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Brazen and the Beast

(The Bareknuckle Bastards #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  4,637 ratings  ·  807 reviews
The Lady’s Plan

When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Piatkus
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Joyce The book stands well on its own, but I enjoyed it even more having read book 1 first. Hope this helps if you are still wondering!
Jessica It doesn't come out until the end of July. Though it's available for pre-order at bookshops now
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,637 ratings  ·  807 reviews

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Sarah MacLean
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mine, romance
This was not a woman who took tea. This was a woman who took the sun.

I know we're not supposed to play favorites. I know I'm supposed to love all my books equally. But I really really love this one, you guys. It's so close to my heart.

An incomplete list of the reasons why:

* Hattie: A smart, savvy, curvy girl with a talent for knots, who refuses to give up on her dreams simply because the whole world tells her she can't have them. She's got a five point plan to claim herself, her business, and her future.

* A grunty Beast of a hero, who is both a bareknuckle
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m
****4.5 STARS****

What do you get when you cross a tall, dark, handsome and wealthy king of the underworld with a no nonsense and spirited hell of a novel!!!

This has to be my favorite book this year. It had everything including the alpha anti-hero. Saviour Whittington is the bastard son of a duke and has had to drag himself from the savage streets of London. But he is a survivor and becomes known as the Beast because of his fighting ability and protectiveness over those he cares
Lubnaa (Romance Library)
I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


What a colossal waste of time. I fear Brazen and the Beast marks the conclusion of my relationship with Sarah MacLean. It will take a LOT for me to ever read a new Sarah MacLean release.

The standard for historical romance has fallen so much that it's now deeply rooted in the earth, with no hope of it ever showing its face again. I cannot for the life of me understand how or why this series is so well-loved. I can't. It defies
Aug 14, 2019 marked it as not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
I think SM and I are done.

We are parting ways.
This is a modern, with a push towards inserting political and culture view points, dressed as a historical romance (this stuff is not historically accurate or believable for the time period). In my humble opinion. And I found the dialogue/writing style to be repetitive, silly, unbelievable and off. I think that about covers it.

So it was fun while it lasted SM but unfortunately we need to part ways.
Obviously, I host Fated Mates with Sarah, so I'm hardly an impartial reader. BUT. BUT. BUT.

This book is fucking great. I loved everything about it, especially Hattie. Her determination to prove herself worthy of inheriting her father's company even though she's a woman is such a great plot arc. And even though Whit respects her dream, I loved that she does not wait around for him to give her permission to do what she thought was right.

Whit is a delightful hero. I am ALL ABOUT a romance hero
Well, that was better than the first book (I still cringe at the mention of her terrible name, Felicity Faircloth) but it wasn’t as good as I hoped either. Hattie was a very sympathetic character up until (view spoiler). Whit never really grew on me because I already knew his shared history with Devil from the previous book and there was no real added depth in this book. Now Nora, that’s a book I want to read. And possibly Ewan’ ...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Brazen and the Beast was a solid historical romance with some pacing issues and other small problems that just knocked it down from "great" to "good."

I think I liked Brazen and the Beast slightly less than Wicked and the Wallflower, which seems to be a bit against the grain from my fellow reviewers. The ideas were all there, but it took me about a week to get through it, which isn't the best sign for me.

I really liked how Sarah MacLean made an effort to include a diverse cast of characters,
Oct 20, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
How many times can this book say the word ‘plan’ in it’s description?

Seven. Seven times.
Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
I really, really wish I didn’t struggle with this series like I do. Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite historical romance authors (she gave us the Rules of Scoundrels series, which I worship), but the Bareknuckle Bastards series just doesn’t seem to be working for me. It’s not BAD, but it’s not that great either. I found myself bored more than anything with Brazen and the Beast, which was the same issue I had with book one, Wicked and the Wallflower. The plot moved too slowly that I had to skim ...more
I official own three copies of Brazen and the Beast and sorry not sorry I'm keeping them all. I re-read my favorite book of 2019 via audio book, and let me tell you a grunting hero is a glorious thing to hear. Hattie and Whit are my ride or die couple and I'll be re-reading their story for years to come.

Sheer and utter perfection. I am here for #yearofhattie, Carrick bend knots used for sexy reasons (OMG JUST WAIT), and Beast, oh Beast.

MacLean has done it again and I cannot wait for everyone to
4 1/2 opposites attract sizzingly stars

Despite what the title suggests, this isn't really a beauty and the beast retelling -- it's more about what beauty means when viewed through other's lens(es). In this story, the person who is considered by most to be empirically beautiful is also known to be the "beast." Really. Like, that is what they actually call him. ;)

First, some brief context.... In this series, there are 4 people referred to as the "bastards." They all share two things in common: 1.
Romance in the Wild
This was not a winner for me. I really can't stand weight and being plus-sized as a plot driver of conflict. Can we please get a plus-size heroine that has body confidence and simply IS plus-sized without it being a conflict? The writing also felt verbose to me and the plot convoluted. There was a great deal of repetition too that made the flow a bit stilted.
As a personal opinion, I'm not a huge fan of plotlines where every page, chapter, dialogue, scene, etc. between characters indicates that
2.5 stars - Historical Romance

This was just an okay read for me. I had some of the same issues with it that I had with the first book in the series, Wicked and the Wallflower.

*Overused historical romance tropes
*Slow pacing
*Self-perpetuated and manufactured drama keeping the H/h apart
The Bookshelf Wars
Flowery Prose and Plot Holes Abound

So I consider myself a fan of Sarah MacLean’s work; I’ve read all her books and I await each new release with breathless anticipation. Which is why it was strange how underwhelming this book was.

There’s a common misconception that the romance genre is all dashing heroes and overblown prose, and while it’s true that some of the genre definitely fits that description, I’ve usually held up MacLean’s work as an example of great romance novels. Her characters often
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wicked and the Wallflower was one of my top books of 2018, and I was basically screaming when I got approved for Brazen.

I love love loved Hattie and Beast. They’re both so smart and so opinionated and the bickering was the best. I adored their arguing and reading how their relationship unfurled in the most deliciously slow way and of course the chemistry was insane. I loved Nora and was beside myself at seeing Devil and Felicity again.

Plot wise it was perfect. From Hattie taking charge of her
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked both Hattie and Whit! I liked them a lot!
What I didn't mind for was the way their inner thoughts were written: it seemed to me that there was a lot of repetition! It reminded me of Kerrigan Byrne style of writing: exaggerated!
I found the whole story rather rushed, the ending most of all! I had to suspend my belief because they actually fall in love with each other instantly! I would have liked less repeated inner musing and more banter between them!
Still I like the story and I'm looking
Megan Frampton
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might now be my favorite of Sarah MacLean's books, and that's saying a lot, since I absolutely adore her books. It's so well-written, so complete, such an altogether consuming story that it is absolutely and entirely satisfying. Swoon.
Natasha is a Book Junkie
“I am the heroine of my own play, sir.”

I’m an avid reader of historical romances, forever drawn to a world where dashing rogues fall head over heels in love with intrepid damsels, but few authors continue to amaze me with the way they engage so purposefully with female identity, body norms, and sexuality in their stories, rather than merely accept the traditionally accepted. And Sarah MacLean is one of those authors. There is so much to adore about her writing—from her elegant but sharp
First Date: Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year the “Year of Hattie,” and she has plans! But first, to get rid of her V-card. She has the night booked at a discreet club exclusively for women but things get complicated when she finds a man tied up in her carriage. A very handsome man. Fearing her brother may have a hand in it, she heads towards her destination. When the man in question awakens. He believes the young woman to be in on the attack but before he can gather his ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss. All comments/opinions are my own.

Ooooh this book. This poor poor book. Where does one even begin...

Let’s just jump right to it and state I am not a fan. If you’ve read the first book in this series, then you’ve read this already.

Three brothers, bastards. All born on the same day. At the same time. To three separate women. Two brothers are living in the seedy underbelly of London. One is running about as a Duke and trying
Lover of Romance
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance

 photo Addicted To Romance Reviews 2_zpsplp8m0tb.png
One of the worst Sarah Maclean novels I’ve read. She’s getting pretty lazy with her plots and her prose. I think the sentence, “she cut him a look” appears no fewer than 100 times. Every once in awhile she dresses it up, like: “She cut him an irritated look.”

Her sentences are predictably formulaic: “[He/she] [verb phrase], [adjective] and [adjective] and [adjective].” For example, “He let out a sigh, long and low and lush.” Maclean is also prone to abstract descriptors like, “It felt like sin.”
Em Wittmann
I gave Brazen and the Beast a B at All About Romance.

Brazen and the Beast is vintage Sarah MacLean. Which is, for me, a good thing. I was completely absorbed in the romance, which is perfectly paced and gets off to a good start, but unfortunately, not everything else is as good and the villains (except one, who features in the next book) are underdeveloped, underutilized, and not very villainous. These factors detract from this entertaining and romantic story featuring a non-traditional heroine
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If Wicked and the Wallflower was silly and yet enjoyable, then Brazen and the Beast was mostly silly and that's it. I had hopes... Alas.

I really like MacLean. I think she must be a riot to hang out with, judging from the Fated Mates podcast. It's just that her historicals have been mostly a miss for me lately. Considering she's going to try and pull a The Day of the Duchess 2.0 with her next book, I don't even know what to think. I didn't care for the cheater hero of that one, so I'm not
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually love Sarah Maclean. I have read every single book she ever wrote. I can't finish this one. It's awful. It's crushed under the weight of the overused tropes and menagerie of unicorns.

Having a forward thinking heroine is okay. Having her be fat and ugly but somehow attract a gorgeous hero is ridiculous. If she's plump, but still somewhat pretty, that's one thing, but apparently she's plain and fat. It's not sexy, no matter how I try to Beauty and the Beast it up, with her as the beast.
4.5 stars! Oh, Sarah MacLean really hit it out of the park for me with this one. I loved Hattie so much! For her time, and hell, mine too, Hattie was a legit badass. She knew what she wanted and set about making it happen. I didn't love how she believed others' perceptions of her but Whit took care of that.

I loved Whit too. A Bareknuckle Bastard with a soft and tender heart, who wants to take care of everyone because he couldn't take care of the person most important to him. I loved how
DNF @ 41%

With chunks of Wicked and the Wallflower rehashed, multiple words (growl/growls/growled, grunt/grunts/grunted, mmm, Christ) used excessively, a growing hatred of Whit, plus what felt (to me) like box ticking inclusivitiy regarding a secondary character... I can't--and don't want to--finish this book. What a load of shit.
Jenny Jo Weir
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ok-read
I’m a huge Beauty and the Beast fan and I usually LOVE spin off stories of such as well as period romance novels but this one fell flat for me. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t particularly good either. It felt like something was missing. Still, I am curious to know what happens of Grace and her story with Ewan so I will be checking that one out when it comes out next year.
2.5 stars rounded up to 3.


I'm disappointed.

I used to enjoy Sarah MacLean's writing a lot. But some of the reappearing themes in her recent stuff are starting to grate me, big time.

First of all, plot-wise, this book seems to be almost an exact copy of the first installment in this series, only the characters are switched.

Are they, though? Because as much as I loved Hattie's tenacity, in more than one aspect, she seemed like a carbon copy of the heroine from the first book, Felicity -
5 ++++ stars

I could write a long, detailed review. But I could also limit myself to just one word: perfect!

This story is everything. I haven't read a book that fast in a long time.

All the love and stars for Whit and Hattie

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New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural

Other books in the series

The Bareknuckle Bastards (3 books)
  • Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #1)
  • Daring and the Duke (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #3)
“There is nothing fearless about me. I am scared every day. I fear the wide world and the way it stares at me and sneers at me and whispers about me when it thinks I cannot hear. I fear a life of half measures, full of shadows of emotions and hints of possibilities and a thousand things I might have had if only I’d reached a bit farther.” 3 likes
“I don’t wish to be a dowry.” She looked to him. “I do not wish to be commodified. I wish to be mine. To choose for myself.” 1 likes
More quotes…