Beguiling the Beauty (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #1)
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Beguiling the Beauty (Fitzhugh Trilogy #1)

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,551 ratings  ·  229 reviews
When the Duke of Lexington meets the mysterious Baroness von Seidlitz-Hardenberg on a transatlantic liner, he is fascinated. She’s exactly what he’s been searching for—a beautiful woman who interests and entices him. He falls hard and fast—and soon proposes marriage.



And then she disappears without a trace…



For in reality, the “baroness” is Venetia Easterbrook—a proper young...more
Mass Market Paperback, 281 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Berkley Sensation
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Jill

Her beauty was staggering, excessive, as if she were not quite flesh and blood, but an artist's conjuration, born of a bout of fevered ecstasy.

Christian de Monfort, Duke of Lexington at nineteen was smitten. Venetia Fitzhugh Townsend, a married lady was simply the most beautiful woman Christian had ever seen. Two years later, Venetia's husband dies. She remarries a wealthy, older man, and it is rumoured she had an affair with one of her second husband's best friends. Christian now realised that...more
Kerrie
(This review contains spoilers, and I don't care.)

I don't know about my fellow buddy readers, but for me this Buddy Read was going to ask a Very Serious Scientific Question:

Do Sherry Thomas books always blow chunks?

Now, it wouldn't make sense to read the same book. This is scientific, you see. But as the Sherry Thomas Pain Train commenced, one truth became evident:



Miserable characters living in a hell of their own making that they created with their eyes wide open.


It's all about the wangsty emoz...more
new_user
Hrnghin, I'm incomprehensible, LOL. I loved Beguiling the Beauty. I don't even know what to say. Venetia Easterbrook remained disguised for just long enough, and Sherry Thomas' characters attacked compelling questions, primarily, appearances vs. reality. Genre novels engage this theme halfheartedly in Beauty & the Beast tributes. Will she love me despite my hairy toes? Thomas engages the implications relevant to modern audiences. Is Venetia judged at first glance as just a pretty face? Is sh...more
Keri
Let me preface this review by saying that I have a fan-gurl krush on Ms. Thomas, so it is extremely hard for me to give any book she writes a 3 star rating. However, since I also want to be truthful when I write a review, then I must let the 3 star must stand.

What I loved about the book was as usual Ms. Thomas has wrote two emotional and complicated characters, where not all as it seems. While I didn't like Venetia or Christian for most of the book, by the end I wasn't ready for the book to be...more
Dorothea
First please indulge me as I spend a paragraph or two hating on the cover illustration. I have read SO MANY romance novels and know all about their silly covers but for some reason THIS one bothers me. Mostly, it's this horrible dress she's wearing. It looks so uncomfortable! The scratchy-looking lace on the neckline is digging into her breasts, but if she lowered her arm, the bodice would fall right off. Her posture may be physically possible (although who knows what she's doing with her right...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Sherry Thomas is an excellent writer, technically, and her prose can sometimes be beautiful (when it's not crossing the line into emo uselessness), but I'm not sure her work is really in line with what I enjoy in HR. She's capable of crafting interesting, sympathetic characters and keeping the reader hooked (I had an enormously difficult time to putting this one down to get anything else done), but the payoff wasn't what I'd call satisfying. I liked the characters, for the most part, but Venetia...more
Jennifer
Hmmm, sort of waffling here, but I think 3 stars. Easier to say that I liked it more than Delicious, but it was not as intimate and intricate as His at Night and Not Quite a Husband and Private Arrangements. I adore the 'don't-hate-me-because-I'm-beautiful' trope, and parts were really lovely, but the romance seemed at arm's length. So much happened offscreen, so it was hard to really feel sympathetic - or to get that true angst fix.

There was also oodles of series foundation building, and nearl...more
Wicked Incognito Now
I really hate to write a review for a book I loved. It's so much easier for me to pinpoint the things that went wrong in a book than the things that are right. Plus, novel enjoyment is subjective. Romance novels are particularly subjective, so when I write a glowing review I'm always afraid I'm setting up other readers for disappointment. The disappointment is more likely if the reader, like me, holds Sherry Thomas up on an HR pedestal. She is the creme de la creme. Disappointment is easier when...more
Meghan
I devoured this book in one sitting. Sherry Thomas's prose is always delightful, and this was no exception. The dialogue sparkled, particularly during the hero and heroine's affair on the steamship. In fact, if the entire book was like that section, this would easily be a five-star, all-time favorite romance for me. I loved the chemistry between Christian and Venetia, not just the physical, but their passion for their shared interest in paleontology, the emotional honesty allowed by Venetia's an...more
Las
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caroline
Reading my first Sherry Thomas book in twelve months brought home to me her astonishingly consistent excellence. Numerous authors are able to churn out consistently mediocre pulp fiction (and sometimes make a fortune in so doing), but truly original and inventive writers seem unable to avoid the occasional sour lemon among the juicy peaches.

The narrative of Beguiling the Beauty is deceptively complex, which is perhaps why the Goodreads summary is so unsatisfactory, leaving out so many essential...more
Hirondelle
2.5 stars in my own very steep and picky rating curve.

It was a bit meh, in no way actually bad at anything possible, but sort of weak. I loved the author´s earlier standalone books. And now instead of one book a year we get 3 books in one year, sounded lovely. Except it turns out this is book feels much less dense, less rich than her earlier novels.

This trilogy is about 3 siblings (or more correctly 2 sisters and their sister in law) in late 19th century English high society. I love the setting...more
Feminista
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish)
It's official. As long as it's done right, historical romance is for me!

I loved this book.

I doubt there's anything truly groundbreaking to the story, and even a bit of the cliché but the storytelling is so fun and the characters extremely lovable even when you're yelling at them: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

Venetia Fitzhugh Townsend Easterbrook's biggest concern was for the welfare of her sister's reputation, which is how she found herself in America attending a lecture at Harvard by the Duke of Lexin...more
Charlotte
Never warmed to the heroine. She seemed feckless and cowardly to me and her agony and pain never truly registered with me. The hero was fine but again I was never really there with him.

This reminded me oddly enough of a run-of-the-mill category romance. The forgettable kind, where the glamour and wish-fulfillment of it all is more important than the characters and relationship. Something about it was simplistic, without true depth of emotion. A little paint-by-numbers, for all that it had an int...more
Shabby Girl ~ aka Lady Victoria
What to say about this book? I have read Not Quite a Husband by this author and thought it was one of the most moving and well-written books I've read. I loved it.

This book, well, the writing is wonderful. This author has a really wonderful way of putting words together. So smooth, so flowing.

The story was a little .... hard to get a grip on. It's difficult to believe that the H and h could conduct an affair for a week and the H wouldn't see the h's face. It's a bit of a stretch to believe that...more
Limau Nipis
I would say that this is the least favourite book of mine from the Fitzhugh Trilogy.

Just because, Venetia decides to lay with the hero, the Duke of Lexington, when she meets him at the cruise liner. Because she wants to break his heart, because he talks badly openly about her during his lecture in America - where Venetia becomes the audience.

Too many time is spent just establishing these two characters. My complaint is, Sherry Thomas, why can't you dedicate the second half of the book, on how Ve...more
Judith
A complicated yet compelling look at the issue of what it means to be judged almost exclusively by one's outward appearance or social station without regard to the true nature of relationships that have been characterized in a negative light and with almost disregard for the truth. It is almost unbelievable to most women that there could actually be such beauty as to be a burden to the one possessing it, but so it was with Venetia Fitzhugh Townsend Easterbrook, a woman who was incredibly intelli...more
Amy

“Avenge yourself. Make him fall in love with you, then give him the cut.”

Christian de Montford’s (The Duke of Lexington) greatest passion has been for science and archeology since a young child. That is, until one summer afternoon at the annual Eton and Harrow cricket match where he first laid eyes on Venetia Townsend. It was love at first sight for Christian and while he coveted a married woman, she was considered a curse by her jealous husband. After Mr. Townsend’s untimely suicide, Venetia ma...more
Kinga
Beguiling the Beauty is probably the weakest of all Sherry Thomas’ romance novels and I’ve read them all but one. But then Sherry Thomas at her worst is still better than 80-90% of historical romance out there.

Was she let down here by the premise? I am not quite sure. I’m certain any other writer would’ve written a terrible book with that premise, but Sherry still manages to pull it off. But then again, I have seen her pull off very successfully even crazier premises which in theory should have...more
Nonieღserenity2bliss
The ending was weird.

At the middle of the story, Venetia and Lexington got married due to an unforeseen circumstances. They loathed each other but secretly love one another. And then two gossipy young ladies came to the house threaten to run their 'juicy stories to maintain their gossipy reputation'. In order to protect Venetia's good name, Lexington decided to tell the ladies the truth, and then Venetia walked in and decided to tell her version of the truth. In their storytelling, they ultimat...more
Mara
Hated the hero, didn't understand the heroine. This is, if I'm not mistaken, my first book by Sherry Thomas, and while I liked her voice and think she can write, the plot was based on one of my least favorite tropes (revenge with a ridiculous reason), and the characters never became real to me. I will try reading the next book, since I did like Millie's character, and I feel like this may not have been a true representation of Ms. Thomas and her writing.

This great review perfectly explains some...more
Christy
Updated to 4 stars on re-read
Not as good as I've come to expect from Sherry Thomas. I'm not all that crazy about love at first sight based only on great beauty, and the stratagem to keep her identity secret later seemed kind of lame. The next book in the trilogy sounds more promising, although the relationship of that couple, as shown in this book, is certainly problematic.



Update: I'm not sure why I was so harsh on this book the first time around, but I liked it much more on re-read after readi...more
Katherine
I really wanted to like this book but it just didn't happen. The first 100 pages were good and I enjoyed and then it just went flat. The hero is shallow by all acounts, in love with a face, and then in love with a women with a veil. Please this guy is lost. Now the heroine. She is weak. After the lecture in America she should have been furious but she really shows now emotion of any kind no matter what part she plays. Very disapointing I usually really like ST's books. I hope the next in the ser...more
SheLove2Read
While I didn't find this to be the best of Thomas's work, it is still a solid read. I wished for more romance and less bedroom time and a bit more chemistry between them. Amazing when you consider English is not her native language that she can outshine other historical authors even with a somewhat bland book. 3 stars
Adeselna
Plot was predictable and the female character was dumb! Oh let me make him fall in love with me so I can have my revenge. Bitch, you grab a gun and have revenge with a bullet in his head!
Jen
Jan 04, 2012 Jen marked it as to-read
I'm rather put out by all the headless buxom white women on these historical covers. I know, silly to complain about it here. My argument shall come later!
SidneyKay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mandi Schreiner
Favorite Quote: “Don’t cheat me – that was not a kiss.” The Duke of Lexington had spoken; he would not be denied.

Venetia Easterbrook is a beauty and no one would disagree with that fact. Her first husband became so obsessed that she would one day cheat on him, he ended his own life. Quickly marrying a wealthy, older gentleman, in present day, Venetia is a widow who is happy to just be alone. She turns her attention to her younger sister, Helena who she fears is carrying on with a married man. To...more
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Sherry Thomas writes both historical romance and young adult fantasy.

On the romance side, she is one of the most acclaimed authors working in the genre today, her books regularly receiving starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

On the young adult fantasy side, there isn't much to sa...more
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“Do you think I should be paying my addresses to Mrs. Martin, my dear Miss Fitzhugh?” he whispered. “Martin doesn’t
look the sort to have enough stamina to service two women.
And goodness knows you could probably exhaust Casanova himself.”
Again this insinuation that she must be a sufferer of nymphomania. Behind her fan, she put her lips very close to his ear. “You’ve no idea, my Lord Hastings, the heated yearnings
that singe me at night, when I cannot have a man. My skin burns to be touched, my lips kissed, and my entire body passionately fondled.”
Hastings was mute, for once. He stared at her with something halfway between amusement and arousal.
She snapped shut her fan and rapped his fingers as hard as she could, watching with great satisfaction as he choked back a
yelp of pain.
“By anyone but you,” she said, and turned on her heels.”
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“Even they would think you a monster were you to
orchestrate a divorce right after my confinement.”
“How long do you recommend I wait, then?”
“A long time. I know what happens when a divorce is granted:
The woman never gets anything. And I will not be parted from my child.”
“So you will contest the divorce?”
“To my last penny. And then I’ll borrow from Fitz and Millie.”
“So we’ll be married ’til the end of time?”
“The sooner you accept it, the sooner we are all better off.”
His ancestors would have appreciated her hauteur: a fit wife for a de Montfort. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I must have enough rest.”
He gazed at her retreating back. Foolish woman, did she not realize that he’d already accepted it from the moment he’d said “I do”?”
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