Reviews for Someone perfect

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An unlikely couple is brought together by their similar experiences of flawed parents in this Regency romance that's adjacent to Balogh's Westcott family series. Lady Estelle Lamarr is content with a life involving her twin brother and their foster parents and cousins now that she and her sibling have reconciled with their once-absentee father, the Marquess of Dorchester. If she thinks of marriage, it’s with someone who has a blithe spirit. When a chance encounter with a dour man on a horse shakes her up, she shrugs it off only to encounter him again at a neighboring friend’s home—he is Justin Wiley, the mysterious Earl of Brandon. Justin has braved the suspicions and innuendos of high society after disappearing for years and then, upon inheriting his title, banishing his stepmother and half sister, Maria, to a smaller estate. With the dowager countess now dead, he wants to ensconce Maria in society and begins by bringing her back to their ancestral seat. Neither Maria nor her friend Estelle are happy with this turn of events, but Maria consents to the journey, with Estelle and her brother going along as moral support. Initially convinced of Justin’s boorishness and arrogance, Estelle reluctantly realizes that Justin is a kind, private man who loves his sister. As more family members congregate, she guesses at the secret that has kept him away and falls in love with his imperfections and virtues. Many of Balogh’s strengths are on display here—there's family drama staged in a nostalgic Regency country-house culture; the characters’ inner selves are carefully revealed through their actions; the reluctant attraction between Estelle and Justin crests as their surface incompatibilities fade; and there's a series of scenes peopled by a wholesome supporting cast. The off notes come from two missteps similar to those she has made in other recent novels: There's a villainous portrait of a woman, which feels retrograde, and a sentimental stereotype of a developmentally disabled character who largely functions to testify to Justin’s goodness. A poignant look at family lost and love regained. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.