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My Beautiful Enemy

(The Heart of Blade Duology #2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,878 ratings  ·  284 reviews
In this spellbinding romance by the acclaimed author of The Luckiest Lady in London, a beautiful and cunning woman meets her match in a man just as dangerous and seductive as she is, putting both her heart and her future at risk…

Hidden beneath Catherine Blade’s uncommon beauty is a daring that matches any man’s. Although this has taken her far in the world, she still doesn
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Berkley
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Katie According to the author's website, "THE HIDDEN BLADE is a full-length companion volume/prequel to MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY. They can each be read as standal…moreAccording to the author's website, "THE HIDDEN BLADE is a full-length companion volume/prequel to MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY. They can each be read as standalones, but together they make for a uniquely rich and multilayered reading experience. "(less)

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4.5 stars

When Catherine Blade arrives in England, the last person she ever thought she'd meet again is Leighton Atwood. Afterall, she'd thought he was dead. They'd last seen each other eight years previously. But her erstwhile friend, travelling companion and lover is very much alive, and engaged to another woman.

Set in 1891, England and written in alternating chapters with flashbacks to 1883, Chinese Turkestan when Catherine and Leighton met and fell in love, this is an absolutely brilliant rea

Gah. Just...GAH! I don't have the words to do this duology justice. They were, simply put, a masterpiece. New favorite HR...



Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book in a duology. I read the first one, The Hidden Blade, a few months ago, but have finally gotten to this one. The first one was mainly about two children growing up in kinda parallel (or connected) circumstances. In this book they're all grown up and we follow their beautiful romance.

The book takes place in both England and also parts of Asia. It has a 'present-day' timeline (mostly in Victorian London), well-interspersed with flashbacks that reveal Ying-ying and Leighto
I increasingly feel Thomas is constrained by the artificiality of publishing a historical romance novel. The Hidden Blade, a supposed prequel, was a better book by far, rich with small details that brought the interior life of its two protagonists to the fore. In comparison, My Beautiful Enemy is telegraphic, jumping from plot point to action scene in order to bring all elements to a resolution.

I adore Thomas's choice to meaningfully set the book in Ch'ing China, and the fact that while her lead
It was good, but not great.
Full review to come..

Even taking into consideration the fact that I am more used to an occidental pov, than an oriental one, it still doesn't explain the fact that I found this story somewhat lukewarm.

I can't even give the explanation that I "fell " into this story without having read the previous story, because I did read it, and I pretty much loved it.

I think that for me, Ying Ying's and Leighton's story would have worked better, if instead of two books, we were
I've given this a C- for narration and B for content at AAR, which makes it a C+ overall - 3.5 stars.

I have to state upfront, that I’m a Sherry Thomas fangirl of immense proportions. I’ve loved each and every one of her books (including her recent YA titles) and take delight in her skillful storytelling, her wonderful prose, the complexity of her characterisations, the angst and ultimately, the superb way her romances unfold and the depth of the connections she creates between her heroes and her
A unique plot, riveting characters, and a heartfelt romance. That's what you can expect from My Beautiful Enemy.

First and foremost, I highly recommend you start with the prequel, The Hidden Blade. Although My Beautiful Enemy can be read as a standalone, understanding the background of Catherine's (Ying Ying's) turbulent childhood and Leighton's indirect connection with her gives the readers a greater insight on their characters. Trust me, I don't think it would have been the same for me if I sk
Jul 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
What a disappointment.

There are so many things wrong with this book. Firstly, both hero and heroine were not who they said they were, so just because the heroine found out who the hero was before he found out who she was, he left her. All those promises and vows. So useless. Was that supposed to be romantic? Because there was nothing romantic about it.

At the end of the novel when they get together again and he tells her he will never leave her and that only she will be in his heart, the same as
Sam (AMNReader)
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the story, romance was"romantic" but lacked the punch I've come to expect... More later. Maybe. I next to think.

Loose threads...3.5 rounding up.
This is Sherry Thomas so right off the bat I want to emphasize that she writes very well. She sets a scene with precision and paints a believable picture of late Victorian London, China and the East generally and a typical Sussex country House. She writes strong dialogue. Martial arts are not my thing, nor for that matter is the history of the East, but that aspect of this story wasn't too much and the descriptions of the battles and fights and the training were quite diverting. There's a lovely ...more
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The romance! Loved it so 5 stars regardless of the mortal enemy plot and jade tablets mystery (which was okay, not perfect, but whatever).

I don't think it's entirely necessary to read the prequel but I highly recommend it because it really enhances this book. You see the details of Catherine and Lin's history and also Catherine and Leighton's connection. All those things that helped shape them into the people they are in this installment.

At first I wanted this told in a linear fashion. It did t
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
oh, that was weird. . . I liked the first book better :P

It's weird cuz the first book was the setup to the romance, and this book had the actual romance, so duh, this book should be the BETTER one, right???

Not sure what the deal was, or why this didn't quite work out for me. The first book just seemed so much. . . I dunno. . . more. More lush, more emotional, more everything. The writing and storytelling are still great in here, but something just feels lacking to me. I can't really explain wha
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
This novel felt like a mix of all of the Sherry Thomas novels I've read to-date, even her YA series, what with the historical aspect and action scenes and a female masquerading as a male to survive in her world. Oh, and the flashbacks. And even though it wasn't my favorite of her books, it was still quite entertaining and quite romantic. This is actually the second in a duology, and I haven't read the first book, though I've heard it's better. It's supposed to be the prequel to this story, but y ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Sadly this book wasn’t for me. A bit confusing at times and I didn’t like the romance
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I had such high hopes for this book, but sadly it did not live up to my expectations. However that may have been because of how high I set the bar after my thorough enjoyment of the excerpt. That had pulled me in right away, and I eagerly anticipated the release of the full-length version.

The full-length version felt rushed. The prequel had pleasant pacing which developed both the main characters, and I expected this and more in the actual novel. My Beautiful Enemy had too many things happening
Debbie DiFiore
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2019 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: Takes Place in Multiple Countries

Good book noise. Eventually I will have to read a book that is not by Sherry Thomas.
Erin Arkin
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
My Beautiful Enemy is the first historical romance I have read by Sherry Thomas and I have to say I will absolutely read more. I have read her YA Fantasy and loved it so I’m not at all surprised that I enjoyed this story. Yes, it is definitely a different genre but Thomas does a wonderful job of developing these characters and I loved that this book didn’t fall into the standard historical romance formula.

Catherine Blade is new to England and on a mission. She is hunting down two jade tablets th
Apr 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was very very underwhelming. It seemed like for most of the book, I was just waiting for something to happen already. I also didn't care for how subdued and uninteresting both main characters were Despite their extremely eventful pasts, both of them actually have really bland personalities. Even events that were supposed to be so monumental, which readers of The Hidden Blade would have been waiting for, such as (view spoiler) ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm so glad I finally picked up the second half of this duology. If you like your romance with a major portion of wuxia action and adventure this might just be for you!
Rachel Hollis
Sherry Thomas is the best. Period. End of.

This was such an incredible story that meets so many of my favorite romance elements: strong bad a$$ heroine, tons of conflict (i.e.- they're both holding each other accountable for past wrongs) drama, angst, epic love. If you like ST, you'll love this, no question.
Lynsey   (A Bookish Life)
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was the oddest thing. It was very comic book-like in its over-the-topness. The heroine was an absolute badass of the highest order. Like, a fighting Ninja. And I'm just not expecting that sort of thing in a book that looks so much like a typical Regency romance from its cover! It was bizarre, but in the end, a very good read.

4 stars.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
"I don't tolerate your thorns, I like them." If only every tortured heroine had a tortured hero who loved her the way Leighton does Ying-ying. My heart breaks and mends with every chapter of this book. I wish she would write an epilogue to this story just sobI can read more about them. (Reread 6/2019).

This is one of those books that you want to give 5stars for its brilliance...but you give it 4stars because it did not live upto your expectations. It is a sweet and tender but also violent and ago
4.5 stars, rounding down

This book hurt in the way only an angsty historical romance by Sherry Thomas can hurt. After reading the prequel, where we see Leighton and Ying-ying grow up and go through so much, I was desperate for them to have a HEA because they both deserve to be happy. This book is still full of heartache (and, I admit, a few times, I was like "how do you fall in love with someone and not know their name?"), but it was beautifully written. And like the previous book, I loved the w
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Had ST's usual unique storytelling. Really liked it, just wish the ending could have been drawn out more.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though not as intense as the prequel, I still enjoyed it. It was more centered on the romance and that was fine with me. It also had less fight scenes and that was a plus for me hehe. I loved that we went back and forth between present and past, seeing their love grow and then renew once they meet again. I still recommend reading the first one since it's satisfying to see them meet and realize they both knew and loved Herb.

I do admit this book may not be for the usual HR reader but it got to me
My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas follows closely on the heels of The Hidden Blade. I would say this once again, this time having finished the 2nd book that signals the end of this duology; you have to read The Hidden Blade first in order to really get into the characters Leighton Atwood and Bai Ying-Hua (Catherine Blade), whose tragic and moving pasts entwine both of them in a way that’d not be felt if you just end up reading My Beautiful Enemy as a standalone.

My Beautiful Enemy tells the sto
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ugh. This book is amazing. I loved Ying ying/Catherine and Leighton. Their dynamic was so unique. The action is amazing. The love story is perfect. I couldn’t stop listening. A+++. Best book I’ve read in a while.
Finally finished My Beautiful Enemy! I ended up very firmly liking this one a great deal, which surprised me a little, as I was kind of expecting to have strong reservations.

Somehow in this case the compressed romance and time span works and I felt motivated as a reader to get pulled into each little scene/tableau and experience what was happening emotionally. I didn't really feel the need for longer and more developed scenes because Thomas captures the emotions and characters so well. In this c
Jul 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Not bad for an action-adventure romance, but the characters, and the romance arc, felt woefully underdeveloped in this book when compared to Thomas's outstanding earlier romances. No wonder—when you get to the "Author's Note" at book's end, you are informed that there's a prequel to the novel (mentioned nowhere on the book's cover), a prequel in which "the events of Ying-Ying's and Leighton's formative years that have made them what they are, events the repercussions of which are still very much ...more
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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

Other books in the series

The Heart of Blade Duology (2 books)
  • The Hidden Blade (The Heart of Blade Duology, #1)

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When you work at Goodreads, it's pretty tough to keep that Want to Read shelf under control. (And let's be honest, most of us don't even t...
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“He took a strand of hair that had fallen loose from her chignon between his fingers. The gesture shocked her, not because his self-control seemed to have snapped, but the exact opposite - it felt like a deliberate choice on his part.” 3 likes
My beloved,
I write to you from Rawalpindi, with the help of a Turkic-speaking imam, a kind man with a twinkle in his eyes and a soft spot for lovers. Now two years after I left Chinese Turkestan, I am about to embark on a solo journey there to find you, and my heart shakes with both hope and dread.
If I do not find you, then I will leave this letter in our cave, and pray that God willing, someday, as you ride by, you will be moved by an inexplicable urge to see the place where we had been so happy.
I was a fool to leave. If you can forgive me, please come and find me in Rawalpindi. Ask for Arvand the gem dealer at the British garrison, and they will know where to direct you.
I enclose a bar of chocolate, a packet of tea from Darjeeling, and all my fervent wishes for your well-being and happiness.
The one who loves you, always
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