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Someone to Trust

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During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series. After her husband's passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lo During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series. After her husband's passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snowbank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them, for she is nine years older than he. They return to London the following Season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love. . . .


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During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series. After her husband's passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lo During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series. After her husband's passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snowbank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them, for she is nine years older than he. They return to London the following Season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love. . . .

30 review for Someone to Trust

  1. 4 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    It’s not often that I read a historical romance where the woman is older than the man, I guess I don’t read that many in contemporary romances either. That’s telling, right? I think there’s still a bit of a stigma with that combination even in the present, and I have to say I’m guilty of being just a little hesitant to pick up a book when I know the man is younger than the woman. However, whenever Elizabeth and Colin were together on the page, I forgot their ages and just longed for them to find It’s not often that I read a historical romance where the woman is older than the man, I guess I don’t read that many in contemporary romances either. That’s telling, right? I think there’s still a bit of a stigma with that combination even in the present, and I have to say I’m guilty of being just a little hesitant to pick up a book when I know the man is younger than the woman. However, whenever Elizabeth and Colin were together on the page, I forgot their ages and just longed for them to find a way to be together. Elizabeth, a thirty-five-year-old widow, feels blessed in her life with a large and loving family, but lately, she’s lonely and longs for the love and companionship a husband would offer. While the offer she receives doesn’t make her heart race like Colin does, it’s one that society wouldn’t look down on. Colin, Lord Hodges, is twenty-six and feels the need to settle down and provide an heir pressing on him even though none of the female prospects stir anything in him like Elizabeth does. He’s drawn to her inner and outer beauty, and the delight she seems to always find in life. Someone to Trust is part of a series, but it can be read as a standalone. Previous characters show up, but this story is all Elizabeth and Colin. I will say that the Westcott brood is growing with every book, and that I loved the unconditional love and support they provide to each other. Here they all rally around Elizabeth when she needs them most. I’ve been enjoying Mary Balogh’s Westcott series! No matter that these characters live in a different time period, that’s all forgotten when I start reading and these characters come to life; their doubts and fears, their joy and yearning, and the absolute contentment and happiness they feel when all finally works out! A copy was kindly provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    Lovely story. Fun. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I’m pretty sure this is the first book I’ve read by this author. The synopsis sounded intriguing and I knew it was the type of story I usually enjoy when I dive into a historical romance. One thing about this story is it is a part of a series. There are a lot of characters in the story and the author had to do a lot of backtracking to keep us up-to-date on what was happening in the book. It did take me a few chapters to catch up on the story and I did struggle Lovely story. Fun. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I’m pretty sure this is the first book I’ve read by this author. The synopsis sounded intriguing and I knew it was the type of story I usually enjoy when I dive into a historical romance. One thing about this story is it is a part of a series. There are a lot of characters in the story and the author had to do a lot of backtracking to keep us up-to-date on what was happening in the book. It did take me a few chapters to catch up on the story and I did struggle with who is who most of the way through the book. However, the main characters, Elizabeth and Colin, were so much fun it completely made for a highly enjoyable story. I just love the likability of these two together. Even though it was a scandalous thing to even consider marriage with a big age difference, you knew just by their interactions they were perfect for each other. I held my breath several times through the whole process as they were each searching for someone to marry since they couldn’t or wouldn’t marry each other. With detailed character development from people you love to hate, like Colin’s mother, to those characters you just fell in love with, like Colin and Elizabeth, the author tells a richly explicit tale set an Old England that will capture your attention throughout. Someone to Trust is book 5 in The Westcott series and although I never read the others, I truly enjoyed getting to know the author and her beautifully crafted historical Regency romance. Perfect for an escape back to Old England with all of the pomp and circumstance of the age. Love the cover too! * ebook received for review consideration. full Review - https://amidlifewife.com/someone-to-t...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    Step back in time where one wrong step will cause tongues of the Ton to wag! Mary Balogh’s SOMEONE TO TRUST is the story of finding love and taking a chance on following your heart. The widow Elizabeth Oldfield finds herself flattered by the attentions of a younger man, Lord Hodges, but she never expected him to steal her heart. Dare they take a chance on personal happiness, turning their backs on society’s small minds? This one started out rather slow for me as a cast of relations were introduce Step back in time where one wrong step will cause tongues of the Ton to wag! Mary Balogh’s SOMEONE TO TRUST is the story of finding love and taking a chance on following your heart. The widow Elizabeth Oldfield finds herself flattered by the attentions of a younger man, Lord Hodges, but she never expected him to steal her heart. Dare they take a chance on personal happiness, turning their backs on society’s small minds? This one started out rather slow for me as a cast of relations were introduced and grew, almost overshadowing the main characters and their relationship. The historical details were wonderful, but the plot seemed almost too vague at some points and too drawn out at others. I never felt truly connected to this rather slow moving tale. I just don’t think this was my cup of tea, and coming into a series at midpoint may not be a wise decision, but that said this just fell a little flat for me. I received a complimentary ARC edition from Berkley! Series: Westcott - Book 5 Publisher: Berkley (November 27, 2018) Publication Date: November 27, 2018 Genre: Historical Romance Print Length: 384 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tracy DeNeal

    Colin and Elizabeth I wondered just what kind of drama Mary Balogh could produce for two of the most amiable characters she has ever created. Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, with his cherubic good looks and loving personality paired with Alexander’s older and benevolent sister, Elizabeth? Why they were a match made in heaven if only she could forget about those nine years that lay between them. I settled down last night to what I knew intuitively would be a pleasurable read. Mary Balogh’s soothing Colin and Elizabeth I wondered just what kind of drama Mary Balogh could produce for two of the most amiable characters she has ever created. Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, with his cherubic good looks and loving personality paired with Alexander’s older and benevolent sister, Elizabeth? Why they were a match made in heaven if only she could forget about those nine years that lay between them. I settled down last night to what I knew intuitively would be a pleasurable read. Mary Balogh’s soothing literary voice as usual took me away to her world. As always, what we see on the surface belies the true nature of her characters’ lives and experiences. Trauma dwells beneath those smooth clear waters of amiability. The ability to trust and be trusted was what they each needed to find their happy ever after. The casual and callous cruelty masked as love that Colin grew up with clashes and contrasts with the picture he sees once he immersed himself in the Westcott family Christmas celebration. The shining beacon and magnetic force that was Elizabeth captured his attention and would not let go. Elizabeth, though admittedly no great beauty, has been a shining star throughout this series. Her kindness and warmth has been a driving force throughout when other characters were outsiders to the family circle, she was the welcoming presence that brought them into the fold or encouraged others to remain in the fold. Here she shines as the heroine of the piece and wasn’t I happy to see it? Now for the Westcotts—I love this family. I love the hodgepodge confusion of the relationships. So many of them are not related by blood and yet are very much family. This far into the series and sometimes someone appears on the scene and I puzzle for a moment to figure out how they are related. Elizabeth, Alexander and their mother, Mrs. Westcott, of course, are cousins to the former bigamous earl and Alexander has been thrust into the role of family head after the late Earl’s bigamy was exposed. Unlike most cousin heirs we see in historical romance, however, the former Earl’s immediate family members were not tossed to the wind, but held within the fold and loved assiduously. Avery, Duke of Netherby, whose stepmother, Louise, is sister to the bigamous earl, has married Anastasia, the legitimate daughter of the bigamous earl. Did I mention that Colin’s older sister is married to Elizabeth’s younger brother (Alexander and Wren) which makes them? How confusing! Just read the series from the beginning and come along for the ride. Can someone truly just send an announcement of a betrothal to the newspaper without one’s knowledge and boom they are betrothed? Apparently yes. See Camilla Shands and Andrew Parker Bowles. It has happened!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jan130

    Well, another one in this series I liked but didn't love. It started out so promisingly (as have all of them). But, I forgot that Colin, the H, is Wren's brother (from Someone To Wed). And that means that Colin's mother is the horrible and horrifying Lady Hodges. *shudders* I HATE the character of Lady Hodges, and she pretty much spoiled this book for me. I hated her in Someone To Wed, and I hated the revisit in this book. Sadly, she had quite an important role in the plot in the later half of t Well, another one in this series I liked but didn't love. It started out so promisingly (as have all of them). But, I forgot that Colin, the H, is Wren's brother (from Someone To Wed). And that means that Colin's mother is the horrible and horrifying Lady Hodges. *shudders* I HATE the character of Lady Hodges, and she pretty much spoiled this book for me. I hated her in Someone To Wed, and I hated the revisit in this book. Sadly, she had quite an important role in the plot in the later half of this book. And any time she was on the page, I found myself skimming to the next scene. She is super creepy, mentally ill, weird and also cruel and manipulative. She surrounds herself with sickos. Who is this Lord Ede and why does he put up with her? Who are these sycophantic young men who worship at her feet? Actually, no, I don't want my rhetorical questions answered. I don't really want to know. I accept we need an antagonist to make a story interesting and provide the protagonists with something to react against. But I don't like it when there is too much page space/story time devoted to the antagonist, especially when they are as repulsive as Lady Hodges. And I didn't like the last part of this book where (view spoiler)[ Elizabeth shows she is prepared to be mature and tolerate Lady Hodges because she's Colin's mother. And Colin tries to come to terms with her and his sister as well. And for heck's sake, is Ede his father or not??? For me, Lady Hodges' mistreatment of her children and her rejection of Wren as a child is unforgivable, (hide spoiler)] and I wanted the book to be resolved in another way. I didn't mind the older woman- younger man trope. That aspect of the story worked quite well, although their passion was a little on the lukewarm side. I also didn't mind the plot aspects with (view spoiler)[Elizabeth's engagement (hide spoiler)] . I just hated Lady Hodges.......

  6. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Unusually heartwarming! Decidedly a romance with a difference! Widowed Elizabeth, Lady Overfield's story is a breath of fresh air in the regency romance genre. Elizabeth is nine years older than the man she becomes involved with in a plot that engenders several twists and where love blooms unexpectedly. This is a romance that could / should never be. (Yet, if the sexes were reversed and the age differences even greater, no one would even raise an eyebrow! I love the irony!) The subject of Elizabe Unusually heartwarming! Decidedly a romance with a difference! Widowed Elizabeth, Lady Overfield's story is a breath of fresh air in the regency romance genre. Elizabeth is nine years older than the man she becomes involved with in a plot that engenders several twists and where love blooms unexpectedly. This is a romance that could / should never be. (Yet, if the sexes were reversed and the age differences even greater, no one would even raise an eyebrow! I love the irony!) The subject of Elizabeth's reluctant feelings is Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, recently come into his title. Colin has no trouble with their age difference. Elizabeth however is undone by her feelings, her problems with trust, and her and Colin's age difference! What can I say? Love in the afternoon comes calling. The action started off slowly in a pleasurable white Christmas environment, gradually filling out the back stories of Elizabeth and Colin, building to its crescendo, and with that progression I found myself hanging on every word. I loved this contribution to the Westcott series. A NetGalley ARC

  7. 4 out of 5

    Margo Collins

    As usual, Balogh’s writing is absolutely gorgeous, drawing the reader into her characters with style and grace. I was delighted to discover in Elizabeth Overfield a Regency heroine over thirty. And even better, the hero, Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, is a younger man! At twenty-six, he’s old enough to be on the marriage market, but when he falls for Elizabeth, they have to face some interesting opposition from their society–and their own hearts. 5 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dorine

    Rated 3.5 - SOMEONE TO TRUST by Mary Balogh is a good addition to the WESTCOTT series, reuniting fans with beloved characters of past and present during the holidays. Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, is considering marriage for the second time. A widow, she wants someone serious and steadfast. A reliable, quiet man to possibly start a family with. But she also enjoys some harmless flirting with Colin Handrich, who inherited the Lord Hodges title after the death of his father. He’s ready to begin a fami Rated 3.5 - SOMEONE TO TRUST by Mary Balogh is a good addition to the WESTCOTT series, reuniting fans with beloved characters of past and present during the holidays. Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, is considering marriage for the second time. A widow, she wants someone serious and steadfast. A reliable, quiet man to possibly start a family with. But she also enjoys some harmless flirting with Colin Handrich, who inherited the Lord Hodges title after the death of his father. He’s ready to begin a family of his own after witnessing the happiness of the Westcott family during the holidays. Will this season bear fruitful for both as they encourage each other’s search? Mary Balogh is one of my favorite authors, and one of the few authors who will get me to read the Regency era in fiction, so I look forward to everything she writes. This book is classic Balogh in so many ways. Her house parties and balls are divine, with everyone talking at once in a blended chaos. It’s so easy to picture the scenes in my head, and I especially loved the attention to detail during the dancing. I really felt as if I was on the sidelines watching it all play out. I especially loved this couple in the beginning of the novel. Their attraction sparkles and you can feel it, as well as the denial due to their age difference. Should they even consider a relationship with Colin nine years younger than Elizabeth? I know it shouldn’t be frowned upon because it’s not highlighted when the man is older than a woman, but it’s just as true today as it was then, at least in my mindset. I have a hard time accepting that arrangement in a romance, and yet, Balogh made it seem plausible and enticed me to desire their success. That said, I’m not sure how the beginning of this novel will work for a new reader without the benefit of reading the rest of the series. As an avid fan, I found the beginning pages overwhelming and a little snoozy. I wanted some action, and we float along through all the characters’ introductions, which although necessary for my forgetful brain, seemed like a huge chunk. That’s not how I normally feel about the beginning of a Balogh novel, so it surprised me. Not that I would stop reading it because of that, but for a new reader, it’s not representative of this author’s true magic. Lady Hodges, Colin and Wren’s mother, is a ridiculous woman—a worst nightmare image of a wealthy spoiled brat. I felt sorry for Colin to have her as a mother, but even sadder for Wren for what she endured because of that woman. Colin grew up with his mother, and so it might be easier for him to forgive her, but Wren was estranged from her entire family because of the mother who couldn’t accept her disfigurement. Lady Hodges was the only part of this novel that I couldn’t relate to, and I found most interactions with her distasteful, as well as over-the-top ridiculous. I enjoyed this novel, but it isn’t my favorite of the series. I laughed out loud at some situations and tears formed at others. I was shocked at one situation and thrilled that Avery (one of my favorites from a previous book) was very much himself at that moment—lethal but holding back to allow the situation to resolve itself, even though he’d be justified to do something about it. Balogh is brilliant at writing the chaos of family and their good intentions, then amps it up a bit to make me laugh again. It’s a long book that has an enormous number of scenes and situations. The work involved creating something of this magnitude is mind-boggling, so I appreciate the endeavor beyond most books I read because of the volume of characters and their interactions. It’s really astounding how well it flows. I think what bothered me most is that Lady Hodges took up too much page time for my taste. She seemed almost like a fairy-tale caricature of a wicked stepmother rather than a real person. That she was a mother to several children just turned my stomach. If I didn’t love the rest of the characters as much as I do, I would have stopped reading because of how annoyed I became with Lady Hodges. I did love all the family time, but by the end I was ready for Elizabeth and Colin to move on without them. The end of the book did contain some appreciated humor, but I wanted a bigger glimpse into this couple’s future. Even though this book isn’t my favorite of the series, it was still a beautiful romance. I like that their journey was difficult and unusual, which made me appreciate their happy-ever-after more. My favorite part of the book was the heroine and how everyone rallied around her. I especially appreciated how she loved them for their support but was strong enough to face down her demons on her own. Colin was not her backbone, nor was she his, but hand in hand they could move forward, knowing they could rely on each other to trust in themselves, independent yet making each other more comfortable to forgive their past. Enough to accept and look forward to their future. Neither of them had an easy life, so their life together would have to make allowance for their combined pasts to interfere sometimes. SOMEONE TO TRUST gifts us with a second chance for an older woman with a younger man. The love story is believable and entertaining. I enjoyed their playful interactions and how they try to find someone else that will suit them better. There were so many cute moments between them that made me hopeful for their happy-ever-after. I especially enjoyed the holiday scenes and the fun in the snow, as well as the numerous gatherings and balls they both attended. This book was filled with party-time and very festive. Just what I look for in a story that’s centered around family celebrations. I suggest you read the series in order prior to this book for the most enjoyment. Click on the following titles to read my reviews of the books in order: SOMEONE TO LOVE, SOMEONE TO HOLD, SOMEONE TO WED, and SOMEONE TO CARE. It’s one of the best series I’ve read. Review by Dorine, courtesy of Romance Junkies. Digital copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Under the Covers Book Blog

    I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I've been wanting to read a Mary Balogh book for a year now.  I've seen her recommended in multiple occasions for different reasons and I just had to try for myself.  I am jumping into this series out of order but the wintery vibes of this cover and the younger hero trope were just too much to pass up. SOMEONE TO TRUST was a surprisingly soft stor I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I've been wanting to read a Mary Balogh book for a year now.  I've seen her recommended in multiple occasions for different reasons and I just had to try for myself.  I am jumping into this series out of order but the wintery vibes of this cover and the younger hero trope were just too much to pass up. SOMEONE TO TRUST was a surprisingly soft story, if I had to describe it in one word.  I'm not sure if that's the feel of this particular series but the romance is a slow burn that never fully ignites.  It's a nice and steady bond that develops from friendship and humor between the heroine and the hero.  They are both looking to marry, but obviously never to each other.  He's looking for a suitable bride that can deal with his family problems and she is looking for a comfortable and safe life with a second husband.  The last thing they need is each other but somehow they are very well suited. While this didn't have sizzling chemistry, I did like the softer approach to the story.  I'm a sucker for a younger hero story and although I wish there would've been more of that palpable sizzle between the two, I could still buy into the romance and be happy they got to be together. This was a great start of my journey through Ms. Balogh's stories.  SOMEONE TO TRUST has a lot of heart.  I came to care about the crazy Westcott family, about Elizabeth and Colin as well.  I can't wait to see what else I can pick up by this author next. *ARC provided by publisher Reviewed by Francesca❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Lady Elizabeth Overton is a 35 year old widow. Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges is nine years her junior. When they meet at the Westcott Christmas party the age gap is very apparent and yet there is an undeniable pull between them. Both of them are looking for a spouse but at widely different ends of the spectrum. Colin is looking amongst the eighteen year old debutantes whereas Elizabeth is looking for a sensible, dependable man, very different from her husband. When they meet again in London during Lady Elizabeth Overton is a 35 year old widow. Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges is nine years her junior. When they meet at the Westcott Christmas party the age gap is very apparent and yet there is an undeniable pull between them. Both of them are looking for a spouse but at widely different ends of the spectrum. Colin is looking amongst the eighteen year old debutantes whereas Elizabeth is looking for a sensible, dependable man, very different from her husband. When they meet again in London during the season they rely on each other for sensible conversation and laughter and glorious waltzes but as they both move inexorably towards marriage with other people will they realise they are perfect together before it's too late? Hoo boy did this start slowly. It was practically halfway in before I got engaged with the storyline and the characters. But when it did ... it pulled me in like a rip tide. From two faceless, characterless mannequins Colin and Elizabeth transformed into living breathing characters, full of hopes and fears and anxieties. There were plotting relatives and sinister Dukes, society balls, fake engagements, fisticuffs in the library and family secrets galore. By the end I was totally invested in Colin and Ellizabeth's May to December romance (although that is a wild exaggeration) and the way in which their love may have been instantaneous but their relationship was built on friendship and trust. If you like historical romances, if you have liked Mary Balogh's other Westcott romances I recommend sticking with this novel, it pays in the end. I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Critterbee❇

    Oh my babies, there are too many children in this romance book! Not merely restricted to the epilogue, they have invaded the entire story! Sticky fists grabbing hair, precocious children imparting accidental wisdom, cooing and drooling and ENOUGH ALREADY! This is a regency era older heroine / younger hero gentle romance, that tries but does not really explore the dynamics of that sort of relationship, other than to remark on how odd it is, and how everyone will think them silly for thinking that Oh my babies, there are too many children in this romance book! Not merely restricted to the epilogue, they have invaded the entire story! Sticky fists grabbing hair, precocious children imparting accidental wisdom, cooing and drooling and ENOUGH ALREADY! This is a regency era older heroine / younger hero gentle romance, that tries but does not really explore the dynamics of that sort of relationship, other than to remark on how odd it is, and how everyone will think them silly for thinking that it could work. Also, there are so many characters from previous stories in the series, that they get muddled even if you have read all of the earlier books. Far less steamy than the usual Balogh, made up in over-abundance of child. Not my favourite, left me more annoyed with the lackluster spark of attraction, not really addressing the stupid age difference prejudice, and the babies everywhere. *eARC Netgalley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Reviewed for NetGalley: I really enjoyed this novel. It was classic Balogh. Yearning, hope, talking about everything. It reminded me a lot of my favorite Balogh Novel, "Slightly Dangerous". So, yeah. Definitely a fun read for me. Would recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    The Westcotts and extended family all together for the holidays, a surprise wedding that carries over from the last book, and a new budding romance that is built on friendship and takes everyone including the romance pair unawares. Gently-paced, sweet, and all the holiday feels wrapped up in one engaging story. Someone to Trust is the fifth book in the Westcott series. While it might seem all right to pick it up as a standalone or out of order because it is an all new pair with no earlier threads The Westcotts and extended family all together for the holidays, a surprise wedding that carries over from the last book, and a new budding romance that is built on friendship and takes everyone including the romance pair unawares. Gently-paced, sweet, and all the holiday feels wrapped up in one engaging story. Someone to Trust is the fifth book in the Westcott series. While it might seem all right to pick it up as a standalone or out of order because it is an all new pair with no earlier threads together, this series is one that really works best in order. There is a strong connection of family and situation as each book builds on the last. Many scenes involving the larger family and references to the past might not grab a new reader to the series. Someone to Trust actually overlaps a little in the beginning with the previous book, Someone to Care, so it is a spoiler if someone was planning to read the fourth book. This is Elizabeth, Lady Overfield's book. Elizabeth has been the sweet, tenderhearted support for everyone and hides her secret pain and loneliness behind a twinkling smile. Christmas is a joyous time particularly this year as the whole extended family assembles at Brambledean, her brother's home, and she is enjoying it, but can't help watching all the happy new couples and young families with envy. That is a dream she feels that she cannot have; but she is determined to participate in the upcoming London she will settle for a nice man to give her her own family and home. However, her eye and mind keep straying to Colin Handrich, Lord Hodge, her sister in law's younger brother. He's too young for her to even consider, but she wishes it were not so because she enjoys the laughter and fun and companionship they have. He even is the keeper of some of her saddest and darkest memories that no one else knows. Colin, for his part, has never know this sort of feeling. He is nearly overwhelmed by the love, support, and laughter of this huge, generous family who pull him into their group because he is Wren's brother. Elizabeth Overfield, most of all. He knows that he needs to get about the business of doing his duty as head of his family by marrying and settling down on the family estate while taking his mother's extravagance and wildness in hand. He looks about and has some of the most beautiful eligible girls paraded before him, but they can't compare to the one woman who refuses to consider him because he is her junior and she claims he can do better than her. He has to watch sadly as she prepares to accept a boring, 'safe' match. But, will he take his chance when he gets it and convince Elizabeth she can trust him to be what she needs? This one was heartwarming and slow-burn. It starts off slow with holiday and family and the early moments of Colin and Elizabeth's friendship. There are a few brief moments of flirtation and glimpses that they share an attraction, but then they try to be sensible save for a whimsy that they will dance the first waltz together at every London ball they both attend. I didn't mind the slow build and it made sense since Elizabeth is an abuse survivor and Colin has his own tangled past with his family. And, that brings me to the family element. Colin came from a cold, lonely background with a distracted father and a narcissistic mother. He knows his sister was treated awful and sent away and he sees the way his mother twists and warps people to suit only her needs. It is all in stark contrast to Elizabeth's warm and giving family. Incidentally, for fans of Georgette Heyer, I'm pretty sure there is homage being paid to the book, Venetia, in the form of another narcissistic mother. The romance requires a lot of patience because it truly does take its time. It's not absent in the beginning and middle of the story, but it is in a unnoticed or denied form by the players and even when they come together there is still more needing to happen to bring about the true swoony happily ever after. But, it does get there and was worth it. All in all, I was in a mood to match with the tone, pace, world, characters, and friends to lovers in this holiday historical romance. I love the series and the whole family of Westcotts. There are a handful of stories that I really want and I'm not sure who is getting theirs next, but I'll take any of them. I can definitely recommend this one and the whole series. My thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angie Elle

    ARC from the publisher Someone to Trust is the fifth installment of Mary Balogh’s Wescott series, and what a charming story this was! I fell in love with this from the very beginning – the camaraderie between Elizabeth and Colin was sweet and genuine, and their instant chemistry was swoonworthy. But beneath the sweetness of this story, Elizabeth and Colin are both battling demons, even if Elizabeth’s are more prominent. After a disastrous marriage, Elizabeth has given up hope of ever finding love ARC from the publisher Someone to Trust is the fifth installment of Mary Balogh’s Wescott series, and what a charming story this was! I fell in love with this from the very beginning – the camaraderie between Elizabeth and Colin was sweet and genuine, and their instant chemistry was swoonworthy. But beneath the sweetness of this story, Elizabeth and Colin are both battling demons, even if Elizabeth’s are more prominent. After a disastrous marriage, Elizabeth has given up hope of ever finding love again, but it’s worth the sacrifice to instead feel safe. Colin grew up in the fold of a dysfunctional family with terrible secrets, and it’s all hidden behind his charming smile. One of the things that makes this story so special is that while both of these characters have a lot of scars, they are fully functional and for the most part, happy go lucky people. Elizabeth is resistant to Colin’s seemingly off-handed charm, and when Colin realizes it’s time for him to settle down, and he gives it an honest try, immersing himself in society and spending time with the ‘right’ young women. If you’re a fan of slow burn romance, you’ll be happy to know that Colin and Elizabeth are deeply ensconced in their friendship, neither ready to admit what is really going on between them but also unable to push their feelings aside. And it’s a long time before they finally admit it. This gives them plenty of time to open up to each other, and their friendship really does defy convention; Colin asks Elizabeth some deeply personal questions, and they’re about a part of her life that, in those days, one shouldn’t talk about. I loved the way they were so easily able to share with each other and learn to trust each other. It really was the foundation of their entire relationship. The age gap was addressed wonderfully in this story – Elizabeth’s doubts and fears were credible, and I could understand why she was so hesitant and tried to keep her feelings hidden. But Colin was just too persistent to let Elizabeth’s age be a stumbling block for them. As far as the secondary characters go, they really were wonderfully written. Elizabeth’s family, both sides, are close and quick to close ranks when one of their own is on display for ton fodder. They were so willing to show affection with each other, and I just loved the way they banded together. I would say, though, that there were times it got a bit overwhelming and confusing with the family members (I didn’t need to know exactly where every one of them were standing or sitting in a room, or what each one was doing when they were outside participating in winter activities,) and for this reason, I would suggest reading these books in order, as I think it would be easier to keep them straight. But, I picked up this book having read only one of the previous from the series, and it completely swept me away. So while I suggest it, it’s not one hundred percent necessary. Colin’s family, on the other hand, was not kind at all (with the exception of Wren,) but they were written very well and there were definitely some surprises in store with them. I would be remiss if didn’t mention how stunning these covers are; I feel like they capture the gentle nature of this series perfectly. Someone to Trust was a beautiful story about there being no bounds to love, and I think Mary Balogh fans, and Historical Romance fans in general, are going to love this one. And there are so many more stories within this family to tell! I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the Wescotts. This review was originally posted on Books & Beauty Are My Bag.

  15. 4 out of 5

    *The Angry Reader*

    ARC received for an honest review. A 4 star read in the usual Mary Balogh fashion. Characters that felt like real people with problems that you don't generally find in romance books. Elizabeth and Colin are friends - related through marriage. They have a bit of a crush on one another, but both believe that the 9 years between them makes the other not attracted to them. I thought it was frustrating in a fun way to watch Elizabeth and Colin each look for love while it was staring them in the face. ARC received for an honest review. A 4 star read in the usual Mary Balogh fashion. Characters that felt like real people with problems that you don't generally find in romance books. Elizabeth and Colin are friends - related through marriage. They have a bit of a crush on one another, but both believe that the 9 years between them makes the other not attracted to them. I thought it was frustrating in a fun way to watch Elizabeth and Colin each look for love while it was staring them in the face. The potential suitors and ladies were believable and interesting. You could see why Elizabeth/Colin would perhaps go for something easier rather than a relationship that felt like an uphill battle. I loved the natural progression of their attraction and how they ended up together. There was a kind of slow subplot. And there are so many characters in this book - a commonality throughout this series. There must be 75 people in the Westcott family - and at some point over half of them trot through any book. It can be confusing and aggravating. I mostly gloss over the description of how the people are related, but I know that other readers can't get over it. I've ready plenty of Balogh before. You can check out my reviews. You'll see that I find her a solid, comfortable and smart author with strong heroines and readable plot lines. This was no exception.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jen Davis

    Review to come. *ARC provided by publisher

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy ~ Love At 1st Read

    It seems that in many historical novels, the heroine is flawlessly beautiful, sweet, naïve, and young. What about the women over 30 who find themselves looking for someone to love? What about those who have experienced marriage once and are looking for a second chance? Someone to Trust, #5 in Mary Balogh’s Westcott series gives us just such a heroine. With most romance readers being between the ages of 30-54, she’s definitely someone readers can identify with. Elizabeth Overfield and Colin Hand It seems that in many historical novels, the heroine is flawlessly beautiful, sweet, naïve, and young. What about the women over 30 who find themselves looking for someone to love? What about those who have experienced marriage once and are looking for a second chance? Someone to Trust, #5 in Mary Balogh’s Westcott series gives us just such a heroine. With most romance readers being between the ages of 30-54, she’s definitely someone readers can identify with. Elizabeth Overfield and Colin Handrich, Lord Hughes meet at a Christmas gathering of family and friends. Elizabeth is the sister of the host and Colin is the brother of the hostess. Knowing Colin may feel awkward at a celebration consisting of virtual strangers to him, Elizabeth, always one to make people comfortable, makes a special effort to ensure he feels welcome. Through the Christmas celebrations the two quickly become at ease with one another. Elizabeth is enchanted by Colin’s quiet charm and he finds her poised, serene, and lovely. They fast became good friends, laughing and talking throughout the festivities. Both were looking to wed. Elizabeth had been widowed for some time and knew she needed to marry again. Now that Colin had become Baron, he knew he should look for a wife. Both had possible matches but none that appealed. When Colin suggested “Perhaps we should put ourselves out of misery and marry each other”, Elizabeth knew surely he was teasing. After all, she was 9 years older than he. She did agree though that while in London looking for suitable matches, they would dance one waltz together at each ball. And they did just that. There was total comfort between them. They could forget about the rest of the world and just enjoy. They were easily able to talk on any subject. Elizabeth opened up to him about the ugliness of her marriage and Colin shared the bleakness of his childhood with her. Things they’d never shared with anyone. Soon they found themselves attending balls solely for the desire of dancing with each other. Though each had possible suitors, none made them feel as they did when together. Did they want to settle for a match with someone society deemed suitable or were they willing to choose with their hearts? This was a charming, sweet story. Personally, I would have preferred a little more passion and sizzle but it was a lovely and well-written story and followed the social rules of the time. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the English countryside and the London balls. The family dynamic was excellent. A wonderful contrast between a loving, close family and the most dysfunctional family you’ll ever read. And I found the characters intriguing. Even the “bad” ones. Elizabeth was the kind of woman that can hide a lot behind a calm façade. No one would know the horrors she’d endured in her marriage or how lonely she was. She had a serene countenance but she was a lovely and lively woman. And strong. Colin was teasing and fun and someone she had an instant affinity with. Though she was developing feelings for him, she was uncertain. She’d thought herself in love before and that had ended badly. She worried that their age difference would be frowned upon. As much as she wanted him for her own, she was a friend to him first and wanted him to find happiness. I felt for Colin. He’d not had the loving family Elizabeth had. His family had never shown affection. Quite the opposite in fact. They chose to hurt and manipulate. He was burdened by his new responsibilities. And he was torn between what was expected and what he wanted. Though society and his mother wanted him to choose a young beauty, “he yearned for Elizabeth’s friendship, her approval, her smiles, her jokes, her exuberance, her serenity”. He yearned for her. I enjoyed how Colin and Elizabeth’s relationship slowly developed and I enjoyed seeing them question their own feelings. Knowing their uncertainties made me nervous they would choose the match expected of them. It did feel slow at times though with the characters rehashing the same worries repeatedly. Still, Mary Balogh is adept at decoding every little detail of the duties, worries, and obligations that go along with human relationships. I understood their doubts and fears, especially those of Colin in regard to his family. As I mentioned before, I enjoyed the family dynamic of the Westcott family. What a loving and supportive group. There were many to meet as this was a new series to me. The author did give a brief history of each character as they appeared but there were so many that the descriptions tended to get in the way of the story. There was a family tree chart at the front of the book that would have been sufficient for me. I wish more authors would include those. Fans of the regency era and all the customs and rules involved will enjoy this story. A must read for Mary Balogh fans and fans of this series though I wouldn’t recommend reading it as a stand- alone. 3 ½ stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Advanced reader copy from NetGalley: Having never read a thing by Mary Balogh but seeing her books recommended to me often on Amazon, I thought this NetGalley arc of SOMEONE TO TRUST an opportunity to sample her work. I must say that I am an unabashed romance reader, preferably Regency romance and historical fiction and have been known to read a novel in one sitting or into the early morning. That was not the case with this book. I regret I was lulled to sleep within the first few pages of narra Advanced reader copy from NetGalley: Having never read a thing by Mary Balogh but seeing her books recommended to me often on Amazon, I thought this NetGalley arc of SOMEONE TO TRUST an opportunity to sample her work. I must say that I am an unabashed romance reader, preferably Regency romance and historical fiction and have been known to read a novel in one sitting or into the early morning. That was not the case with this book. I regret I was lulled to sleep within the first few pages of narrative as Balogh introduced the players—giving every single guest at the Christmas gathering thorough background and description. Anyway, as I am no quitter, I tried again the next night and again the next night. Frankly it made for tedious reading as if I was reading a baronetage—and I was not at all sure who the key characters were supposed to be in this novel for a couple chapters. It wasn’t until about Chapter 10 when I actually became interested in the key characters and the writing took on focus...and I finished the rest in one sitting. The main characters, Lady Overfield and Baron Hodges, were very likeable and I had been hopeful for them from the very beginning despite their nine year age difference (she the elder widow). After the first ten chapters, the story became engaging and despite a few lagging and repetitive descriptions that are obviously meant to set up for future books, I enjoyed it very much. I’m just disappointed that it took so long to drag me to a turning point that made me invested in the characters. Thank you for the ARC. I am glad to have read this and can recommend to Regency romance readers looking for a series to become immersed in.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality This is the latest volume in the marvelous historical romance Westcott series. The series as a whole deals with the consequences of the late Lord Humphrey Westcott’s bastardy. That bastardy was only in the metaphorical sense, but he certainly qualified. When it was discovered, upon his death, that his marriage to his still-living countess was bigamous – on his part – his family was forced to re-think their entire future. Not just his now illegitimate son an Originally published at Reading Reality This is the latest volume in the marvelous historical romance Westcott series. The series as a whole deals with the consequences of the late Lord Humphrey Westcott’s bastardy. That bastardy was only in the metaphorical sense, but he certainly qualified. When it was discovered, upon his death, that his marriage to his still-living countess was bigamous – on his part – his family was forced to re-think their entire future. Not just his now illegitimate son and daughters whose futures were suddenly not what they thought they were, as they and his wife were ostracized by society, but also the lives of both his legitimate daughter, suddenly an heiress, and his cousin who has acquired a title that came with a neglected estate, a load of debt, and no money to deal with either. What makes the series so marvelous is the way that each of the affected people deals with the sudden change in their circumstances. While it is not necessary to read them all to enjoy any one in particular, they are great stories. If you want the full tale of just how big a bastard Lord Humphrey is, start with Someone to Love, appropriately titled because the Westcott family, minus Lord Humphrey, is very lovable indeed. Even though the overall story has not yet dealt with all of the late Lord Humphrey’s children (I suspect the story about his son Harry is going to be last) the family connections have expanded enough through marriage that we are able to get this delightful romance between two of those connections on the outer fringe of the group. Elizabeth Overfield is still a relatively young widow at 35, and she has reached the conclusion that it is time for her to marry again and finally set up her own household now that her brother Alex has found the love of his life. (Alex and Wren’s story is in Someone to Wed) But Alex and Wren’s marriage has brought Wren’s brother Colin into the Westcott fold. Because of the circumstances of Wren’s early life, as detailed in Someone to Wed, Wren is estranged from most of her family – and with good reason. Colin would prefer not to have much to do with his mother and his other sisters himself, not after hearing Wren’s full story, but he doesn’t have much choice. Colin is Lord Hodges, the head of his family, and he needs to do something to keep his narcissistic mother both in line and out of his business. It’s going to be an uphill battle – especially as it’s a battle he’s avoided since he gained the title several years ago upon the death of his father. Colin is now 26 and it’s past time for him to take up all his responsibilities – including finding a wife and continuing the family. Colin and Elizabeth meet at the Westcott family Christmas party, the first of what will clearly be an ongoing tradition at her brother Alex’s partially updated family pile. (He’s working on it, and it needs a LOT of work) As people who are both a bit outside the central family circle, Colin and Elizabeth gravitate towards each other, and discover that they like each other’s company very much indeed. More than either of them is willing to admit to the other – or even to themselves. Elizabeth is 9 years older than Colin, so any relationship between them other than friendship seems impossible. She can’t believe he would be interested in a woman so many years older, and he can’t believe she’d be interested in someone so callow and immature. Except, of course, they’re both wrong. And so very right for each other. Escape Rating A-: I love it when an older woman/younger man romance does it right, as Someone to Trust certainly does. I also hate it when it’s done wrong or for laughs, which never happens in this story. While the time and place are different, the thoughts running through Colin’s and especially Elizabeth’s heads are very real and ring true to life. My life. I’m 20 years older than my husband, so when this trope works for me, it really works. When it doesn’t, it grates like sandpaper. No sandpaper in this romance. This series in general has been terrific. Each of the people affected by Lord Humphrey’s mess are affected differently, and their reactions, while different, have felt realistic. Harry joined the army. His older sister gets a job. His mother retreats. His cousin tries to find a woman he can love who also happens to have a fortune so he can handle the responsibilities he’s just been saddled with. Colin and Elizabeth are less directly affected by Lord Humphrey’s shenanigans, but they have plenty of issues of their own. Elizabeth’s late and totally unlamented husband was an alcoholic who beat her during his drunken rages. She married him because she loved him, and doesn’t trust herself to fall in love again. Once burned, twice shy, and with good reason. Colin’s family, with the exception of his sister Wren, is a piece of work. Especially his mother, who fits the classic definition of a narcissist, whether the term was known or not in the 19th century. Just because there’s no word for something doesn’t mean the phenomenon doesn’t exist. The scary thing about his mother is that she’s real. I’ve met people like that, even to that degree although it manifested differently. And they are every bit as frightening as his mother because they live in their own little world and do entirely too good a job of manipulating the rest of the world into conforming with their self-centered views – because they can’t hear or see anything else. One of the issues with any age gap romance, whichever direction it goes, is to deal with closing the emotional/maturity/experience gap. This is all too often glossed over when the gap goes in the traditional direction, but it’s always there. In this story, it’s handled well. Colin’s experience with his parents, particularly his mother, would result in him growing up early. When the parent is the child, the child becomes the parent. It works. And so does the rest of this story, as Colin and Elizabeth meet in the middle, and realize that in spite of all of the outside voices that say they couldn’t possibly love each other or have a successful marriage, the still, small voices inside their own hearts are very, very sure that they can and they will.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Mary Balogh is an automatic read for me. I've never been disappointed in one of her books, and Someone to Trust now ranks at the top of my favorites list. I loved Colin and Elizabeth from the first with their exuberance for life and seeing joy in everything around them. I was amused as they both looked elsewhere for a spouse, believing the difference in their ages meant they couldn't be together, although Elizabeth, being older, was more adamant about this than Colin was. They both have things i Mary Balogh is an automatic read for me. I've never been disappointed in one of her books, and Someone to Trust now ranks at the top of my favorites list. I loved Colin and Elizabeth from the first with their exuberance for life and seeing joy in everything around them. I was amused as they both looked elsewhere for a spouse, believing the difference in their ages meant they couldn't be together, although Elizabeth, being older, was more adamant about this than Colin was. They both have things in their past they want to forget, though they learn some things have to be faced to get through. I enjoyed everything about this book, the characters looking beyond circumstances and the expectations of the ton to what was right for them, seeing friends from previous Westcott books, seeing them find their happy. I do wish there would have been a peek into the future for them, but perhaps that will come in future books in this series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Roses R Blue

    As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-PZ It’s my firm belief that there is no one on the planet who writes better, warmer, more heart touching family and Christmas scenes than Mary Balogh. Though SOMEONE TO TRUST is not specifically a Christmas romance, much of the first part of the book takes place over the holiday, as our hero and heroine, Colin, Baron Hodges, and Lady Elizabeth Overfield, attend a house party at the home of their married siblings. It’s not an exaggeration to say As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-PZ It’s my firm belief that there is no one on the planet who writes better, warmer, more heart touching family and Christmas scenes than Mary Balogh. Though SOMEONE TO TRUST is not specifically a Christmas romance, much of the first part of the book takes place over the holiday, as our hero and heroine, Colin, Baron Hodges, and Lady Elizabeth Overfield, attend a house party at the home of their married siblings. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the family love, the Christmas joy, the fun, and the celebrations left me breathless, so much so, that I wished I were there to take part. Colin and Elizabeth have met previously, and shared an instantaneous camaraderie. Now, at the party, their friendship becomes more solid, as they find they enjoy each other’s company more than anyone else’s. Colin idealizes the widowed Elizabeth, who epitomizes everything he admires in a woman – warmth, a sense of humor, poise, serenity, and a quiet loveliness. In turn, Elizabeth finds Colin to be sincerely charming, kind, a gentleman, and very, very attractive. But Elizabeth is a widow of thirty-five, while Colin is just twenty-six, and such a disparity in their ages makes any thought of a relationship impossible. Still, when they are tumbled into a snowbank and share a kiss, they are only a man and a woman. Colin and Elizabeth brush off the kiss, and try their best to resume their “just friends” relationship. When there is dancing, they find that they waltz together as if made for that purpose. They share conversations about anything and everything, and even discuss their own marriage goals. Elizabeth has been widowed six years, and is considering allowing an older man, Sir Geoffrey, to court her during the upcoming season, with the possibility that she will accept him, if he should propose again. Colin is also thinking that it may be time for him to settle down and marry. The thought of starting his own family and holiday traditions holds much appeal. As the party ends, Colin and Elizabeth agree to share the first waltz together at any ball they both attend during the upcoming season. When spring arrives, and the season starts, Colin and Elizabeth pick up right where they left off, sharing laughs, great conversation, and beautiful waltzes. Multiple times Colin suggests that they should forego looking for other matches and marry each other. Though his proposals were originally meant teasingly, the wish soon becomes real, though Elizabeth laughingly turns him down every time. Finally, in an attempt to settle her life, Elizabeth accepts Sir Geoffrey’s proposal, and becomes engaged, with the marriage to take place within the month. Though Colin wishes her well, and tries to be philosophical about Elizabeth’s engagement, it was a serious blow to him. He decides that he must move forward, and begins actively seeking a bride for himself. When Elizabeth and Colin continue their waltzing, clearly showing their closeness, Sir Geoffrey reveals a jealous and spiteful aspect to his personality, creating a scene at his own engagement ball. The ensuing scandal creates havoc, with the whole extended Westcott family involved, all trying to be helpful and to fix the situation. Meanwhile, Colin’s narcissistic mother comes back into his life, trying to control his future, and force him into a marriage with a beautiful debutante. I adore this book! I love Elizabeth and Colin, who are both wonderful characters, and who fit together about as perfectly as it’s possible to fit. They tell themselves that there’s no possibility of their being together, while they each secretly long for it more than anything in the world. All of the resistance to their making a match causes it to be even sweeter when they finally find a way to be together despite all the odds against them. Friends to lovers is one of my favorite tropes, and it’s beautifully done here, as a solid friendship evolves to include passion and love. Several members of the extended Westcott family play a prominent part of this story, and I greatly enjoyed revisiting those characters I met in the previous four books in this series. Though author Mary Balogh is careful to include a description of the familial relationships in this story, (even a family tree is included,) I believe a reader will truly savor the progression of their lives by reading the previous books in the Westcott series. I would be remiss if I didn’t particularly mention the Duke of Netherby, who continues to weave his languid magic to somehow always find a way to make things right, while elegantly stealing scenes. He is a rock star! SOMEONE TO TRUST is a beautifully written installment in a wonderful series. Every part of the story worked for me. The family love and support and the Christmas celebrations are heartwarming, poignant, and emotional. The love between Colin and Elizabeth is truly joyful, romantic, and solid. I have no doubt that they will live happily ever after.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I have a huge weak spot for holiday romances, and I have an even more substantial weak spot for Mary Balogh's romances. So this book is nirvana for me. What makes Someone to Trust something unexpected is that the age differential is in our heroine's favor. Elizabeth, somewhat recently (and thankfully) widowed, and Colin (aka Lord Hodges) have known each other since his sister married Elizabeth's brother. If you are familiar with the Wescott series (I previously only read one book but now feel lik I have a huge weak spot for holiday romances, and I have an even more substantial weak spot for Mary Balogh's romances. So this book is nirvana for me. What makes Someone to Trust something unexpected is that the age differential is in our heroine's favor. Elizabeth, somewhat recently (and thankfully) widowed, and Colin (aka Lord Hodges) have known each other since his sister married Elizabeth's brother. If you are familiar with the Wescott series (I previously only read one book but now feel like an addict and must go read the others), then these two are familiar to you. Elizabeth, however, is nine years older than Colin and, at thirty-five, considered positively ancient. Like Colin, she feels the need to get married, preferably to someone "suitable." She needs financial security and the chance at having a child, and he needs a wife and family to support him as he runs his family's estate. That they are drawn to each other is not convenient, yet Mary Balogh shows you that the heart wants what the heart wants. No one captivates or challenges Colin as Elizabeth does, nor does anyone do the same for her quite like he. Even more importantly, no one stokes their passionate embers like each does for the other. Colin wants Elizabeth. And she wants him. Not that it does much good. She's too old, or so she thinks. Colin--and I LOVE that Mary Balogh does this--really could not care less. Mary Balogh shows you the various societal blocks to Colin and Elizabeth's romance, even as she always lets you know that these two are meant to be together. She treats you to little stolen moments--a kiss here, a touch there--and you will love them. The story has a few occasional lulls, particularly toward the end, and a subplot involving a would-be suitor for Elizabeth falls somewhat flat. Even with these lapses, though, this is still a wonderful historical holiday romance.  Colin and Elizabeth are a couple you root for. Mary Balogh fills you with the warmth of romance--and a little holiday cheer as well.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lu

    Lovely characters! Two people learning to trust Colin is a wonderful hero. Honored, sweet, loving and committed to collect the pieces of his disfuncional family and rebuild them in a more solid ground. Elizabeth had a disastrous marriage and wants to settle down with someone trustworthy and safe. They become friends at a family Christmas party but due to their age difference (she is nine years older than him), they don’t even consider each other as potential partners. Slow burn Romance, slow paced Lovely characters! Two people learning to trust Colin is a wonderful hero. Honored, sweet, loving and committed to collect the pieces of his disfuncional family and rebuild them in a more solid ground. Elizabeth had a disastrous marriage and wants to settle down with someone trustworthy and safe. They become friends at a family Christmas party but due to their age difference (she is nine years older than him), they don’t even consider each other as potential partners. Slow burn Romance, slow paced, not much happening in the story but, as always, Mrs. Balogh goes deep into the characters emotions and their effects on their lives an those of others. Nice read!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cass

    I don’t know what it is about this series but there have been two absolute wins for me - Someone to Wed and Someone to Trust. I’ve liked the others I’ve read but these two managed to excel at depicting love stories based on friendship and companionship and understanding and I just really really love it. There’s nothing wrong with lust-y books but these two have managed to develop incredible, deep characters that just inherently understand each other and I’m just so happy. Someone to Trust was no I don’t know what it is about this series but there have been two absolute wins for me - Someone to Wed and Someone to Trust. I’ve liked the others I’ve read but these two managed to excel at depicting love stories based on friendship and companionship and understanding and I just really really love it. There’s nothing wrong with lust-y books but these two have managed to develop incredible, deep characters that just inherently understand each other and I’m just so happy. Someone to Trust was not a happy book, but it dealt really well with some dark issues. Would reread.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Justareader

    Very sweet and frustrating. As a 40 yo woman I could completely understand Elizabeth... still, I wanted her to let go and enjoy life and Colin !!! No epilogue ? After such a slow paced romance I feel like it would have been well deserved. I hope to catch up with Lizzy and Colin in the future at least.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    From the beginning of the Wescott Family series I adored Lady Elizabeth, but her story is a major disappointment. Insipid is what comes to mind and tedious. Frankly I was bored out of my mind. This is the first book where I found the children and the attentions of the family overbearing and irksome. Almost every scene takes place in public or with the family gathered around the couple. I had problems with just about everything in the story especially Colin and his ridiculous family and Elizabeth From the beginning of the Wescott Family series I adored Lady Elizabeth, but her story is a major disappointment. Insipid is what comes to mind and tedious. Frankly I was bored out of my mind. This is the first book where I found the children and the attentions of the family overbearing and irksome. Almost every scene takes place in public or with the family gathered around the couple. I had problems with just about everything in the story especially Colin and his ridiculous family and Elizabeth's attitude toward their reconciliation. Her lack of consideration for Wren, her sister-in-law was astonishing. Balogh has a tendency to whitewash serious transgressions against her protagonists which is my biggest criticism of her writing and in this book it was hideous. The stuff at the betrothal ball and just afterwards was awful and I don't get it, Balogh seems to not care much for her couple, but is more caught up in writing about the family. Too many of the incidents were stupid and nonsensical. Honestly I expected better from Mary Balogh not this sentimental pedestrian drivel.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janine Ballard

    4 stars Kaetrin and I have a joint review on Dear Author: https://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/o...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    A great addition to the Westcott Family Series. I do love Mary Balogh's writing. 4.5

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This was such a good read. Yes, I did find all the characters in the families overwhelming at first but this was probably due to this being the first in the series that I had read. I liked that it concerned a lady older by 9 years than the man and Elizabeth and Colin were such likeable characters. I enjoyed the sense of family and all looking out for each other. Of course, there were other characters that were disliked but that all adds to the story. The day in the snow was described in such a w This was such a good read. Yes, I did find all the characters in the families overwhelming at first but this was probably due to this being the first in the series that I had read. I liked that it concerned a lady older by 9 years than the man and Elizabeth and Colin were such likeable characters. I enjoyed the sense of family and all looking out for each other. Of course, there were other characters that were disliked but that all adds to the story. The day in the snow was described in such a way that I felt I was there. The character of Avery was a particular favourite, he was so laid back and yet he was very astute and his one remark showed how he understood the problem that others failed to grasp. I enjoyed this book so much I’d like to read the series from the beginning. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shawna Wood (A Girl and Her Books)

    I am now a Mary Balogh fan! This was my first book by this author and I'm can't believe I've never read one of her books. This story was charming and downright adorable! Plus I love how this features and A women over 30, which is not often found in the Historical Romance genre. Elizabeth is now one of my favorite characters as I can totally identify with her, being a lady over a certain age. It was nice to show a character who is over 35 that still dreams, wants and desires for true love. Elizab I am now a Mary Balogh fan! This was my first book by this author and I'm can't believe I've never read one of her books. This story was charming and downright adorable! Plus I love how this features and A women over 30, which is not often found in the Historical Romance genre. Elizabeth is now one of my favorite characters as I can totally identify with her, being a lady over a certain age. It was nice to show a character who is over 35 that still dreams, wants and desires for true love. Elizabeth had a horrible first marriage that caused her nothing but pain and heartbreak. But she has persevered and is now ready to start living again. Colin was just a wonderful man. He has had a lot to deal with in his life, one devoid of love and family and he often feels like he belongs nowhere. No matter the troubles in his life, Colin was just a really great guy and I'm a sucker for the nice guy. He just wanted to do right and find someone who could love and accept him. When Elizabeth and Colin meet that is an instant connection between the two, almost like two lost souls finally finding home. Though there was no insta-love. This was a relationship that started as friends and then blooms to love and it was nice to see the progression of that relationship. I loved the exploration of the significant age difference between Elizabeth and Colin. It was clear to see that they were made for each other, but their concern about the age gap was real and should be thought about. If they choose to be with each other, they would have to deal with scorn of Scoeity and the pressures of their family. I could totally relate to Elizabeth and she tried to fight her feelings for Colin due to her age. There is still a bit of scorned associated with an older woman and one that can impact the success of any relationship. The Wescott family was amazing. I loved how they would be there for each of their family and they truly cared for each other. Though not perfect, for they didn't believe Elizabeth and Colin should be together, they did it out of a place of love and not scorn. They only wanted to protect Elizabeth and it warmed my heart. And finally, I loved how Elizabeth and Colin could be real with each other. They shared their past, their pain, their fears and their hopes for a future. It was nice to see two characters talk through everything and really developed a great foundation for their relationship. A charming and adorable historical romance perfect for fans of this genre. **********The publisher provided an ARC, via netgally*******

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