- Title: Someone to Hold
- Series: Westcott #2
- Author: Mary Balogh
- Pages: 400
- Published: February 7, 2017 – Jove Books
- Source: Publisher; NetGalley
Description: A reversal of fortune befalls a young woman in the latest Westcott novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kissand Someone to Love.
Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever alter the lives of his family—sending one daughter on a journey of self-discovery…
With her parents’ marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.
An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead… (publisher)
My take: Mary Balogh continues her Westcott series with Someone to Hold. It is Camille Westcott’s story – she’s more bewildered and hurt than angry about her situation. Little by little she wakes up to her new circumstances and decides to actually do something about her new path in life. That path takes her to an orphanage in Bath where she decides she’d like to give teaching a try.
Seemed a bit of a fish out of water story to me but Balogh made it work. I think my favorite parts of the story centered around the orphanage and school scenes. Camille blossomed in her new surroundings and discovered things about herself she didn’t know in her old life. She also discovered Joel, the local portrait artist who volunteered to teach painting at the orphanage school. He grew up at the orphanage and could share that perspective with Camille. The two became friends and then more.
Although I thought the pacing was a bit uneven it was a nice story about finding new possibilities in even the most dire circumstances and about finding family when you thought all hope was lost. Recommended to fans of the author and historical romance.