• Simply Love

  • The Simply Quartet, Book 2
  • By: Mary Balogh
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (941 ratings)

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Simply Love  By  cover art

Simply Love

By: Mary Balogh
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
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Publisher's Summary

She spies him in the deepening dusk of a Wales evening - a lone figure of breathtaking strength and masculinity, his handsome face branded by a secret pain. For single mother and teacher Anne Jewell, newly arrived with her son at a sprawling estate in Wales, Sydnam Butler is a man whose sorrows - and passions - run deeper than she could have ever imagined.

As steward of a remote seaside manor, Sydnam lives a reclusive existence far from the pity and disdain of others. Yet almost from the moment Anne first appears on the cliffs, he senses in this lovely stranger a kindred soul, and between these two wary hearts, desire stirs. Unable to resist the passion that has rescued them both from loneliness, Anne and Sydnam share an afternoon of exquisite lovemaking. Now the unwed single mother and war-scarred veteran must make a decision that could forever alter their lives.

Contains mature themes.

©2006 Mary Balogh (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about Simply Love

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 01-31-17

aa story about true adults.

A n amazing story about two broken people who accidentally find each other. It's an emotional story. There are no silly and annoying characters and I think it's one of Balogh best.

Rosalyn best.

I listened on one big bite.

10 people found this helpful

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Simply a lovely story

I love the narration. I love how simply and yet dignified and engaging all these characters develop. I love that the resolution was not the usual resolution. I love that these characters jump out at you and make you want to be like them. And as I said in the title of my critique- s simply a lovely story.

9 people found this helpful

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I couldn't stop listening!

Enjoy Mary Balogh books and Roslayn Landor never disappoints. In most of the Balogh books I have read the woman is not beautiful but not unattractive, and there is something about her situation that makes her ineligible or less than desireable; and the male is usually very attractive but a bit of a rake to start. I loved the variation in Anne and Sydnam's story. She is beautiful while injuries sustained in the war have marred his physical appearance. I find that most of the challenges that face Balogh's relationships could be easily overcome if people just said what they meant, and some at times feel trivial or forced. While poor communication was a factor in this story to a degree, there were additionally legitimate internal struggles with both protagonist that I found very intriguing. I found myself invested in what happened to these two characters to the point of depriving myself of sleep to listen. Anne was not only half of a romantic pairing but she was also a mother, which in my opinion made her decisions and struggles all the more interesting. I would read this book again!

7 people found this helpful

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beautiful story

once again I love this story and am familiar with the series...... which is why I had such a hard time again with suzanna being given an Irish accent..... it'll be interesting to see if the accent continues into her own story which is my favorite and the next book. I'm afraid that if it is I still be forced to return the book which is something I've never done before

5 people found this helpful

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Great Second Installment

This is a nice story for Anne, but Sydnam pulled my heartstrings. I am very sensitive when it comes to soldiers and the trials they faced in battle and when they return home. They are never the same.

4 people found this helpful

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My least favorite of all of Mary Balogh’s books

Much of the book was tedious, with all the emphasis on Anne’s “disgrace” at being an unwed mother. It was also extremely depressing with all the graphic descriptions of Sydnam’s injuries and how he got them. Not a whole lot of romance here:((
POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
The reaction of Anne’s family and their treatment of her was infuriating, although I’m sure common enough for the time. However I completely disagreed with Sydnam’s insistence that they visit her family. It made me angry and made me regret reading through until the end.
Her family did not deserve to be forgiven. I have re-read many of Ms. Balogh’s books, but I WON’T be re-reading this one!

3 people found this helpful

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  • V.
  • 05-04-19

Very Sweet story- nothing sizzling about it though

This was a very boring yet sweet story. I couldn’t rate it badly because at least I finished it but it was definitely not sizzling. I like to check out the steaminess level of a book before I read it and this was was rated incorrect. It is a very long sweet sad story with a happy ending.

2 people found this helpful

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Truly beautiful love story

I love that Mary Balogh writes characters with depth and not just the traditional “tall, dark and handsome.” I was worried for a few minutes I would not enjoy a live story with a disfigured man, but it was truly lovely.

2 people found this helpful

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I love this series<br /><br />

I really do enjoy this book I'm very glad they made an audiobook version of it

2 people found this helpful

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Narrator needs to jog her memory

Narrator needs to jog her memory of how she read past books. I don't like how the narrator, who is the same narrator as in the Bedwyn Saga, and the Bedwyn's have a large role in this story, don't have the same accents or name pronunciation. For instance, Morgan's husband the Earl of Rothshorn has a very thick French accent in their story. And Aidan's wife Eve, no longer has a Welsh accent. Both are non-existent in this book. And she pronounces Lord Alleyne's name different in this book too, as plain Allen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Danielle Maria
  • 07-23-17

Simply Lovely

Any additional comments?

This is a wonderfully touching book that is unwaveringly focused on the relationship of Anne and Sydnam, without much drama or action to distract from the main story. I had wanted to listen to this book for a while, but I try not to start in the middle of a series. Accordingly I started with the first in the Quartet series, Simply Unforgettable, and it is still languishing in my 'Did not finish' pile. I found the lead characters in that story boring and irritating (and all too forgettable), and I worried that this book too would not live up to my expectations. I am delighted that my worries were for nought.

Unlike many in the genre, this book did not revolve around a 'misunderstanding', but real psychological problems resulting from severe traumas. Both Anne and Sydnam had suffered greatly in their past, and had worked hard to provide themselves with peace and stability. After the turbulence of their pasts, they are contented to live uneventful, safe, quiet lives, alone. However, when they meet, they challenge each other's supposed contentment, and each begins to question whether they really are happy with the lives they have made for themselves. Are they alone, or are they lonely?

The development of the relationship between Anne and Sydnam is slow, painful and realistic. They both have to face uncomfortable truths which they have not in the past been strong enough to confront. They both have self-esteem issues and think themselves not good enough for the other. Although their past traumas are different in nature, it has given them a unique insight into the other, and they instinctively understand aspects in the other's character that others do not. They challenge and support each other to overcome the barriers preventing them from being truly happy. The ending is incredibly moving.

The only thing that I find jarring in this book is the ease and speed with which Anne forgives her family. Having dedicated the whole book to the slow building of the relationship between Anne and Sydnam, I don't understand why Balogh decided that Anne could forgive the incredible betrayals of her family, and the decade-long estrangement within a couple of paragraphs. The way Anne's family have treated her for ten years is despicable. They come across as very weak-minded, and caring more about what the neighbours think than the health and wellbeing of their daughter and grandchild. They have done nothing in all that time to assist her, even from afar.

Then, when Anne (without any invitation or encouragement from any of them) goes to see them, her father actually tells her to her face that she must have invited her rape by trying to attract her rapist. He then says that if she had wanted to, she could have stopped him, then caps it all by saying that it is the man who is always blamed!! Then he says that while he is sorry for his actions (or lack thereof) he had been concerned about what the neighbours would say, and perhaps, after all, it was better that she had not faced the gossip. AS IF SHE WAS NOT GOSSIPPED ABOUT AND OSTRACISED EVERYWHERE SHE WENT AS AN UNMARRIED MOTHER WHO HAD NO FAMILY TO SUPPORT HER!! Her mother, brother, sister and brother-in-law/ex-fiancé are all pathetic characters who do nothing but beg forgiveness which they don't deserve. This had me absolutely boiling with anger, and yet Anne apparently turned around and forgave them all because she wanted her son to know his family. Why you would encourage your child to rely on people who would turn their backs at the first sign of trouble is beyond me. Sydnam, who had forced her against her will to visit her family, did nothing to support her in the confrontation. For me this who scene was unnecessary, and really compromised the trust they had built up between them.

Other than Anne's useless family, there are some good supporting characters who do not overpower the book. Most of the Balogh I have read is the old Heyer-like stuff, and so I am not conversant with the more modern Balogh-world, but I gather that most of the supporting characters, such as the Bedwyn brood, are from her other books and series.

Do I really need to say anything about Rosalyn Landor's performance? Exceptional as always! Landor is such a safe pair of hands, that you can sink into a book, and not worry about unsustained characterisation, poor pronunciation or dodgy accents!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Thor
  • 09-05-20

Two damages people get together

The hero went to war against his families advise, to prove something to himself. He comes back seriously injured and has to adapted to living life differently. He wants people to acknowledge he was a soldier doing his duty, not someone to be pitied.
I don't feel the Heroine's story can be said to be the same. She despite being beautiful, therfore taking on all the risks involved in becoming a Governess. Leaves behind a fiancee, to work to help support her family and pay for her brother to become a Vicar. She is raped, left with a child, her family turn their collective backs on her. In indecent haste her younger sister marries the fiancee and also has a child close in age to her own. So totally betrayal on all sides, except maybe the mother, who follows her husbands orders. Her family have ignored her for over ten years, Then she marries the rich son of an Earl and all is forgiven.
I don't know how real life works for all, but this I find hard to swallow. I agree bitterness injurys people, but you can accept the pass and move on. It doesn't mean you have to hang around with those who betrayed you, can you really trust them with the child they have ignored for years. Especially as he is so vulnerable and is desperate to have a family.
All the backup characters are still the same and the story is solid

1 person found this helpful

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  • H.A.B.
  • 07-18-22

It was ok …

Another charming book - but it was missing a true connection

The story which was hinted - of governess- rape - drowning- living in the village- sounded soooo familiar - but could I find the book ? No


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  • Mo Bass
  • 05-07-22

A Bridge Too Far

Our heroine is an unmarried mother who teaches at a select school for young ladies. The chances of this occurring in Regency England are about a million to one. Our heroine is then invited by a marchioness to attend a house party at the home of her brother, a duke.
I quite liked the nub of the plot but the background sketched was too improbable and the story got sickeningly mawkish at the end.

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  • Vi
  • 10-23-21

Lovely

Nice getting the Bedwyns so worth reading after the Simply series! Such a lovely story with great characters.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-24-21

Excellent complex story

Well told story with some twists and turns but a very satisfying conclusion. A good read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-10-21

Love this story

I liked everything about this book, the storyline, the characters and the narrator. If you like this genre then it's worth listening too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Yewande LS
  • 03-11-21

Awesome Story!!! I really enjoyed it

Awesome Story!!! I really enjoyed it. Great storyline and the plot unfolded brilliantly. I also like Rosalyn Landors voice

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  • Dorze
  • 11-12-22

Love LOVE this story

I loved this story for many reasons. Firstly the reader gets reacquainted with the Bedwyns, the series which I loved. Better still this story moves along and does not have any long drawn out parts or dull spots. I definitely will be listening to this story again.

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  • Caroline C
  • 11-20-21

loved it

listened to it all in one day, couldn't put it down. loved it so much