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Beguiling the Beauty (Fitzhugh Trilogy #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  2,584 Ratings  ·  315 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
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Berkley Books
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(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
May 01, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Apr 02, 2012 new_user rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
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
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 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 wa ...more
Nov 28, 2016 Mei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Since I read the 3rd book first, I already know how this one will end, but, ah, what a beautiful story this was!!!

We get to discover everything Venetia went through in her two marriages! Poor girl... the first disastrous one to a pompous, egocentric idiot; the second one a gay.... Poor, poor girl...

Christian, as all the other men, was mesmerized with Venetia's extraordinary beauty and he fancied himself in love with her. But he also resented her for the oull she had on him. So when her first hus
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
May 06, 2012 Dorothea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
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
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
Apr 08, 2012 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 12, 2017 bookjunkie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It felt light and fluffy, but overall a very satisfying romance IMO. I like the way Sherry Thomas writes. Also, there's something very vicariously pleasant about having a heroine whose incredible beauty is a plot point. I mean, I'm also fond of the stories where you have a mousy plain Jane who wins over people with her inner beauty and whatnot, but this story of a jaw-droppingly gorgeous beauty who's also crazy about dinosaur fossils was a nice fantasy!

There wasn't any darkness in this story at
May 08, 2012 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Elis Madison
I'm not usually a fan of romances whose plots are basically, "he loves me, he loves me not." My favorite books usually have certain elements, including danger (and a plot that revolves around adventure, intrigue or mystery), a complicated love story whose resolution you don't see coming a mile away, writing I can admire, and a historical setting that is more than just a set and props. I like heroines who have a brain and enough self-respect to refuse to tolerate ill treatment from a man, and I l ...more
Jun 13, 2016 Nidofito rated it it was ok
I have read a few other high-rated reviews and I agree that it is very passionate and it was interesting regarding the irony about falling in love with two versions of the same person. But it is so trope-y. These people are not smart.

First of all, Christopher's damning confession at the lecture. I thought he was supposed to be a man of science? He used anecdotal evidence as facts and then generalized it to women of beauty. I had bells ringing in my head when I was reading that part, and I feel
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
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
Sherry Thomas has acquired herself a new fan!!<3
Sep 05, 2012 ALPHAreader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christian, Duke of Lexington, fell in love with Venetia Easterbrook from afar, as many young men have done. But she was married at the time of his falling was for naught. But Christian still made a promise to himself that one day, no matter how long he’d have to wait, he would take a chance with the beautiful Mrs. Easterbrook.

Christian harboured this thought close to his heart for years. Even after an unsettling conversation with Mr. Easterbrook about his downfall, thanks in part to his beguili
May 15, 2012 Las rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim)
*Note: Since this is a book club read, I don't want to give any particulars in the review as I don't want to influence other book club members with my review but I'll speak in generalities and maybe will come back and update after our book club discussion.*

As I have commented many times in the past 'I HATE HISTORICALS'. And yet every year I end up reading a couple for one reason or other. In this case, it is the book club pick for a group of friends. And here's the thing - I didn't HATE it. I di
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
Remy Kripton
Nov 27, 2015 Remy Kripton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-read
4.5 loved-it Stars...!!

I loved the book. Adored more like it. Sherry Thomas just entered my list of favourite historical authors. She writes with quick wit, humour and much much romance. I enjoyed the book thoroughly.

Venetia is a darling. Yes she is extremely beautiful. But that wasn't what made me like her. I have read so many books where the heroines are described as heavenly beautiful, bit here Venetia has such a pleasant character. She has her flaws and her attributes. But I loved her beca
Jan 23, 2012 Ilze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sherry-thomas
It's always a treat to read a book by Sherry Thomas - she never writes down to some imaginary "average romance reader" level which with some authors appears to be about Grade 6. The characters and story in this book are great - both the hero and heroine are so flawed and fallible, yet completely lovable. The characters' shared interest in fossils is a great touch, and the hero's gift to the heroine of a huge slab of rock with dinosaur footprints is a priceless way to win her heart.

The heroine i
May 07, 2012 Hirondelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
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 authors 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,
Mar 13, 2012 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Oct 12, 2011 SheLove2Read rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Apr 01, 2012 Ash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars for content plus an extra .25 star for the writing.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 02, 2015 08:57AM  
  • At Your Pleasure
  • A Lady Never Lies (Affairs by Moonlight, #1)
  • A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1)
  • Midnight Scandals
  • Not Wicked Enough (Reforming the Scoundrels, #1)
  • Sweet Enemy (Veiled Seduction, #1)
  • Untie My Heart
  • The Spymaster's Lady (Spymasters, #1)
  • Forever and a Day (The Rumor, #1)
  • Midnight's Wild Passion
  • Heiress in Love (Ministry of Marriage, #1)
  • A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7)
  • Romancing the Countess (Romancing, #1)
  • True Pretenses (Lively St. Lemeston, #2)
Because actual world domination is too much trouble, USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided that her goal is life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Tim ...more
More about Sherry Thomas...

Other Books in the Series

Fitzhugh Trilogy (3 books)
  • Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2)
  • Tempting the Bride (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #3)

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“She felt as if she'd been hugging puppies all day.” 3 likes
“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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