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My Dearest Enemy

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,716 ratings  ·  277 reviews
Breathtakingly romantic, startlingly original, Connie Brockway's novels have captured the hearts of readers and the raves of critics everywhere.  Now she brings you a unique and unforgettable love story that begins with a series of letters between a world-weary adventurer and the woman whose love brings him home.

Dear Mr.  Thorne,

        I give you fair warning.  I intend t
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 6th 1998 by Dell
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3.84  · 
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 ·  3,716 ratings  ·  277 reviews

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Christina ~ Brunette Reader
One of my long-time favourites, My Dearest Enemy is a lively character driven Victorian romance full of both humorous and touching moments, with two remarkable and endearing protagonists, Lillian and Avery, and a shining prose best showcasing the well-crafted set of emotions and Connie Brockway's ability of subtly blending and interspersing light-heartedness with more meaningful matters about love and life. The headstrong suffragist and the world-weary adventurer start their bantering even befor ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one. It was a sweet, sometimes heartbreaking read. I can fully understand Lily's opinion and outlook on life. Us ladies have it easier in this day and age ... we don't have to take our husband's name, we can vote, we can have our own bank accounts.

“Dear Mr. Thorne, For the next five years, I will profitably manage this estate. I will deliver to you an allowance and I will prove that women are just as capable as men.”

“Foolish Lily," he said. "Don't you know why I haven't tou
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dina by: K. from Amazon
This was the first book by Connie Brockway I've read, but it won't be the last.

My Dearest Enemy has it all: it's funny and, at the same time, heartbreaking, Romantic - yes, with a capital "R"! - and has two of the most charming couples I've "met" in Romancelandia. Avery and Lily made me laugh with their initial witty banter, made me cry when their individual beliefs tore them apart, and made me sigh in happiness with their HEA.

There is NOTHING I can fault in this book. It's a keeper and I can se
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Avery, will you be my enemy?

Setting / Time / Genre: Regency, somewhere in England =)

Length: 387 pages

Series: possibly but I don't think so. If you know, let me know so I can read the rest!

Sexy times: One time. On the lighter side, def not descriptive action at all. But who the hell needs it in a book this good?

Plan on reading more by the author: Oh yes! I adore her!

Synopsis in one sentence or slightly more: So there's this guy who is a real jerk and he decides to mess with two relations,
♡Karlyn P♡
A super romantic historical, with an H/h story that was deeply passionate and from the heart. I loved it. I shed a few tears in the end. And such great bantering/dialog between the H/h, what fun it was when these two were communicating together. Set in the countryside of England in the late 1800’s, he was a captivating beta-type hero who grew up with physical disabilities which he had to overcome, and she was a devoted woman’s rights leader with a past that fully explains her point of view on ma ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

March’s prompt for the TBR challenge is “comfort read”, which is defined as a book that uses a favourite trope or setting, or is by a favourite author. I’ve chosen something from my TBR that everyone seems to have read except me – Connie Brockway’s My Dearest Enemy, which combines two of my favourite things, an enemies-to-lovers romance and a story in which letters play an important part (I do love an epistolary novel!). It’s a gloriously romantic, character-driven story set at the end
Jun 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Eastofoz by: AzuresHeart
A bit ‘meh’, a bit ‘blah’, a bit ‘oh-look-I’m-on-page-150-and-still-nothing-is-happening-what-else-is-on-TBR’, yeah this book just didn’t do it for me and I had some high hopes too. I was expecting a Lisa Kleypas “It Happened One Autumn” or a Loretta Chase “Lord of Scoundrels” battle of words but it was neither and just a really average ho-hum read.

It's the story of two adversaries fighting it out to get ownership of a house in five years time. The hero who was supposed to inherit the house got
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was charmed by this book. I had my share of problems with it, but overall it was wonderful. I'll be putting it on my keeper shelf for a future reread.

The letter exchange that Lily and Avery participated in was so perfect. Their back and forth banter was one of my favorite parts of the story. I really loved the feel of the scenes when Avery would pull out the newest letter and read it aloud to his friends. Being able to see a little of his interaction with his friends in that setting really hel
Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness (On Hiatus)
My Dearest Enemy has been sitting there tucked away for over a month,gathering dust on my shelf.As I skipped through genes, from historical friction to chic-lite,triller and back....before I finally decided to pick this particular read up to see what the fuzz was all about.


This was my first Brockway novel and defiantly not my last .....The storyline,the characters and humorus banters between the two leads,I enjoyed everything about this book !! Defiantly adding this

DNF @ 37%

Just too slow moving for me and I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a situation where they push each other away for the next 200+ pages. Not in the mood.

Couple of major irritations as well:

--the hero has gone YEARS without having sex with a woman, barely speaking to women because he is shy and uncomfortable around them. Then, after 5 years of traveling the world (and corresponding with the heroine) he meets a woman on the ship back to England, and it is implied that he had a
Miss Rail
..."But when one finds the rare gentleman worth the trouble of instructing, one can afford to be gentle."

I really enjoyed this book!
Lily is a headstrong suffragist with a purpose:
“Dear Mr. Thorne, [...]For the next five years, I will profitably manage this estate. I will deliver to you an allowance and I will prove that women are just as capable as men. And at the end, I shall accept Mill House as my reward..”
Thus begins the correspondence between the MC.
I loved the banters and Avery turns
This was my second book form Brockway. Although the premise was different from what i have read before from her, the book still delivered! I had may laughs over the witty bickering.

I loved the tone of the book! Connie seems like a poet morphed into a writer... this woman can write some soulful thoughts!! **sighs** I love her for that!

I found the premise of the book quite interesting: "A battle of sexes" . where an old man tries to play a trick to his free spirited nephew while try to prove wron
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
I usually never read historical romances, and I've never read anything by Connie Brockway. But, the 5 star reviews from my goodread friends (along with being available through my library) decided me to give this one a try. It did not disappoint.

The character development was stellar. But, what I enjoyed most were the subtleties and sophistication that gave this a complexity you don't typically find in the genre. I especially enjoyed the letters, which actually took on a character of their own. I
Solid 2.5 stars.
Nicely written with interesting characters and some terrific letters that go back and forth between the MCs.
I really liked both the hero and the heroine. They seemed real people to me and had real issues they needed to overcome, even if these issues were a bit far-fetched and too modern for me. Lots of hard work to get to their HEA. It didn't make me swoony or accelerate my heartbeat at all, and I had trouble swallowing a lot of the details, but I let that go and just enjoyed th
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I first read this book in 2013 and this was my take on it then:

5 stars. Beautifully written, emotionally expressive with a great deal of witty humour. Sizzling chemistry conveyed, even prior to them meeting, through their letters.

Now, 5 years later after my first reread of this wonderful book, I can say the above sentiments remain except I will deduct 1/2 stars as explained below.

As a young boy, the orphaned Avery Thorne was invited to spend a few holidays at Mill House Estate by his uncl
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Connie Brockway and it will not be my last. Wow. This book..wait.. I LOVED AVERY! What a man, a true gentleman!! :-) This book made me laugh my head off and then cry my eyes out. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because there was a short period of time where I just wanted things to hurry up and happen and boy did they!! And also, let me say that as far as I can tell from this first book of Connie Brockway's that I am reading, her writing is just inspiring. It's how I som ...more
Beanbag Love
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me over and over by so many people, but every time I would remember to look it up it cost more than I was willing to spend on an ebook. It finally went on sale and I snatched it up.

It's a fun little story about an inheritance and the two people who are put in a position to "compete" for it. The characters are sharp and funny and their attraction is believable and organic. The language is deft, Brockaway being a skilled historical romance author.

It's on many people'
"Some people swear it exists", she continued. "That it can grow with each encounter, not fade. And that it freshens the spirit not sickens the soul. And that it lasts forever. Of course," she sniffed, "I have my suspicions about those people's drinking habits."

This book has been gathering dust in the recesses of my kindle for ages. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to it, but I'm so glad I did. This book was adorable. I was a little worried going in, everyone seems to love it so much. H
Fangirl Musings

So, imagine you're me, and you've just completed the greatest novel ever written in the entire history of humanity, endearingly named My Dearest Enemy.


I so went there! Screw logic, and reality, for Connie Brockway has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt she owns that title like a boss. I, after all, was once convinced that an historical romance written prior to 2000 could never, not ever be of good quality. I love my historical romance novels like nobody's business, but hot-damn, even I real
Emilia Barnes
Jul 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
I did not finish this book, so apologies if it improves drastically somewhere in the middle. I was given to believe, from the blurb and other reviews that this was a witty romance with lots of funny bickering, sparkling letters and what not. Unfortunately, I found it badly researched, only moderately well written and, worst of all, rather boring.

It is the story of a feud over an inheritance so unlikely and unbelievable that you may think that it is this that is the main joke of the book. Alas, i
Miranda Davis
Jan 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Miranda by: Jill
Loved the beginning. The letters were brilliant and defined each adversaries' character, intelligence and personality to a tee. The last two letters, his relating the death of a fellow adventurer to her, and her moving, sensitive response, were simply extraordinary.

Premise: Two would-be heirs tangle over a beloved farm and manor house. The hero's only fond memories in an otherwise bleak childhood happened at Mill House. But an interloper's been given the opportunity to wrest it away from him. T
Nov 01, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't really enjoy reading about heroines like the one in this book. I find the whole running around in pants (in every single scene but one!) in the 19th century and refusing to let a person help you up from the ground when you've fallen just because he's a man cheap, obvious ways of telling the reader that the heroine is an independent proto-feminist. In the end, this schtick became less tiresome than it initially was, because the author, in the only really subtle stroke in this novel, kind ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Once again, a winner from Connie Brockway. This is most certainly an example of a book that I read HR for. It has exceptionally well-developed, strong, smart, passionate MC's; interesting supporting characters; a hint of adventure; lush, eloquent description; historical realism; and a fantastic slow burn progression that saw Lily and Avery go from being bickering adversaries to being unable to live without each other. And fabulous letter writing! This starts out sassy and funny and ends

Historical romance isn’t my typical genre, but I do adore an "enemies to lovers" romance so I decided to give this one a try. Here is my breakdown:

~3.5 stars~

The pros:
* An independent and strong willed heroine
* The romance was really sweet
* Great epilogue (even though it was short)

The cons:
* I think it was priced on the high side at $3.99 - it felt as if it would be more adequately priced around $1.99
* I didn’t like how the hero lost his virginity - he had been conversing with the heroine writi
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: antagonistic-h-h
I read this as a recommendation and I really enjoyed it. I feel that it was witty and orignial. But I could also tell that the writing was from at least a decade ago. Not sure if that matters but the witty wasn't 200- witty. I don't know it was just me maybe. I wished there was more correspondence but I loved how it really made the story come full circle with the events that happened when they met and did battle for the house face to face. Thank you for the recommendation everyone!
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: traded, reviewed
This story was as touching as it was funny. I absolutely loved the chemestry between the hero and heroine. Avery is a wanderer, traveling the world until the time his promised inheritance, Mill House becomes available to him. Lily, an outspolen suffragist, is the woman given a chance to prove her mettle (despite the fact that the one who gave her that chance didn't believe she would pull it off) and swipe the house out from under Avery as long as she is profitable at the end of 5 years. Her and ...more
Read about 10% and decided to give up. The writing did not pull me in from the beginning and I have no energy to fight a novel until it comes readable. Plus I already know that the heroine Lily is some kind of a "having something to prove" woman, who needed to prove that she was better than men. She also dressed like a man. Talk about dealbreakers. There are 2 of them for me in this book already.

My review is not a reflection on the quality of the book. My decision to drop the book is a personal
Anna Marie
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Oh, for PITY'S sake. If you're going to CALL it a book with the theme of letter-writing, PLEASE let the letter writing extend further than three brief missives and a handful of references to letters... IN THE FIRST 1/4 of the book!!

This is NOT what I wanted. I wanted a romance thru letter writing. What it was was a competition, a battle of wills - in person - and two people arguing with each other The. Whole. Dadgum. Book. I hate books like that. It was horrible. I wasn't happy, Bob.

And not a si
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
I loved both of these characters but the hero especially. He thinks he's a gentleman (and trust me he's the only one who thinks this ) he's blunt, and loud and pretty much knows nothing about being a boring old gentleman. Thank goodness! He's also charmingly imperfect, physically flawed by asthma, amazingly shy despite his loud mouth and sexually inexperienced. An irresistible combination, he was. The letters the two exchange during his travels cracked me up and touched me. A wonderful book that ...more
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New York Times and USAToday best selling author Connie Brockway has twice won the Romance Writers of America's Rita award for best historical romance as well as being an eight time finalist. After receiving a double major in art history and English from Macalester College, Connie entered grad school with an eye to acquiring her MFA in creative writing. Soon enough she jettisoned the idea of writin ...more
“Where will you go? What will you do?" he demanded.

"That need be no concern of yours--"

"The hell it isn't!" he shouted. "Everything about you is my concern."

She opened her mouth to deny this but the look of him stopped her. For a long tense moment he studied her and when he spoke his voice was low and furious and yearning.

"I don't give a bloody damn if I never share your bed, your name, or your house -- you are still my concern. You can leave, take yourself from my ken, disappear for the rest of my life but you cannot untangle yourself from my -- my concern. That I have of you, Miss Bede, for that, at least, I do not need your permission."

His words shocked her. She looked decades hence and she saw a specter of what might have been haunting her every moment, her every act, for the rest of her life.

"Your concern is misplaced."

"It's mine to misplace," he said steadily.”
“Avery?" she whispered.
He gathered her closer, his eyes still closed.


"Shh." His voice was low and infinitely sad. "Hush. Tomorrow's waiting outside this door. It's crouching there in an ocean of words and uncertainties. But it's not here yet and we are. Lily. Lillian. Love. I'm begging you. Let me love you again. Let me love you all night long." She answered with a kiss.”
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