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Dearly Beloved

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  761 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Now, fans of the "New York Times bestselling author can revisit her award-winning debut historical romance after several years of its being out of print. It is the breathtaking story of Diana Lindsay--the most desirable and sought-after woman in London--who wants only one man: a haunted lord with mysterious secrets as deep as hers...
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Signet (first published 1990)
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  761 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a DNF for me.

It has been reissued from 1990 I believe, but it was crass. Not giving away spoilers but this occurred in the first chapter: The hero rapes graphic detail. WHAT???? How do I get past seeing him as a rapist for the rest of the book? I realize bodice ripper romances were popular in the 90s, but rape is too much.

I very rarely give less than three stars, even when I do not like the book because I realize the effort that goes into writing a novel, but this book wa
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh man.

That's right. That is my response to this book.

I will be writing about what happens in the book. So this is your spoiler alert.

I like Mary Jo Putney's style. I just do. I like how serious her style is. I like that her characters are more stoic than others. I like that her stories are darker, her characters confronted by their own past and limits. There is nothing fluffy about Putney's stories. And I love it.

That being said, I don't know what to do with this book.

I don't love it. But
Oct 28, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mary-jo-putney
The only reason I read this book through to the end was to see exactly how the heroine would finally reveal her big secret to the hero. (I had guessed what the secret was at some point between the introduction of the heroine and the big revelation.) This secret just happens to be the most important fact in the story and the heroine's character, so it makes no sense to keep the reader in the dark about it until 80% of the book is finished. Getting that reveal so late in the book effectively nulli ...more
This was my first buddy read ever and no surprise that it was with Zoe (celebratory cheers-hopefully many more to come).

Because of my background and the prejudice I have faced in my life...I have acquired this uncanny ability to really experience other peoples' perspective and understand their motivations and think about the context of their behavior better than anyone I know. A combination of this ability and MJP's writing prowess is what made this reading experience more meaningful for me.

Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Dearly Beloved is one of a handful of my all-time favorite historical romances. This probably has something to do with the fact that it was one of the first historicals I ever read and it really sucked me into the genre.

Our main female character is Diana Lindsey. Diana and her son live in Yorkshire, a county in England. During a winter storm, she discovers a woman out in the elements freezing on her property. She rescues the woman and nurses her back to health. The woman it turns out i
Author: Mary Jo Putney
First published: 1990
Length: 6422 locations (finishes at 90%)
Setting: London and Yorkshire, 1799 to 1820s.
Sex: Reasonably frequent but often fade-to-black. Some explicit scenes. Rape of h by H and threatened rape of h by BadGuy.
Hero: Spymaster. Lord. Soldier. Neglectful parents. (view spoiler)
Heroine: Only daughter of reasonably well-off parents. Father was a vicar. Went mad. Mother committed suicide. Raped by H at 16 and promptly marr
Fairy / Anna
Mar 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
I like very much almost every book written by this author, but that was awful. Not because of the topic, but because it was simply boring. I read many books about rapes, sexual abuses and such matters, but that was nearly the worst. How could it happened? I have no idea. Putney Mary Jo is a very good writer. Her books are smart and she's not afraid of writing about problematic and controversial issues. I think that this title is just accident at work. There's no other explanation.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased first this book as I was a new release from an author I knew I had to read.
Then I was graced an advance review by Netgalley and the publisher Kensington Books.
It is only when I checked in Goodreads, I learned it was a reedition of a long time ago edition, from the 90s, when I first read Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novels.
The rape trope in Mrs Putney book was immediately reported by the earlier reviewers so I questioned myself if I would be able to read this book. Then I remembered the firs
I don’t know how to rate this one. Spoilers ahead. The heroine is raped by the hero at 15 on the first page. She was drugged by her crazy father and the hero was drunk. They are forced to be married. Years later she has a child and meets the hero again. There’s a lot of issues and themes surrounding beauty, sexual desire, and love in this. A lot of it very disturbing stuff to be all put into this book. The heroine’s father was implied to have sexual desires for the heroine and the hero himself w ...more
Maria Dariotis
Dearly Beloved
by Mary Jo Putney

What an amazing story! I LOVED the angst of it, the emotions and heartache. Through no fault of her own Diana Lindsay was woken, her innocence brutally taken and forcefully married by her crazed preacher father., to Gervase Brandelin who was incoherent at the time, but soon realized his grave error!
This is a compelling gripping read that is not for the faint at heart or with trigger issues. Yes it’s dark and Ms. Putney is a professional at her craft, the storyline
I was reluctant to read this book... I'd heard it was a good book, but that the relationship between heroine and hero was tempestuous.. That would be the word. The book starts out with Gervase, future Viscount St. Aubyn, drunkenly stumbling into a wrong room belonging to a clergyman's daughter, (view spoiler) Not a joyful beginning!

Fast forwards seven ye
An Odd1
Mar 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
*** "Dearly Beloved" may refer to the words of the marriage ceremony, because of the unusual way the couple enact the wedded state. Mary Jo Putney has passion, espionage, flying knives, and an epileptic child. British spymaster Lord Gervase needs unmask an evil count supporting Napoleon. Eight years before, Gervase was tricked into wedding a child, and left instructions for financial care, on condition that she never contact him. Elegant, spirited Diana feels drawn by destiny to London in search ...more
For fans of unrealistic Polyanna fairytales...

Even the most dimwitted reader would have figured out the relationship between heroine and hero straight from the beginning of this book. So it was rather boring and long-winded to get to the revelation of the "big" mystery so late into the story. And what about the heroine's POVs up to this point? In light of the fact that the protagonists weren't strangers per se they made no sense whatsoever: she felt like having a split personality.

The prose was
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
I attempted to read this years ago because it was receiving rave upon rave on romance listservs all over the internet. So I was quite surprised when I found it impossible to get through. Not due to the writing, which is good, but the subject matter which I found horribly offensive. I couldn't get past it and still can't all these years later. I traded this book because just looking at it gave me the heebie jeebies.
Debbie "Buried in Her TBR Pile"
Drama, angst, tormented pasts, character insight, development and growth, an evil spy/villain, anger, jealousy, revenge, secrets, love and redemption. I read this once years ago. While reading reviews, I realized I had forgotten the details and decided to read again. I'm glad I did. An entertaining read. 4 stars.
Kate McMurry
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Regency historical romance with a classic redemption plot, first published 1990, reissued 2004 and 2019

The prologue of this Regency romance novel occurs in a small, country inn located in Scotland. A wild-eyed, pistol-wielding cleric, named Hamilton, catches intoxicated, 23-year-old Gervase Brandelin, who is sole heir to a fabulously wealthy British viscount, in the midst of compromising the cleric's 15-year-old daughter, Mary Hamilton. When Hamilton melodramatically discovers Gervase in Mary’s
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here we meet Gervase Brandelin, with a terrible secret, and Diana Lindsay, with secrets of her own. Diana is tired of hiding away and wants to experience passion with a man. She meets a woman who is a courtesan, and decides to take up this lifestyle to find her freedom. Gervase meets her at her first public appearance, and immediately decides that he must have her. And in the midst of their budding relationship, Gervase is searching for a notorious spy.

This book has quite a shocking start and do
Carole Burant
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I feel like I've just been put through a wringer washer! This was such an intense yet fascinating story, with one shock after another, especially at the end. From the very first chapter, you are brought into a situation that leaves you reeling.

All Diana Lindsay wants is to find a man who will love her and make her dreams come true and if she needs to become a courtesan to do so, then so be it. She also has a young son that needs a father! When she comes face to face with Gervase Brandelin,
Jun 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars
This book is a re release from 1990 & I first read it many years ago
A sheltered life in the countryside has left Diana Lindsay restless to see the wider world, for both herself and the son she is raising alone. Bound by the sins of his youth, Gervase Brandelin, the Viscount St. Aubyn, has spent his adulthood seeking redemption through service to England. Now a spymaster, he can allow nothing to distract him from his duty.
The authors books are a must read for me & I think I’ve
Perla The IB Teen Book Blogger
I'm sorry to inform you dear reader that this book was .... infuriating.

On the surface you see a young woman forced by circumstance to become a courtesan to support herself and her young son, then this dashing spy master comes along and adventure happens, cut to their happily ever after.

That is NOT this book. Originally published in 1990, the book seems to ignore the tone of 2019, this is the #MeToo era. A book about a woman who is forced to marry her rapist, have her rapists' child, and then b
Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews
This book is bad. Really bad. I almost never one star books. The lowest I usually give is three stars. But this book has issues from start to where I stopped reading. The book starts from the point of view of a man who somehow was the male protagonist. I will not use his name A) because I can't remember how to spell it and B) because he is awful. It starts with him getting drunk, which is manageable, but then he goes and rapes a young woman. And he's somehow able to become the protagonist? Also, ...more
Tracy DeNeal
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gervase and Diana

A discussion in my book club caused me to revisit this book. Sufficient time had passed that allowed me to read with fresh eyes. I had forgotten the particulars, but remembered that I enjoyed this book on my first read.

Gervase is a man with a closed heart. Early in life his world was rocked by a devastating betrayal that colored his every interaction. His coldness was well known to society and people tread a wide path around him.

Diana is a woman who is not only beautiful and d
Sandra Dagg
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Finished this last night, and have to say I loved this book! The author said at the beginning that although she loved writing Regencies, she wanted to do something with more depth, stronger emotions....well she definitely hit the bull's eye with this one! I loved the heroine, her strengths and resolution. The hero made me so angry sometimes I wanted to choke him, but his character was wonderful, even though he was strongly flawed. I was glued to the book from start to finish! There's everything ...more
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why this is rated less well than many of Putney's other works. I thought it was good with very likeable characters. The plot device is a very well used one in romantic literature but it was an enjoyable take on the theme. There wasn't quite as much "action" as in some of her other books - the heroine is rather more home based than some of her particuarly enjoyable heroines. There was a fair bit of angst but the plot demonstrated that this was justified by the circumstances. Nice sec ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this more than 5 stars I would. I read a huge amount, and mostly books are averagely good, then you read a historical by a really good writer and you really appreciate how skilled they are. This is a re-issue of one of Mary Jo Putney’s backlist, which I had read many years ago, and had forgotten I had it.

I loved this highly emotional and angst ridden tale. Gee awe is a tormented young man, who has done something he is very ashamed of in his life, with an amoral mother who died yo
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased first this book as I was a new release from an author I knew I had to read.
Then I was graced an advance review by Netgalley and the publisher Kensington Books.
It is only when I checked in Goodreads, I learned it was a reedition of a long time ago edition, from the 90s, when I first read Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novels.
The rape trope in Mrs Putney book was immediately reported by the earlier reviewers so I questioned myself if I would be able to read this book. Then I remembered the firs
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
First off: I really still don't know what to make of this book. This was a first for me from this author so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I don't think this was it. I very nearly threw it down after the prologue, but I hate to DNF a book so I kept plugging along though I was rather disgusted with myself for doing so. (I'll add spoilers further down if you want to know why).

Country life has left Diana Lindsey restless. Despite her tragic past, a quiet life with her son no longer appeals and D
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've got very mixed feelings when it comes to this book. On the one hand, there were long passages of it that I really enjoyed reading and I loved the dynamic and the feelings of the protagonists towards each other. On the other hand, well, right at the beginning, drunk and furious or not, the hero commits an, in my eyes, unpardonable crime. Considering the fact that this situation left him with a very young wife who he never wanted to see again - a promise that he keeps till ...well. Leaving hi ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this title from the publisher for an honest review. The first thing you need to know is this is a re-issue of a book originally published in 1990 or 1991. It has not been updated for current sensibilities and contains elements that some readers may not like. That said, I enjoyed this and rated it somewhere between 3.75 and 4 stars; the story features Gervase and Diana. Gervase found himself unexpectedly married before leaving for India and has spent 5 years trying to atone f ...more
Kiki Z
I checked this book out of OverDrive, mistakenly thinking it was the next one in the Rogues Redeemed series. (I clearly forgot the naming pattern). But no, this is a re-release of a book from 1990. And it's utterly awful. I'm making it a point to not mark books DNF'd if I haven't read at least 20% so I did.

If you’re going to re-release a book thirty years down the line, think about the current political climate. Post Weinstein wasn’t a good time for this book, not without major rewrites. Because
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She writes young adult fiction as M.J. Putney.

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably
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“The only power she wanted over him was the power to make him happy. . . . She wanted them to be equal in their loving, not master and slave.” 2 likes
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