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Bear No Malice

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Beaten and left for dead in the English countryside, clergyman and reformer Tom Cross is rescued and nursed back to health by Miranda and Simon Thorne, reclusive siblings who seem to have as many secrets as he does. Tom has spent years helping the downtrodden in London while lying to everyone he meets, but now he’s forced to slow down and confront his unexamined life.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by Pegasus Books
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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4.5 Stars

In the acknowledgments at the end of Bear No Malice, author Clarissa Harwood tells us that she wrote this book as a writing exercise; to see if she could take the villain of her novel Impossible Saints and make him into a hero. To say she’s been successful is putting it mildly. This is a fantastic story.

Tom Cross, a clergyman at a cathedral in London, isn’t living his life in a manner that his Bishop and parishioners would approve of. Although he works very hard helping those in need
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agenting
If you loved Clarissa's debut, Impossible Saints, you will love this companion novel, following Paul Harris's "nemesis," Tom Cross. This is Great Expectations meets Grantchester, with deliciously nitty gritty dark material and a slow burn romance.

NOTE: You can read BNM and IS in any order––they work as standalones as well! But I highly suggest you do read both ;)

*proud agent*
Barb in Maryland
Really enjoyed this, though the hero was a total mess for most of the book and the heroine was almost equally messed up. But I trusted Miss Bates when she said it all came together, with a very good ending.and she spoke the truth.
My rating may go up after I think about this some more.
Courtney Clark
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bear No Malice>/i> is a sequel to Impossible Saints, but is more like a companion novel whose timeline matches events of book 1. It focuses on a formerly-minor character whose role was nearly that of a villain. I really loved this shift in perspective and how it introduces the idea that we all have unique perceptions of our actions and of others.

Bear No Malice is literary fiction at its best, with a vivid historical setting and a story that unfolds with a delicate complexity. Its
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tom Cross was introduced as Canon Cross in Clarissa Harwood's debut, Impossible Saints. In it, he's portrayed as the villain and rightly so.

Bear No Malice introduces Simon and Miranda Thorne, a brother and sister living in the country who find him badly beaten in the countryside. They take him into their home to nurse him back to health.

The story mainly follows the lives of Tom and Miranda and (those in their lives), who both have secrets and pasts in which they need to reconcile themselves
Sotiris Karaiskos
I like it a lot when I read books from relatively unknown writers and I find them to be excellent, I feel like discovering a rare treasure that few had an opportunity to appreciate. That's exactly what I did with her books, which I first got to know her with her extraordinary debut, the impossible Saints, which made me very positive impressions. The book that I write a few words about is directly related to this, containing a story that takes place over the same period of time and shares some of ...more
Randee Green
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Clergyman Tom Cross is living a lie and running from his past. After being driven out to the countryside, beaten, and left for dead, Tom is taken in by the reclusive Thorne siblings while he recovers. Miranda Thorne is an artist who seems to have as many secrets as Tom does. The two forge a friendship that continues after he returns to his reform and church work in London. Tom’s life slowly begins to unravel as his past comes back to haunt him. Forced to face the past, Tom begins to see a ...more
Dianne Freeman
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book and Harwood did not disappoint. I love historical fiction that takes me right into the era through the lives of the characters, and Bear No Malice does just that. Tom Cross and Miranda Thorne are both battling demons from their past. When Tom is beaten and left for dead near the Thorne’s cottage, Miranda nurses him during his recovery. Without revealing their pasts, they each find a champion in the other and when Tom returns to London they maintain their ...more
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Marvelous Edwardian histfic and enough romance to satisfy the rom-reader. IMHO, an even better book than Harwood's excellent début, Impossible Saints. What really made this for me (and I know it's good when I'm eager to get home from work just to read it!) were the hero and heroine. They were complex, believable in their erratic, changeable moods, decisions, reasoning ... I loved Tom and Miranda. They were flawed, yet sympathetic: and their HEA is hard-won and well-deserved. Harwood doesn't ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Two gifted people harboring secrets and pain are brought together by circumstance.
The man we're first introduced to as Tom Cross (he'll have several more names before the story is done) is an Anglican cleric. Tom has just broken off an affair with an aristocratic married woman when he is kidnapped and viciously beaten by unknown assailants.
He's found and nursed back to health by Miranda Thorne, an artist living in reclusive isolation with her brother Simon. Miranda is also haunted by experiences
Kris Waldherr
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly delightful companion novel to IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS, which I adored. (That said, you don't need to have read IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS to enjoy BEAR NO MALICE—it's a standalone.) BEAR NO MALICE intimately and sensitively explores the many ways past regrets can undermine lives in the present, and what it takes to free oneself from them. I especially loved the character of Miranda, whose characters bears similarities to the Lady of Shalott, only updated for the Edwardian Age. Oh and Grantchester ...more
Appreciating this Canadian author's historical research providing insights into the era's influences on members of society and actions of clergy.
Unique story, well told. Interesting characters whose stories I cared about.
Anticipating more of Clarissa Harwood's writing!

2nd on the library's hold reserves - woot yes !
Lauren Sapala
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Before I even began this book, I was highly curious about it as I had read this author’s first novel, Impossible Saints, and I knew that Bear No Malice was centered around the “villain” of Impossible Saints, Tom Cross. I find it so interesting when authors explore characters from one angle in one book, and then those same characters show up in subsequent books, shown from an entirely different angle. I think I love this so much because that’s always what happens in real life for me with people. ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In 1907 England, clergyman Tom Cross has a handsome face and a litany of secrets. He's guilt-ridden over his sins, but can't seem to keep the lies from piling up. Until some mysterious thugs beat him to the point of death, and a reclusive pair of siblings rescues him from the forest where he was left to die. Tom, Miranda, and Simon develop in fascinating ways, and this novel follows their efforts to come to terms with their difficult pasts.

This book was a delight. I read it in a day, I was so
Kristen McDermott
My review of this book appears in Historical Novels Review Issue 87, February 2019:
Harwood has followed up her much-praised debut, Impossible Saints, with a companion novel in which the antagonist of the first book has become the protagonist of Bear No Malice. The result is an intriguing study of a flawed man, Thomas Cross, who finds new meaning in his life when he meets Miranda, a sensitive, talented young woman as damaged by grief and guilt as he is. Both characters struggle with painful pasts
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Bear No Malice was a really nice and refreshing read, not exactly what historical fiction/romance usually offers, and that was a very pleasant surprise. It felt quite rooted in reality, it wasn't just about the main couple being swept away by their emotions. There was Miranda's backstory and there was Tom's, and both were sad and heartbreaking. They both had their faults and pasts and
Brian Palmer
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read very little (any?) historical fiction in my time, but this one really engaged me. I loved the sense of place the author created, whether it was the time period as a whole (very early twentieth-century London(ish), or specific locations, language choices, or discussions about social, cultural and religious values.

I was drawn to the main characters and the personal and emotional struggles they had to fight to overcome, and in some cases be shown how to overcome by each other. Tom and
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Bear No Malice is a good historical fiction story. It's centred around Tom and Miranda. These are interesting characters because they are flawed and their personalities don't try to hide this. It makes them more relatable and likeable. The story is set during the Edwardian era which was a time of social rules and standards etc. The story moves at a good pace and unfolds with enough intrigue to keep the pages turning. It's a good read overall. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an ...more
Denise Hershberger
Another amazing read from this author. Her characters are so realistic and her settings are described so well. I truly felt transported. It was neat to see Tom as the hero in this book. I also really liked Miranda. But what I loved the most was the depth to the book. The historical descriptions along with the internal and external plights of the characters made this book extraordinary.
Jennifer Klepper
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This finely-tuned historical novel transports the reader to early 20th Century England, where a young female artist with a secret and painful past rescues an injured Anglican priest with secrets of his own. From the Surry countryside to the churches and drawing rooms of London, and on into England's illicit boxing dens and penitentiaries, Harwood pulls the reader into the Edwardian era as though she could actually transport us there to witness history with our own eyes. Harwood practices a ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Pegasus Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This book was really dark at first when they explained Tom's past and I was not sure if I could finish it. As I read on with the introduction of Miranda and the genuine feelings she had for Tom and that she could be exactly what he needs to overcome his mental struggles with his past. This is a love/romance story unlike any other and some
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this book five stars but normally I need the story to be more compelling than this one started out to be. I enjoyed the story however, and I appreciated the morality, the civility, and the respect with which this time was depicted. When I got about two-thirds of the way through I really got to a point where I wanted to know what happened. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and Jane
Austen-like books. I'm sorry that I don't have the first book
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This was my first read from Harwood and what a great writer she is. I didn't realized that this was in contingent with the Impossible Saint. If I had known how Tom was characterized...I would have given this a 5 stars. To have turned me from despising a character to loving him would be a feat. I loved Tom with all his errors, lies, redemption and compassion. Who would have thought to have a villain from book 1 beaten near death and raised him into a brand new character worked.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this on the whole, but it was often slow, and there were several things that didn't seem plausible to me. This is a spinoff of Harwood's previous book, Impossible Saints, which I liked a lot better. Similar elements - the constricting Edwardian Era and individuals who are pushing for social and political reform - are carried over in this book. I liked the main characters more or less, but they often seemed to showcase their circumstances more than their individual personalities. I'd ...more
Vanessa 'Pixi' Kraus
I loved this book. The characters were well developed with a good back story. There were a few times I felt like the writing was too simple, but it didn't stop me from reading the book. I always looked forward to picking it up and reading it and often thought about it in my down time when I was unable to read it. I loved the characters and the slow moving love story that is more true to real life than a conventional romance story. The characters also all have shades of gray, making them more ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Could not really get into the story as such, but the mystery of who done what and discovery there of was very well written. The characters were also well 'fleshed out' as was the location as scenery.
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Historical fiction set in Edwardian England. First time I’ve read this author. Liked the characters and the depiction of the times. Overall, a good read. 3.5 stars.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Found this book at the library with no previous knowledge of the author- enjoyed it, but had some issues with the Cannon and his behavior, lack of faith, etc. Decent story though.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
The novel is written in third person point of view with an omniscient view of characters. Characters are developed through indirect characterization method as it is written as a narrative. The main conflict of blending internal and external as characters battle themselves, other characters, society and religion. Theme was about honesty to one's self, the members of one's community but also about being true to who you are and what you want from your life.

Thom Cross is a reformer and clergyman and
Lindsey (Bring My Books)
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I. LOVE. COMPANION. NOVELS. While this can be viewed as a standalone, I highly suggest reading Harwood's first novel (Impossible Saints) too - both so well researched with A++ characters.
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Clarissa writes historical fiction set mainly in Victorian and Edwardian England. She has been fascinated by all things Victorian since she was a child: the clothes, the elaborate social rituals, the gap between rich and poor, the dizzying pace of advancements in science and technology. When it was time to choose a major in university, she had trouble deciding between history and English ...more
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“She wore her beauty as if it were a medal she had won for fighting in a war she didn’t remember—it was her duty to display it, yet she seemed vaguely puzzled by its existence.” 0 likes
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