Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Untie My Heart” as Want to Read:
Untie My Heart
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Untie My Heart

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  1,634 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
Stuart Aysgarth, the new Viscount Mount Villiars, doesn't know he's playing with fire when he inadvertently runs afoul of Emma Hotchkiss. True, the exquisite Yorkshire lady is a mere sheep farmer, but she also guards a most colorful past that makes her only more appealing to the handsome, haunted lord.

Emma has come to him seeking justice—and Stuart is determined that she
Mass Market Paperback, 369 pages
Published November 5th 2002 by Avon (first published 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Untie My Heart, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Stuart Aysgarth, the new Viscount Mount Villiars, doesn't know he's playing with fire when he inadvertently runs afoul of Emma Hotchkiss. True, the exquisite Yorkshire lady is a mere sheep farmer, but she also guards a most colorful past that makes her only more appealing to the handsome, haunted lord. Emma has come to him seeking justice -- and Stuart is determined that she will not leave until she has shared her secrets ... and his bed.

She was shorter than he'd remembered. A plump, pretty l
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian

Untie my heart. I will never be right without you.

Judith Ivory managed again to create unique story in a genre that is full of formula and hackneyed story lines. Reading it felt like looking deep into the lake when conditions are windy. Everything is distorted, strange, even uncomfortable and then the wind dies down, the waves subside leaving an unobstructed clear view of amazing depth, multilayered sediment and beautiful sandy formations.

Stuart Aysgarth, the new Viscount Mount Villiars, retur
Tammy Walton Grant
Here's what I wrote in April, 2011 after finishing this book:

3.5?? 4??? I'm stuck. Liked the story, liked the ending (another big AWWWW one) but I didn't really connect with either the H/h.

Like I'm finding with lots of books I inhaled read last year, it has definitely benefited from a re-read. Judith Ivory's writing is beautiful; her prose is so descriptive, her phrasing so witty and her grasp of the period - especially in terms of the vernacular - so precise, it's difficult to come away from
In Yorkshire, where lambing is life, Emma cooks Stuarts' books -- just a little -- because his crazed stallion killed her prize ram and — adding insult to injury — when she complained, he made light of it. She only wants fair recompense, and hates every high-brow hair on his head when he withholds. The smug miserly monster.

However, Stuart — that villainous viscount —has proof positive of her fraudulence. So, the blackguard blackmails her: Go to prison or run one of your clever confidence tricks
I had a very hard time finishing this one. I like the concept of the book: con artist heroine has to help hero regain personal property, but it was not executed well.

Emma Hotchkiss is a vicar's widow, a sheep farmer, and a reformed confidence girl. She and her now-deceased husband once ran con games in London, until a close-call made them rethink their ways and retire to the country. In the intervening years, Emma's husband Zach began to embrace a gin bottle more than her, and she began to resen
I had high hopes for this one - that it might be as good as The Proposition. It wasn't quite. One thing Ivory does very well is detail every nuance of interaction between two people. Their voice, intonation, accent, movement of hair, posture, scent, the way their clothing lays etc. She really does that well. She can elaborate on an interaction or conversation that lasts just minutes and go on for pages and it is not tedious! Still, the overall story just lagged in spots for me. I was expecting t ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
... he was the nicest lunatic she knew. Her sort of lunatic.

Well. We have a winner. Judith Ivory does it again. Untie My Heart is strange and wonderful. And one hundred percent a Keeper. Yes, with a capital "K".
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clearly this author's later works, work better for me and are to my tastes.
4.5/5 stars
April has been my month to read humorous books that cause me little or no stress - and Untie My Heart was a perfect match! I absolutely love the way Judith Ivory writes - she won me over with the Proposition - and this was almost as good (I hate to compare but I always do, can't help it). She has such a wonderful sense of humor and had me cracking up many, many times. She also has a way of writing the heroes in such a way that we really get to know them - somehow with other authors it
Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
At this point in my reading life, I am incredibly picky about romance novels. The list of what they can't be is long and exacting, and I can't tell you how many I've started just to put them down half way through with a sigh of, "I will never be able to finish this drivel."

Judith Ivory is one of the best romance novelists out there. I just re-read both Untie My Heart and Black Silk and was amazed - AMAZED - at the depth of character in each.

Her writing makes the people, and the places, simply l
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jaya by: Kathy
You know its a good one when you want the Hero to be for real...
Beautifully written book. The chair scene was unforgettable. This is my first Judith Ivory that I finished and won't be my last.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ashley, Alex, Ania
One of the things I enjoy about Judith Ivory’s books is that there’s nothing predictable or repetitive about them, at least as far as I can see yet. So far I’ve had the pleasure of reading about:

- A good-natured London rat catcher and the elocutionist spinster who coaches him in speech and deportment (The Proposition)

- A brooding, ether-addicted sculptor and the bubbly, budding art appraiser who inspires his life and art in Belle Epoque France (Bliss)

- A stiff, aristocratic businessman and a tal
Susan (the other Susan)
Did I mention the chair scene? Oh, man. The chair scene! This book would rate ten stars if the second half had been as fabulous as the chair scene.
Miranda Davis
Okay, since I may not finish, I just want to note for myself what's derailed me. The premise, so far, rests on the idea that the heroine has used past skills as con artist to gain just compensation for a lamb killed by the Viscount hero's coach while barreling through Yorkshire. Though anxious to remain law-abiding, she faces a man who has used the legal system to avoid fair compensation and her frustration drives her to seek redress by scamming his bank, forging checks and collecting the exact ...more
I am muddled if I should give this a 3 or 4, but after sleeping on it I might still change my mind.

I absolutely loved Stuart, Viscount Mount Villiers. Emma, not so much. But for the most part I liked them together. Emma however could get on your nerves with her vacillating ways.. I want him, I don't want him, he excites me, I am afraid of him (The being afraid of him part was ridiculous, he was sexy and adorable!) Then there were too many lines. Like this. Annoying.
I did like the plot itself
Amanda Westmont
This was my second Judith Ivory book and man, does this author deliver. She can WRITE. There were scenes in this book, specifically some of the dialogue between the hero/heroine, that literally made my stomach drop, made me swoon like I'd just gone over a cliff. A feeling I can find only one word for and it's a frothy, romantic one at that: rapture. Reading this book filled me with a sense of rapture.

It's the way she writes her scenes - they can take dozens of pages - but you don't mind it becau
Apr 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love the plucky heroine, with her audacious past and unique skill-set. I love the hero, with his unexpected weaknesses and deliberate speech. A favorite quote:

"A bit odd, are you?" She was being sarcastic, trying to taunt him into a sense of guilt. While perhaps bursting any bubble in herself of misguided, soft-hearted concern for a man with sad eyes and complicated wealth.

Though his sexual inclinations were perhaps not the wisest of barbs to do either. he looked down at her, speculative. "Dif
Wicked Incognito Now
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Judith Ivory!!! Where have you been my whole life? This was fabulous. Just when I thought I couldn't truly enjoy romance novels anymore...I get to read something that tickles me through and through.
Falls under the "sort of crazy, but great" subheading of romance, I think.

Heroine is a sturdy Yorkshire sheep farmer. Hero is a dissolute nobleman blah blah blah. She scams him out of some money, they have sex while she's tied to a chair, etc.

It's uneven - which I think is a thing with Ivory books. There are sections in this book that are so great they are genuinely literary. I have so many chunks of this highlighted, for the language and the insights. The good parts are gorgeous. There are bi
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oh, I liked this one a LOT. I'd have to say that Stuart (despite the terrible name) is one of my favorite leading male characters out there. Thanks to him, the sex is slightly kinky and hot - good stuff. And the interplay between the wills of the two characters is great fun to watch develop, there is a lot of ground covered in their relationship. I'd say this is my favorite novel by Judith Ivory.

I had to re-read this. Judith Ivory's language is so beautiful, it is impossible not to fall in love
People always ask what books would be part of your romance conversion kit: this one. This one for sure, because of the incredible hero, the poetry, the sensuousness of the writing ... I could go on. And a sheep-farming heroine. Yes, surely the only one in romantic literature. The plot is absorbing but it's Stuart and Emma's story, all the way.
Anna Bowling
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
There is nobody who does historical romance like Judith Ivory. Take one expatriate Englishman, living in Russia, summoned home to (reluctantly) defend his inheritance against a greedy relative, and one Yorkshire sheep farmer, who is both vicar's widow and confidence artist, throw in one carriage accident of dubious origin, the economics of Victorian England (trust me, it's not boring) and let a mistress of the genre do what she does best: weave a complicated tale of two imperfect people who find ...more
Romance entre uma tosquiadora (Emma) e um visconde (Stuart).
Emma é uma mulher de trinta anos, que com treze anos fugiu para Londres porque seus queriam casá-la. Viveu lá fazendo trapaças e depois casou com um pastor beberrão mais velho e retornou para o campo. Enviuvou e foi cuidar da vida para se sustentar, sendo criadora de ovelhas e tosquiadora. Era uma mulher decidida, que já passara por poucas e boas na vida.
Stuart, era nobre, bonito e rico filho de uma mulher extremamente feia e rica a que
Heroes & Heartbreakers
When someone asks me the differences between Romance and Erotic Romance and Erotica, my answer usually boils down to “it’s complicated.” For me, one of the most erotic authors out there is Judith Ivory/Judy Cuevas, whose work is marketed as romance and read as romance, but in my opinion could also be considered erotic romance or even mainstream historical fiction. She’s widely considered to be one of the most stylish and original of romance novelists. Her novels have a rich, elegant prose style ...more
Jan 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
I am of mixed feelings about this one.

While it is exceedingly well-written, emotionally authentic with hints of lyricism and humor, and the two main characters are charming individually, I somehow do not like them TOGETHER. Perhaps it's because I utterly loathe those tropes where, as in here, the dude just knows better than the chick about her innermost desires, while she would struggle--and I'll give it this, that it was a sweet struggle with sweet surrenders--but nevertheless there are surrend
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance

It takes a while for the story to really get going, but give it a chance because it turns into quite a page turner about half-way thru.
Emma and Stuart make a great pair, their chemistry and interactions are what made the last part of the book so much fun. I kind of wish Ivory would have gotten them together sooner, just to get more of them together.
There’s’ romance, intrigue, family squabbles, and some very well employed culture shock to keep things interesting and different enough from other
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
There's a lot to like here. Judith Ivory is a very capable writer, and she told an interesting (and slightly kinky!) story while dodging most of the more annoying romance cliches. I wasn't sure I could like the hero after the awful way we were introduced to him, but he won me over with his honesty and self-awareness. The heroine made some decisions that seemed to make no sense, but she was so lovable that I'll forgive it. The last third or so lost me a bit, with some forced angst and an ending t ...more
Loved Stuart, loved Emma. Humor, a bit of drama and erotic scenes mixed up in a nice story. Not too realistic and lacking more secondary characters, a deeper story or maybe a not so hurried ending, but I enjoyed so much with Stuart that I will give this book a 3 stars rating.

Maybe not my favorite historical romance, but one that I enjoyed a lot. It's hard to keep reading it in certain passages, still the chemistry and relationship between both characters was worth my time.
I'm totally in love with this book and with “Stuart Winston Aysgarth, The Right Honourable Viscount Mount Villiars" He's the perfect book hero for me. A bit of an alpha male with a roguish sense of humor. He is unbelievably sexy and vulnerable...nursing a hurt so deep that dear courageous Emma can't help but fall in love with him! I would give this 10 stars if I could. This romantic book is definitely a keeper. I absolutely ADORE it!!!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • To Have and To Hold (Wyckerley Trilogy, #2)
  • Bliss (de Saint Vallier Brothers, #1)
  • Bound by Your Touch
  • My Dearest Enemy
  • The Shadow and the Star (Victorian Hearts, #2)
  • Thunder & Roses (Fallen Angels #1)
  • The Devil's Waltz
  • The Last Hellion (Scoundrels, #4)
  • Winter Garden (Winter Garden #2)
  • The Price Of Desire
  • The Lady's Secret
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).

The pseudonym was first used by her after publication of her last book as "Judy Cuevas," in 1996 - Dance. Her first book, Star
More about Judith Ivory
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“On the roof, on the duvet under the steam vent, with the planets overhead, he let her scream all she wished. She screamed into the night. To the stars. At one point, with his lying atop her, he said, “Look over my left shoulder. Venus is visible tonight.” Then he pulled the covers away from her, wrestling her for the duvet, as he called, “Here she is, all you Venusians”—he lifted out his arm, using it to span the celestial horizon-—“and the rest of you planets out there: the most beautiful woman on Earth, spread-eagled for your pleasure!” He laughed. “At my disposal, mm-m-m!” He bent down, nibbling, kissing her neck with his teeth, his lips, his mouth.” 4 likes
“Tied up a lot of women, have you?" He raised one eyebrow, whatever that meant. "A bit odd, are you?" She was being sarcastic, trying to taunt him into a sense of guilt. While perhaps bursting any bubble in herself of misguided, soft-hearted concern for a man with sad eyes and complicated wealth. Though his sexual inclinations were perhaps not the wisest of barbs to do either. He looked down at her, speculative.

"Difficult to say." He actually answered the question seriously. "Legally? Decidedly. But then British laws on the subject are so guilt-ridden I'm surprised we've propagated as a race." He mad a small, grim smile. "How delightful we're having this conversation. And what is it you like?”
More quotes…