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A Thing of Beauty

(The Sir Henry March Mysteries #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  23 reviews
November 1819

To the ordinary observer, the wealthy Sir Henry March, cousin of a duke, seems a typical London gentleman. But to the Crown, Henry is a powerful asset, secret defender of the country. When he sees an injured girl stumbling down the side of the road, he must stop.

The stepdaughter of an abusive innkeeper, Eliza Broad is from another class entirely. But the mom
Paperback, 375 pages
Published October 12th 2015 by Penner Publishing
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Bianca Schwarz debuts with a fantastic, well-written novel filled with compelling characters, strong plot, rich detail. It doesn't simply blend the thriller, the historical novel, the depravity and the beautiful romance that blossoms on its pages. A Thing of Beauty balances between the darkness and light, sadism and ecstasy, lust and love. It is a difficult task to keep up with so many themes but Ms. Schwarz handles it like a pro.

Maybe it was just my luck but whenever I'd pick up a historica
Ashlee Shades
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is more than just your classic historical love story. 'A Thing of Beauty' goes beyond that and into a captivating world filled with mystery, drama, love, humor, intrigue, compassion - I could go on an on, but I won't. Let's just say, it's a wonderfully well-rounded story that stayed true to it's era.

The opening scene was heartbreaking for me. To read the pain and abuse our heroine suffers at the hands of her evil, disgusting step-father left me in tears. She showed great courage in standing
Kat Crimson
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Don't Mess with This Innkeeper's Daughter!
The first portion of Bianca Schwarz's 'A Thing of Beauty' paints a classic, yet well told, picture of young Eliza, a woman who has been dealt a cruel blow by the hands of fate. She is in a dark and dire predicament. Both her parents are deceased and she resides at the inn her mother owned, with her abusive stepfather (who may have murdered her mother) and his horrid, rotten slag of a new wife. Sold to an even more putrid and repugnant man, who is rumored
Amanda Linsmeier
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I REALLY enjoyed A Thing of Beauty. Because I know the author I went in with high expectations, and it did not disappoint. The story is about Eliza, a young woman from an inn, who is rescued after an awful beating from her step-father, by the wonderful Sir Henry. Henry is a near-perfect hero- kind, generous, handsome, funny, and charming. What I think I enjoyed most is the two characters bonded as friends first, and especially, that they bonded over a love of books and reading. Eliza was naïve i ...more
Jancy Jean
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very good story, really loved the characters!
Jenna Harte
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've had to sit on my review of A Thing of Beauty as I worked to gather my thoughts about the book. I really enjoyed it, but have difficulty expressing why. At first glance, A Thing of Beauty is a historical romantic suspense, but it's not your typical historical, romantic or suspenseful novel.

My first challenge was to get rid of My Fair Lady's Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison in my mind as the characters Eliza and Henry. It wasn't too difficult as the Eliza and Henry of Schwarz's world are youn
C.H. Armstrong
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I owe a bit of an apology to Bianca M. Schwarz today as I sit down to write my review of her book, A Thing of Beauty. In my ignorance, I imagined it to be a romance and assumed it would fit within the tidy confines of a “set” recipe for romance. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good romance, especially everything Julia Quinn. All Ms. Quinn has to do is type the word “Bridgerton” and I’ve got my iPad fired up and ready to hand out 5-stars…and I don’t give out very many 5-star reviews! So I really do ...more
Jamie McLachlan
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
A Thing of Beauty is a fitting title for this novel, because after everything that happens, the author offers you beauty in the end—which, to me, was the hope of love between Henry and Eliza. Their romance starts off with friendship when Henry rescues Eliza on the side of the road, and then blossoms into mutual trust and affection. In the beginning of the book, I was tempted to label it as a romance. But after a while I realized I was reading a thriller with romantic elements. The romance is sig ...more
Michelle Whitman
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate enough to be involved in a live chat event with author Bianca M. Schwarz. Ms. Schwarz was promoting a fellow writer's first novel. I found myself becoming more and more interested in A Thing of Beauty as we chatted, though. I liked both the author herself and the synopsis, so off I went.

I stared at the first page in shock. What-in-thunder had I gotten myself into? I do NOT read bodice-rippers! I scanned through the first few pages, wondering how I had misled myself to think I w
Kelly Cain
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I love historical fiction set in the UK. Add in mystery and romance - even better. So I had high expectations when I began this novel.

It did not disappoint.

The heroine, Eliza, is beautiful, smart, strong, and by all accounts, should be damaged beyond belief. But it was the hero, Sir Henry, who stole the show for me. He is a proper hero: physically attractive, brave, insanely rich, but most of all, kind and good. He doesn't give a second thought to do for others, especially Eliza in her broken
Jim Cangany
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Take The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, drop her in the early 1800's, add a healthy dash of The Three Musketeers, and you have A Thing of Beauty, the debut novel by Bianca Schwarz. This historical tale is set during the later years of George III, and Schwarz put me right in the middle of the action. Her word choice made me think the novel was written in 1815, not 2015.

The heroine, Eliza Broad, is a resourceful and beautiful young lady of low class on the run from her abusive step-father. The hero,
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written

The attention detail puts you in the room. The story is beautifully written with grace and love. Every woman wishes for a Sir Henry, I found mine in the pages of this romantic story.
Cathleen Townsend
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Bianca Schwarz’s A Thing of Beauty. The details are vivid, the story arc is cohesive while still leaving room for a sequel, and the characters are well-drawn and three-dimensional. They surprised me at times, but in a good way. It kept the book from being too predictable.

The sex is very explicit but well done. Actually, as a writer, I’m somewhat in awe of people who write sexy scenes that are so detailed. It’s not what I do, but even if it was, I’m not certain I could pull it off this
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
First off, can I just say what a gorgeous cover this novel has??

This book ended up being a unique blend of genres. It's part historical romance (set in London in the early 1800s), and there's plenty of beautiful, detailed descriptions of the clothing for readers who love playing vicarious dress-up! Also, the romance between experienced Henry and virgin Eliza is very sweet - and also quite erotic!

The novel is also part dark thriller. It has one of the most despicable villains I've read in a lon
Naya Free
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The heroine, Eliza, along with her gentleman almost-prince in shining armor, Sir Henry have an undeniable connection between them, one that the exquisite author, Bianca M. Schwarz illustrates in a beautifully sinister manner. Eliza is no Cinderella, who needs a prince to rescue her; she fights for her freedom. But every heroine needs a friend, that is found in the darkly seductive Henry. Why should it be any different? Even a historical drama can be contemporary. That is the real triumph of Schw ...more
Annelisa Christensen
A Thing of Beauty by Bianca Schwarz

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
Further disclaimer: as an editor myself, I can be pernickety.

This historical novel, the first of a series (and rightfully too) is set after the Battle of Waterloo in the early eighteen hundreds. Eliza Broad, who escapes from her brutal and sadistic stepfather, is rescued by aristocrat, Sir Henry March (who reminds me a little of the Scarlet Pimpernel in the way he hides his true persona i
Moctezuma Johnson
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bianca can really write well. The grammar is sound and the writing is highly polished. The book starts off somewhere in England before the invention of the telegraph and slowly builds around a rich gent and a pretty woman he finds beaten at the curb. The tone is way more suited to literature than genre fiction, at least in the beginning. The tone is slow and meaningful, not the fast paced superficial prose of much contemporary Erotica. Bianca has done her homework and has the sound of the Englis ...more
Marian Gils-McLeod
"A Thing of Beauty" is a dark historical thriller taking place in England during the early 1800's. Eliza, a young woman whose family owned an inn, is ill-treated by her stepfather and flees from a life of abuse. She is rescued by a man whose treatment of her show nothing but care and respect. Together they find themselves battling to put an end to the actions of a group of men who know only cruelty and misuse towards women.
The relationship between Eliza and her rescuer, Henry, is what I enjoyed
C.J. Fosdick
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
A historic blend of British secret service dealing with erotic crimes and class distinction, with a heroine readers can sympathize with.
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bianca Schwarz debuts as a writer with her first novel: "A Thing Of Beauty". It’s a fantastic novel that is developed and stayed true to its time.

Eliza is a beautiful and naive young woman who constantly suffers from psychological abuse and physical violence by her stepfather. One night, Eliza manages to escape from the clutches of her stepfather and she is rescued by Sir Henry.

He is a handsome young man who feels the great determination to do the right thing and help those who really need him.
Mystk Knight
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bianca M. Schwarz’ historical romance A Thing of Beauty is an extraordinarily well-written story of a young woman who escapes her subjugated life only to be rescued by a nobleman intent on saving her from the hands of her would-be oppressors. The uplifting, historically correct tale then follows the lives of Eliza and her saviour, Henry, as they navigate their way through intrigue and romance while attempting to solve a long-standing mystery. Schwarz does the period piece proud through the consi ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
New Fan of Bianca

Recenly received this book free for signing up for one of Bianca's reading lists.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is the first of her books I have read, it won't be the last.
rated it it was ok
Aug 11, 2018
rated it it was amazing
May 06, 2017
Christina Georgiades
rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2016
Sharon Good
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Dec 28, 2015
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Oct 29, 2015
Andrea Roche
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Oct 27, 2016
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Bianca was born in Germany, spent her formative years in London and just got her US passport, but she considers herself a world citizen. She lives in Los Angeles because that’s where they make movies and she used to work on them. And she writes novels because that’s kind of like making a movie in people’s heads and because she just loves books. Bianca has one son, because that’s all she can handle ...more