Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club #4)
By Mary Balogh
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Source: PublisherThe Survivors' Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. Now, in the fourth novel of the Survivors' Club series, Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, has left this refuge to find his own salvation—in the love of a most unsuspecting woman…
Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, was devastated by his fiancée’s desertion after his return home. Now the woman who broke his heart is back—and everyone is eager to revive their engagement. Except Flavian, who, in a panic, runs straight into the arms of a most sensible yet enchanting young woman.
Agnes Keeping has never been in love—and never wishes to be. But then she meets the charismatic Flavian, and suddenly Agnes falls so foolishly and so deeply that she agrees to his impetuous proposal of marriage.
When Agnes discovers that the proposal is only to avenge his former love, she’s determined to flee. But Flavian has no intention of letting his new bride go, especially now that he too has fallen so passionately and so unexpectedly in love.
Review: I am honestly the worst person when it comes to reading a series. I read the first book in The Survivors' Club series and absolutely loved it, but I haven't managed to pick up another one until Only Enchanting, which is actually book number four. If the middle two are anything like the ones I've read, then I definitely have to pick them up soon!
Flavian is still feeling the aftereffects of losing his older brother and his fiancé when he returns damaged and broken from war. So when he meets a sensible, ordinary woman who keeps popping up in his life, the last thing he expects is to find her enchanting. Agnes Keeping hasn't known true love and doesn't even know if it exists after losing her husband who was more pleasant than passionate. But when she meets Flavian, she is swept off her feet and falls deeply for the man. Agnes barely knows Flavian, though, and soon learns that he has a past that he may be using her to get over, a fact she's not too fond of. Flavian will do anything to salvage his relationship with Agnes and prove to her he hasn't tricked her into proving a point, but rather he's truly fallen for her enchanting, intriguing ways.
From the very start of this book, I loved Agnes. She's a very reserved, plain person who is content with leading a life that is, well, content. She did not have a great passion with her husband, but she did feel safe and well cared for with him. When he dies and she's widowed, she lives with her older sister and has no desire to remarry at the moment. One dance with Flavian, though, and all sensible thoughts are out the window. I loved how Agnes was completely captured by Flavian and has a ridiculous school-girl crush on the man because he asked her for a dance. After waltzing with her when he clearly doesn't have to, Agnes is a complete goner. Her character is so relatable in how she's used to being a wallflower, but when a man like Flavian pays attention to her and turns on his charm, she's absolutely swooning over him. The best part, though, is that Flavian is just as enchanted as she is.
Normally romances end with the couple getting together, but Flavian and Agnes actually get married in the middle of the novel. The real trouble comes when they go back to Flavian's home and Agnes learns all about Flavian's past and his past relationships. They truly did not know each other when jumping into the marriage, they just trusted their attractions and went all in. Their trust and faith in one another is really tested and they have to see if they can actually make the marriage work. Agnes is so awesome when she enters Flavian's world and I love how a "nobody" like her can really hold her own among the elite society of Flavian's family. I was rooting for Agnes the entire time and really enjoyed her moments of triumph when everything seemed to be going against her.
Overall, this was an adorable romance about a plain girl who captures the attentions of a rich, charming man who is unlike anything she has known before. I definitely need to read the other two books of this series and catch up on the two couples who have gotten together and appear in this latest novel. After catching up on the series, I can't wait to see who next of the survivors' club will find their happily ever after!