Always Remember: Ben's Story
by Mary Balogh
A Ravenswood Novel - Book 3
Release Date: January 16, 2024
Reviewed by PJ
One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting around a campfire on a warm summer's night listening to the melodic cadence and mellow voice of a storyteller weaving a captivating tale. That's the feeling Balogh brings to this newest book in her Ravenswood series. I snuggled under a warm blanket and lost myself in the feelings of a heartwarming journey of both romance and family featuring characters still living in my head more than three weeks after reading their story...the first time. ;-)
I love the emotional layers within both Ben and Jenny, how each of them evolves over the course of their journey. And, as family is a primary focus of this series, I also enjoyed their inter-connecting relationships within not only their own family but each other's. Ben is such a nurturer. I love what a good dad he is, how he's always looking for ways to help others. But he always puts himself last. It's heartwarming to watch him finally place importance on his own needs and happiness and how that impacts not only his gradually deepening friendship with Jenny but also his relationships with members of his family, especially his half-brother, Devlin (Remember Love). For her part, Jenny is finally breaking out of the protective cocoon in which she has lived since her childhood illness thanks to the encouragement of Ben and the love of his young daughter. It's satisfying to watch her spread her wings, embrace the freedom of enhanced independence, and take control of her own life while facing head on the changes - and challenges - that brings to the dynamics within her own family. And I haven't even touched on the challenges a cross-class, legitimate-illegitimate pairing causes among all the dukes, earls, lords, and ladies of the families.
One of the things I love about this book is the plethora of family and community members who are all highly visible and intrinsic to the story being told. They add a rich variety of texture, potential conflict, and heartwarming tenderness to Ben's and Jenny's journey. However, if you haven't read the first two books of the series, the sheer number of secondary characters and their inter-connecting relationships - and shared history - might be a bit overwhelming. For that reason, I would probably recommend reading the books in order. They are, in order: Remember Love, Remember Me, and Always Remember.
Have you read any Mary Balogh books? Do you have a favorite book or series?
Are you reading the Ravenswood series?
Do you enjoy books with a large ensemble of characters?
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