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Beguiling the Beauty

(Fitzhugh Trilogy #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,489 ratings  ·  423 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 youn
Mass Market Paperback, 281 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Berkley Sensation
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
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
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 she re ...more
Lacey (laceybooklovers)
The chemistry, tension, and angst was fantastic!! This was my first Sherry Thomas book but absolutely not my last. I can’t wait to read the rest of the Fitzhugh series. I do wish we got a little bit more at the end because it does end pretty abruptly.
May 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Sam (AMNReader)
RTC. Cause that was a binge read and it’s bedtime.

The review hasn't written itself, but I did so appreciate the conversation and intimacy built between these characters. I HATE mistaken or hidden identity plots, but this one did work for me. The hero makes a mistake and is punished in a singular fashion for it, but of course that goes awry because he's also a really decent guy.

There's some sexy hairpin action (aka sexy consent) and what results is a sweet, convincing relationship. When it all f
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“When I’m with other women, it’s as if only part of me is there and the rest of me wants to be elsewhere, elsewhen. But with you I’m not split in two. I am not plagued by other thoughts and other wishes. You cannot begin to guess how gratifying that is—to be altogether here, altogether present.”

I want to set a warning before hand. This book is addictive. The plot is its driving force but the unique characters make it so much better. Reading it felt like I was on a roller coster going fast up an
Jul 17, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
Jacob Proffitt
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steamy, romance
I really enjoyed this, though not without some bumps. Christian and Venetia were lovely, with lots of drama pulling them apart and I didn't even mind the conceit of falling in love while she covered her face. Nor how harsh things turned for a while (because it was earned and expected).

I wasn't so much a fan of Venetia turning coward quite so thoroughly towards the end, but even that would have had me rounding a 4.5 up. Unfortunately, that was never in question because Thomas kept throwing in bor
*The Angry Reader*
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I attempted 5 books but other authors before relenting and reading another Sherry Thomas. I suspect I'm trapped in her web for the foreseeable future. And I'm okay with that.

This was sort of a romance in reverse. Christian falls in love-at-first-sight with a married woman - solely based on her looks. When he can't have her he believes crap things about her to salve his busted ego. Eventually he starts spreading those mean things, and she finds out. Venetia decides to get revenge by making him f
Aug 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: pub-2012
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
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Princess under cover
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like this one quite well. The writing is always superb and the emotional intensity and angst didn’t feel tooooo contrived.

For some reason I can’t give her books 5 stars, unlike some of my other HR faves like Lisa Klepas and Tessa Dare and Elizabeth Hoyt.

Maybe bc the angst is a little too much? Dunno... despite the writing something is missing...
A 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Finally! A Sherry Thomas book that I found pleasantly enjoyable. Probably because I went in with low expectations that this author could ever impress me. The first few chapters dragged a little with several time lapses, but once our two main characters met in the New York hotel and on the ship sailing back to London, I couldn't stop reading. If this book had been longer than 281 pages (or more than 18 chapters), I would have stopped for a lunch break. lol.

The one thing I d
Dec 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Lover of Romance
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance

I have been meaning to read this series for the longest time and I just knew that I needed to try her out and so I decided to grab up Beguiling The Beauty through the Audible Romance Package which is the first book in her Fitshugh Trilogy. I will admit that first off, if I had known about the narrator I might have just grabbed this book from my local library, since I know they have it in print because it took 50% of the book before I starti
Merry Jewelhound
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, series, victorian
I thought the plot was a bit wacky and had trouble getting into the book. Once the story line was laid out it really took off for me. I very much enjoyed the 2nd half. I am giving the book 3 1/2 starts and rounding up. Sherry Thomas is an author I always enjoy as her stories are not your usual romance or mystery. I look forward to the next in the series.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This HR by Thomas is a lovely homage to Judith Ivory's BEAST. Roles are reversed but the plot is similar in that Ivory's hero in Beast (Avon Romantic Treasure) needs the darkness to conduct the H and h's shipboard affair and here Thomas's heroine is the one not wanting the hero to know her identity. But we have the inevitable fall into love with one of the persons not knowing the true identity of the other.

The book itself is not quite perfect, especially if you analyze the actions of the hero, t
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xarchive-bli-rev
(Review originally posted at Book Lovers Inc:)

My Thoughts:

I’ve gotta say that it’s not often that I’ll go out and immediately buy a book solely based on the book description. Yet, that’s what happened in the case of Beguiling the Beauty. The dynamic between the two main characters seemed likely to be wrought with plenty of dramatic tension. Moreover, the female lead sounded like a highly intelligent yet beautiful heroine—and I love myself an Elizabeth Bennett-type. I foresaw plenty of emotional
Elis Madison
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: era-victorian
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
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, romance-histo
I really enjoyed this book. Even though I had strong qualms at first. I feared she would be much older than he was - and I'm not a huge fan of cougar romances. She had already been married twice. Her sister was having an affair with a married man. Not sure what else but it seemed like a sure recipe for disaster. Though it was nothing like that.
I really enjoyed getting to know the different characters, their own difficulties & challenges. I deeply enjoyed the heroine, her way if trying to orchest
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I mostly liked it!

I just have a few things to get off my chest:

1) I don't react well to stories featuring Beautalicious Beauties. Seriously: I don't want to hear about how being attractive is the Ultimate Curse. I absolutely believe that it can lead to some frustrations, but you know what? There's power in attractiveness that is stripped from all those who are deemed "unattractive" or "plain" or "ugly" or any variation thereof. Society can be epically gross, but it is far more forgiving of a pr
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Historical Romanc...: BOTM1 - August, 2020 - Beguiling the Beauty 49 44 Aug 20, 2020 02:31PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 02, 2015 08:57AM  

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USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided years ago that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, young adult, and three books inspired by the martial arts epics she grew up devouring. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as th ...more

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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“He wanted to make cast models of her. He wanted to take a set of precision calipers and measure every distance between her features. He wanted her blood and glandular fluids analyzed by the finest chemists in the world—there must be something detectibly different in her inner workings for him to respond so dramatically, as if he’d been given a drug for which science had yet to find a name.
But more than anything, he wanted to—”
“She felt as if she'd been hugging puppies all day.” 2 likes
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