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Fairest of Them All

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,487 ratings  ·  115 reviews
From the spellbinding pen of nationally bestselling author Teresa Medeiros comes this enchanting new romance—a tale of adventure, humor, and tender sensuality that sweeps from the pageantry of an English jousting tournament to the brooding mystery of an isolated castle in Wales...

Fairest of Them All

She was rumored to be the fairest woman in all of England. But Holly de Cha
Paperback, 371 pages
Published June 1995 by Bantam Books (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Not a fan of the rapey books.
And that's probably my biggest (but not my only) problem with Fairest of Them All.
See, all I was hoping for was some fluffy romance-like stuff, and possibly an new take on Beauty and the Beast.
For a few chapters, that's sort of what this was. Then this clanging warning bell went off in my head when the hero's inner monologue got a bit wonky. There were several other signs that things were careening from a quirky story to an icky story, but the writing wasn't awful,
Oct 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Ohhhh boy. Where to even begin with this one? At the beginning, I suppose: Not the beginning of the book, but my rocky relationship with Ms. Medeiros as an author. The thing is, she has a wild imagination, and her plots are usually her strength. I would read her novels as straight up fantasy or science fiction or horror, if they'd been written that way, because the plots are insane, in the best way.

So, these are all compliments, right? Why worry? Well... I read a reviewer recently say that she'
Umaiya ❄️Ramblings of a Scattered Mind❄️
Initial rating: Low 3 stars.
Revised rating: Low 2 stars

I went into this all bright eyed with wonder. Teresa Medeiros is another one of my old-school feel good authors and I can't even begin to tell you all the feels Goodnight Tweetheart left me.
So I was pretty much shattered when I finished this.

All was not fair. It was dark. It was very dark coming from Teresa.
It felt like Disney never happened.
Like finding out The Little Mermaid was not all songs and HEA originally.
I mean, this hurt.

"This was
I have read many books by Teresa Medeiros before, but never have I read a book that was as full of dark passions and trickery as this book! “Fairest of Them All” is a romance novel by Teresa Medeiros which details how a young woman’s desire to get out of marrying any guy gets out of hand when she ends up being married to a rough Welshman! “Fairest of Them All” has all the drama, dark romance and lies that will set any romance novel fan’s hearts aflutter!

Holly de Chastel was known as the fairest
Holly de Chastel is the fairest woman in all of England during the 14th Century, and as such, she is constantly plagued with suitors. She's come up with some pretty inventive ways of keeping them at bay, and she comes up with what she thinks is her best idea when her father announces that her hand will be given to the victor of a tournament. Holly decides that she will discourage all the men by presenting herself as ugly. She hacks off her hair, blackens her teeth, pads her skirts, binds her bre ...more
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
"You may believe whatever superstitious nonsense you like, Brother, but I'll tell you what I believe. That there's no curse that cannot be broken by the blessing of true love."
ρυηүα [Punya Reviews...]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it liked it
The other reviewers have quite skillfully described the story, so I don't feel that I need to. I like Ms. Medeiros. She's a talented author, and she tells a good story. However, I had problems with both of the main characters. For the first third of the book, I found the heroine to be bratty, spoiled, and inconsiderate. She acted rashly, with little thought to the consequences of those actions on others. By the second third of the book she begins to mature, comes to understand that some of her r ...more
Susan needs more books, not really
I'm not sure what to write about this book. Parts I really liked, others not so much. Holly was vain and childish, Austyn was brutish and single-minded. The story went on and on and not much happened.

Don't get me wrong - I love T. Medeiros as an author but this was not one of her better books.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I was done with this book when the heroine throws an honest-to-goodness temper tantrum, complete with shrieking, thrashing, and banging of fists. That's the behaviour of a five-year-old, not a grown woman. ...more
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: married_couple
The hero and the heroine were both exasperating at times. Her more than him, but somehow it worked for me. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Pamela Shropshire
Sir Austyn of Gavenmore is a Welsh knight, "one of the most dangerous and powerful warriors in all of Wales." The males of his family are cursed, doomed to marry beautiful but faithless women. His grandfather imprisoned his wife in a tower for years, raping her every night; finally, she jumped out the window. Austyn's father strangled his mother because he thought (wrongly) that she had cheated on him.

We're told he's a skilled knight, yet never in the book do we see him training. Pretty much al
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’ve read a few Teresa Medeiros books and I’ve always enjoyed them. Not that I’m saying this was the exception. However, I will be brief in my review of this book.

Overall, the book was a good read. I think the writing, as usual, is excellent. I must confess that midway through this book I started to get frustrated. I felt confused, because at least twice because it felt like the hero and heroine kept flip-flopping on feelings and their actions. It was a see-saw and I couldn’t quite grasp what ha
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book by Teresa Medeiros that I've read and it was great! The characters are fresh and well drawn and the plot is very romantic with an element of the supernatural. The author captures the medieval setting perfectly. The thing I liked best about this book was the humor injected into it. Holly is hilarious in her dealings with Sir Austyn who is as serious as a grizzly bear. The love scenes in this book are amazing. Holly is one of the best romance heroines. ...more
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Holly is so heart-breakingly beautiful that her father keeps her locked away from slimy manhands, while also berating her for not picking out a suitably husband... GREAT START. So after an illicit run-in with a smexy Welshman in her private gardens (not a euphemism), she uglifies herself up for this tournament and ends up married to the winner--the smexy Welshman! At first, she's all like "gots to keep his slimy manhands off me so he doesn't realize that underneath this dowdy gown is a lush boso ...more
Holly de Chastel has no plan of being married off to any of the suitors who want to claim her hand. Her beauty is spoken of through the lands, but Holly doesn't want to be married so she can be a trophy on the arm of an arrogant man, she wants to be free. Holly comes up with a plan to ward off her father's next attempt only to have it backfire.

Sir Austyn of Gavenmore has no qualms of taking a plain wife, in fact he embraces it. His family is cursed into rages of jealousy and doomed marriages whe
Mar 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: the-shit-list
Well, this is one of those books my "BFF" gave me because she just wanted to see my reaction. About two weeks after she gave it to me she says: "So...did you read that book I gave you?" I very dryly commented yes and didn't say anything else and I looked away. And when I glanced at her, she was staring at the floor. And finally after a very long pause and a ton of uncomfortable feet shuffling, she asks me what I thought. I skillfully avoided the question until my dear friend pinned me down and a ...more
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My very favorite romance novel of all time...sweet, funny, smart and thoroughly entertaining in every way. Teresa Medeiros herself is also an intelligent, funny, fantastic friend to have on FB...her posts make my day!
Aug 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
my all-time favorite romance novel
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Fun read. Loved the plot and the characters. Definitely a keeper.
May 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
This one was sort of flat. I didn't like the characters, and didn't really care if they ever worked it out or not. ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is the 2nd Teresa Medeiros book I've read recently that I haven't been crazy about. I didn't mind the plot, but the characters annoyed me, especially Holly. I get that her story arc was to show her maturing as the plot progressed, but it didn't work for me. There are a lot of other Medeiros books that I'd like to read, so I am hoping they improve! ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Our heroine is so ridiculously beautiful that she puts Zoolander to shame and seeing her glory will give you an explosive nosebleed. If that doesn't get your shit radar going, it's the fact that she can pass off as some heinous toad by cutting her hair, eyelashes, rubbing soot on her face, darkening her teeth, binding her breasts and padding her dress. I found it totally incredulous but hey, this is fiction.

I liked what the author tried unsuccessfully to convey. While beauty is more than skin de
Oct 10, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a Medieval historical romance of beautiful maiden, Holly, who has the harebrained idea of disguising herself as homely to avoid being married off by her father. Little does she realize, Austyn, a Welsh knight, is in need of an ugly wife due to a curse on the long line of men in his family (involved story) in which they've killed their beautiful wives - out of jealousy. He takes her back to his castle as his bride having no idea she's really a beauty underneath. So much of this book was f ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meg Perry
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ehh... not my favorite. It's well written, but I feel that Holly let Austyn off easy. After all, he did lock her in a tower. In a lot of romances, I find that I have a problem when the hero always goes overboard on the punishment side with the heroine. "When" she commits transgressions, sometimes real and sometimes not when a simple explanation and apology should suffice to soothe a hurt pride, usually. But then, as I said, the hero goes way overboard in the punishment and is generally forgiven ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not her funniest, but still very light-hearted with characters you'll remember. Well, not so much the guy (he's your basic stock) but she's great.

Updated 3.21.2020
2 star. Lighthearted; easy way to pass an afternoon so long as you don't actually think much about it. Not worth space on your bookshelf or money out of pocket--get it from your public library. Check out some of the low star ratings on this book--they make fair points. Even if you try to spin it nicely, yes he does physically assault h
This was my first Teresa Medeiros book, and considering all I've read of this author in the meanwhile, I think I should have learned my lesson by now.
This one...well it started out somewhat funny and then it ended in a violent crash and burn.
For me situations that involve domestic abuse, and any type of violence should not be be seen as romantic.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Z
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. 2 stars for Part 1 and 4+ stars for Part 2. I've said this many times. I love TM's writing. Even her books that aren't great are still enjoyable to me. This is one of those. I'm not quite sure what happened, but this could have been an awesome book. I'll break my review down into the 2 parts.

Part 1. I usually enjoy her Prologues. They typically give some insight into her characters. This one was meh. The beginning was pretty funny. I found myself laughing at times. At other times I wa
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New York Times bestseller Teresa Medeiros wrote her first novel at the age of twenty-one and has since gone on to win the hearts of both readers and critics. All of her books have been national bestsellers, featured on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She currently has over 10 million books in print.

She is a seven-time Rita finalist, two-time PRISM winner, and

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