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A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh
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carolydixon



Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:53 am    Post subject: A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh Reply with quote

This appears to be one of the author's earlier works. Has anyone read it? Did you like it? Thanks for sharing any thoughts.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judging from the comments on this board, I'm about the only one who liked it.
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PWNN



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Posts: 912

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked it as well, quite a lot. I found it a tender moving love story and loved the realism of how Balogh slowly built it...

SPOILER


over months and years and not days or weeks as they both grow together and learn about themselves and each other. She also turned the Romance archetype of Alpha dark, handsome, obsessed rake on it's head - showing him for what he more realistically was - a careless, selfish, narcissistic stalker.


/SPOILER
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read it for the first time about a month ago when it came out in a two-story issue. It was slow and rather boring for me. But even some of Balogh's slow books can be interesting. This one didn't do it for me and I did abandon it somewhere along the way. She's older and he's younger, and I kept waiting for a fire to light and the coals would only simmer then die down again. The first story, The Temporary Wife, which is not connected, was much better.
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roseisa



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 334
Location: CA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not read the Promise of Spring yet.

However, The Temporary Wife is a DIK for me and I paid a lot more than $7.99 to own a copy of it.

It is held as one the perfect regency romance by reviewers:

http://www.likesbooks.com/212.html

And the review explains why:

http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=55

And I agree, it is one of my comfort reads. Smile

Cool Sunny California - exactly that.
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MEK



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everything said above. The Temporary Wife is wonderful.

One problem with The Promise of Spring is if you can't "buy into" to 10 year age difference - she is older- (which I could not) between the H/h, then there is no where to go. So, for me, it was a DNF. There are only two Balogh books I have not liked, however. They all have so much to offer.
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catgrace



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved both books in the latest 2 in 1. In A Promise of Spring, I loved the novelty of the older heroine, and that she was so much more concerned about it than Perry was. As is the case with many books by MB, I enjoyed the slow progression of the romance from respect, through a long period of warmth, and then to love with a minimum of violent emotion clogging up the story.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't understand why people have trouble with the age difference, especially with so many romances featuring a much older hero.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natalie, of course, everybody's taste is different, I can only give you my opinion.

I don't like older woman/younger man pairing at all, the bigger the age difference the worse for me. I don't know why exactly, I guess because I am a conservative/traditionalist in some ways. I have not known any such couples in real life and when I imagine myself in such a relationship, I always think how nervous and on the alert I would always be that would prevent me from any real enjoyment of it.

Especially after Halle Berry's relationship with that Quebec boyfriend of hers broke up and he hinted it was because their age difference (10 years) started to be a problem.

I don't have any problems with younger women/older men. Just recently read A trad Regency Cecily by Clare Darcy where the heroine was 18 and the hero, I think, 32 or 34 and it worked perfectly for me (that was typical of that time, after all).
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PWNN



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natalie wrote:
I can't understand why people have trouble with the age difference, especially with so many romances featuring a much older hero.


I agree, I have no issue with the woman being older and here it's only 10 years and they're both grown adults at 25 and 35. Flip who's older and no one would blink an eye. Neither is a teenager which I have far more issues with because I think the older we get the less age differences matter because there's less power imbalance and both people have some life experience and maturity.

As for most marriages, I believe the difference then as now was usually about 2-3 years. In the Regency the first marriage for women and men were respectively at 23 and 25 yrs old.

And yes The Temporary Wife is superior but then I consider it not only of Balogh's best (though she has quite a few) but a near perfect Traditional Regency.
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Natalie



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mirole wrote:


Especially after Halle Berry's relationship with that Quebec boyfriend of hers broke up and he hinted it was because their age difference (10 years) started to be a problem.


But wouldn't there be the same problem if the man was 10 years older? Even with viagra and all that Wink

Quote:
I don't have any problems with younger women/older men. Just recently read A trad Regency Cecily by Clare Darcy where the heroine was 18 and the hero, I think, 32 or 34 and it worked perfectly for me (that was typical of that time, after all).


Since you're Russian, you remember what happened to Pushkin and his wife, right? When an older man marries a much younger beauty, it's a recipe for disaster. Judging by the authors of that time (Balzac, Tolstoy), not a very uncommon situation.

I read What I Did For A Duke recently and the age difference killed it for me. He could practically be her father! That's just creepy.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PWNN wrote:
Natalie wrote:
I can't understand why people have trouble with the age difference, especially with so many romances featuring a much older hero.


I agree, I have no issue with the woman being older and here it's only 10 years and they're both grown adults at 25 and 35. Flip who's older and no one would blink an eye.


Honestly, I prefer the age difference to be no more than 5-6 years either way. 10 is pushing it for me so it's up to the author to show me they care for each other enough that the age difference is not going to be a problem.
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Cobbsouth



Joined: 30 Mar 2007
Posts: 102
Location: Loveland, Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think part of the problem for me is that, sadly, women in general don't age as well as men. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say age is kinder to men than women. It's always interesting to me to look at 50th anniversary photos in the newspaper, especially those that show the couple's wedding picture along with a current picture. Often (though not always) the man has grown more distinguished-looking even though he may have gained weight, while the woman looks heavier and (for lack of a better word) frumpier. In an age without natural-looking cosmetics and hair color (to say nothing of cosmetic surgery!), I would think this difference would be even more apparent, and I would be concerned about how that difference might affect the relationship. For a current example, look at Demi Moore and Ashton Kucher. Although Demi is still striking for a middle aged woman, the age difference between them had become painfully obvious. Was anyone really surprised when he went looking elsewhere? Disappointed, maybe, but not surprised.
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 354
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mirole wrote:
Natalie, of course, everybody's taste is different, I can only give you my opinion.

I don't like older woman/younger man pairing at all, the bigger the age difference the worse for me. I don't know why exactly, I guess because I am a conservative/traditionalist in some ways. I have not known any such couples in real life and when I imagine myself in such a relationship, I always think how nervous and on the alert I would always be that would prevent me from any real enjoyment of it.

Especially after Halle Berry's relationship with that Quebec boyfriend of hers broke up and he hinted it was because their age difference (10 years) started to be a problem.

I don't have any problems with younger women/older men. Just recently read A trad Regency Cecily by Clare Darcy where the heroine was 18 and the hero, I think, 32 or 34 and it worked perfectly for me (that was typical of that time, after all).


I think one thing that makes an older woman/younger man hard to swallow is the maturity difference. Women tend to mature faster than men and I think it is difficult to buy into the whole "true love" package. An contemporary (in age) or older man is much more interesting in my opinion because their interests are more broad and there are more things to tie the relationship together than just lust. I think an author has to be very careful to write a younger man with enough maturity to pull it off. I started this book and did not finish and I never really thought about it until now. I just did not buy into the relationship.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maryskl wrote:
I think an author has to be very careful to write a younger man with enough maturity to pull it off. I started this book and did not finish and I never really thought about it until now. I just did not buy into the relationship.

Yes, that was part of why I didn't like this Balogh book. The age difference here mattered because he seemed so immature compared to her and I felt she acted more like a mother to him throughout the story.

But, really, what totally turned me off to Promise of Spring was the story itself. It was slow and boring, really, with the characters not adding any spice to it. I questioned a lot of the details and couldn't come to grips about many of them, especially the "secret" and how all that was finally handled, which was not well at all.
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