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The Gilded Web (Web #1)

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,252 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
From one of America’s most beloved storytellers comes a classic love story—the breathtaking tale of a man and a woman caught in a web of temptation and seduction.

All she wanted was to escape the hot, crowded London ballroom. But moments after stepping into the bitterly cold night, she is seized by a pair of strong hands and spirited away. Fully expecting to be ravished, sh
Paperback, 480 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Dell (first published December 5th 1989)
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Lord Carew's Bride by Mary BaloghReforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla KellyThe Temporary Wife by Mary BaloghMrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla KellyThe Rake by Mary Jo Putney
Traditional Regency
29th out of 499 books — 225 voters
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia QuinnTempt Me at Twilight by Lisa KleypasNine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLeanSecrets of a Summer Night by Lisa KleypasDreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
Compromised! (Historical Romance)
29th out of 182 books — 93 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2010 Christine rated it it was ok
The issues the heroine had were unbelievable in general, especially so given the historical setting. She goes from being completely submissive (to an ogre of a father) to rejecting marraige (to someone she loves) because she wants to assert herself and be free. The pacing, dialogue and character development were also 2 star-worthy in my opinion.

I read that this is early work of this recommended author so maybe I will still try some of her later works, even though I was underwhelmed by this stor
Mar 30, 2010 Bree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This might not be the light read that readers expect in the romance section.

Keeping in mind that this was originally published in 1989, in the early days of the hero's POV and when many authors began addressing serious issues like alcoholism and abuse - this is a nuanced romance.

Alex and Edmund are complex characters, thrust into a situation not of their making. Many reviewers don't "get" Alex - they think her bid for independence is childish or demanding in the face of Edmund's love, but I thi
Sep 30, 2010 Megan rated it it was ok
Book 1 in the Web Trilogy.

This was a frustrating book on so many levels. First of all, it was slow, which I actually don’t mind for a HR, but when the characters start talking in circles about the same thing they have been talking about for 100-200 pages, it really gets tiring. Second, I am very sorry to say this of any character, but I hated the heroine, Alexandra Purnell. She is frigid and bitter and she doesn’t change until about the last 5 pages of the book (and it’s a long HR, about 450 pa
Feb 23, 2010 Charlene rated it it was ok
I liked all the characters in the book, with the exception of the heroine, Alexandra, and her father. Alexandra was so wishy-washy that I wanted to smack her. She had it made and still kept whining.
Carolyn F.
May 21, 2010 Carolyn F. rated it liked it
Alexandra drove me bananas and I thought Edmund would be better off without her. That's the only reason I gave this book a bad rating.
Tuba Özkat
Okuduğum en kötü tarihi aşk romanlarından biriydi. Milyon tane karakterin gözünden anlatılmaya çalışılmış, sürekli kendini tekrara düşen, beş sayfa önce okuduğumuz şeyi bile özet geçen, normalde 300 sayfa olacakken bu saydıklarım yüzünden 488 sayfa olmuş bir kitaptı.

Cidden ne karakterleri, ne karakterlerin amacını, ne (olmayan!) konusunu anlamadım...

Zaten adam eviyle gurur duyuyor falan anlıyorum. Ama kitapta konu yok... Neredeyse 50 sayfa adamın evini anlatmasıyla geçiyor :D Ne istediğini kendi
Jan 26, 2014 Nesli rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-my-library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2014 Pınar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Böyle sıkıcı kitapların yazılması kanunen yasaklanmalı. Yazarın içine Cartland kaçmış sanırım. Ara ara da kendine gelip günümüz hikayeleri gibi yazmış. Ama olmamış yine de. Akşamdan beri bitireceğim diye içim bayıldı. Müsaitseniz size aşık olabilir miyim tarzı kitaplar, bu türde pek çekilmiyor. Hele de günümüz yazarıysa. Cartland sevmediğimden değil, o dönem öyle yazılıyormuş normal, severim de ama Balogh'dan iki muhteşem kitap okumuşken. Cıks, olmamış.
Liz F
Apr 14, 2012 Liz F rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful awful awful!! This was awful!! The female lead is AWFUL!!! She is completely unsympathetic!!!! How is this book still around?!?! Who liked this?!?! Alexandra is the main female character. Her father is crazy religious. I'm not sure if he was a preacher or just a zealot. Whenever he thought she was misbehaving as a child or not behaving in a godly manner, he beat her and once she turned 16, he stopped beating her and started starving her and making her stay on her knees and pray for days at ...more
Kristal Kitap
May 24, 2015 Kristal Kitap rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Final haftasında kitapsız kalmamak için okudum. Açıkçası çokta iyi oldu. O kadar sıkıcıydı ki dersler daha zevkli geldi. Kitabı bırakıp, derse dönmek için kendimi bir kez olsun zorlamadım. Dünden razıydım hatta. Başka bir zaman olsa kesinlikle okunmazdı.
This is a Balogh that is near and dear to my heart, not only because it introduced me to the romance genre and was my first, but because it is a book that is well crafted with interesting, flawed, sympathetic characters. Thank you, Mary Balogh, wherever you are.
sıkıldım yaaaw. karakterler çoğu yerde anlamsız davranışlar sergiledi.. başlangıçta aslında çok ilgimi çekti konu ama sonrası gelmedi..

3 yıldız bir yıldız yazarın hatrına
Jess the Romanceaholic
Oct 03, 2013 Jess the Romanceaholic rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 06, 2010 Linda rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
I'm an avid fan of Mary Balogh, so it's with a touch of betrayal that I say I wasn't 100% down with this book. I liked the damaged Alexandra Purnell because part of me could sympathize with her. I also liked Edmund Raine. But Edmund was more of a placeholder -- I didn't see him as a real character. There's no hiding the fact that James Purnell and Lady Madeline is "where it's at." I'll confess that I read The Devil's Web years ago, so I'm familiar with that storyline. (I remember it was winter w ...more
Lady Wesley
Jun 15, 2012 Lady Wesley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library
Ugh. A very unsatisfying Mary Balogh book.

I alternated between feeling sorry for the heroine -- whose religious fanatic father was unloving and downright abusive -- and feeling completely out of patience with her. To an extent, I could understand her overwhelming desire for "freedom," even though that was a virtually unachievable situation for women of her day. It was completely incredible, though, that she would prefer to run off and be a governess over marrying this rich, handsome, kind, and
Apr 27, 2011 JoAnn rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Almost everything about Alexandra's life has been controlled by her very strict father. She has not been allowed to have any friends except her brother, because friends might be a bad influence. If she fails in some minor way to meet her father's standards she might be beaten or forced to spend hours or even days kneeling, praying and reading the Bible.
(Now there's a way to develop a love of God in your child. Use Him as a punishment.)

Now, because she has been caught in Lord Eden's ill-conceived
Oct 07, 2013 tacitus rated it it was ok
Shelves: need-to-get

The primary complaint was just how slowly this story moved. There were far too many repetitive and unnecessary scenes and could have just been omitted entirely. The characters in question must have gone walking on the cliffs a dozen times and gone to half a dozen parties, all settings that led to really nothing.

Of course, the overriding frustration of this whole story is the heroine and her incomprehensible reluctance to marry the hero. Does she refuse to mar
Suad Shamma
Nov 23, 2012 Suad Shamma rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, 2011
I've read so many reviews where Mary Balogh's writing is highly commended, and I just don't get it.

I tried so hard to like this book, but it just annoyed me. The characters were very poorly formed. Edmund is almost Mr. Perfect, and Kindness and Goodness. I could not bear to hear one more time how "kind and good" he was, the self-sacrificing brother who takes all the blows for the family in order to protect them. Yes, it's endearing to an extent, but by the end of the book and with the amount of
Dec 22, 2010 Sarah rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annabel Joseph
May 29, 2011 Annabel Joseph rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
I agree with other reviewers that this book was terribly repetitive and the heroine patently unlikeable. Ugh, I wanted to shake her, AND I wanted to shake Edmund's idiot brother who did not seem to know his own mind. It was only my admiration for the hero Edmund (and my curiosity about where Madeline and James' relationship was headed) that made me keep reading. I also enjoyed the "manners" of this novel because I'm always fascinated by that (the country dances, the pitfalls of navigating polite ...more
Victoria Lamb
Mar 01, 2014 Victoria Lamb rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mary Balogh fans
Shelves: regency-romance
Alex Purnell is 'forced' into marriage with the Earl of Amberley after a disastrous incident that was no fault of her own. She is naive in thinking she can brush off society's disapproval and not marry him, but Balogh stresses the strange, insular nature of her upbringing, and indeed that straitlaced upbringing - presided over by an emotionally cold, Bible-bashing father who beat her as a girl and still punishes her with incarceration and bread-and-water fast days for disobedience such as answer ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Crystal rated it really liked it
This is a weirdly intriguing story. I liked Edmund immensely and did like Alexandra also. I identify with her to an extent. I do find it difficult to share my feelings , but that is all. I did find her idea to be free, a bit irritating at that time, as she so obviously wanted to give in but was unsure if she could still be herself and love Edmund. But I understood her in the end. It wasn't the fact that she wanted to be free and choose her own path. Her reasoning for staying with Edmund was quit ...more
Dec 14, 2015 Tonileg rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, historical
Historical English romance
Naive country-bred, Miss Alexandra Purnell is having her first London season before her childhood betrothal is made public to a stuffy strict Duke. Miss Alex makes a huge mistake by walking alone in the garden during a ball when she is kidnapped and then a series a events that force her to accept the marriage proposal to Lord Edmund, Earl of Amberley. Alex and Edmund are strangers to each other, but they do have attraction and the time to get to know each other at the A
Apr 12, 2015 Monica rated it it was ok
I rarely write reviews, I am not good in expressing how I felt about a book into words unless that book was exceptionally amazing. I had read lots of Ms. Balogh's books and I love most of them. She has a way in easily pulling me into the story, sympathize with the H or h. This book had a promising plot. Love, love Edmund, Earl of Amberley, the main hero BUT hate the heroine, Alexandra. I usually dislike a heroine that "chase" the hero. Alexandra was not this type of heroine. She actually could b ...more
Nov 14, 2013 Sgurbet rated it really liked it
bazi karakterler sinir krizi gecirtse de genel anlamda begendim kitabi, diger kardeslerin hikayelerini de cok merak ettim insallah onlari da en kisa zamanda cikartirlarda cok beklemek zorunda kalmayiz...
Sep 29, 2008 Selena rated it did not like it
Very repetitive, the characters are constantly repeating their wants and concerns. The drama never increases just a slow dull momentum. Read this as a recommendation from a relative.
Aug 18, 2010 TJ rated it liked it
As always, Ms. Balogh succeeds in writing a book I can't put down but the herione drove me crazy in this book! Alex came across as so self centered that I felt terrible for Edmund.
Mar 20, 2010 Jessica rated it it was ok
Repetitive in the stating of everyone's wants and concerns. Edmund was likeable, but his betrothed and fickle twin brother and sister were not.
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Mary Jenkins was born on 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high-school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curl ...more
More about Mary Balogh...

Other Books in the Series

Web (4 books)
  • Web of Love (Web, #2)
  • The Devil's Web (Web, #3)
  • A Promise of Spring (Web, #4)

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