Read Beast by Judith Ivory Online


An exquisite American heiress, Louise Vandermeer is beautiful, brilliant. . . and bored-which is why she has agreed to a daring adventure: to travel across the ocean to marry an aristocrat abroad. Rumor has it her intended is a hideous cad-a grim prospect that propels her into a passionate, reckless affair with a compelling stranger she never sees in the light of day.ThougAn exquisite American heiress, Louise Vandermeer is beautiful, brilliant. . . and bored-which is why she has agreed to a daring adventure: to travel across the ocean to marry an aristocrat abroad. Rumor has it her intended is a hideous cad-a grim prospect that propels her into a passionate, reckless affair with a compelling stranger she never sees in the light of day.Though scarred by a childhood illness, Charles d'Harcourt has successfully wooed Europe's most sophisticated beauties. For a lark, he contrived to travel incognito on his own fiancee's ship-and seduce the young chit in utter darkness. But the rake's prank backfired. It was he who was smitten-while the hot-tempered Lulu, now his wife, loves only her shipboard lover, unaware it was d'Harcourt all the time! And Charles will never have her heart-unless he can open her eyes to the prince who hides within....

Title : Beast
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062034816
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 262 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Beast Reviews

  • Angel Cade
    2018-11-11 23:40

    This was THE most annoying book I've read in a freaking, freaking long while! I cannot begin to describe how truly pathetic the story was! I was close to dumping this book and begin another but damn me, why didn't I?[image error]"Let's break the plot down:A vain, self-centered, apparently insecure, beautiful (so much so that people stop-dead in the middle of the road as she goes by. Sure, there wasn't any traffic back then, remember?) eighteen year old bitch of a girl has been set to married to a man she hasn't met. Who's this guy? An equally, if not more, vain, self-centered, apparently insecure, scarred, one-eyes, ugly, 30-something fucking Prince! Yeah, sure. So, the hero finds his would-be bride, whom he hasn't met in person either, daddling with a young sap on the ship they both are on, on their way to some place.( I couldn't care less) No matter that he's naked under the blankets (that he stole from the deck) and has just come out of his mistress bed, doesn't matter at all cause his pride is hurt that his would-be bride is making out with young guy. WELL OF COURSE, SHE IS, YOU FUCKING TWAT!And this child bride of his, she isn't any simpering teenage girl. She is (in her own words) too intelligent for her own sake and is bored of people calling beautiful and admiring her beauty when all she wants is to be noticed for her wisdom. So what does she do before her fate is sealed to an ugly, limping, one-eyed Prince? She plans to have an affair. Why, of course! That is what any girl would do! Cause being dominated by another guy is so much freedom. Intelligent, my fuckin' ass.Moment of truth, Louise: You are a fuckin' moron. And an even bigger mentally deficient specimen of female population. So the said ugly Prince, who is vain to the bone in the beginning, devices a plan. A prank. For the remaining days at the ship he has nothing to amuse him, his mistress chucked him off her bed (hence his unclothed state) --oh btw, note that he's so in looooooove with his married mistress at the moment-- so to teach his child bride a lesson he does this: Dress himself in Arab garb and pretend he is a pasha/sheikh and meet her in the dark and they make loooooouve in darkness and -- I kid you not-- the idiot girl is "in love" with him by the next day. And hooooooooold up! Author, have you even researched on basics of Islam? Cause yeah, sure, Qur'an asks every muslim to have four wives compulsorily. And yeah, sure, every muslim guy smother their women behind close doors. And yeah, definitely, every Arab guy is just an insane yibber-yabbing who, 'pparently, is scared of women. (Doesn't yer logic of women domination contradict with this? Seriously.)Doesn't end there.The vanity of both em continues. To such level that you seriously would consider rolling their heads into propellers! Anyways, the ship docks. Now the bitch heroine is very, very certain that she is in love with her Pasha. (A british speaking pasha, mind.) So when the 'actual' Prince comes to receive her... know what she does?SHE FUCKING DOESNT RECOGNIZE HIM!What. The. FuckYou slept with that man for four nights straight! In the dark, mind. Without light. So can't you fucking remember his voice? Even if he speaks in accent? His height? The feel of his skin?Of course, she doesn't! Cause she is too intelligent for her own good!And the hero... suddenly lost all his vanity! The one who prided upon having suave and charm and masculine attributes is a simpering callow infront of this chit! This chit who is so freaking aloof that you'd think she's 80 year old spinster. And when does the hero fall in love with her? WHEN? And WHY? What made him fall in love with this tantrum throwing child It actually felt like he was debauching a 12-year-old with high issues.And then, the heroine is mourning for her lost pasha... and suddenly, she is in love with the Prince. Yknow what?Maybe I'm too much of a moron to see the love story in this vanity filled, deception filled story. I only gave it an extra star because of the poem at Part 3. It really was amazing. But apart from that: Total nonsensical bullcrap.But of course, here's a toast to Prince and Princess d'Hartcourt. You both morons deserve each other. Stupid you are, breed you should not.

  • Sherry
    2018-11-07 19:31

    Beast by Judith Ivory is one of my two all-time favorite romance books and also simply one of the best books I have ever read. When I read books or watch movies, afterwards I have a certain feel for them, a textural sensation. Beast has left me with one of the richest, most voluptuous "feels" ever. The story is set around the turn of the 20th century. The first half of the book takes place on the ocean liner Concordia; the second half takes place in Provence, France. The plot is fairly simple. It combines an unknown lover theme with a beauty-and-beast theme. Louise Vandermeer is an heiress and beautiful beyond mere mortal imagination. Her fiancé, Charles Harcourt, is sophisticated, successful, and well-admired, the perfect man if you will, except for a couple of unfortunate defects. He is blind in one eye from a childhood ailment. That eye is further distorted by a scar. He also has a bad knee and limps a bit when the weather is unfavorable. In other words, he is not pretty. Louise agreed to marry Charles sight unseen because she wanted the freedom of a married woman. While she is on the Concordia traveling to Nice for the wedding, Charles, unbeknownst to her, happens to be on the same ship. He seduces her in complete darkness. But the prank backfires. Charles falls hard for Louise, but she is in love only with her shipboard lover, unaware that it was Charles Harcourt all along. One of the reasons I love this book is because of its characters. One doesn't see a heroine like Louise everyday. In fact, I've never read another one like her. She is not what one would label immediately sympathetic. She is eighteen, raised in the lap of luxury, more beautiful than Helen of Troy, completely aware of her power over the opposite sex, bored with her life, and annoyed with her parents and relatives. Sounds like somebody you and I could detest? But Judith Ivory made her so much more than a spoiled darling. Louise is excruciatingly intelligent. I can hardly think of any heroine from any other book who is sharper or more observant. As a result, Louise is painfully aware of how circumscribed her life is, both by her wealth and her beauty. People are struck dumb by her looks. They have no idea who the real Louise Vandermeer truly is or wants to be. She adroitly fends off open-mouthed admiration from men and jealousy from women while longing to be someone kinder, wiser, someone more open, someone who was in fact, the real Louise Vandermeer. You don't have to be beautiful. You only need to have been eighteen, confused, aimless, misunderstood and feeling like an outsider to sympathize with Louise. Charles Harcourt, on the opposite end of the spectrum, is also a victim of his appearance. With him, Ivory has succeeded in creating a man who pays a great deal of attention to and agonizes over his looks, yet who is never diminished by this seemingly less-than-manly concern. Charles is mature, understanding, generous, and open-minded. He is the person with whom Louise could be completely open. And while he is awed and flabbergasted and flustered by her beauty, we are never in doubt of what he really fell in love with: her strength, her perspicacity, her desire to improve herself, and the force of her will. Louise, to her great credit, realizes and admires the less-than-sightly Charles for all his wonderful qualities. In time, she falls in love with this Charles and we know they've both found the one person they needed. As if such complex, human, flesh-and-blood characters aren't enough, Ms. Ivory wows me with her exquisite command of language. There is something inimitable about her writing. (I know - I've tried and failed.) Not only do lovely similes, metaphors, adjectives, and adverbs cascade freely from her pen without ever degenerating into verbosity, she writes with an energy, an enthusiasm - almost a glee - that I have not seen anywhere else except perhaps in Isabel Allende's book Aphrodite. Her writing is tactile, visual, olfactory, gustatory. When she describes pearls, you feel their cool smooth roundness. When she describes food, you are hungry. And when she describes scenery, by God, you are there. Provence comes alive in her pen just as it does in Peter Mayle's books. And when she writes a love scene, you need a cold shower. Sometimes after reading a romance, one sighs and is satisfied. I was not only satisfied, I was astounded by Beast. Judith Ivory is one of the best writers writing today, period. And Beast, in my opinion is Judith Ivory at her best. Note: I wrote this back in 2002 as a reader-submitted Desert Isle Keeper review for All About Romance.

  • Fani *loves angst*
    2018-11-07 00:47

    When you keep wishing your husband who's been abroad for 3 days will delay coming home at least 3 or 4 hours more so you can manage to finish the book, you know the book's a keeper. If anyone told me two days ago that I would come to love a book by Ivory whose book The Proposition was a huge disappointment for me, I would have laughed at them; yet here I am. This book not only turned a keeper, but one of my top 20 books ever.This book had everything: witty dialogues, clever humor, a wicked, sexy but imperfect hero (my favorite kind) and a great, passionate love story. Yes, both of them made mistakes and acted stupidly from time to time, yes there were a couple or more of holes in the plot and yes, as it's obvious none of these things mattered a bit to me. I became entranced in their story, felt their anguish, their love and especially the hero's despair that he couldn't touch the woman he loved so much. I will add a couple of lines the hero says to the heroine:"All my roads lead to you, no matter how crooked. And allyour roads lead to me. Stay. Stop your traveling, Louise."I rest my case at this point.

  • Rane
    2018-11-10 19:24

    This is my first Judith Ivory book I’ve picked up and although it started off great, for me it fell short in the end. The Good Because of my love for the start of the book I thought I break it down between the good points on the book and the bad points. The beginning was wonderful with Charles setting out to prove that looks are not everything, teaching a lesson to Louise. I didn’t care for Louise at the start, but slowly she blooms into a mature woman, someone trying to find her way and herself in this crazy world.Charles was dark and teasing, with his own faults but playful with Louise bringing out a kindness he didn’t know he had. The banter and play between them was great, warming your heart as these two lonely people finding each other on a ship in the middle of the ocean. The Bad Almost like it became a different novel, the second part made me angry, instead of giving me that warm and fizzy feeling - gave me heartburn. Instead of Charles being a man and owning up to hiding his identity on the ship, hides the fact from Louise which drags and hinders the rest of the book. While Louise mourns her lost love and dealing with a new life in front of her, Charles doesn’t give her time for anything, wanting her to forget everything and just jump into bed with him, when she turns away from him, he becomes a Alpha Male caveman and throws a fit! Even going a low as emotional blackmail!Many times Charles could have clear the air between him and Louise, but instead hides behind a very lame excuse, even when faced with a baby, and the fact Louise knows the truth and still loves him(!), he still runs away. Which made Charles look more like an idiot and a coward.Overall: this was a good book, but the ending just didn’t settle right with me and the characters real lack of telling the truth and proving themselves just got on my nerves far to much.

  • Jacqueline
    2018-10-30 18:36

    Very nice Edwardian romance. The hero, Charles, was quite different and most of the book was written from his POV. He was scarred and hyper aware of it but rather than secluding himself and brooding about it, he instead made himself confident (at least on the surface) and flamboyant and vain. He starts his incognito relationship with the heroine, his fiance whom he's never met, out of pricked pride. The heroine, Louise, is 18 and for once was written as an 18 year old. She is polished and refined, after all she is very wealthy and was brought up to be a high society lady. But she is a bit adrift. She is not real kind and she knows it. She also is aware that she is drifting and lonely and not sure who she is or what she wants to do with her life. She falls hard for the mysterious man she meets. Generally this isn't a type of heroine that I like but JI totally made her work for me. I think probably because Louise was aware of her own faults.They both change and grow through the course of the book. I liked the way that once he was in love, he was so in love. He was indulgent and mesmerized by her. When she wouldn't sleep with him after they married because to her he was a stranger, he dealt with it, didn't force her, but showed his unhappiness in a startling way but he didn't get on his high horse and leave or any nonsense like that. Throughout the first part of their marriage Louise kept being continually surprised by him, his kindness, his understanding and his whimsy. The scenes where he tries to get her into bed after their marriage were extremely hot. Very well written with a good feel of the times. I loved picturing her dresses as they were described. I also learned quite a bit about ambergris. Too bad I'd have to kill a whale to smell it. I totally would except I live in the midwest and the ocean is a very long way away. ;-)

  • Zumbagirl
    2018-10-25 01:38

    4.5 starsThis is truly amazing - when a book makes you feel such a range of emotions and sensations. The way Ms. Ivory writes is very sensual - she appeals to all of the senses, especially smell in this one. How is that possible? Well, it starts out because the hero, Charles, is in the business to make perfumes - or grows the key ingredients for them like lavender and jasmine. The descriptions are beautiful and clear - I really felt like I could smell them! Much of the story takes places on a ship. I actually felt the sway of the ship reading about it. And oh, my goodness, she writes romance which appeals to your heart, mind and soul. These two, Charles and Louise or Lulu, both are flawed and make many mistakes throughout the story. I would on one hand love them and admire certain qualities, while other times dislike them and wish they would mature and make better choices. Nothing is worse than bad communication and misunderstandings - and that's the very nature of how this is set up, so it can be frustrating at times. Beauty and the Beast is a favorite them of mine - and this even reminded me of a book I previously read and loved . Similar thing going on with a hidden identity and secrets. What I loved: The first part of the book when they were together on the ship. Her Charles, the Arab, this guy was great. Even though he set out to prank her, he finds himself the fool over her. I loved their honesty and friendship. Louise could be hard to like because of her beauty and somewhat selfish nature. But he made her analyze herself, question things. He helped her be a better person. Maybe because he was so much older than her, he knew how to teach her. What I didn't like:Charles should have been working harder to make things work with Louise when they got married. She should have been working hard too. Then because she was so smart, she was able to piece things together, but he was still trying to outsmart her. Why couldn't he come clean sooner? It wouldn't have taken away from the story. Then the ending seemed rushed. (view spoiler)[ Finally, finally, finally, they put things aright. Charles says to Louise: "Everything will never be all right, Louise. Like they say, it's always something. But dear one, precious, sweetness, may I tell you: All my roads lead to you, no matter how crooked. And all your roads lead to me. Stay. Stop your traveling, Louise." He blew gently into her face, making her close her eyes, turn, arch slightly. he said, "Let me blow cool air on all the stings inside you." They probably wouldn't have a perfect marriage because of their flaws. But, hey, who really has a perfect marriage?(hide spoiler)]Very romantic, steamy and beautifully written.PS: I am attaching Sherry Thomas' review as a spoiler because I am having trouble attaching the link to her review. But she states it perfectly!! Mine is missing important detailsSherry Thomas' review["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads)
    2018-10-24 20:47

    A very tender, passionate, delightful and intimate look at a relationship…with all the inherent failings and follies. Only if you are able to forgive the mcs of this book their utter stupidities, will you enjoy their story. And there is much to like and love here – just as there are things that may put you off. The mixed and extreme reviews are understandable but I, for one loved both the mcs (or were they three of them?), their exchanges, the push-pull and the multi-layered story. The American heiress h and the French prince (of Nowhere!) H get engaged as part of a business deal between the H and her father – sight unseen. While on the way back to Europe (from America) after finalizing the ‘deal’, he’s sails home on same ship as the h and her family, and everyone’s quite unaware that they are all together on that same ship. He was supposed to leave early but decides to take a later ship to be with his married mistress. One night after a fight with the ow who boots him out –naked- after learning of his engagement, he comes across a flirtatious young girl leading on a poor besotted young man – allowing him some liberties but only thus far. He is forced to eavesdrop from his hiding spot and is stunned to learn that the girl is actually his own described-as-sweet fiancée. Not only that but she appears to be a vain, coquettish beauty who seems not only ready to test/widen her sexual powers and experience, but also considers her European fiancé to be hideous and old. His (notoriously sensitive) pride thus hurt, he decides to seduce her (as a stranger) with his male majestic-ness(!) and teach her a fitting lesson! Only he doesn’t realize ‘what a web we weave…’!**With Spoilers**What’s to like..The writing ...superlative! It draws you in with its depth, passion and the close and intimate feel of the mc's emotions and thoughts.I liked the slightly uncommon nationality combo for the h/H – he’s a French Prince (rare that) and she’s an American heiress. Also the author gives us a fresher setting - the Edwardian era with its transatlantic steam liners, early telephones, bidets and the cumbersome water heaters and so on, and the notion of wedding photography was also charming. The H as an aristocratic perfumer is also believable and I liked how the perfume elements and allegory were thrown in here and there but at same time were not too overwhelming. There aren’t too many sec characters. Thankfully the ow fades away (both literally and figuratively) for most parts after the initial overdose. Her parents and his uncle Tino provide an interesting background. The parents are loving and approving of their much-coveted aristocratic son-in-law, while the uncle’s generally irate and suspicious of the h!What’s to love.. Well, the mcs. And their chemistry. They were a seemingly incongruous couple, but were a perfect match and foil for each other in actuality.Both are unique characterizations even with their shortcomings. She’s a great beauty and conscious of it, even a little resentful. She’s also willful, smart, spoilt, diplomatic and quite sophisticated for her age –all the makings of a legendary beauty. Later in the story she’s confused, unyielding, self-absorbed and even cruel. But she’s always relatable. He’s lame, one eyed but also eccentrically vain. When the theme is of ‘beauty and the beast’ considerations of looks, demeanors, narcissism and vanity can surely be allowed in. I liked him as bumbles his way through his ‘great romance’ – alternating between a sophisticated noble and a rebuffed little boy throwing tantrums. His vanity is of ridiculous proportions and even endearing. Though it has to be said he showed the classic male signs of double standards – he makes love to her in the dark emphasizing the importance of other senses over sight, a sort of aspirations to higher wisdom but then is so sensitive to her reactions to his not so perfect self in daylight.His vanity hated to admit that he was anything other than fabulous to look upon. Ugly. Repulsive. Horrifying. He shuddered at these words…Snarling, dragging his heels through the emotions these stirred, he owned up. In a limited way. In time she would see how handsome he was, once she developed some discernment for the finer attributes of men. But he’s not all shallow vanity. He understands her more than she understands herself. His absolute adoration and adulation of the h is much obvious. Sex is not overly graphic but underlying tenor is of hot and pulsing sensuality.They talk a lot (which doesn’t always happen between h/Hs) and he listens to her as well as counsels her – gently. (That he’s many a time hypocritical and manipulative is another detail.) But I found their interactions pre and post wedding quite fascinating and layered. What may offend …That he was so committed to his married mistress that he allowed himself to be her dirty secret for two years! (Although one look at the h and his years long commitment evaporates with a poof!) I can't imagine this man, this H with/in love with a silly woman like the ow – she’s quite shallow and annoying actually. He is portrayed as a multifaceted and remarkable man so I’d have wished a more complex person as his ‘love interest’. And to still be involved (with all signs of continuing it post wedding) with the ow while being officially engaged to the h (although he’s not met her.)AND to have sex with the h barely 48 hours after he’s been doing the same with the ow. I’d have preferred some cooling off period.What’s debatable...The matter of the silly deception he gets into…and then keeps getting enmeshed deeper and deeper. It also drags on and drags down the story towards the end. But then that’s also the crux of the story. It’s almost a love triangle. The h’s first lover – who introduces her to the first flush of love and passion. He deserts her and then she’s married to a stranger who repels her. But slowly she discovers that she attracted to him despite herself. She was surprised anew each time she realized how strangely appealing he was. ‘Beau-laid’, the French called it. Handsome-ugly, alluring in the way that charmed against one's will. …What also became obvious was that he was used to handling a woman. By the elbow, by the waist, by her fingers, then letting go with a light stabilizing brush of her back. The husband is patient, caring and tolerant and gives her time and space to come around. Perfect husband? More like a guilty fraud! A large part of the book’s from the H’s pov, especially the third portion. And I loved reading his side of it. But on the whole, it’s the story about how a worldly and conceited beast was brought to his knees by the just-out-of-schoolroom beauty and his own trickeries.

  • Sofia
    2018-10-31 02:33

    3.5 starsA delicious take on the beauty and the beast trope (view spoiler)[especially how Charles is presented as both the 'beauty' and then the 'beast'(hide spoiler)]. Ivory very capably gives us Charles Harcourt. I loved his inner dialogue and how his character is laid out with his strengths and insecurities and how the devious Charles was hoist by his own petard. Also liked where she took Louise and how the story evolved. I felt her love, grief, anger, puzzlement.I quite willing suspended belief (a must) and let go and enjoyed this low angst romp. Ivory makes falling in love twice with the same man work all in one book. She kept me on tenterhooks right till the end, to see how she was going to resolve everything. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • ♥ℳelody
    2018-11-15 00:38

    This had the potential of being stupendous but the ludicrous plot and unlikable ice queen heroine ruined it entirely. I'm really annoyed because I had this sitting on my bookshelf for over a year and looking forward to reading it for so long. I originally wanted to give this an extra star but there was honestly nothing I enjoyed about this. The first half of the story dragged out unbearably slow where the hero devises an idiotic scheme to seduce his unsuspecting young soon-to-be-bride as someone else. The heroine decides Hey! Why the heck not? I'm about to get married and this faceless stranger sounds beautiful. *eye twitch* The hero soon realizes he has fallen in love with her and she with him so what does he do? He doesn't tell her the truth and decides they should start with a clean slate once they are married and he can make her fall in love with him again. *crickets* Yeah cause that makes total sense. The rest of the story we have to sit through the vain selfish emotionally-stunted heroine mooning over her mysterious pasha lover and comparing him to her 'ghastly' husband and constantly pushing him away. It was unbearable and seemed to have no end. The fact that she doesn't recognize Charles as her mystery lover after their escapades on the boat blows my mind. They spent 5 nights together, you're telling me she can't recognize his voice, his long hair, and his body build?? And oh let's not forget...THEY HAVE THE SAME FREAKING NAME!That's just a special kind of stupid.Logic and common sense are completely thrown out the window for a convoluted plot which could have easily been resolved if the hero confessed about his deception. I could have overlooked this if it weren't for the sheer misery of the insufferable heroine Louise.She is so beautiful men stop in their tracks and every woman envies her, she's intelligent beyond her years, she's 18 years old but acts like a jaded worldly creature who's extremely hung up on looks--her own and her husband's. The number of times Charles's looks are emphasized, scrutinized and ripped apart by this woman is insane. He has a blind eye and a limp...WE GET IT. Please move on.There were a lot of confusing contradictions to Louise’s character that really didn’t mesh well. She loves her beauty yet hates it, loves and craves attention yet detests it, adores her parents but hates them and is jealous of them (WTF?), thinks Charles is grotesque and frightening but beautiful. WHICH IS IT?! She’s apparently a wild flighty hellion who just wants to be free but can’t stand affectionate touches.She won't even let Charles hold her freaking hand. He can’t touch her it’s just...criminal!She makes false promises to him then breaks it with total disregard to his feelings and his work in another city.She can't be bothered with pleasantries.And the idea of doing wifely duties and running a household?She cringes at the mere mention of it. RME. This girl was one seriously confused unstable mess and I just could not make sense of her or relate to her at all. Ironically enough, the hero is supposed to be the 'beast' of this story but I think Louise could carry the title as well. To be fair Charles did start out pretty lame and unlikable in the beginning but he showed some growth and humility when he realized his mistakes and bends over backwards to win this girl's heart. My heart honestly broke for him a little even though it shouldn't, I felt his emotions were wasted on an insensitive detached little girl. She can't see past her own nose and is quite aware of it but doesn't lift a finger to try and change or be a better person. I mean at least freaking try. That was the most infuriating thing. I could have overlooked all of it if we saw some actual dimension, personality and evolution to this heroine, but nope. Just because you acknowledge that you "aren't a nice person" gives you a free pass? Uh no. Whining about it didn't endear her to me either.There was not an ounce or inch given to understand this character and the evolution I was hoping to see with her did not happen. Someone who can't and isn't willing to meet someone half way or compromise is hard to sympathize with. (view spoiler)[And to add insult to injury the ending was so unbelievably slapstick and rushed. You're gonna torment your characters and put your readers through all of that just for a rushed sloppy abrupt ending?! We don't even see when exactly Louise figures out the truth, she just does off the page.(hide spoiler)] There wasn't even near enough levity and subtle moments to help balance things out and convince readers these two were well matched. Readers aren't given enough time to see Louise actually fall in love with her husband and not the silly smoke and mirrors pasha disguise. I couldn't even get into the rendezvous love scenes in the first half because it was all under false pretenses. Hated that! Like I said there wasn’t enough for me to enjoy about this. I grew quite fond of the hero and how far he came in such a short amount of time but everything else was abysmal.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Saly
    2018-10-26 02:25

    3.5 starsI am sad that I am almost done with her books, when her book were good they were amazing, unique, with characters who had flaws, when her books were bad, they were the worst. This one kind of falls in the middle, I would have rated it higher had the whole double identity not bogged down the last half and gone on way too long. I did like how the book was unapologetic about how vain and immature the heroine was, after all she was 18 and not like most books where heroines just melt over the hero's scars. The hero was older, but I did like seeing him suffering later for the fast one he pulled on the heroine. To be honest this book does require suspension of belief, I mean who boinks a stranger whose name they don't know in the dark?

  • Steelwhisper
    2018-10-21 19:50

    This starts off with the hero doing the wife of an acquaintance. It lost me already there. I'm uninterested in reading about this type of cheaters. What followed was even more infantile, never mind that Charles was supposed to being an adult. I really dislike the "boys will be boys" excuse. For anything.No thanks. And people call this a romance...

  • Jeffe Kennedy
    2018-10-22 00:41

    This was an interesting read. I'd never read it before, and I can see why it's so beloved. It has all the emotional energy and erotic power of the Old Skool romances. Ivory evoked the turn of the century feel with such vividness that I felt as if I were reading a contemporary novel. The world is very immediate and real. That said, I felt like the second half spun out too long. I tired of Louise's angst and Charles' waffling. The pair of them from the ship were so much better - freer, more themselves, more compelling. Perhaps that's part of the point, but I kept waiting for them to return to that, to find that in each other again and I felt they never quite got there. Not enough for the emotional catharsis I craved from the long setup. Also - I'm looking at you, Avon - what the hell with the egregious transcription errors to digital format? Did *anyone* proof the OCR version?? I would never dock an author a star for this, as it's not Ivory's fault, but seriously folks, put a little effort into putting out a decent product. It's only making you money at this point, so you could afford to throw some money at a proofreader and get this fixed.

  • Jane Stewart
    2018-10-30 19:28

    Good plot, but lacking in development.STORY BRIEF:I liked the overall plot. Charles a French aristocrat has one blind eye and limps due to a bad knee. (He’s the beast.) Louise’s American parents are wealthy and arrange a marriage between Charles and Louise. Charles seduces Louise in the dark on a ship. They continue seeing each other but only in the dark. She does not know he is her fiancé. When the ship docks in France, she discovers her lover left the ship without saying goodbye. She pines for him. She is then introduced to Charles and does not know that he is her shipboard lover. She dislikes Charles’ appearance. She will not let him touch her. Before and after they marry Louise will not give Charles a chance because she grieves for her lover.OPINION:The first half of the book is the romance on the ship. It was good. The second half is their time in France; it was not. Charles admires her beauty but she has no other qualities. She is conceited, mean, selfish, and bratty. I enjoyed some of the Charles parts. On the ship he realizes he is cuckolding himself. Later he wants to tell her that he was the guy on the ship, but he fears she will hate him for the dishonesty. So the big mystery is what will happen when SHE finds out and HOW will she find out. That was a huge disappointment. It was not shown. I did not see what went through her mind when she realized Charles was the lover. I did not see what event caused her to know this. All of a sudden it is a couple of days after she knew, and she is having a conversation about it. I was angry!I also wanted to see how and why Louise fell in love with Charles. That was not developed. All of a sudden she decides to have sex with him.After she has been cold, distant, and mean to Charles. He gives her an outrageously expensive set of jewels. He says it is because she has become such a good friend to him. Aaaack! She wasn’t a friend to him. He was nice, she was not. I did not want them to be together. In a romance book, the reader is supposed to want them to be together.At times things were slow and drawn out. Too much pondering.The narrator Barbara Rosenblat was excellent. She did male and female voices well. I liked her pauses. She has a pleasing British accent.DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 12 hrs and 40 mins. Swearing language: religious swear words used maybe twice. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: about 4. Setting: 1902 crossing the Atlantic in a ship and southern France. Book copyright: 1997. Genre: historical romance.

  • Mary B.
    2018-11-06 21:41

    I can't say enough about how much I adore this author's style, and particularly this book. She really gets inside her characters heads and writes from that perspective - a true talent that is so rare among writers. This story was particularly heart-wrenching at times, while simultaneously being tragically funny. Charles's pain from inadvertently placing himself in such an impossible position. Louise's desperate need to be seen for who she is (by herself, especially), and to be recognized as more than just a pretty face. It was such an intriguing plot, and watching it all play out was fascinating, and really gets the reader thinking about one's own insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. Completely worth the read. Very unique story.

  • Wicked Incognito Now
    2018-11-08 00:44

    Oy. I don't know what else to say right now because this novel DESTROYED me and I'm a puddle of goo.But seriously? I think I'll go with--perfection. For the time being. Until I calm down and wipe myself up off the floor.

  • Ania
    2018-10-24 22:28

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars.I really wanted to love this book, the plot was there it just lacked development. There were some good lines of dialogue and the sexy bits were very well done, but in the end that was all there was to it. I just couldn't love this book as I so wanted to.First: (view spoiler)[ Her parents write him, basically begging him to marry their daughter in exchange for all the whale feces his heart desires, and he desires that ambergris, a lot. I mean, NAGL. (hide spoiler)]Moving on...I liked Charles immediately, a hero who is half blind and limps? Right up my alley. He was also a bit of rogue, seducing his own intended just to prove a point. And here is one of my problems with this story. As predicted, they end up caring more for each other than they were meant to. But aside from that, I never got what lesson it was that he was trying to teach to Louise. Sure, they had a good time between the sheets (as they would!) but I didn't understand why he decided to do it (As if men ever need an excuse to seduce a beautiful woman, I know.), or even why she accepted him. It was all too "she's beautiful, here and available" for my tastes. (view spoiler)[ At one point, I felt Charles himself was as lost to his real intentions as me. It looked to me as if it was all for the sake of his vanity. Was it to see if she could bear his touch not being able to see his face, since they only met in the dark? Probably. Did he end up figuring that out? Nope.(hide spoiler)]Maybe I was the problem, maybe I didn't fully grasp the concept - but nevertheless, it could definitely had been done better, or at least, differently.Louise, I found, lacked substance. Which is very ironic because she spends so much time showing how intelligent she is - studying mathematics and being just the opposite of what you would imagine a beautiful woman to be (not me, I believe a woman is never just one thing) - but then, it felt as if she just tried too hard. She was too vain, too sure of her own looks. She lacked maturity, which would be understandable as she is but eighteen years old, but when she was mooning over "Charles" and her "Pasha" while trying to put up with her new husband, I kind of wanted to smack her upside the head and say "Girl, he is right there with you. Seriously, a man is not that different in the dark, given that he has BEEN INSIDE YOU, you should recognize the guy."That was another thing that bothered me, the dragging on and on of the reveal of Charles' true identity. How am I, as a reader, supposed to believe that Louise being as smart as she is, never could figure out that the man she had spent a week in an ardent affair with, was actually her husband? And then, when she finally figures it out I had to go back and re-read because I missed it! Charles was such a nincompoop in that moment.One character whose purpose I did not understand was Pia's. She was Charles lover who was on the boat, and whom he was supposed to spend the whole crossing in bed with, making mad love, while her poor diplomatic husband lay in bed, seasick. I expected her to cause some kind of trouble, but alas, I was disappointed - her only use was to exchange some piqued words with Charles and basically be that woman who says she won't call back and then not even a minute passes before is calling him back.There were some great aspects, such as Charles and Louise's camaraderie, but even in that I find fault - their friendship somehow felt forced, especially taking into consideration he was always making an effort not to be too much like his true self, and she didn't know what she wanted most of the time. He was a puppy dog, always trying to please, basically trying to make up for having tricked her; and she was a cold ice queen, wanting things her way or the highway, with no consideration for what was being done for her.Overall, it was a nice book, not great like The Proposition. I admit, that book was so good, I was on such a high thinking this one would be great, too, just because of it. I still look forward to reading other Judith Ivory/Judy Cuevas books, but I guess I'll just stick to the ones Melissa has already reviewed, and save myself the trouble of having to read a confusing, underdeveloped, but full of potential book.

  • Alexis Hall
    2018-10-25 20:35

    Discussed this on AAR with Elisabeth Lane.AJH: So, Elisabeth: broad impressions. How’d you find it?Elisabeth: I was blown away by this book. It’s unconventional in pretty much all the ways. And I think sometimes the danger of that is that the romance can get lost. But it’s also, I thought, incredibly romantic. You have this anonymous shipboard romance in the first half and then this marriage-in-trouble romance in the second half and the two pieces still manage to work well together to create an incredibly satisfying whole. What did you think?AJH: I agree. I thought it was glorious, for all the reasons you mention. And it was just stuffed full of things I Really Like. I have kind of a weakness for beautiful heroines, partially because beautiful people (especially beautiful women) are usually cast as antagonists to the nice/witty protagonist with the fine eyes, but also because there seems to be this myth that being beautiful will solve all your problems and make you powerful and this isn’t something the rest of us can identify with or be interested in. But most the truly beautiful people I’ve met have actually suffered a great deal for it. It’s certainly power that comes with a cost. But I felt this was a really compassionate, subtle portrait of a complex woman, and being beautiful is something she herself to navigate and think about. It’s even got this proto-NA vibe in a way because she’s eighteen years old and has no idea who she is or how to become someone she likes or live a life she wants to live. And I was actually quite intrigued by the hero too. I thought he was a dick in new and unusual and really rather compelling ways.Elisabeth: Wow. You thought he was a dick? I mean, I guess I can sort of see that. But, aside from Louise’s beauty, her main defining feature is that she’s been sheltered to death by her parents and is desperate for adventure. She says at one point that “there is a real seduction to having someone listen and know you, accept you just as you are” and I think that, in addition to the frankly mind-blowing sex, is what he offers her. At her desire. And he demands enthusiastic consent from her in the process.AJH: I said he was a dick in new, unusual and compelling ways – that was a compliment! But I’d suggest there’s an extent to which consent is already compromised when you’re pretending to be someone else…. although, to be fair, I don’t think the book is recommending this as a seduction strategy. He’s very aware of what an incredible mess he’s making of everything, how problematic his own behaviour is, and the consequences of what he does on both are them are far-reaching and long-lasting.Elisabeth: The first thing I noticed about Charles is just how closely he corresponds to the Beauty and the Beast fairytale conception. It seems every adaptation I’ve read (and I’ve read lots because it’s my FAVORITE) refers to the Beast’s problems his eyesight–in this case a lack of depth perception. In Charles’ case, it’s because of a birth defect that has blinded him in one eye. Plus there’s the sense of smell thing. He has a preternaturally keen sense of smell.AJH: Beauty and the Beast is also my FAVOURITE but, honestly, the short-sightedness thing is an element of the story I’ve largely failed to note. For me, Charles was quite refreshing as a Beast-archetype because he wasn’t hideously scarred and living alone in a dark castle somewhere. In my admittedly more limited experience, beasty romance heroes are very explicitly perceived and presented as monstrous, whereas he is very overtly sexy and sexual, and a lot of his ‘beastliness’ is – as you’ve said – is less explicit: it’s his sense of smell, and his temper, and his pride.The rest of our talk is here.

  • Michelle [Helen Geek]
    2018-10-27 22:30

    08/01/2013 --Overall Rating = 4 StarsBook Cover / Book Blurb / Book Title = 4 / 2 / 5 = 3.5 StarsWriter’s Voice = 4 StarsCharacter Development = 4 StarsStory Appreciation = 3.5 StarsWorth the Chili = 5 Stars [$5.99 on Amazon ... classic]Searock, a friend of mine, has this on a shelf marked "gorgeous". Mary B. recently read and rated this book 5 Stars. She wrote a lovely review stating, "I can't say enough about how much I adore this author's style, and particularly this book. She really gets inside her characters heads and writes from that perspective - a true talent that is so rare among writers." I would agree with both of these Ladies. I thought it about time I gave this one a try. I ADORE a Beauty and the Beast feel. This book has it in spades!I broke my teeth on historical romances. I started reading them in the mid to late 70's. When romances were first available, there really wasn't much more than historical romances. How I missed this author, I'm not sure. Since reading, or rather half way through this book, I've purchased all the ebooks available of her work. They are going on vacation with me.I consider the older authors who've outlasted some of the fads and who weren't serials classic. When you read the blurb, you think you've read this one before. You would be wrong. This author combines multiple theme's and makes this story her own. We have innocent deception that backfires and the resulting conundrum. How can you be jealous of yourself? The "ugly" beast-like suitor, who really isn't ... ugly or beast like, but you have to scratch more than the surface to know this. The beautiful young lady who is so much more than her appearance - if they would only look a bit deeper... And woven throughout we have the power of scent.This really is a wonderful read. I got angry with the story in places because of the conflicting emotions it pulled from me. There were places where it lost me in the prose -- I had to reread. I think those, "smack" in your face, simpleton reads have spoiled us, so when we have to work a bit harder or concentrate a bit more, it takes a bit for us to remind our brains to engage. And, like with most historical romances, it drags just a bit in the middle.I'm going to read another by this author right now. I love the way she strings words together and her unusual take on the usual.Happy Reading!

  • Amanda
    2018-11-09 22:42

    I DNF after 10% purely because this is not the kind of B&B theme book that I'm looking for. I like my Beast to be have at least some of the following traits:reclusivebroodyinsecuredepressspitefulHowever, the Beast in this book was having an affair with a married woman in the beginning of the book and he seemed pretty easy going. Honestly, I don't care about his debauchery, but this is hardly the Beast that I visualize. So, no go for me.I assure that my comment does not reflect the quality of the book at all, since I hardly read it.

  • Grace
    2018-10-23 19:49

    Seldom do I rate books of this genre so highly, but this book is truly a masterpiece.This book does something really exceptional with two very unlikable characters and gives them a really dramatic great love. I ended up staying up to finish the book (never happens anymore) and then I reread it immediately after reading it and then again. So, three times in a row.There were some reviewers that complained about the writing style and I think that's a valid complaint -- initially when I picked up this book, I stopped reading midway through the first chapter, because the stop and go, conversational quality of the writing, with lots of parentheses, was very informal and jarring. But then as I progressed further, I started to be swept up by the flow of the writing so that I stood squarely in the characters' shoes.People also didn't like the main characters. Oh, they are horrible people. Louise is a gorgeous young lady who's secretly quite wild. She's young and very the point where she does look down on other people. She loves her family, but she complains about them. She can also turn into an ice queen at any time, which, combined with her looks and wardrobe and wealth and general good fortune, makes her quite a bitch. Charles, on the other hand, is as vain as you can get. Born with an eye infection that had to be lanced, he bears a scar on one side of his face, along with a very obvious blind eye and a bad knee that cramps up at times and causes him to limp, he's not exactly Prince Charming. In fact, at the beginning of the book, we see him betrothed to a woman he's never met and climbing out of the bed of a married woman -- one who he's tried to get to marry him multiple times. And THEN he has the gall to be piqued when he sees and hears his betrothed flirting heavily with another man. Seriously, these people are vain, superficial people who need to be taken down a peg.And they do -- out of one another. Charles determines to teach Louise a lesson and lures her out with the threat that he knows what she's been up to (and she's on board with her parents too), and so they begin meeting each other in the dark. It's humorous, because Charles is so intent on his mission and such a bored rich man that he prowls the ship looking for dark places to meet -- since he doesn't want her to see his crippled, scarred self. He even goes into the pet cargo area and removes all the light bulbs. Seriously, this man. It's funny, because of the lengths his vanity drives him to do this -- he even snags a kaffiyeh off some Arabian guard on the ship in order to spy on Louise. Except Louise then thinks he's an Arabian.Unlike other historical romances, the hanky-panky makes perfect sense here because Louise is such a wild child and just bursting at the seams. The girl is rebellious and daring even before she meets Charles, and really, he was just a catalyst. So she goes to his room, and they get up to some hanky-panky in the dark. Of course, Louise was a virgin and really falls for Charles in a big way. It's realistic because despite her bravado, she's a young girl at heart, and he's twice her age and rather experienced with the ladies. In the dark, he knows just what to say and how to listen to her and he makes her fall hard.This book would have been quite terrible IF Charles had been made out to be a badder ass than he was. The reason this story works so well is because Charles falls so hard right back for Louise, and he begins to angst over being recognized by her once they land. Of course he's thrilled out of his mind that he's marrying a girl he adores, and he's bound and determined to keep the ship incident an isolated incident because he can't think of a logical way to explain why he did such a dastardly thing as pretend to be someone else when he knew who she was to him.Unfortunately, he does too good a job that she doesn't recognize him at all -- he speaks a different language and wears a different cologne and he's so smitten that he lets Louise walk all over him. Oh, and of course he tries to kiss Louise because to him, it's the same girl he fell in love with. For Louise, it's disgusting that this man to whom she's newly betrothed keeps on trying to kiss her while she's still hung-up on her ship-man. It's heart-breaking for Charles when nothing he does can sweep Louise off her feet...and she's also giving him the cold bitch treatment as well, because compared to the confident man from the ship, this man is self-effacing, self-conscious, and a people-pleaser...gross!Nothing that much happens, really, but there's such chemistry between the two that it sizzles off the page. Both of them are exactly alike and yet so perfect for one another -- vain, worried about their vanities, insecure, impetuous... Charles IS a very self-conscious and vain creature, but so lovable...because he loves so much. In setting out to teach a lesson, he learns a big one of his own. Layered in the background, Judith Ivory has given us the story of amber-gris, the scent from sperm whale poo, as a metaphor for the Beast -- a disgusting piece of feces that when exposed to the air, becomes fragrant and desirable.The writing is absolutely seamless -- not at any time did I feel the conversations between the two are forced, or the setting ill-drawn. Everything is richly and confidently described, down to the conversations in French the two hold once they disembark. Judith Ivory has a such a confidence with the language that phrases are given in English and then parenthetically in French. Charles is given such a rich, textured character that his very Frenchness is drawn out by his small actions, like blowing out his lips when disagreeing good-naturedly. He is self-conscious, insecure, vain, manipulative, and yet so humorous and lovable with it that one is drawn in to his insecure, one-sided love for Louise.This is historical romance at its very finest.

  • Kagama-the Literaturevixen
    2018-10-20 02:48

    The premise seemed interesting...but failed on so many levelsI might be ignorant on how society worked at the beginning of the 20th century...but why on earth would supposedly wealthy and high class parents write a letter saying basically "OMG youre so rich! You should totally marry our daughter!" Im paraphrasing of course but thats essentially what it says.On to the rest of the reviewSo much was made of the heroines age (18)that it felt obscene,with the narrative harping on and on about her adolescent face and unspoiled beauty.I didnt like her either she came across as a poor little rich girl instead of a rebellious young woman as the author might have intended.Shes intelligent though (or so we are told) and insanely beautiful. But its a CURSE. Er really? Seriously? I feel so bad for a heroine that has such serious problems *ironic*Also she dont like homely people and is repulsed by ugly ones,not to mention she likes to the occasional lie to throw people off.Im sorry author but are you sure you wrote a heroine and not a villain? She also comes across as having no morals with the flippant way she mentions having kissed many men strike text:and more. I dont propose the only worthy heroine is a virgin one...but this particular "heroines" attitude towards her previous relationships (?) just come across as shallow.The supporting characters never emerge as anything but cut-outs,the wellmeaning but ambitious parents,the mistress character,the bubbling cousin and so on.I think the heroine has more conversation with the husband to bes mistress than she has with her parents or her cousin..theyre just there. Like filler.The heros obsession with perfume was somewhat interesting,but his need to get his hand on ambergris got to the point of ridicilious.Not to mention the purple prose that abounds throughout the entirety of the book.Not a recommend

  • Bookswithbenefits
    2018-10-28 18:37

    Ivory creates an effect that lasts in this retelling of a classic fairytale. Synopsis: Louise Vandermeer, a young, beautiful, and sometimes shallow heiress is searching for a way to learn about herself and the world. Lost, without direction, and bored by life, Louise agrees to marry a man of her parents choosing, though she isn't above a bit of light flirtation on her trans-Atlantic travel. Scarred by a childhood illness, Charles d'Harcourt is successful, ambitious, and vain--despite his unusual looks. When Charles overhears his bride-to-be flirting with a ship's officer, he formulates a plan to trick and train his young fiancé: he will flirt with her and seduce her and teach her not to cuckold her ugly husband!The Good: Ivory does the smexy very well. Sex scenes in romance fiction can feel like only that (no intimacy, no plot development)--a little like gore in a Trentino film (there only because it's supposed to be, but serving no real purpose). Ivory, however makes sexual intimacy part of the couple's maturation--and it reads as sensual, heartfelt, and even sweet at times. Sex is how the couple finds each other in this novel, but isn't the only thing that connects them--as is so frequently the case in lesser books.The emotional story is the BIG problem, but it isn't formulaic the way it can sometimes be: I love you. Now, I hate hate you. Now, I love you. No,wait. I hate you. Because of Ivory's careful psychologically based plotting, the old formula is made new. And the old classic is refreshed in a way that is truly magical.The Bad: Nope. Nuh-uh.The Ugly: Again, I got nothin'.Can't remember if you read it? You'd remember that a ship looses its running lights while the book goes on in the dark.As posted on

  • Lucille
    2018-10-29 01:22

    Again, another arranged marriage. A disappointing one. I think I need to a stop on this arranged-marriage-addiction of mine. Beast was basically about two vain people, Louise Vandermeer who is on her way to meet her fiance and Charles d'Harcourt who was in the ship with his mistress (I forgot her name, but whatever). Charles decided to play a prank on Louise, but he fell head over heels in love with his fiancee. The two decided to meet in secret at night and had an affair. Little did Louise know that Charles is really her fiance. The characters are so very annoying. When they got out of the ship and Louise finally meets her fiance (Charles), she doesn't recognize him as the man she made love to at the ship and was kinda disgusted with his appearance. In case you're wondering if he's hideous, no, he's not hideous. He just limps and has a scar on his eye. This just proves that Louise really doesn't love Charles.I didn't like the concept of this book. It's like saying that people are not meant to be with each other because the other one was ugly. The story is not worth reading. Please don't hate me, lol. I don't recommend this to anyone.

  • Ev.
    2018-10-28 01:29

    Reread on November 24, 2016:I really enjoyed this a second time around! The emotions were portrayed really well. I empathized with Charles a lot, and Louise's conflict was well written. Seriously. Judith Ivory is a writer.Original review: Judith Ivory knows how to write. Which I appreciate, since that's not a common feature all romance authors share. She explores emotions with excellent prose, evoking all sorts of sensory feelings. She can also craft a love scene. :P This woman is good. However, not so good was the feeling of the story "dragging on." And it truly did drag on. For what felt like ages. That frustrated me. A lot. Add Charles' pedestal-putting of Louise into the mix, and I was irritated intermittently throughout. Yet, Ivory still manages to portray both these characters as flawed. Human. I especially liked the end, wherein she made both hero and heroine look very pathetic and sympathetic all the same.

  • Kirstin
    2018-11-09 19:47

    I tried. I truly tried. I got as far as the first page of part three and remembered I had better things to do then internally scream at a whiny child. Louise is probably on my top ten most annoying heroines. She griped about how her beauty was such a curse in every page. I was okay with it for the first few chapters and then it just began to get horrible. Then theres Charles, he wasn't so bad. In fact I liked him. He pointed out that she was a spoiled brat and basically told her. Then again the rest of the story went from okay to terrible. How could you not know it was Charles when you slept with him, held him, blah blah blah. I mean, come one! Of course its Charles. I didn't bother reading the rest, instead busied myself with another book and try to forget the last couple hours of my life.

  • Tina
    2018-11-08 18:33

    This book had me giggling and smiley at the H/H's antics, then the book changed and with it my adoration of the heroine. 70 pages from the end, after much teeth grinding, I gave it up.I dunno what happened really, how I could go from absolutely loving everything about the book, to hating the heroine, to being disgruntled with the author's writing, thinking the hero an idiot for loving the b*itchy, shrewish heroine.... And so, I could only give this book 3 stars mostly due to the spoiled, superficial heroine, she seriously killed most of my enjoyment with the book. She will forever live in my mind as the worst "beauty" there ever was....

  • Rinou
    2018-10-26 23:44

    A book with A on AAR, I was sure I enjoy. Except that I did not like the hero nor heroine.Him, as if it were a joke, decides to seduce his betrothed during the transatlantic travel, taking advantage of a lights' failure so as not to reveal himself.She, has no qualms about taking a lover just before her wedding, because she was told that her betrothed is ugly, and because she does not know him and therefore do not feel compelled to be faithful."Beautiful" spirit both of them, they're both as bad as each other ... And the rest of the story is weak and predictable (except for the speed with which she forgives him at the end).

  • Lady Wesley
    2018-11-10 01:23

    Judith Ivory is an excellent writer of beautiful prose. But the plot of this book didn't please me nearly as much as the prose. I was highly skeptical of the lovers-in-the-dark plot, which however, she pulled off quite convincingly. But once the ship docked and the lovers "met" one another for real, I was just impatient to get to the reveal. And that comes very late in the book.I'm glad that I read this, but I have no desire to reread some day. And I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the stomach-churning (literally) details of ambergris.

  • Amber
    2018-10-22 21:35

    *sigh* Her books always leave me with a big smile on my face. The writing is sublime, the story enchanting.

  • Canan
    2018-11-12 18:35

    Tanıtım aldatıcı olmuş. Bahsedildiği gibi baştan itibaren planlanmış bir düzmece yok ortada, daha çok gelişmeler üzerine anlık bir kararla gelişen bir dolap söz konusu. Sırf sonunu merak ettiğim için kitabı bitirdim. Son kısımda belki bir şekilde toparlanabilir diye iyimserliğim tuttu nedense. Fena başlamamıştı ama sonu da içeriği gibi zayıf ve saçmaydı.