. Five years of constantly nursing him meant that she never got to know anyone in the neighborhood in which they live, and now her sister-in-law demands the longest and strictest form of mourning known to humankind.
When Samantha’s learns she’s inherited a house in Wales from a great aunt she never knew existed, she quickly decides to flee there and start a new life. Soon, Ben becomes tangled in her plan and agrees to ride as her escort. Will their tenuous friendship survive the adventure?
This third book in Balogh’s Survivor’s Club series is actually my least favorite of the seven total stories. It’s not bad or even unlikeable by any means, but the characters just aren’t as developed as in the other books. The fact that much of the story takes place in Wales facilitates the lack of the other survivors appearing right up until the very end. The book, in general, tends to give you more background on all the secondary characters than it really does on Ben and Samantha, which, admittedly, was frustrating. I just felt like they could have been anyone. Throughout the series, we tend to learn about the other survivors even in the books where they are not the main character, but Ben is the exception. Even in his own story, he tends to stay rather mysterious and unknown.
Lastly, can we take a moment to talk about the cover? They re-did the covers for the first book, and books 4-7, yet books two and three still have the half-dressed people on the front. It makes it really hard to read these books in public and not be judged for it. How are the random people I see on the train supposed to know I’m reading it for the plot and not just the steamy scenes? Yes, I know, it’s a problem all romance readers deal with on a daily basis and has no solution in the foreseeable future, but it’s still a bummer.
Overall, I adore this series, and I even liked this book, just not to the extent that I loved the first two. The scenery was beautifully described, but the character development was a bit lacking. The plot itself was genius, and I was second guessing every thought I had about every character throughout. So, if you don’t mind the slightly less-than-stellar character development of Ben and Samantha, you will simply love this book.
HHC Rating: 3.5 Stars