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New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh brilliantly captures the passionate conflict of a woman caught between two loves in this classic tale of friendship devotion intrigue—and a love that is the most seductive trap of allHe’d served with her husband on the battlefield—and secretly desired her for years Yet for Dominic Lieutenant Lord Eden Ellen Simpson has remained tantalizingly out of reach—until she is widowed by the war Suddenly pursued by the dangerously handsome nobleman Ellen is stunned by the depth of attraction he arouses in her Soon their friendship flames into something deeperand as scandal ignites marriage seems the only solution But Ellen has a secret—one she can share with no one—that prevents her from fully opening her heart to Dominic Until he devises his own plan for the ultimate consummation of their passion—and the woman he is determined to possess at any cost


10 thoughts on “Web of Love

  1. says:

    Nothing wrong with the writing here As usual MB is a compelling storyteller and the Napoleonic Wars are always a rich source for historical romances I just didn't like the characters Speaking strictly for the romance I just don't like it when there is so much OWOM baggage between the protagonists I really like the purity of the first and only types of romance That's just a personal preference And while I have read many and sometimes enjoyed second chance or widowwidower romances they are not the ones I invariably re read a thousand times with relishThe heroine here is in love with her first husband Granted he is a father figure and her love akin to acute co dependency for a young girl desperately seeking for an anchor in her life filled with turmoilbetrayal neglect and uncertainty Nevertheless she worships and truly cares for her husband and so her love for the hero is necessarily fraught with guilt and revulsion I was just not in the mood for such an angsty readThe hero predictably has a huge string of affairs under his belt including the one that got away an OW who plays at being fragile and innocent when in reality she rushed into marriage with her husband after the hero rejected her and afterwards makes it clear she would not be averse to extra marital action with the heroMost problematic for me though was the hero's infatuation with the heroine's STEPDAUGHTER And her reciprocating calf love for him That is just such a big no no This story was just not for me


  2. says:

    Rather slow moving book with lots of hurt feelings and guilt both of which are responsible for hindering the characters finding their HEAAs usual with this author the description of life in Brussels the Waterloo battle and its aftermath were precisely describedI really liked how the hero and heroine's love grew never really infringing on her relationship with her previous husband though he was a close friend of his I also really liked the secondary characters especially the daughter of the previous husband and the Lieutenant saved from the battle though heavily crippled and full of anger and anguish His story was definitely very nicely managed


  3. says:

    Welp I just wrote a detailed review for this and Goodreads choked on saving and lost itso this is the short versionWhat I Really Liked The Battle of Waterloo It actually happens in the book The sort of mini season in Belgium with officers and their families before the battle occurred The relationship between Ellen and Charlie The complicated nature of Ellen's grief for Charlie and uick feelings for Dominic Ellen's renewed relationship with the father who raised her who may or may not be her bio dad but who loves her either way The fact that Ellen's love for Dominic does not lessen the importance of her love for Charlie; the book clearly acknowledges that a person can love two people differently There's no attempt to couch Dominic as her one true love or anything like thatWhat I Liked Less That Ellen felt the first stirrings of attraction before Charlie's death spoils the death essentially feels out of character for Ellen entirely and it only adds to her guilt unnecessarily Pregnancy it's not done poorly but never a plot I want Dominick's initial reaction to learning about said pregnancy he says he wish he could hit her because he's so mad he didn't know soonerAnyway I largely thought this was a great book for the nuanced portrayal of a widow's grief and the inclusion of the Battle of Waterloo but I had a couple of issues that kept the ship from uite clicking with me though I liked them those issues aside and I did try to ignore them as ooc and the book from being a favorite for me personally


  4. says:

    Web of Love by Mary BaloghI must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book It is also set in the Regency period and also as luck would have it features a reluctant widow Ellen Simpson has been married to Charlie Simpson for 5 years and even though he is uite a bit older than her loves him passionately They met in Spain during the war where Ellen’s father died in combat We meet Ellen as she is accompanying her step daughter Jennifer to join her father in Brussels It is a time of relative peace before the battle of Waterloo but at the outset none of them knows what awaits them Jennifer and Ellen enjoy Brussels society and as Charlie is not inclined to go to many social outings Ellen and Jennifer find themselves most often with the dashing Lord Eden Dominic a friend of Ellen and Charlie’s Later when Charlie dies on the battlefield and Lord Eden is wounded and brought to Ellen’s home for care During Dominic’s convalescence he and Ellen have a passionate affair one that afterwards fills Ellen with guilt and shame and with child She spends a good deal of time pushing Lord Eden away while trying to mourn for her dear husband Balogh sets up the tension well—and ultimately you want these two to be together There are also some great secondary characters and backstories that involve the reader—Dominic’s twin sister who decides she is going to marry a maimed soldier she nursed because she wants to be wanted and Jennifer Simpson who prods the soldier out from behind his cloud of self pity I will definitely pick up another Mary Balogh in the future And since I discovered that this is the 2nd in a trilogy I may have to read #1 and #3For fans of Mary Balogh I would suggest Anna Godbersen’s “Luxe” books even though they are teen they share a lot in common—not too much sex and plenty of complicated relationships and plots; Jo Beverly and Mary Jo Putney for Regency romances


  5. says:

    I liked the book but it had a necessary evil In order for the love triangle to really be carved into stone and yes I still consider it a love triangle if one of its points is dead there was a hefty amount of setup By the time everyone left Brussels I was uite sick of the place I don't much like war stories either which bogged down the first part of the book for me That said I liked Dominic and Ellen much better than Edmund and Alex from The Guilded Web More depth Dominic provoked a constant feeling of ain't nothin' wrong with THAT whenever he walked across the page or rolled across it depending on context And Ellen didn't have the feel sorry for me attitude that would have been so easy to assign to her One plot weakness I will point out I felt that the author shouldn't have glossed over a certain scene between Ellen and Sir Jasper I have the feeling we missed out on some splendidly uncomfortable family drama I will also mention that the side romances were than intriguing James Purnell you crafty devil And you're not really even IN the novel And Penworth Oh but I can't say without tearing various veils away from the plot I compared reading The Guilded Web to eating a certain kind of candy bar so I will do the same with Web of Love This book had grit to it so we'll call that nougat but there were plenty of nice and harmless family moments too so we'll throw some milk chocolate in there Lots of characters also Susan Anna Jennifer Jenannisan for a lot of the book in my mind so add in some peanuts for confusion Overall a nice snack but I don't know that I will try it again soon


  6. says:

    This book made very little sense to me Everything was disjointed and unorganized The back story for the heroine made no sense whatsoever The drama was dragged to the end This series will be the of Mary Balogh's early work for me


  7. says:

    I think this was one of the oddest romance novels I've read thus far When Ellen Simpson's mother tells her father right before running away with some other man that Emma is not actually his Ellen leaves and go finds her real father a man in the military There she stays with him When her father is killed his friend Charlie Simpson agrees to marry her Perhaps not the most passionate marriage but one full of comfort affection and indeed love is between Ellen and Charlie Dominic Lord Eden after leaving home and joining the military becomes Charlie's close friend He could often be found in Charlie's company and Charlie even often takes him home He Charlie and Ellen share many nights just is comfort around the fire Although Eden finds Ellen charming sweet and has the highest respect for her that is as far as he allows himself to feel for her During a ball Charlie refuses to dance Eden and Ellen are waltzing when they are bumped into by another couple They have a moment where they become uite aware of each other as a man does a woman and vice versa Although this leads to awkwardness they eventually get past it and continue with their friendship At the battle of Waterloo Charlie dies in Eden's presence and Eden is seriously wounded Eden swears to Charlie that Ellen and Charlie's daughter will want for nothing As Eden begins to pass out he begins to repeat Charlie and Ellen's address in nearby Brussels over and over in his head and when fading in and out he is delivered to Ellen's house By the time he reaches there he is near death but he does get his message to Ellen that Charlie is dead before he passes out Ellen needing to keep her mind away from that fact nurses Eden back to health Unfortunately that night where they became fully aware of each other has been in the back of their heads and through the healing process they become lovers for 6 days Ellen wakes up when Eden's sister catches them snugglingkissing and Ellen becomes upset with her self as she feels she has tainted Charlie's memory by sleeping with the best friend and doesn't want Eden anywhere near her any Eventually time finds them in London and Eden can't keep Ellen out of his mind no matter how he tries And there is the promise that he made to Charlie so Eden seeks Ellen out Although extremely awkward they eventually work through the awkwardness only for Eden to discover that Ellen is pregnant Angered beyond words they have to start again and eventually with time spent at Amberly with Eden's family who are also great friends of Ellen they also invited her to stay as a way to pay her back for saving Eden's life Eden convinces Ellen to marry him He is delighted when she accepts because he has never stopped loving her the woman he has been looking for all his life And so he is rather distraught whenever he brings up marriage but she shies away from talking about it When he discovers that she thinks he is only marrying her because of their child he confesses to her that the baby is only part of the picture; he wants to marry her because he truly loves her She in return tells him that although she will always love Charlie will always have a special place in her heart for him she loves Eden just as fierce And she can't see herself living her life without him either they both became entangled in a web of love Sappy true but Balogh does make it work Mixed in the book are characters from he previous book as well as a few new ones The book is very slow paced and at one point as much as I wanted to just skip ahead I couldn't because I was afraid I might miss a little detail This story focused on the deep feelings of love that develops over time rather than physical attraction and physical aspects of love


  8. says:

    This book for me was romance painted with a broad brush It certainly had a different feel Rather than be incredibly focused on Ellen and Dominic we got a snapshot of the war and a peek into a number of lives The story was about so much than two people Ellen is happily married to Charlie Charlie and Dominic are in the military and they're BFFs A lot of the book is devoted to the war and to Ellen's relationship with Charlie I think it was important to MB that we understood Ellen's first marriage and respected it After Charlie dies Ellen and Dominic have to deal with where his death leaves them There's a lot of steady development Some ups and downs Believable drama There are also about 27 other characters whose issues give the book a well rounded feel This joker is slow moving Low on steam and angst Strong on characters and detail It's kinda like a war story where a romance or 4 breaks out


  9. says:

    I didn't think I was going to give this book 5 stars as I was reading it but there is something so satisfying about the way Mary Balogh tells a story that by the time I had finished I just had to do itThe story is about a woman who is very much in love with her husband falling in love with her husband's best friend after the husband is killed and the best friend is wounded at Waterloo The problem is that she and the best friend become lovers while she is nursing him along with several other wounded men and boys during his recovery and her guilt over doing that causes her to try to put a stop to the relationship Mary Balogh handles the situation so well not glossing over the difficulties but making her characters work through them and earn their happy ending Her secondary characters are wonderfultoo Not just the ones who have their own books but the ones who stay secondary characters throughout the Mary Balogh universe They add such texture to the story as they complicate and enrich the hero's and heroine's livesThis is the first in the Web series that I have read not realizing that it was a series when I started it don't ask me why I've read enough of her books to know better by now I was so happy to find the first book in my to be read stack and hope to have the third book soon


  10. says:

    I almost liked this book better than the first book in this trilogy Wasn't a super huge fan of Charlie Ellen's first husband and their being in love seemed kind of unrealistic but what can you do? I was actually expecting a bit grieving on Ellen's part when Charlie died but it was good to see her find happiness again I liked Dominic much better in this book than I did the first book and I'd even seen that Alexandra had grown up some from her book Three years and a couple of children will do that to youThe little side romance was sort of cute as well