Mary Jenkins was born and raised in Swansea, Wales. She moved to Canada on a two-year teaching contract in 1967 after leaving university. There, she met and married her Canadian husband Robert Balogh and settled in the small prairie town of Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada. She taught high school English for a number of years, and rose to the level of school principal. She has three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian, and four grandchildren, Matthew, Shianne, Jayden and Cash.
As an adult, Balogh discovered the world of the historical romance as written by Georgette Heyer. The vast majority of Balogh's novels have been set in Regency or Georgian England or Wales. Balogh began her writing career in 1983, when she wrote her first novel A Masked Deception in the evenings at the kitchen table while home and family functioned around her. A Masked Deception was accepted by Signet and published in 1985. Mary Balogh won the Romantic Times Award for best new Regency writer that year.
She is the author of more than 60 published novels and over 30 novellas and has met with critical success. She has received numerous awards, including a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Regency Short Stories in 1993 and has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.