Reviews for Always Remember: (Large Print)

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Two people living on the periphery of their families take center stage in each other’s life. Continuing her Ravenswood series, Balogh puts the focus on Ben Ellis, the widowed, illegitimate older brother of the Earl of Stratton, and Lady Jennifer Arden, the mobility-impaired sister of the earl’s new brother-in-law, the Duke of Wilby. Introduced in the previous novels in the series, the protagonists have already been established as kind, family-oriented people who keep their dissatisfactions buried. Ben wants to provide a loving mother to his young daughter even as he hides his childhood grief over losing his own mother. Conscious of his outsider status, he has also accepted that his marital aspirations must be lower than those of his aristocratic family. When he notices Lady Jennifer Arden struggle to walk with crutches, he intends only to assist her in gaining more independence of movement. Yet their stilted acquaintance morphs into a deeper understanding of each other, and sexual desire starts to disturb the resignation they had both felt about their socially prescribed limitations. Their un-courtship progresses over passages of Lady Jennifer acquiring new mobility aids tailored to her body’s abilities, culminating in a moving dance scene. The incorporation of a differently abled protagonist into the love plot without a savior narrative or magical transformation makes for a welcome departure from the genre’s tradition of pairing romance with normative bodies. On the other hand, the narrative is bogged down by a great deal of detail about numerous minor characters and an uncharacteristically clumsy info dump about Ben’s past. Balogh's power in dramatizing the inner life, with meditations on the complexity of human emotions and connections, compensates for this weakness to some extent. A slow-paced Regency romance that reflects on bodily diversity and inclusivity. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.