Balogh, Mary. Only Beloved. New York: Signet, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0-451-47778-1. $7.99 USD.
After becoming reinvigorated with this series again, I was excited for this book. Unfortunately, this proved to be an underwhelming conclusion to a series I had mostly loved.
There was nothing wrong with either of the leads. I liked George and Dora, and there were a lot of moments that I did like when it came to developing the relationship. It is refreshing to see two older people find love amid a sea of books about younger people, and the relationship for the most part is executed realistically.
However, I feel the book did not have enough going on in it to flesh out a to a full novel, or at least not as long as it was. It is pleasant to see how all the Survivors ended up in the epilogue, with the story of their group ending on a happy note, but I felt that the story could have been compressed into a much shorter book. The most interesting moments pertain to both Dora and George’s respective pasts, with highlights being Dora building a relationship with her mother, a plot point originally begun in her sister’s book Only Enchanting, and George’s contentious relationship with his former brother-in-law. While seeing each of these plot threads come to conclusion is satisfying, once these issues are resolved, the story inexplicably continues to go on for almost seventy more pages, losing any momentum that it had.