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Black Silk

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  630 ratings  ·  81 reviews
REISSUE by Judy Cuevas

As befitting her name, lovely Submit Channing-Downes was the proper, obedient wife of an aging marquess—until her husband's death left her penniless and alone...with one last marital obligation to fulfill. Entrusted with delivering a small black box to its rightful owner, she calls upon Graham Wessit, the notorious Earl of Netham, whose life has been
Paperback, 468 pages
Published June 16th 2002 by Avon Books (first published July 1st 1991)
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Community Reviews

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Let me state that it is difficult to summarize Black Silk without doing it an injustice, because this book, this story, these characters and their interpersonal relations are so unusual, so remarkable, and so complex that the whole is near nigh irreducible. I mean, is it possible to admire the Mona Lisa a square inch at a time?

Reading Black Silk is like going to a five-star restaurant for the first time. You fidget a little in your chair, admire the ambience and the elegant waiters doing their
It's hard to review this book. I know it's amazing, but I'm at a loss to explain why I know that.

I guess it's because of the characters. The plot is kinda humdrum - Submit Channing-Downes's husband just died and his will tasks her with delivering a small black box to his wayward cousin, the notorious earl of Netham, Graham Wessit. Her husband's will is also being contested by a vindictive illegitimate son who resents how little he was left, leaving her penniless and homeless. Submit and Graham t
Barbara M.
C-...Either you love it or you hate it. I don't think there could be an in between...

There are so many just really weird situations that occur in this book that don't normally occur in historical romances. To describe them all would take more time than I wish to spend on this review, but I will list a few....

Spoiler alert...

-The hero's "look" isn't fully described until your about 70 pages or so in and by then you already have a picture of how he should look in mind. So when the author decides t
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This was the first book I read by Judith Ivory, and at first I found it a bit hard to read. She is an intricate writer, very descriptive in her scenes, so it takes a while to get used to her style. Having said that, I was soon captivated by her writing. Graham and Submit are not characters that are easy to like. Graham is kind of debauched. You get the impression that his hard-living has had an effect on his looks. His moral compass is fairly flawed. Having said that, he really grew on me and I ...more
Ruthie Knox
Oh my stars. Del Dryden told me to read Judith Ivory's Black Silk.

Actually, no. It was more like Del Dryden found out I hadn't read this book, fainted with outrage, revived, and demanded that I buy it immediately. Which I did, because Del knows of what she speaks when it comes to recommending books.

This book is wonderful. And I mean that in the original, old-fashioned sense of the word: it is full of wonder. I can't think of it without awe. Reading it was an awe-ful experience. Occasionally also
Someone somewhere on the Internet listed Judith Ivory’s Black Silk as one of their personal Best Books Evar! So I decided to give it a shot, even though it doesn’t have Navy SEALs…

Yes. This is one of the best romance novels I have ever read.

Everything you expect from a romance novel is turned on it’s head; everything you think is necessary in a hero/heroine is missing. Familiar characters - the rake, the widow, the scheming bastard son, are all rounded and fleshed out beyond expectations. Action
Convoluted and meandering story that left me unsatisfied; hero and heroine were great together but couldn't save the book

Judith Ivory is an interesting historical romance author who writes books that are different from many of the other ones you find in the genre; she by no means follows the traditional cookie-cutter plot or character-cast. I found that though Black Silk had redeeming qualities - the hero and heroine characters and their relationship - they were not enough to save the book (a go
The story is more of a character study than a romance. The writing, the characterization of events is beautiful. The story unfolds slowly. It prompts reader to saver every nuance, every turn of events. According to her deceased husband Henry will, his very much younger, serious wife, Submit, has to deliver a box to its intended recepient, Henry's cousin, the earl. We know fairly early in the story what the box contains (explicit pornographic pictures). The cousin- handsome, carefree, fun loving ...more
WoW, what do you say after reading a book like this. The whole thing was uncomfortable to read. I didn't even like the characters until almost the very end of the book. They were mean to one another and I thought Henry as the evil one of the book, until right at the very end. Maybe he was the smart one after all and knew what he was doing the whole time.

I do think that in his life he was jealous of Graham and I think that played a role in their bad relationship. I felt that it took Submit forev
I thought this book was very well written- definitely a show rather than a tell and sometimes the complexities of the actions and decisions of the characters got lost in the sheer wealth of detail. I was drawn into the storyline about the fallout from the death of the heroine's husband and the long running court case(s) of the hero. The pace was very measured and as Danielle said the characters were not necessarily the most likeable but the book was well put together and it worked. The actions w ...more
Wicked Incognito Now
Judith Ivory writes beautifully, it's difficult to explain how her writing affects me. On one hand, I don't find myself in love with the characters. I don't find myself reading with a passion to get to that point when the hero and heroine finally admit their love for each other.

What I do is stop and re-read passages over and over again. I reflect on humanity. I recognize myself and the people I know in these characters. I neither hate them nor love them. I KNOW them.

Black Silk reads like straigh
Jenny Brown
I'm going to hate myself tomorrow, because it's way past my bedtime, but I picked this 400+ page book up after lunch and wasn't able to put it down until just now when I'd read the last word.

Yes, as some here have pointed out, the external plot devices are historically innaccurate. There are also quite a few other errors of fact. Flowers are blooming at the wrong time of year. A pre-Matthew Brady photographer takes candid snapshots--on wet plates.

But none of that matters because the writing ca

Tenía muchas expectativas puestas en este libro. La sinopsis, era peculiar, lo admito, pero tenía algo que me gustó y me llamó la atención. Prometía ser un libro con grandes conflictos emocionales, y estaba deseando ver como lo resolvía la autora. Aclarar una cosa, la sinopsis sugiere un romance entre este lord y la viuda de su padre, eso en una novela contemporanea no me atraería para nada, pero siendo en novela histórica, y con la inmensa cantidad de años que separaba a la viuda de su esposo f
This was my second Judith Ivory book. I loved the first one I read- Untie My Heart

But this was a thorough absolute hands down disappointment. The heroine called "Submit" ( yes, that's her name) had no character except that she adored her elderly husband and things of him as some sort of God. The hero ( Graham) was an utter cad, and thoroughgoing rake. Nothing to like there either, because his reform comes too little too late.

What kind of romance is it where the hero has a mistress (married woma
I read a lot of reviews about this book some of them 5 star some of them barely a 1. I guessed it was like marmite... you'll love it or you'll hate it.
I had already read The Beast which I loved and Indiscretion which I thought only went downhill towards the end but which still merited at least 3*. Sleeping beauty I have skipped because I will always clash against the fact that the heroine was a courtesan. I have no problems with a worldly wise heroine but one who's being paid for her services ca
This book is so luxe that it is impossible for me to read it in long stretches but I've reread it many times. Submit's slowly reforming opinion of Graham is paced by the readers own expanding view of his multi dimensional personality. We are presented with plenty of reasons to reduce him to the role of dilletante but then Ivory slowly peels them away as his history unfolds along with his charming traits. I'd love to know Graham in real life, and righteous ol Submit is very lucky that in the end ...more
Jean Haus
Years ago—like ten—this used to be one of my go to books at the library if I couldn’t find anything else. I read it a least three times. When I recently bought it on my Kindle, I prepared myself for the possibility that my reading tastes may have changed.

The slow start did have me a tad worried. Though Ivory writes quite well and blends historical facts flawlessly into the story, I faintly recalled something else, something majorly wonderful that pulled me into this story every time I read it.
Isabel Morin
OMG I love Judith Ivory/Judy Cuevos. First of all, she's a gorgeous writer. Secondly, I am pretty unhappy with historical romances lately (like, the last few years), but I've been reading through her catalog and finally lit on this one. It's pretty unconventional in that the hero has another lover through most of the book and it takes a long time for Graham and Submit to come together. But somehow it works. I love a good build-up of tension and I loved how individualized the characters were. The ...more
I stumbled upon this book at a Booksale store where they sell used books for a cheaper price. It definitely piqued my interest (and it was cheap) so I figured that I should buy it. And I'm glad that I did because I ended up really loving this book. I just couldn't put it down! I guess one of the main reasons why, is because of Graham Wessit's character, who immediately caught my interest. I thought he was amusing and quite entertaining with his sudden temperaments and rudeness every once in a wh ...more
I actually give this book 3.5 stars. While it isn't the most amazing novel I've ever read, the plot structure is a wonderful departure from the usual romance formula and the characters are wonderfully complex.

I love the subtle way Submit and Graham are revealed to the reader in all their flawed perfection: Submit is righteous but not necessarily virtuous; Graham is reckless but not heartless. Ambivalence is not often found in romance novels; it is a genre of absolutes. Judith Ivory breaks that m
Frances Fuller
This book was wonderful. I might have to add it to my top 100. It was more an ethnography. Taking four, one dead, individuals and developing their characters in such rich language, was a literary banquet. I only wish the book had been a thousand pages longer.
Kristi Thompson
Not entirely likeable. The hero was a bit too much of a rake, the heroine too colorless. My favourite character was Henry, who died before the book began. Not a good sign..
My all-time favorite historical romance. Unforgettable. I don't think anything can top it for me.
Margaret Foxe
This hero is one of my faves in the genre. He is super complex and sexy. Complexy?
4.5 Stars
Algo diferente!!! Como no lo habia leido antes?
This book was...strange. The plot was completely incoherent - Ivory was constantly introducing ideas and then dropping them without warning. I didn't care for the ending, and the last few paragraphs of the book read like they were aimed at potential detractors, which kind of threw me - you can't go acknowledging your romance's weak points on the last page, for god's sake. I might've given it a higher rating if she hadn't left me with that reminder of the flaws.

It was interesting, though. The ver
Esta novela me pareció un tanto existencialista. Menos romance del que me hubiera gustado, pero aún así me desconcertó y me sorprendió bastante.

Quedé desconcertada por la forma tan lenta y algo confusa en que transcurre la historia (a eso se le suma que lo leí en físico, no en e-book). Quedé desconcertada por la naturaleza de los personajes: Ella toda misteriosa y rara a primera vista, pero aburrida y desorientada al final. Él todo un canalla irresponsable e inconsciente al principio, pero luego
What an impressive, ambitious book hidden within the covers of a historical romance! And if it had not included the final (I suppose obligatory) part III, it would have been both a narratological tour de force, a meta-romance, and a critique of literature! If the love story wasn't as successful, then at least it was thought-provoking. The rake might be reformed at the end to the extent of becoming married, but the author seems to be trying to create the opposite of a tormented, brooding hero wei ...more

Graham Wessit, Earl of Netham, is pounced upon by a woman while at his club and embarrassed beyond belief. This very pregnant woman claims he is the father of her unborn twins. That little statement ends with Graham being named as the defendant in a paternity suit. Since Graham is known for his dalliances about town, society believes the accuser's story and their system of justice soon proves to be a joke. They seem set on him being hel
4.5 stars. The thing with Judith Ivory is that she's a crazy genius - her books are so damn smart and genre-tweaking (bashing, bruising, remolding), but in an elegant way such that their meta-bent never overshadows the story. But as someone recently noted to me, they're sometimes almost too good. This is such a one, where I wanted to enjoy it even more than I did, on account of its meritorious eccentricities and genius. And so even though I really enjoyed this book, I feel a little guilty for no ...more
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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).
More about Judith Ivory...
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