Beguiling the Beauty - Sherry Thomas
It's official. As long as it's done right, historical romance is for me!I loved this book.I doubt there's anything truly groundbreaking to the story, and even a bit of the cliché but the storytelling is so fun and the characters extremely lovable even when you're yelling at them: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"Venetia Fitzhugh Townsend Easterbrook's biggest concern was for the welfare of her sister's reputation, which is how she found herself in America attending a lecture at Harvard by the Duke of Lexington. Christian de Montfort had a secret obsession for ten years and his very public personal rebuke results in consequences he could have never foreseen. Venetia sets herself on a path of revenge, but she may lose herself in the process.Both characters do side-eye worthy things to each other but they're so sweet individually and together I couldn't help but not care. I loved their interaction with each other. Christian was adorable, and so respectful (well, mostly) and caring. And I just adored how he called his stepmother "stepmama". Venetia though described as the most beautiful woman in all the land was incredibly smart even when she was doing stupid things (not to mention the only reason why her plan didn't blow up in her face was because Christian was so agreeable and trustworthy). And even though I got to the point of wanting to smack her around a little bit I still loved her, especially for what she did for her late husband, Mr. Easterbrook.The only real problems I had with this book were:-Not so much a problem, but it was jarring to me how fast they fell into bed together. It would have been if this had been a contemporary romance, but for historical fiction it was definitely super fast to me. (Also, this part of Venetia's plan gave me a little bit of the willies.)-Venetia continuing to lie when, in my opinion, it was just making things worse. Of course, doesn't lying do that most of the time?-The fade to black in the last sex scene. I really wanted the emotions of them coming together at that point.-But, by far, my biggest complaint was Venetia's sister Helena's storyline. It's gross. And there's no indication that the marriage in her storyline was like the marriage Fitz (Venetia and Helena's brother) entered into with Millie.The writing was lovely and I never once had to stop and ask if what was written makes sense for the time period. That's typically my biggest complaint about historical romances – the exposition and/or dialogue sounds more like a contemporary and that pulls me out of the story. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series: Millie and Fitz's story. Though I'm not sure I'll be reading the third book, which is Helena's story. I'm truly distraught that this series is under Penguin's Berkley imprint. I found this book at Target on a clearance rack, which never fails to get me so excited I kind of go into this happy dimension where nothing matters but a deal on a book I'm willing to read. Unfortunately, after I bought it I saw that it was a Berkley book and I refuse to buy from them/Penguin for the fact they paid seven figures for fan fiction. It's bad enough that there are so many authors on that imprint that I absolutely love, and now this book has just added another and I'm sure that none of these amazing, real authors, who write original, ethical fiction were paid seven figures for their fantastic (not misogynistic, by the way) books. I have no idea how I'm going to be able to read the next book, so let us all pray to the Book Gods that Penguin's library pilot gets off the ground and goes nationwide or something.