Recently, there was fast and furious discussion on Twitter DM on the topic of Mary Balogh’s heroines. They have the reputation for being a) too good to be true b) Mary Sues and c) tepid rather than torrid. Janet Webb kicked these canards around with historical writer Miranda Neville, another fan of Balogh’s traditional Regencies. Is the rap on these heroines true, false or somewhere in between?
The books discussed: Tempting Harriet, Snow Angel and The Incurable Matchmaker. If you’d like to refresh your memory on the plots, the following summaries are from Mary Balogh’s website.
Tempting Harriet: Once, when she was a mere lady's companion, Harriet Pope had spurned the attempted seduction of the Duke of Tenby. Now, six years later, she is the wealthy, titled widow of an older man, and she is the one who sets out to seduce* the duke. Yet when she succeeds, it is to the discovery that an affair is not what she wants after all. An affair, though, seems to be all Tenby can offer.
*It may be that this synopsis overstates how much Harriet is the seducer. True, she jumps to the conclusion that he is asking her to become his mistress and agrees, but she doesn’t make the first move.