Joel Cunningham doesn't know any of his own family
history. He was raised in an orphanage in the city of
Bath. During his years there, another child, Anna, and
he became best friends. Joel fancied himself in love
with her, but the love she feels for him is brotherly.
When an astounding discovery is made that Anna is
actually an heiress, she leaves the orphanage to start
her new life. She soon falls in love and marries,
leaving Joel's hopes dashed.
Camille Westcott is living a privileged life as the
daughter of an earl, about to marry a viscount. When her
father dies, an investigation turns up that he was
previously married, and that he did not wait until his
first wife died before he married Camille's mother. That
means that his second marriage was invalid, and Camille
and her siblings are illegitimate. He also had a
daughter from that first marriage - a girl named Anna
Snow, who believed she was an orphan. Anna is more
thrilled to find that she has family than she is about
the fortune she's inherited. Unfortunately, Camille and
her sister refuse to know her. Though Anna wants to
share her fortune with all her siblings, they reject her
and her offer. When Camille's fiance ends their
engagement, she and her sister leave town to stay with
their grandmother in Bath.
While Camille's younger sister makes the effort to ease
into Bath society, Camille does not. She is angry and
confused, and doesn't know what to do with her future.
Up 'til now, her whole life was geared toward making a
great marriage, and being a perfect lady. After some
soul searching, she decides to apply for the teaching job
at the orphanage where her half-sister Anna was raised.
Her own motives are unclear even to herself, she just
feels the need to see what Anna's life was like.
Joel still teaches at the orphanage, but only two days a
week, as he is starting to earn a reputation as a
talented portrait artist. He knows that Camille is
Anna's sister, and he's aware of how she treated Anna, so
Joel is quite prepared to dislike her, though he's
generally a pleasant and amiable gentleman. Camille is
prickly and haughty and cold, so Joel wonders why her
enjoys being around her so much. He doesn't find her
beautiful, so it must be the hints of pain and
vulnerability he sees beneath the image she tries to hard
to project. Though Camille tries to rebuff Joel at
first, she's shocked to find herself feeling physical
attraction, something she never felt for her former
This very unlikely couple begins a bumpy love affair that
would seem to have no chance of surviving their
differences. Quite frankly, I did not like Camille for a
good part of the book. Her arrogance and attitude and
the way she treated her new half-sister were very off-
putting, and I wanted Joel (whom I like very much) to
have a better love interest. Yet, once the layers began
to be peeled away from Camille, and I saw her pain and
vulnerability, and then her determination and growing
strength, I began to warm up to her. Author Mary Balogh
did what she does best, which is dig deep into a
character, and let the reader watch as she grows,
develops, and changes over the course of the book.
SOMEONE TO HOLD is a strong, character driven story that
came to a beautiful and warm conclusion, and was a joy to
A reversal of fortune befalls a young woman in the latest
Westcott novel from the New York Times bestselling
author of Only a Kiss and Someone to Love.
Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving
behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever
alter the lives of his familyâ€”sending one daughter on a
journey of self-discovery...
With her parentsâ€™ marriage declared bigamous, Camille
Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to
eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to
teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered
half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit
for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an
artist who riles her every nerve.
An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel
Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the
haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their
mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the
bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough
storm that lies ahead...