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Preview — Beast by Judith Ivory
An exquisite American heiress, Louise Vandermeer is beautiful, brilliant...and bored-which is why she has agreed to a daring adventure: to travel across the ocean to marry an aristocrat abroad. Rumor has it her intended is a hideous cad-a grim prospect that propels her into a passionate, reckless affair with a compelling stranger she never sees in the light of day.
The story is set around the turn of the 20th century. The first half of the book takes place on the ocean liner Concordia; the second half takes place in Provence, France.
The plot is fairly simple. I ...more
This book had everything: witty dialogues, clever humor, a wicked, sexy ...more
Let's break the plot down:
A vain, self-centered, apparently insecure, beautiful (so much so that people stop-dead in the middle of the road as she goes by. Sure, there wasn't any traffic back then, remember?) eighteen year old bitch of a girl has been set to married to a man she has ...more
The heroine, Louise, is 18 and for once was written as an 18 year old. She is polished and refine ...more
Because of my love for the start of the book I thought I break it down between the good points on the book and the bad points.
The beginning was wonderful with Charles setting out to prove that looks are not everything, teaching a lesson to Louise. I didn’t care for Louise at the start, but slowly she blooms into a mature woman, someone trying to find her way and herself ...more
This is truly amazing - when a book makes you feel such a range of emotions and sensations. The way Ms. Ivory writes is very sensual - she appeals to all of the senses, especially smell in this one. How is that possible? Well, it starts out because the hero, Charles, is in the business to make perfumes - or grows the key ingredients for them like lavender and jasmine. The descriptions are beautiful and clear - I really felt like I could smell them! Much of the story takes places on a sh ...more
A delicious take on the beauty and the beast trope (view spoiler)[especially how Charles is presented as both the 'beauty' and then the 'beast' (hide spoiler)]. Ivory very capably gives us Charles Harcourt. I loved his inner dialogue and how his character is laid out with his strengths and insecurities and how the devious Charles was hoist by his own petard. Also liked where she took Louise and how the story evolved. I felt her love, grief, anger, puzzlement.
I quite willing suspended be ...more
AJH: So, Elisabeth: broad impressions. How’d you find it?
Elisabeth: I was blown away by this book. It’s unconventional in pretty much all the ways. And I think sometimes the danger of that is that the romance can get lost. But it’s also, I thought, incredibly romantic. You have this anonymous shipboard romance in the first half and then this marriage-in-trouble romance in the second half and the two pieces still manage to work well together to create an ...more
I liked the overall plot. Charles a French aristocrat has one blind eye and limps due to a bad knee. (He’s the beast.) Louise’s American parents are wealthy and arrange a marriage between Charles and Louise. Charles seduces Louise in the dark on a ship. They continue seeing each other but only in the dark. She does not know he is her fiancé. When the ship docks in France, she discovers her lover left the ship without saying goodbye. She pines for ...more
I really wanted to love this book, the plot was there it just lacked development. There were some good lines of dialogue and the sexy bits were very well done, but in the end that was all there was to it. I just couldn't love this book as I so wanted to.
First: (view spoiler)[ Her parents write him, basically begging him to marry their daughter in exchange for all the whale feces his heart desires, and he desires that ambergris, a lot. I mean, NAGL. (hide spoiler)]
No thanks. And people call this a romance...
Overall Rating = 4 Stars
Book Cover / Book Blurb / Book Title = 4 / 2 / 5 = 3.5 Stars
Writer’s Voice = 4 Stars
Character Development = 4 Stars
Story Appreciation = 3.5 Stars
Worth the Chili = 5 Stars [$5.99 on Amazon ... classic]
Searock, a friend of mine, has this on a shelf marked "gorgeous". Mary B. recently read and rated this book 5 Stars. She wrote a lovely review stating, "I can't say enough about how much I adore this author's style, and particularly this book. She really gets ins ...more
However, the Beast in this book was having an affair with a married woman in the beginning of the book and he seemed pretty easy going. Honestly, I don't care about his debauchery, but this is hardly the Beast that I visualize. So, no go for me.
I assure that my comment does not reflect the quality of ...more
Beast was basically about two vain people, Louise Vandermeer who is on her way to meet her fiance and Charles d'Harcourt who was in the ship with his mistress (I forgot her name, but whatever). Charles decided to play a prank on Louise, but he fell head over heels in love with his fiancee. The two decided to meet in secret at night and had an affair. Little did Louise know ...more
This book does something really exceptional with two very unlikable characters and gives them a really dramatic great love. I ended up staying up to finish the book (never happens anymore) and then I reread it immediately after reading it and then again. So, three times in a row.
There were some reviewers that complained about the writing style and I think that's a valid complaint -- initially when I picked up th ...more
Synopsis: Louise Vandermeer, a young, beautiful, and sometimes shallow heiress is searching for a way to learn about herself and the world. Lost, without direction, and bored by life, Louise agrees to marry a man of her parents choosing, though she isn't above a bit of light flirtation on her trans-Atlantic travel. Scarred by a childhood illness, Charles d'Harcourt is successful, ambitious, and vain--despite his unusual ...more
Him, as if it were a joke, decides to seduce his betrothed during the transatlantic travel, taking advantage of a lights' failure so as not to reveal himself.
She, has no qualms about taking a lover just before her wedding, because she was told that her betrothed is ugly, and because she does not know him and therefore do not feel compelled to be faithful.
"Beautiful" spirit both of them, they're both as bad ...more
This is both a romance & a fairy tale of sorts, a take on “Beauty and the Beast”, as you probably guessed from the name. So it’s not surprising there are a number of tropish & fantasy elements: (view spoiler)[Magnificent wealth, a disfigured European Prince, an her ...more
I might be ignorant on how society worked at the beginning of the 20th century...but why on earth would supposedly wealthy and high class parents write a letter saying basically "OMG youre so rich! You should totally marry our daughter!" Im paraphrasing of course but thats essentially what it says.
On to the rest of the review
So much was made of the heroines age (18)that it felt obscene,with the narrative harping on and on about her ado ...more
I have issues with the heroine's arrogance and mean-spirited treatment toward the Prince. And her age... She's 18 and that makes it a little weird. Looking back, I feel as though it was a perverse read. The age difference makes me more uncomfortable now than I realized.
But it is a boldly written book. Ms. Ivory is a bold author indeed. Her other fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, was pret ...more
I'm not sure this is my favorite of her books, but it's certainly the best audiobook of hers I've listened to. The narrator turns a main character who was already alluring (Charles) into an irresistible force.
Some people are put off by the beginning of the novel, and the drawn out correspondence. I say it is well worth every word becaus ...more
I dunno what happened really, how I could go from absolutely loving everything about the book, to hating the heroine, to being disgruntled with the author's writing, thinking the hero an idiot for loving the b*itchy, shrewish heroine.... And so, I could only give this book 3 stars mostly due to the spoiled, superfi ...more
I'm glad that I read this, but I have no desire to reread some day. And I learned more than I ever wanted to know about ...more
"Judith Ivory" is the pseudonym of author Judy Cuevas (real name).
The pseudonym was first used by her after publication of her last book as "Judy Cuevas," in 1996 - Dance. Her first book, Star ...more