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A Terrible Beauty

(Lady Emily #11)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,063 ratings  ·  231 reviews
In this thrilling new novel in the New York Times bestselling series, Lady Emily travels to Greece where a ghost from her past returns to haunt her amid the ruins.

Lady Emily retreats to her villa on the island of Santorini for a brief respite from London. But when she arrives, the housekeeper informs her that the master of the house has returned—Emily’s first husband who d
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Minotaur Books
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Pamela Bronson Read them in order if possible. Later books contain some spoilers. It's also more enjoyable to see the development of the characters and relationships…moreRead them in order if possible. Later books contain some spoilers. It's also more enjoyable to see the development of the characters and relationships that way.
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  2,063 ratings  ·  231 reviews

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Start your review of A Terrible Beauty (Lady Emily #11)
A Terrible Beauty was my first read in the Lady Emily series but it won’t be my last. No pre-series reading was required to completely enjoy this story…but after reading it, it is a series that I would like to revisit.

Lady Emily decides to take a trip to her deceased 1st husband’s, Lord Philip Ashton’s, villa in Santorini to help him get over a failed engagement. Her husband Colin Hargreaves, Lord Philip Ashton’s best friend, and Emily’s best friend Margaret also join her on this trip.

Quickly af
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
First I want to say how refreshing it is with a blurb that doesn't give away half the book or some key events. Instead, it just intrigues ones mind with the question: what if Philip didn't die all those years ago? What happened to him, and why would he reveal himself to Emily now?

I have to confess that I struggled with the first book in this series when I read it a little while ago. I wanted to read the first book before I read this book and since I had it on my bookshelf for over one year did
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
This series featuring Lady Emily is another one of my favorite mystery series. If you follow the series too, then you know Lady Emily was married and widowed before she remarried Colin Hargreaves. Well in this installment, Lady Emily, Colin, Jeremy & Margaret go on a holiday to help Jeremy recover from his last relationship disaster. When they arrive at Lady Emily's home in Santorini, Greece, Colin & Lady Emily get a very shocking 'blast from the past' and their plans for a peaceful retreat are ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This series has passed the point where it is time to end it and move on. The quality of the books has been declining for the past few entries, and this was my least favorite yet. The plot was lazy and seemed like the kind of plot that proves Alexander has run out of ideas for Emily. The mystery was boring and felt more suited to a novella than a full length novel. I've also felt like Emily has been getting more and more simpering and emotional since midway through the series, and she seemed part ...more
A Terrible Beauty was a curious title, but right in the introduction to the first chapter it is hinted why and primes the reader for what is to come in this latest of the Lady Emily series. Off to Greece, the cradle of Western Civilization, classic culture, phenomenal scenery and breathtaking ruins, go Emily, Colin, and Emily's two best friends all in an effort to distract Jeremy from the disappointment in love he suffered in the last book. I eagerly read on because I loved that this fun group o ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(2.5 stars) The idea of this book is a good one. In Alexander's first Lady Emily novel, AND ONLY TO DECEIVE, released in 2005, Emily is a young widow, her husband Philip, Viscount Ashton, dying while on safari in Africa, just months after their marriage. In that book Emily is feeling guilt about not grieving the husband she barely knew, but, by reading his journals, she comes to know him better and falls a little (just at little) in love with him posthumously. She also gets involved in her very ...more
3.5 stars

I love Lady Emily and was particularly enchanted with the first several in the series. As it has continued, it's been a little hit and miss for me. This entry, #11, had a great premise. I was so excited to read it. I had a little trouble connecting with the characters once I started it, though. It was a good read, but I felt with the topic it could've been even better. I will put out the disclaimer that I've been in a sort of reading slump, so others may find it a 5 star read. I'm not
Carole (in Canada)
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Victorian Murder/Mystery

My Rating: 3.5*

I knew it was a matter of time before the spectre of her late husband, Lord Philip Ashton, made his 'appearance' known. How it played out within the pages of this book and on the island of Santorini was interesting.

"One envelope ought not invoke such a pressing sense of ominous foreboding." (quote from the book)

As the book description states, Lady Emily, Colin and Margaret are hoping to distract Jeremy from his heartbreak in the previous book. I must say, Jeremy's dry humour help
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
As with the last book, the alternate POV chapters are unappealing - they both give too much away and make the twist feel cheap and gimmicky. I was also disappointed with the descriptions this time out. The details of Emily's travels used to feel like a real treat, but here I found myself skimming.

More than anything else, I struggled with the premise. There might have been some potential in revisiting Ashton's death, but this slim, breezy story didn't have the emotional heft to carry it off.

Maybe it's me. I did like the rest of this series, but Lady Emily and her oh-so-sexy second husband Colin Hargreaves just didn't captivate me this time out. The author's enthusiasm for the Greek setting seemed to devolve into so much travelogue. Lady Emily is shocked when she visits her villa on Santorini and encounters a man who claims to be her husband--and Colin's former best friend--reportedly dead in Africa many years ago. Alternate chapters describe how her husband was presumed dead, and h ...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
It seems that we are going back to book one in the Lady Emily series. Once again it seems like Philip, Lady Emily's first husband is alive. This time it is not a hint but a person who shows up looking and sounding like Philip. It throws both Emily and Colin a big curve. It was interesting to see how both reacted. Neither Emily or Colin want to end their marriage. They are still very much in love and plan to stay together. Philip does not seem to pose too much of a threat to the two but he does c ...more
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dead bodies and Greek relics

This is an important chapter in Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves' life. I'm involved because I know what's gone on up 'til now. I re-live with Emily her feelings, fears and guilt. I must say though that what happens is a brilliant plot twist by Alexander, deserving of the Lady Emily story, and yet I am unsure as to how much the story stands by itself. If this is your first reading of a Lady Emily mystery it certainly points the way back to some intriguing times prior t
I have read every book of this series. This one was my least favorite. The mystery of her dead husband returning, kept me reading to make sure her, Colin, and her son's were safe, but the global trek became dull. I know she loves Homer, and Greek antiquities, but all the archaeology, and famous names, and sights described around the globe, by Philip bogged it down. I also got tired of his story, and then their stories, divided by chapters, and different time frames. The mystery was not that enga ...more
Laura Carter
This was rather slow moving with little action and hardly any suspense. Never was I on the edge of my seat, worried for any of the characters. I did feel like I was kept guessing about the biggest secret (trying not to give it away) so that's why I am sticking with a 3-star review.
The "romantic" scenes between Colin and Emily are just so weird and awkward. Things like, "He kissed me in a way that made me want to be late for dinner." (Not an exact quote, but close) It was just odd. Just give a m
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all those who enjoy Lady Emily mysteries and ancient history.
Another enjoyable Lady Emily mystery by Tasha Alexander! Having been to Greece, I was truly able to picture myself in many of the places described by Ms. Alexander. Unfortunately though I was unable to visit Santorini. I feel as though I have after reading A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander. Oh, to have a getaway place on this beautiful island of Santorini! This Lady Emily mystery involved archeology at sites inhabited by the ancients which I found fascinating. There is one surprise visitor wh ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audiobook. Very good narrator.
The first half of the book was the best, as the suspense over what was going on with Lady Emily's first husband was well done. The resolution of that plot line felt a bit too pat.
Entertaining light read.
Although, is it weird that I like a secondary character better than the main ones? Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, is amusing, and solidly good though he tries to play the useless idler. But Emily is a bit too smug and her husband Colin is wooden.
Nan Williams
Jun 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: no-more, quit
I don’t know about a “Terrible Beauty,” but this is a terrible (or terribly conceived) book. This is my first by Tasha Alexander and it will be my last. Let me tell you why.

The first 38 pages were enough for me. The story opens with our protagonist, Lady Emily, at the funeral of her husband of just a few months. He had died while on a safari in Africa. We’re told that Emily is obligated to 2 years of mourning in Victorian England. However, in the next chapter we find her not only married to her
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The eleventh in the Lady Emily series, "A Terrible Beauty" was okay. I enjoyed the first half of the book much more than the second half. I'm not sure why it was called "A Terrible Beauty" and for a book that took place largely on Santorini, the Parthenon should not grace the cover. Unfortunately, Tasha Alexander (or her editor) contributed to one of my biggest pet peeves: capitalization errors. In particular, throughout the book Alexander kept capitalizing "ancient." For example, "I love Ancien ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What better to do on a damp and rainy day but reading a good book! This book was quintessential Tasha Alexander! The return of a presumed dead husband and the gorgeous setting of Santorini to boot! I could not put it down. Lady Emily is a victorian age woman much to be admired!
Nancy Haddock
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one really, really kept me guessing, and I loved every word. I'm only bummed because I've now caught up with every book in this series. Clamoring for more now!
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Alexander Autumn (October-November 2018)

First there was the letter addressed to The Viscountess Ashton. Then there was someone calling Philip's name at the zoo. Then there was Philip's journal placed on her desk. A man on the boat to Greece looked just like Philip. At the Acropolis someone in the dark called out té kallisté, something only Philip would do. By the time she arrived at the villa in Santorini Emily was well pre
Cyn Mcdonald
I did not like this one as well as some of the others. After ten years, Philip Ashton has returned from Africa alive - or has he? Lots of Greek scenery and Greek archaeology, but the story just didn't sit quite right.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Another excellent story in the Lady Emily series. I enjoy that the mystery wasn't a whodoneit or involved a gruesome murder (right away). I really enjoyed the use of established characters instead of just Emily and Colin in a new locale. I was very curious and pleased with the story!!
Betty Strohecker
In this most recent Lady Emily adventure, Emily has organized a trip to Greece for longtime friend, Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, to help him get over his devastating love affair in the previous book. Traveling with husband, Colin, and her friend Margaret, also a classical scholar, this should be a fun, relaxing, and informative holiday for all of them as they visit ancient ruins and enjoy the magnificent villa at Santorini. However, upon arrival, they find unexpected guests seeking refuge from a ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always a treat to spend time with Emily and Colin but the poor dears now have the added burden of filling an Amelia-and-Emerson-shaped hole in my reading. Thankfully, they're witty and intelligent enough to be up to the task.

But, please, can we talk about those covers? They just really don't do the series justice.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jean Kolinofsky
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank NetGalley for making this book available in exchange for a review.

In an effort to help her friend Jeremy get over a failed engagement, Lady Emily organizes a trip to her villa on Santorini, including her husband Colin Hargreaves and her friend Margaret. Upon their arrival they are confronted by Lord Philip Ashton, Emily's first husband who supposedly died years before in Africa. Skeptical at first, Philip recounts stories of his friendship with Colin and his courting of Emi
Jan 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series on the whole is enjoyable and engaging. Many readers have reviewed her later works in the series as not reaching the quality of her earlier volumes. Finally, with A TERRIBLE BEAUTY, I have to agree. While Alexander excels at describing Victorian-era England, Europe and its surrounds; and while she has developed quite intelligent and lovable characters in Lady Emily and her friends; Alexander's technique of writing from multiple characters' perspectives (her la ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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The daughter of two philosophy professors, I grew up surrounded by books. I was convinced from an early age that I was born in the wrong century and spent much of my childhood under the dining room table pretending it was a covered wagon. Even there, I was never without a book in hand and loved reading and history more than anything. I studied English Literature and Medieval History at the Univers ...more

Other books in the series

Lady Emily (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, #1)
  • A Poisoned Season (Lady Emily, #2)
  • A Fatal Waltz (Lady Emily, #3)
  • Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily, #4)
  • Dangerous to Know (Lady Emily, #5)
  • A Crimson Warning (Lady Emily, #6)
  • Death in the Floating City (Lady Emily, #7)
  • Behind the Shattered Glass (Lady Emily, #8)
  • The Counterfeit Heiress (Lady Emily, #9)
  • The Adventuress (Lady Emily, #10)

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