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Beauty and the Spy

(Holt Sisters Trilogy #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,148 ratings  ·  76 reviews

London's belle of the ball, Susannah Makepeace, is the last person who should suddenly be stuck in the sleepy village of Barnstable. In town, she would never have seen a man swimming naked in a pond. And she certainly would have resisted the urge to draw every single bit of him in astonishing detail!


Very few people know that Viscount Kit Whitelaw is the b
Paperback, 377 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Forever
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,148 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Rosina Lippi
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Here's the good news: I just read the four novels Julie Anne Long has out. Historical romance, mostly regency. And she's good. She can write a sentence, she can tell a story. The first two novels are light(er) reads. With her third one -- Beauty and the Spy -- she really finds her footing.

There's an interesting plot here, one that actually had me wondering how things would resolve themselves -- and that is unusual. This is not bragging. This is somebody who reads and writes for a living just sta
Jun 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, julie-anne-long
Really disappointed with this one, because Julie Anne Long is one of my favourite authors and so far she hasn't had a single miss. But this one - made it to page 64 and had to set it away. A few of my reasons:

1. Huge age difference between the hero and heroine (17 years).

2. The hero is supposed to be 37 years old but his personality is portrayed as if he were at most about 24 years old and in the scenes with his father he acts about 18 years old. But because of the plot, the hero has to have so
Holy guacamole, straight up awesome beginning. The prologue has the Holt sister's dad being murdered, their mom going on the run, and them being given over to their parents friend James Makepeace. I hope Long can keep this pace and amount of intrigue throughout the book!
Wonderfully written characters, can not wait for Kit and Susannah to meet. They both seem very immature and I am interested in how Long will get them to grow up.
Great. First. Meeting. Between Kit and Susannah ;)
Ooh the character
Debby "Piene Raven"
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: authors-k-l
My first read by Julie Ann Long and I enjoyed the story very much. Susannah Makepeace loses everything to go live with in the country with her aunt. She meets a viscount who has to some extent been cast away to the country too by his own father. The murder, mystery and entanglement of romance makes for a nice novel by this author.

The pacing of the story kept me enthralled and turning the pages. The sexual tension between the H/H did not hurt either. I like this one and believe that there are two
Elis Madison
Premise: Anna Holt was the much-loved and deeply loving mistress of Richard Lockwood. Together they had three daughters, Susannah, 3, Sylvie, 4, and Sabrina (not much older). One awful night Richard's good friend James Makepeace gave Anna the dreaded news: Richard was dead—and there's a witness who claims Anna was the killer. James advises Anna to flee—without her three tiny girls, since the authorities will be looking for a woman with three young girls. James promises to see Anna's daughters ar ...more
I wasn't sure how to rate this, or rather what standard to hold it to - in comparison to the majority of other books in this genre (it's better)? Or in comparison to Long's later books (it's not as solid)? And then there's the complication of the fact that I suspect that Long has even better books she's yet to write.

So I'll ambiguously say 3.5 stars here, but click four stars.

Long's greatest strength lies in the depth, intimacy and detail of her characterization. She writes slow, nuanced stori
Shabby Girl ~ aka Lady Victoria
You know what? Nearly every time I pick up a Julie Anne Long book I am amazed at what an effortlessly fantastic writer she is. Steadily she has climbed in my heart to become one of my most favourite writers. I am quite amazed this book only rates in the 3s. Stupidly I put off reading this because of the rating, thinking it wouldn’t be the best. I was wrong. Even if the story doesn’t enthral (can’t see why it wouldn’t) the writing alone is worth a much higher rating. The story held me riveted rig ...more
Jun 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
After a sudden murder a widow Anna Holt, suspected off killing her husband must leave and break away from her 3 very young daughters in order to protect them and stay alive. Hoping one day to be able to see them again. Susannah Makepeace, who was the eldest daughter taken in by one of the widow's and her husbands close friend, James, is doing very well off and she is engaged. Suddenly, James who was investing the murder of his best friend realizes the killer, who is a consultant who got to wher ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
When Susannah Makepeace loses everything she has to go live with her aunt in the country. There she meets Kit, a viscount exiled to the country by his father. Throw in mystery and murder and you have an engaging romantic novel.

I have read Julie Anne's Pennyroyal Green series and going back to her earlier books has been a treat. She writes to beautifully and eloquently, I'm jealous. I adored the interplay between the hero and heroine and can't wait to meet Susannah's sisters in the next two book
Apr 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
It was so cute! Not as good as Celeste Bradley, but very sweet..
I would give it 3.5 stars if I could: I enjoyed it because of the relationship between Kit and Susannah, but I would have liked more of a threatening element. I just didn't feel that gut clench I got in Celest Bradley's The Pretender, for example (when Agatha finds out the truth about Simon).. Kit was a sweet and strong Beta hero (for me):-)
Loved this trilogy!!! If you get the chance, read it in order as it will make more sense. I read the trilogy in reverse order and was annoyed with #3 because I didn't understand a lot of the stuff that it built upon.

I liked this one the best in the trilogy because I loved KIT!!! Swoon!

I wrote a review for this on Amazon already, I read this before I got on GR.
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fave-authors, regency
Love all Julie Anne Long's books. So cool - I like a good spy novel and this was excellent. Storyline was fab and the characters wonderful.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though this earlier book wasn't as flawlessly crafted as some of the Pennyroyal Green series that Long later penned, I loved it. She managed to work murder and mystery into a satisfying, briskly paced romance novel with intriguing, appealing characters. Can't wait to dive into the sequel.
Jo Ria
Feb 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
The chemistry is just not there. The mystery is so so. The villain never meet the heroes face to face. I liked Sylvie's story more
This was enjoyable. I'm gratified to have discovered a new author.
Loved it! Romance, adventure, mystery, clever banter. Going on my favorites list.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
He’s kind of a jerkface.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How did these two fall in love when they're so obsessed with themselves?? Also Kit checking out another woman and thinking about "not wanting to miss" a show 60-70% through the book.... NOPE
Mark Moore
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, england
beauty loses her father and her wealth; the spy is exiled to the country house by his father
Wild Rose
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I really liked the mystery and suspence part-but the romance part was lacking for me.
Pam Bereznak
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love all of Julie Anne Long's books. Especially loved the Holt Sisters. You can't go wrong picking one up. After you read one, you'll want to get all of them like I did.
Almost two years after the second book in this trilogy, I get around to reading the first volume. Lots of fun, some of it even appropriate for the time period. I enjoyed myself. Now to get around to the third in this series before I forget what I liked.

Hot fudge sundae with really good ice cream.
3.5 stars
When Susannah Makepeace's kind, but distant father dies, leaving behind him nothing but debt, Susannah's engagement to a young gentleman is broken, and she has to move in with a distant cousin in the little village of Barnstable. She's barely arrived before she runs into the notorious Viscount Whitelaw, diving naked into a pond mere feet away from where she is sketching.

Kit Whitelaw is a spy, but his somewhat scandalous personal life of late has forced his father to present him with a
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
After finishing the Pennyroyal Green series, I needed more Julie Anne Long. NEEDED! And as soon as I finished Beauty and the Spy, I needed more Holt Sisters Trilogy, too.

Because that's just how Julie Anne Long writes. It's addictive and it's awesome and I always want more. Always. ALWAYS.

The prologue sets us for some interesting back story that will no doubt stretch the entirety of the series. (I've already requested and downloaded the next book in the series from the library because NEED IT NOO
This was a really well-written, enjoyable regency romance. Rating this book was one of the times I feel like there's a difference between a five star book and a favorite book, and this one was definitely a five star, but not a favorite.

I really, really liked Kit and Susannah, I thought the plot was interesting and moved forward well both in terms of their relationship and in the overall scheme of the trilogy. Kit and Susannah were funny together and their relationship was realistic and sweet -
Perdani Budiarti
Actually 2,5/5

At first I was curious about how the heroine's past would cross the hero's path. But then the execution is too flat. The death of some people was just happened without explaination. And the spy's activity was that?

The romance's interaction between the hero and the heroine worked just too fast. Without too many intrique, the heroine just fall into the hero's arms.

But I do like the idea about the heroine who could draw and made a beautiful and meaningful sketch. Even thou
Julia ♥Duncan♥
Wonderfully and unexpectedly funny. A complex and intriguing mystery. The romance was sweet and I adored Kit and Susannah together. I especially adored Kit, who could be very witty and funny but also sweet and serious. I loved that the romance took its time as well. So nice to see characters actually getting to know each other.

Favorite bits:
(view spoiler)
Sep 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ye-olde-romance
I really like Julie Anne Long's style and how full her stories are of plot detail and twists... but overall this book lacked a satisfaction that I hoped to find.
While the characters are fun, and the action and twists non-stop... once the last page had been turned I just didn't care. In fact, I never was engaged enough with this tale to actually care what was going to happen. We have a young lady who has everything stripped from her and finds out that her life isn't anything like she thought it
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
This book in short: Nice story, great background, complelling couple.

So, I have the tendency to judge the books by it's heroine. In this book, I quite hated Susannah's shalow nature. As the book goes about and she discover herself, I was starting to like her more and more, until I got to a point when I did really loved her.

The only point I have about this book, is that I didn't get to see the vilan go down. (view spoiler)
Janice Hougland
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My heart went pitty pat all the while I was reading this stunning romance by Ms. Long. Kit, the spymaster who has been sent off to their country house on a fool’s errand by his father (to get his son away from a certain woman) finds himself falling for a lovely, mysterious woman who has a history that they have yet to discover. The lovely, mysterious woman is Susannah, who has only dim memories of a mother and sister and is devastated to discover that the “father” that was killed was not her fat ...more
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“It knew things, that smile.” 10 likes
“She charmed and sparkled and said witty things, but she knew very well she was being charming and sparkling and witty while she was doing it, which somehow felt wrong.” 1 likes
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