What should you read after you've ready every Mary Balogh? Try...
When someone asks me to recommend a Regency romance, the author I’m most likely to suggest is Mary Balogh. She’s been an autobuy for me since I first read A Precious Jewel in the early 90s. That novel broke new ground in the Regency genre, offering a hero and heroine unlike others we’d seen in a format that could be stiflingly formulaic—Jewel had a heroine who willingly prostituted herself, and a hero who wasn’t very bright or socially adroit. It was a game changer for many readers.
Balogh paints in subtle colors but the finished picture glows. Many of her books offer antagonists who turn out to be not the people the protagonists—or the reader—expect them to be. She’s also skillful at character development across a series. When readers are newly arrived to her Bedwyn books (Slightly Married, Slightly Dangerous, etc.) I tell them, “Watch Becky!” A minor secondary character travels through the series and interacts with one key character, each time revealing more about that other person.
Over the years people ask me what I like about Balogh and there are many points that stand out: her sparing use of adjectives, her unreliable narrators who hold back information until it’s necessary for the reader to know it, her attention to detail, and her craft at not dumping too much backstory or exposition up front.
But one cannot read a single author, no matter how talented. That would be like only eating chocolates when there are also gingersnaps and almond cakes to enjoy. So when people ask me who else I would recommend if they enjoy Balogh, a few names come to mind: