Matching Heroes and Heroines
When I am getting ready to begin a new book, the first thing that is likely to come to my mind is either the hero or the heroine (not, alas, both together). If I am in the middle of a series, this step is relatively easy as there will be a number of ready formed characters waiting for their stories to be told. Even when a series is finished, there will often be some minor characters within it who would very much like to have their own stories. Failing either of these options—or if I am beginning a new series—I will let my imagination roam until a promising character comes to mind, almost entirely unformed and undeveloped, but at least there. I can often picture that character in a vague setting or a vague situation and in dire need of a whole story. Yes, it really is that vague when I begin to dream up a new book.
And of course that character has to be matched up with a suitable mate. This can be hard. Occasionally the perfect match comes easily to me, but more often it does not. So how do I do it?
Sometimes I will find the character I need in a previous book. I always love it when that happens because that character already has existence in my imagination and has been partially developed as a minor character in another book. When I came to write SIMPLY LOVE, for example, I knew it would be Anne Jewell’s story—she was one of the four teachers in the SIMPLY quartet. I knew her quite well. She had appeared in the first book of the series (SIMPLY UNFORGETTABLE) and she had made an earlier appearance in SLIGHTLY SCANDALOUS, part of the Bedwyn saga. She was a deeply wounded character, a single mother in Regency England, the victim of a sexual assault she had endured herself in order to shield the mentally challenged girl to whom she was governess. She had been dismissed from her position, largely shunned by the community in which she lived, and rejected by her fiancé and her parents. When I searched my mind for a suitable hero for Anne, I immediately thought of Sydnam Butler, brother of Kit in A SUMMER TO REMEMBER. Sydnam was a one-armed, one-eyed, severely burned survivor of savage torture during the Napoleonic Wars. I was not at all sure he was going to be a good choice for Anne. They were both perhaps too wounded to be able to help each other and to forge a lifelong bond of love. But I took on the challenge anyway, and I think I made it work. Certainly I got passionately involved in the writing of their love story. Many readers name SIMPLY LOVE as one of their favorites among my books.
At other times, though not often, I pair up two characters who are alike in many ways. Freyja Bedwyn and Joshua, Marquess of Hallmere, in SLIGHTLY SCANDALOUS, for example, are both alpha types, and sparks fly from the moment of their first meeting. The same is true of Jocelyn, Duke of Tresham, and Jane Ingleby in MORE THAN A MISTRESS. I thoroughly enjoyed myself writing both those books, perhaps because I am decidedly not an alpha myself. I could have my characters speak and behave with all the fire and assertiveness I could never manage myself.
More often, I find a partner for my already chosen hero or heroine in an opposite type—according to the old adage that opposites attract. In fact, if I am having a particularly hard time finding a suitable match, I will ask myself who is the type of person least likely to end up in a happy, lifelong relationship with this particular character. Mary Gregg, widowed heroine of THE NOTORIOUS RAKE, for example, was a serious, bookish bluestocking type. Her hero, Lord Edmond Waite, gave the book its title! Need I say more? They were seemingly as different as it is possible for two people to be, and through most of the book their coming together seems quite impossible. Then there are Gwen, Lady Muir, and Hugo, Lord Trentham, in THE PROPOSAL as another example; or Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, and Colin, Lord Hodges, who is ten years younger than she, in SOMEONE TO TRUST; or Anna Snow, who grew up in an orphanage and stayed there to teach, and the very haughty, aristocratic Avery, Duke of Netherby, in SOMEONE TO LOVE.
I could go on and on. I have chosen that method a number of times and love the challenge of convincing readers that this relationship can and will last and bring happiness to the protagonists. The two of them have to work out their own issues, though, as well as their incompatibilities with each other before the love they have come to feel for each other can be real and secure enough to last—if they work at it every day for the rest of their lives. Making the reader accept this happy outcome as believable is my job as a writer.
Nothing comes easily. Writing is a job. It is one I love more than any other job I can possibly imagine, but even so it involves long, hard work. Nothing lazy or shoddy will do. Easy answers will not do.
Perhaps the most difficult heroine I have ever had to create was the one to be matched up with Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle, in SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS. He had appeared in six previous books, starting with A SUMMER TO REMEMBER and continuing through the five SLIGHTLY books preceding his own. I had built up his character in the course of those books to such a degree that readers had high expectations of his story. I was frankly terrified. I had only one chance to get it right. Once his story was written and published, I could not go back and try again with a different heroine. But what female type could I possibly put up against such a powerful, autocratic, coldly dignified, perfectly self-contained aristocrat, who had ruthlessly suppressed everything within himself that was not ducal?
In my imagination I tried out a variety of female types and a vague story line and was satisfied with none of them. I could feel no spark of excitement or challenge, no chemistry between Wulfric and his potential heroine. Then, when I switched to the opposites attract method, along came Christine Derrick. And she was so obviously wrong for him in every imaginable way that I knew she was perfect! She was pretty but neither beautiful nor elegant. Socially she was virtually a nobody. Though she had troubles enough of her own, she chose to be almost invariably cheerful. She laughed a lot. She was a terrible klutz. The first time she encountered Wulfric at a house party they were both attending, she was leaning over a balcony rail to catch her first glimpse of him but forgot that when she leaned so did the glass of lemonade in her hand. Some dripped some down into his eye, and she thought for a moment that he was winking up at her. Most shocking of all, Christine was not awed by Wulfric. Sometimes she more or less told him to get over himself. He was forever wielding his quizzing glass to dampen the pretensions of those around him. When he used it on Christine while they were out walking one day, she grabbed it from him and tossed it up into a tree, where it got stuck. Then she watched him climb up to retrieve it.
And now I have started a new series about the Ware family of Ravenswood Hall, headed by Caleb Ware, Earl of Stratton. He has six sons and daughters: Devlin (the heir), Nicholas, Philippa, Owen, and Stephanie—and Ben Ellis, his eldest son from a pre-marital liaison. And each of them is going to want a love story. Each is going to need a matching protagonist. Where will I find them? From previous books? Fresh from my imagination? Even I do not know the answer to that yet!
To one person who leaves a comment below by Sunday, May 16, I will send an autographed advance copy of SOMEONE TO CHERISH as soon as I receive my copies—I believe they are in the mail as I write this. I hope I can get the winner her (his?) copy before the publication date at the end of June. Good luck![…and the winner is EV BEDARD. Congratulations, Ev!]
Mary, I always enjoy your pairings, whether sparks fly or compatibility seems natural. I would love to get an advance copy of your new book.
It’s always so interesting to follow the course of true love with your characters, such a enjoyable journey. Looking forward to many more.
Thank you to the best literay matchmaker.
My first Mary Balogh was No Man Mistress and I was enchanted by Mary’s books. Sad to see the Westcotts end but excited for a new series.
Love your stories… especially when old friends come back in new books. Thank you for sharing your writing gift.
I fell in love with romance books because of your beautiful books. I go to sleep trying to make myself into one of your heroines but alas I am not a writer and it never turns out better than what you write. I would love to read this new book in advance. I can’t wait for the next one. 😍
Love your blog! I think I’ve read 90% of your books
I always enjoy your stories. I like how you keep me so interested in the story that is hard to put the book down. Looking forward to a new story
I loved Someone to Cherish. I now have to get Estelle’s story. I thank you for the joy of your books. I am a nurse. There is so much sadness already in real life. I don’t need it in my entertainment. I cannot enjoy heartbreak or cancer. I need happiness in a story. And your books lift my spirits. Thank you
I’m a mexican fan of your books. I’m married to a man ten years my junior. When we first got together, his family was not happy at all. We’ve bien married for almost twenty years. So Elizabeth and Colin from Someone to Trust are my favorite couple as some of their conversations we’re very close to my own experience. I think you tackled the issue of older woman-younger man with intelligence and sensitivity. Obviously, I would love yo have a signed copy of Someone to Cherish
Love this series!
I’ve been reading and enjoying Someone Perfect. But I am a bit confused as to how the characters fit into the Wescott family tree. Every time a new character is introduced in the story, I refer back to the family tree at the front of the book and cannot find any connections anywhere. Am I missing something, or is it the wrong genealogy for the wrong family?
Andrea, Viola, formerly Countess of Riverdale (mother of Camille, Harry, and Abigail) married Marcel (in SOMEONE TO CARE), father of twins Estelle and Bertrand Lamarr by his first wife. So they are not literally Westcotts (and so are not included in the family tree) but are connected to them by marriage and considered by them to be part of the extended family. I hope this helps!
So is that it? The Westcotts series is done? If so, im so sad to here it.
It is officially done, Cat, though I am hoping to incorporate Bertrand’s and Winifred’s stories into the new Ravenswood series.
Please continue writing more Westcott books! I love them!!
It has been a long while since I have read good romantic fiction, having been consumed by my traveling laboratory life and having to relearn my old job at every new site.
The last stint of historical fiction I indulged in was read being the whole slew of Bernard Cornwell’s “Sharpe’s Rifles” series twelve years ago.
It was so very good indeed to run across your Bedwyn sagas. I could NOT put them down. It was unbelievable indeed that these wonderful books you wrote were bedded deeply into a place I had wandered into with the Sharpe series—incredible historical place—the Napoleonic Wars.
I absolutely loved Christine and enjoyed the most hysterical and long laugh when she had the audacity, the “temerity” to “wrest” Bewcastle’s quizzing glass and flick it furiously up into a tree.
It is with the greatest sadness that I am starting the last book in your “Survivor” series. It is with quiet humbleness that I read the wisdom with which you have masterfully and compassionately brought each Survivor through the depths of his/her pain. It is with gratitude that the influence of that wisdom has touched parts of my life I have struggled as well, and may, at last, be put to rest.
Blessings to you for your willingness to share with us all your vivid perspectives about the travels we humans pass through of pain, sorrow, hopelessness, moving into the gift of Light touched by the infinite and exquisite fulfillment of love.
I once heard a physician make the claim that adult humans do not need love in order to survive. While that may be true, it is needed for us to thrive—even if all that remains in one’s life to beget love is through reading the profound stories of others. Where is, truly, the line drawn between fiction and non-fiction? I wonder.
Blessings of abundance in all ways: to you, Mary; and to your faithful readers all.
I love every single book you wrote but the bedwyn serie is my favorite. About a protagonist, I will enjoy a persone who is not aristocratic, works and took care of her family(she’s the older daughter no siblings),And then someone put his eyes on her and then her life change forever, but it is just my IMAGINATION. I love you Mary and I love the way you write.
All of your books are so comforting. Any time that they world looks grey I dive into one of your books and an in my happy place!
Love the Simply series. Read them all at least 3 times.
I can’t wait to read your new book. After reading this post I think I also need to make sure I’ve read each of these books, too.
Love your books but please no risque covers! I felt like I had to hide The Escape (Large Print Edition) with its racy cover. Dear me. And you probably have no say what publishers do, but I thought I’d pass it on anyway. I am engrossed in the Survivor’s Series. Thanks!
I was as horrified by the first three covers of the Survivors’ series as you are, Lynaia. And no, my strongly expressed opinion was not heeded. I moved publisher and have had full consulting rights since then.
Are you writing another Westcott novel? I love them.
No, Patricia. However, I may tell the stories of a few of the leftover characters in the new Ravenswood series (REMEMBER LOVE, REMEMBER ME, etc.)
I love all your books, looking forward to the new series. I’m going to have to rearrange my bookshelves to make room for the new ones!
Thank you Lady Mary for sharing your process of match-making.
I was wondering if you use Genograms for your characters to see their Family Origins and keep them straight.
Love your pairings. Each and every one.
I’m so excited I finally found a way to read some of your books I missed out on through the hoopla app with my library. Thank you for the gift of your stories!
Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you very much for your many great books. Your books have been read and reread and sometimes repurchased because I read them to pieces. I loved your books such as The Arrangement or One Night For Love because both hero and heroine grew so much. Their respective series were great too. I am loving your current Wescott series. Have a blessed day!
Your heroes/heroines are always memorable and I for one don’t care from where they arrive. I look forward to each and every one. My favorite however are Hannah and Constantine from Secret Affair.
I always enjoy your books and I particularly enjoyed Wulfric’s story. It is one I re-read often along with Slightly Scandalous and the Temporary Wife.
My dear friend, Ula Brown introduced me to your books, and I’m so very grateful.
I will definitely be re-reading some of those books mentioned. Avery, Duke of Netherby is one of my recent favorites. He was so full of surprises. Especially with his martial arts skills.
Another favorite is more the story than either protagonist: In A Matter of Class, the plot twist at the end was so surprising. The young people made the system work for them!
And I think the first book I read by you, many years ago was Irresistible with Sophia and Nathaniel. I’ve read it several times, as I have many of your other books but that has a special place in my heart I think, because she was so content to be content. And they just honored and cared for each other throughout. It was so sweet.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to Someone to Cherish and the new series.
Catching up on all my Mary Balogh books. Got to love digital!
Have you ever imagined finding your character’s a mate from someone else’s novels as a collaboration? I’d love to see the Balogh/Kleypas worlds collide!
I love to read stories of characters that had smaller parts in previous books. It was a thrill to read the Simply Quartet after finishing the Bedwyn Saga. To capture glimpses of the Bedwyn’s as we read about each teacher’s story was delightful. Looking forward to Books 8 and 9 in the Westcott series this year!
I always enjoy meeting someone from a previous book.
Edmund is one of my favorites. He is so messed up and so real. I cry every time when he reconciles with his father.
I think you hit the spot with wulfric and christine. It seemed like just who he needed.
Looking forward to next series
Oh my! I can hardly wait for the new series and you made me want to go back and read many of the previous ones!
Looking forward to the next book and I would love to win a copy!
Just when I think I’ve found my favorite you write another great book. Thank you.
I love Christine and Wulfric, but I think one of my favorite pairings might be Camille and Joel. I loved watching her soften as a person and thrive as a teacher and mother.
Looking forward to your new book 🎈
Love your books Mary. the stories are wonderful, you actually get to know the people in them. Besides that your vocabulary is a great improvement and no profanity is welcome. I do wish the children of today were taught a vocabulary class, I think we are actually losing our culture and vocabulary.
I am a huge Lisa Kleypas fan and I reread her every year and my kindle app started suggesting your books and I took a leap of faith and finished all of the Bedwyn and the Westcott series. My favorite book has to be Wulfric’s and Christine’s!
I always look forward to your book. Slightly Scandalous is one of my favorite. Some of your books makes me laugh and cry. Who could forget Unforgiven and Double Wager?
After reading your interesting blog I made a list of the books mentioned so I could reread them. They were some of my favorites, especially Simply Love.
I just picked up Summer to Remember because I missed reading it earlier.
I remember thinking it would be hard to match Wulfric before Slightly Dangerous came out! It was pretty awesome to read the first time!
You are one of my favorite authors. I have almost all your books on my Kobo reader. I just read again Simply love and love those two characters. And reading again one your books usually get me started on a another one and so on and so on. Looking forward to your new series!
Wulfric Bedwyn is a special favorite character of mine, as is his and Christine’s story. You got it spot on!
Wow, some of my favorite characters/pairings. It’s interesting to read about how you come about creating them.
Wulfric and Christina are two of my favourite characters in any book – not just your books but in any book I’ve read. Wulfric doesn’t change his nature which I greatly appreciate. We learn about the depths of his character thanks to Christina
Wulfric has always been my favorite of all your heroes and Christine was his perfect lady love! Watching him fall in love was so satisfying and the perfect end to that series. Thank you for all your hard work, your books are proof of your efforts.
I absolutely love you and all of your writing!! Your books make me laugh and cry at the same time!! The characters in all of your books always stand out! My favorite two characters so far are Avery and Anne the absolute contrast in the two not only in background but every possible way,they were so very different in so many ways!! But you managed to bring them together and make them whole through the love of each other!! It was a wonderful and magical read!! So no matter your process you manage to make us the reader fall in love and always want more!! So thank you for that!! I am truly looking forward to the new series and the rest of the this amazing series!! Thank you for the chance and I will see you in the books!!❤️
Reading your comments about matching heroes and heroines made me re-live many of my favourite books; so many memorable characters. Jane and Jocelyn, Mary and Edmond, Hannah and Constantine, among others. Your stories are always enjoyable, and I look forward to each new one.
gah, another writer just remarked (this past weekend, actually) about how writing is not easy & how, even if it appears that someone isn’t doing anything, they might actually be working hard (grrrrrrr & eye roll) – whoever said something to either of you, & others, too, not just about writing, either, grrrrrrr, really?!? obviously ignorant doo-doo heads who make those remarks (probably with teensy weensy pee-pees); sorry, I digress… I love your writing & appreciate your insight 🥰 thanks 😻
Whoever the heroine and hero, they’d best appreciate a good pun meme 😉
One of my favorites is The Temporary Wife. Anthony and his little mouse of a governess are equal to Wulfric and Christine. I loved both couples. I wish they had appeared on another book but since I have never seen them again I can imagine them living happily ever after raising their younger brothers and sisters and about a dozen of their own children! Thank you, Mary!
Mary, you amaze me with your intricate plot and with your ability to match heroines to heroes. Thank you for the gift of your books. They have seen me through some rough times!
I don’t have the words to say how much I love your work!
I love the pairings that you create- opposites definitely do attract and there is every chance such pairings happen in real life!
I’m thrilled to hear of your new series- it sounds marvellous fun!
Oh, please could you work the Wescott family in?! I had been intending to send a message asking if one day you could do a book of epilogues on the Wescott family, just so I could enjoy their world and how far their families have come a bit more… but working them in with the Earl of Stratton – oh that would be marvellous!
I can’t wait for your next two instalments to be released!
I love all your books. The Survivor Series was exquisite. I live how you help damaged characters come to life.
Your work is full of beautiful characters in beautifully written stories.
I have not read all your books, but I have loved the ones that I have read. Would you consider an older heroine and an older rake who is afraid of getting old.
I love your books. You write such beautiful stories.
A fascinating insight to how you write your books. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Great blog Mary about your character development process. I can see that it must be hard work to give them all the justice they deserve! One of my favourites like Wulfric and Christine is the couple in the Plumed Bonnet – perfect for each other. And even Francis loving and laughing with Cora in The Famous heroine. And a whole new series? My word what a treat.
I enjoy all your books with their heroes and heroines. I am keenly interested in the latest Westcott one coming out soon. I have read the Simply series, the Huxtable series, the Mistress series, the Bedwyn prequels and series, the Westcott series, the Heartless/Silent Melody, and others. I don’t think I could name a favourite for each series, as the characters and stories are each worthy and unique – to see the love grow and have tears of laughter and joy throughout the journey – you are a fabulous author to return and read again and again.
Can’t wait for the new book.
somehow your pairings make sense, even when they don‘t seem objectively suited. I love your books, please continue!
I have full cofidence that you will find the perfect match for each of them. And it’s nice to know that after the Westcott family there is more to come 😉
Greeting from Germany
Your writing process is fascinating, characters do get a life of their own in the author’s head and you do the pairings so well, Mary. I loved Wulfric and Christine. They are just what the other needed, a complement to one another. Your pairings just make me believe that one person can make a big difference in another person’s life.
I hope I get picked, it will be a lovely gift for my birthday. I’ll treasure the book especially at these hard times ❤️❤️❤️
When you decide to include a previously mentioned character as a hero or heroine, do you go back and read what you have written about that person? Or do you have a file that gives you the notes on each one of your characters?
I go back and reread–and then make notes, Alicia.
I enjoy all your books, I can escape into the story and have wonderful memories when I have finished the book. Please keep writing these wonderful stories.
Loved the story behind the story!!! I feel I know these characters and love their stories! It adds to the enjoyment by having a back story on their development! Can’t wait for the next book…and the new series!! (Matilda’s story is still my favorite!)
I’ve been debating reading Matilda’s story, but I’m definitely leaning toward doing so! XD
Looking forward to your new series, Mary! Thanks for so many wonderful books and reading adventures!
A new series! Cannot wait to delve into this new world.
Looking forward to the new series and so is my brother in law. We both truly enjoy sharing your books. Blessings & hugs & thanks for writing such heartfelt stories.
Whoever Harry’s partner is – they have to help him laugh again. They have to help him rediscover his inner joy.
Wow, never realized how difficult it can be for a writer to “pair” off couples…I have thoroughly enjoyed all your series so you are obviously doing a great job…I did love “Slightly Dangerous”…(one of my favorite dukes) & Avery’s story was perhaps my favorite (I never forgot the scene where he allowed Anna to enter his “secret” world & how he used what he learned to make his place in society)…I delighted in how some family members wondered if theirs were a “love match” but having them re-appear in other stories in the series provided the assurance we needed (definitely a great family leader)…
I am always astonished by your ability to create such unique pairings in all your books. The growth that characters undergo in order to become at peace with themselves and ready to be a partner is truly a testament to your brilliant writing skills.
I always look forward to a new book from you. I search whenever I see books for sale, even if I know a new one is not due out. Just in case I missed one.
I love your books. All your matches work, whether alike or opposites. Thanks for the chance.
It was fun to learn how you pair/find the characters.
Love your books, love your characters, and look forward to the new book.
I love all your books, but Slightly Dangerous is my very, very favorite. How I love both Wulfric and Christine. I have read it several times, and often go back and just read a chapter or two. I just love the way Christine brings the man out in Wulfric, letting him forget the duke. To me, they are your two best characters.
I love Anna and Avery, and we’ll, I just love reading about the couples you match up!! I am so excited to hear about your new series, and looking forward to Someone to Cherish!!
I have copies of all of your books and re-read the different series and standalone tales on a regular basis. Thank you for creating such wonderful, believable characters and storylines!
One of my favorites among your books is THE UNLIKELY DUCHESS (which should be reprinted)–the story was hilarious and touching at the same time. As far as your series go, I love them all.
If only finding a life partner were as successful as your books make it! But, by reading them I am finally figuring out what attributes I want my next significant other to have! Thank you, please keep writing!!
I love Anne and Sydnam’s story! In fact I think I’ll re-read the whole series next!
Thank you for this insight into your writing process! I always thought you had already planned everything out at the beginning of a new series so I was astonished to read that this was not the case at all with Wulfric and Christine from Slightly Dangerous. They are my favourite couple after all. I’m so excited about your new series and I can’t wait to read it!
Enjoyed reading about your matchmaking methods. Love when your books bring a character we’ve seen before his/her match.
Akways enjoy curling up with one of your romance books.
Dear Mary, I absolutely love your characters and stories. However it happens, your matches are always magical to me. Cannot wait for your new series!
Mary, I just reread The Proposal this past weekend and was once again blown away by the care you give your characters. It is such a real portrayal of how two people negotiate the shape of their relationship, and I fell in love with Hugo and Gwen all over again. It’s lovely to hear more about your process. My feeling about your books is that you write about the ways in which people find the light inside of each other and love each other’s vulnerabilities. It’s beautiful!
SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS is my all time favorite of all your works. You sure knocked it out of the park pairing Christine and Wulfric. But I love all your books. Looking forward to Harry’s story, and I’m already excited for your new series.
Since I have already preordered Someone to Cherish on Kindle and Audible, I am not posting this for the free copy. (I do wish though that your publishers would speed up the release of more of your earlier books, particularly some of those named in previous entries above which are as yet unavailable as far as I know in print, Kindle or Audible.)
I have enjoyed practically all of your books I have read in the last four weeks or so since discovering your work, but I am particularly moved by Simply Love and the Survivors’ Club series, and other books like Unforgettable, where your characters develop by overcoming painful wounds both visible and invisible. Thank you.
Thank you so much for this post. It is really interesting to know how your characters come to life. I cannot wait to read your new books!
I always enjoy the characters in your can’t put down novels! Looking forward to your next novel and your next series.
I love the way you matchmake! Honestly I always assumed it would be easy for you. To learn about the stress and worry you have sometimes finding the right match is surprising but it makes sense! Thanks for continuing to write such romantic stories for us to fall in love with!
Your characters are why I love you books!! Don’t change anything 💖
What a great insight into your process. I appreciate the work you put into your craft. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of the book and a sneak peak into what’s next.
love your books,i think i have almost everyone,like how they can be read seperately but still continue a story,proably my favorite is something wicked.would love to win birthday is the 19th be a great present
I am so excited to be introduced to a new series! I can’t wait to read it. Meanwhile, I will enjoy the last of the Someone series! I just love all of your characters, even the ones I thought I wouldn’t!
Whatever your method, I love all your books. Can’t wait to read the next ones
You are the best historical romance writer for me. Honestly, I crave for your words, the emotion you generate, the stories you tell. So even if I read your stories, I would go back to them and re read because I want to relive them, the pain and the joy of your heroins ans heroes.
I’m looking forward to this story.
I love your books. You are an awesome storyteller and matchmaker. Can’t wait for the next Wescott book and your next series.
Your pairings are always excellent! You are, admittedly, my favorite author and I believe your character chemistry is the reason I can never put one down once I start. I can’t wait for the new series.
I absolutely love the way you match your heroes and heroines! You are the consummate matchmaker! I don’t think I have read a single book that you wrote and did not like/love it. I’m sad to see the Westcott series end, but am looking forward to the new ones!
I love your books and can’t wait for the next one!
I’ve loved the entire Westcott series and have pre-ordered ‘Someone to Cherish’ and look forward to reading it!! If I’m lucky enough to win the autographed ARC, I’ll gift my pre-ordered one to a friend and let them enjoy the wonderful world of Mary Balogh!
What a wonderful blog post. You discussed some of my favourite pairings. I look forward to your new series.
My sister & I are both eagerly awaiting Harry’s story, so we would love to receive an advance copy of Someone to Cherish, signed by you!
I enjoy reading about your thought process. You write the best books! You have a lyrical way of writing that transports me right into the time and story. Thank you so much!!
Can’t wait for another series!
I am always fascinated by the mind of writers….a former friend is a famous children’s author, and I remember sitting at the round table of our local pub for hours, fantasizing stories and characters, etc.
There is one thing about your characters, that makes them stand out and hit home more than other authors I have read…..your characters have flaws…some small, some HUGE.
I dunno, some authors I have read, their characters will have what they attempted to make a relatable “flaw”….but often it is a wild hair in a personality that makes no sense, or is counter to the traits set……it just ruins the fantasy for me.
Anyways….thank you for investing in all those little nuances, that lets me jump into a story as a voyeur!
So in a Matter of Class (my all-time favorite), would you say that Reggie and Anna defy the “opposites attract” theory because they are so young when they meet?
I own many of your books, but have no autographed one. That would be a treasure to me.
Simply Love is one of my most favorite books! Sydnum and Anne worked so well together, so yes, you did accomplish that. I have read the Slightly series, the survivors club, the Huxtables, as well as several others. I really enjoy it when you bring in characters from other books!
I count Simly Love among my favorites as well. I loved how these two people helped each other deal with their pasts…Anne to see her family and not feel tainted, Sydnam to paint…and find love together. Christine was the perfect woman for stuffy Wulfric and the quizzing glass scene has to be one of my favorites. As I was reading this, I could not think of a single pairing that I did not like. I can’t wait to read your new series.
All of your books have been wonderful! I am re-reading the Bedwyn series now. Look forward to all of your new stories
Great title and pretty cover. Cute hat too! Thanks for all the fabulous books you write.
This blog is so cool! I’m very new to your books—in fact, I just discovered them early May this year! I’m loving the Westcott characters (particularly Elizabeth), and I’m finished six books already! LOL I can’t wait to read both of these recommended books! Keep on writing! <3
I’m looking forward to Cherish. I will probably start at the beginning of the series shortly & if I time it right will be ready for it when it comes out. It is a great series!
Mary I love all your book series and how you heal their hidden insecurities. Would love to receive an autographed book!
Love the thought process.
I love your stories—when I first started to read romance ( instead of the “ proper” intellectual fiction I was supposed to read as English major) I was lucky enough to stumble on your books and have been reading and rereading them over and over. I especially love your ability to place a character from one story onto another one, especially as a side character. When Hugh meets Wulfric, I was in raptures! And “simply dangerous” is one of my favorites.
I have enjoyed this series… Fabulous character and wonderful stories. Thank you
Enjoy reading your books. Two of my very favorites are Heartless and Silent Melody. Have a great day. A reader.
I’m so looking forward to this book! Thank you for being my very favorite romance author.
I enjoy your humour you add to your characters.
I pulled a wonderful quote from Simply Love that resonated with me and it sat on my Facebook page for a while. I love that book. Also loved the two sides to Wulfric that made his love story work so well.
So many wonderful couples, but my favorite is Anne and Syd. I just love their story and how they both triumph over all the trauma from their past.
I have the rest of series, and I don’t want to miss a single one. That would be sad.
I love hearing about your writing process. I think it would be great if Winnifred Cunningham matched with Devlin or Ben, or possibly Stephanie and Bertrand Lamarr. It would be nice to continue to have connections with the Westcott family.
Mary, I have loved all of your books and can’t wait to read this one!
Love your series books. The Slightly series was my favorite. Especially Dangeroes. Rwad it over and over again. Cannot wait for the new series.
I just began reading your books and I am a big fan. I am reading the Westcott series. Your characters are all so complex. I really like Avery. But I would love to have Elizabeth for a friend. Most of all the family dynamic is wonderful. I enjoyed your advice to future writers and learning about your process, and your FB puns!!
Love all of your books….and this series is the best! 📚
I love this series. I would love an autographed copy.
I think slightly dangerous was the first book of yours I read.I love that your books have flawed human characters with issues but are still able to find a partner despite issues that they need to resolve together. The survivors club series was one of the first places I’ve seen representation of disabilities in this genre. They are full of hope and real people.
I would love an advanced autographed copy of Someone to Cherish. Is it available to those not living in USA? If not, hope the ebook will be available in my country soon. Definitely Love your book series. Thank you for your stories especially the book series
You must know by now that Slightly Dangerous is a favorite of many or probably most of your readers. Christine is a perfect match for Wulfric. I am looking forward to your next series. You remain my favorite author!
It’s very interesting to read about your writing process and how the perfect couple come to be. I guess it’s just like life, full of surprises and unexpected pairings. I love your novel because of the emocional sensitivity and depth. I’m anxious to read the next series, although I still wish to read about some other characters of the Wescott Word, such as Winfred. Can’t wait!! 🥰
Loved the insight and to know more how it worked with Wulfric’s story. Made me want to revisit some of your characters and to read again about them. Can’t wait to read your new book and so excited for the new series.
When it comes to pairings I have to say that Wulfric and Christine are prob my favorite. I absolutely love them both. I just went back and read their story, as well as, Rannulf and Judith. I have to do that ever so often to get my Bedwyn fix. I appreciate seeing them in other stories too. I hope it happens with this next series. 🙂
The more stories, the more characters are coming to life. It is a “human comedy” like Balzac, in his days, built up. These characters, coming from your imagination, are becoming people. Because following Picasso’s words: “Everything you can imagine is real.”
What is amazing is to think about how many of these protagonists you created and to know you remember them so well in a story that will come years after the first time the reader met with him or her. It is very enjoyable.
I think about a Belgian comic creator I love the work when, a few years ago, he talked about a protagonist who became central to his “Sambre” chef d’oeuvre telling she was supposed to die but she didn’t let him, because she wanted to live… and so she became the heroine of his series.
I feel we connect with characters: the ones others create and the ones we make-up for ourselves. They become a part of our lives (what would they do if they were in my situation? What would I do if I was them?).
Please, continue to craft wonderful heroines and heroes we can root for! I am sure we are all impatient to discover the new family you are imagining now.
I love your books so much. While I have so many TBR books on my bookshelf, yours are the ones I reread. Your characters haunt me. I don’t know how you bring them together, but they are unforgettable. Thank you for bringing such richness into my life!
I’m looking forward to Harry’s book and the new series! My favourite pairing of yours is Lauren and Kit from A Summer to Remember — I love how they balance each other out!
I love your books and I have been re-reading some of my favourites during the lockdowns this past year.
Don’t stop writing. Keep on. I have read and re-read all your books, especially some of your older ones. Your flawed male characters are often my favorite – Like Temporary Wife, oh, and Jocelyn without a doubt. I look forward to your newest series.
Love your books whether they be the series or the standalone novels. Your ability to write with such depth where the reader becomes engrossed in the characters journey, love and happiness whilst also feeling their pain or anxieties is amazing. I loved the Bedwyn, Mistress, Simply, Westcotts and am looking forward to any future series.
Have just begun Someone to Cherish. Lydia and Isaiah are making me think of Dorothea Brooke and Casaubon. Was this particular type of ardor in your mind as you created your characters/conflict? Thank you.
I don’t know who D. Brooke and Casaubon are, S T Chatter.
Sorry, from Middlemarch—Dorothea Brooke was the ardent girl to whom piety was passion who married the ascetic Casaubon to be his everything—only to realize his piety hid a mediocre impotent mind.
I guess you were not thinking of that relationship then lol. Thanks for taking the time to reply 🙂
Do you have a book about Hector from Slightly Dangerous? Justin’s absent minded brother?
No, Lyn, there is no book for Hector from SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS.
I love Slightly Dangerous and The Temporary Wife! Will there be more books about the friends of the Westcotts? (I am certain the Ravenwood series will also be delightful.)
I am hoping to write more Westcott stories for some leftover characters.
I feel the series could not finish without a story for Viscount Watley
I just finished reading SOMEONE PERFECT and I loved, loved, loved it. However, having read the teaser for your next series, I’m anxious to know how long we will have to wait for the first book to come out. Do you have a date yet?
I believe the hardcover edition of REMEMBER LOVE is scheduled for July, 2022, Mary T, and the mass market edition for December.
I just discovered your blog, what a treat! I adore your books. They bring me a lot of pleasure – an escape from the daily hardships of widowhood & being a single mom. So thank you so much, truly. The first book I ever read of yours was “Slightly Dangerous” and it remains my favorite, all the other dozens are runners-up. I love them all – the novellas and ever single series. A new series coming!!!??? Bliss!
I love Wulfric and Christine. It was a relief for him to get his comeuppance! I think I need to re-read their story.
The laughs just got to my funny bone, and I do enjoy a good laugh. I’ve been reading Kit and Lauren’s story in A Summer to Remember (a little out of order I but a good book is still a good book!), and I’m curious how the relationship will evolve as he settles down and she becomes less inhibited.
My response to people, is a quote from one of favorite guitarists Lucas Mann “Art is not a sport”
Mary, you have simply spoiled me for any other romance writer! Truly, I am so mesmerized by the way you paint your characters and reveal their innermost thoughts that no other author can match your style for me. I especially adore it when things pop out of the gentleman’s mouth that completely stun him. I always laugh! His heart is speaking even when his mind hasn’t caught up- so fun and sweet. Thank you for many avid nights of reading into the wee hours because I simply couldn’t stop until I knew the sweet resolution. I don’t think I will ever enjoy any other books as much as yours. Thank you!
I have been hoping that Eleanor Thompson’s story (Westcott Series 6.5) would be recorded. Both your novella and Grace Burrowes’ novella were terrific. I would love to see them BOTH recorded. Any plans?
Not at present, I am sorry, Maureen.
Will you be writing a story about Bertrand, the brother of Estelle in the Westcott Series?It would be wonderful to see the last of that generation happily married!
I hope to write a story for Bertrand as part of the new Ravenswood series, Barbara.