Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beast” as Want to Read:
Beast
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beast

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,455 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews

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.

Though s

...more
Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published April 1st 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beast, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beast

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sherry
Jan 19, 2009 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beast by Judith Ivory is one of my two all-time favorite romance books and also simply one of the best books I have ever read. When I read books or watch movies, afterwards I have a certain feel for them, a textural sensation. Beast has left me with one of the richest, most voluptuous "feels" ever.
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
Fani
When you keep wishing your husband who's been abroad for 3 days will delay coming home at least 3 or 4 hours more so you can manage to finish the book, you know the book's a keeper. If anyone told me two days ago that I would come to love a book by Ivory whose book The Proposition was a huge disappointment for me, I would have laughed at them; yet here I am. This book not only turned a keeper, but one of my top 20 books ever.

This book had everything: witty dialogues, clever humor, a wicked, sexy
...more
Angel Cade
Jun 19, 2013 Angel Cade rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was THE most annoying book I've read in a freaking, freaking long while! I cannot begin to describe how truly pathetic the story was! I was close to dumping this book and begin another but damn me, why didn't I?

 photo tumblr_m4h3v17B5i1rwcc6bo1_400_zpsbdfdde5d.gif"

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
Jacqueline
Jan 31, 2013 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jacqueline by: Lovers of historical romance
Very nice Edwardian romance. The hero, Charles, was quite different and most of the book was written from his POV. He was scarred and hyper aware of it but rather than secluding himself and brooding about it, he instead made himself confident (at least on the surface) and flamboyant and vain. He starts his incognito relationship with the heroine, his fiance whom he's never met, out of pricked pride.

The heroine, Louise, is 18 and for once was written as an 18 year old. She is polished and refine
...more
Rane
Jul 01, 2009 Rane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian-era
This is my first Judith Ivory book I’ve picked up and although it started off great, for me it fell short in the end.

The Good
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
Zumbagirl
4.5 stars
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
Sofia
Sep 24, 2014 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 3-5-stars

3.5 stars

A delicious take on the beauty and the beast trope (view 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
♥ Melody
Jan 25, 2016 ♥ Melody rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This had the potential of being stupendous but the ludicrous plot and unlikable ice queen heroine ruined it entirely. I'm really annoyed because I had this sitting on my bookshelf for over a year and looking forward to reading it for so long. I originally wanted to give this an extra star but there was honestly nothing I enjoyed about this. The first half of the story dragged out unbearably slow where the hero devises an idiotic scheme to seduce his unsuspecting young soon-to-be-bride as someone ...more
Alexis Hall
Discussed this on AAR with Elisabeth Lane.

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
Jane Stewart
Good plot, but lacking in development.

STORY BRIEF:
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
Mary B.
I can't say enough about how much I adore this author's style, and particularly this book. She really gets inside her characters heads and writes from that perspective - a true talent that is so rare among writers. This story was particularly heart-wrenching at times, while simultaneously being tragically funny. Charles's pain from inadvertently placing himself in such an impossible position. Louise's desperate need to be seen for who she is (by herself, especially), and to be recognized as more ...more
Ania
Mar 22, 2016 Ania rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

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)

Moving
...more
Steelwhisper
This starts off with the hero doing the wife of an acquaintance. It lost me already there. I'm uninterested in reading about this type of cheaters. What followed was even more infantile, never mind that Charles was supposed to being an adult. I really dislike the "boys will be boys" excuse. For anything.

No thanks. And people call this a romance...

Michelle [Helen Geek]
Aug 02, 2013 Michelle [Helen Geek] rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone - great story.
Recommended to Michelle by: Searock & Mary B.
08/01/2013 --

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
Amanda
I DNF after 10% purely because this is not the kind of B&B theme book that I'm looking for. I like my Beast to be have at least some of the following traits:

reclusive
broody
insecure
depress
spiteful


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
Wicked Incognito Now
Aug 20, 2011 Wicked Incognito Now rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-special
Oy. I don't know what else to say right now because this novel DESTROYED me and I'm a puddle of goo.

But seriously? I think I'll go with--perfection. For the time being. Until I calm down and wipe myself up off the floor.
Lucille
Feb 18, 2013 Lucille rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-more-please
Again, another arranged marriage. A disappointing one. I think I need to a stop on this arranged-marriage-addiction of mine.

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
Grace
Seldom do I rate books of this genre so highly, but this book is truly a masterpiece.

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
Bookswithbenefits
Ivory creates an effect that lasts in this retelling of a classic fairytale.

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
Fallon
Mar 31, 2015 Fallon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horrible
I tried. I truly tried. I got as far as the first page of part three and remembered I had better things to do then internally scream at a whiny child. Louise is probably on my top ten most annoying heroines. She griped about how her beauty was such a curse in every page. I was okay with it for the first few chapters and then it just began to get horrible. Then theres Charles, he wasn't so bad. In fact I liked him. He pointed out that she was a spoiled brat and basically told her. Then again the ...more
Rinou
Dec 29, 2011 Rinou rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A book with A on AAR, I was sure I enjoy. Except that I did not like the hero nor heroine.

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
Amber
Sep 09, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*sigh* Her books always leave me with a big smile on my face. The writing is sublime, the story enchanting.
Amyiw
Mar 19, 2016 Amyiw rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well... I think if the characters don't irritate the reader, then the book might be considered good but I disliked them pretty much throughout to the last scenes. Every time I thought that they were becoming redeemable in some way, they went and did something else to prove how... immature, entitled, and shallow they are. Now I do think that I disliked them even more because of the narrator. I listened to over 1/2 the book and the narrators voice made the characters intonation even more entitled ...more
Pam/Peejakers (PJ Faste)
Oh, my gosh, what a great book! This was just wonderful: Beautifully written, gloriously but so humanly romantic, erotic scenes are rich with earthy, gorgeous sensual detail, and characters are well drawn & deeply complex.

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)
...more
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
The premise seemed interesting...but failed on so many levels

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
Atunah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brittany B.
I never wrote anything about this book. I read it months ago. And I must say I was hooked from beginning to end.

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
Rosina Lippi
Judith Ivory is one of the romance authors I most admire. She writes beautifully at every level, and her historical detail is perfect without being overwhelming.

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
Tina
Aug 02, 2009 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: besotted-hero
This book had me giggling and smiley at the H/H's antics, then the book changed and with it my adoration of the heroine. 70 pages from the end, after much teeth grinding, I gave it up.

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
Lady Wesley
May 08, 2012 Lady Wesley rated it liked it
Judith Ivory is an excellent writer of beautiful prose. But the plot of this book didn't please me nearly as much as the prose. I was highly skeptical of the lovers-in-the-dark plot, which however, she pulled off quite convincingly. But once the ship docked and the lovers "met" one another for real, I was just impatient to get to the reveal. And that comes very late in the book.

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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Beast, by Judith Ivory 1 13 Dec 26, 2015 07:31PM  
  • Dance (de Saint Vallier Brothers, #2)
  • To Have and To Hold (Wyckerley Trilogy, #2)
  • Seize the Fire
  • Tapestry
  • Winter Garden (Winter Garden #2)
  • The Other Guy's Bride (Braxton, #2)
  • Marrying The Royal Marine (Channel Fleet, #3)
  • With this Kiss
  • Private Arrangements
  • The Duke of Shadows
  • Entwined (The Ten, #1)
  • Lions and Lace (Van Alen Sisters #1)
  • Lord Carew's Bride (Stapleton-Downes, #4)
130347
Judith Ivory "accidentally" acquired two degrees in mathematics, then sold her first novel in 1987 and closed up the math books for good. She lives in Miami Florida, with her two children, two cats and a dog.

"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
More about Judith Ivory...

Share This Book



“What irony. This great ship that carried all their fates upon her steel and rivets sailed like a compeer under him, half-blind with a limp.” 0 likes
More quotes…