Balogh's Simply books of magical, unforgettable love stories speak to the mind as well as the heart. This series' remarkable conclusion is a bit of perfection; few writers can create mature love stories that reach new heights and touch the souls of fans like Balogh can.
It's been a difficult day for Claudia Martin, the headmistress of a girls' school in Bath, made more difficult by the sudden appearance of Joseph, the Marquess of Attingsborough. Bringing best wishes from her former teacher, Susanna Osbourne, he offers to accompany her to London. Claudia warily accepts, feeling that her attraction to the charming marquess is foolishness.
Joseph must marry and has been courting the cold-as-ice Miss Portia Hunt. He cannot deny his attraction to the unconventional Claudia, who is warm, loving, passionate, kind and intelligent. But Claudia and Joseph must free themselves from preconceived notions about their stations in life and ideas about the "ideal" marriage. With the help of her former teachers, Claudia and Joseph realize love is the most important component in a lasting relationship. (Delacorte, Apr., 343 pp., $22.00)