My Beautiful Enemy (The Heart of the Blade Duology #2)
Sherry Thomas is a brilliant author, she seemingly without effort populates her novels with a cast of diverse and unique characters each of whom are keenly and unapologetically intelligent and better yet she makes their intellect appealing. So often romance novels are contrived and we are inundated with tropes featuring stupid heroines and foolish heroes however Ms Thomas’ work exhibits characters who are blessedly self aware (though not so much that there is no story to be told) and concerned with more than just their partners physical attributes. It follows that reading anything by this author is an unqualified delight.
I have always found the novels that I truly like to be the hardest to review. How do you comment on perfection? I have read the majority of Ms Thomas’ work, and am continually amazed at her ability to write the most eloquent, intelligent and emotionally powerful love stories of which My Beautiful Enemy is no exception.
From Amazon – Hidden beneath Catherine Blade’s uncommon beauty is a daring that matches any man’s. Although this has taken her far in the world, she still doesn’t have the one thing she craves: the freedom to live life as she chooses. Finally given the chance to earn her independence, who should be standing in her way but the only man she’s ever loved, the only person to ever betray her.
Despite the scars Catherine left him, Captain Leighton Atwood has never been able to forget the mysterious girl who once so thoroughly captivated him. When she unexpectedly reappears in his life, he refuses to get close to her. But he cannot deny the yearning she reignites in his heart.
Their reunion, however, plunges them into a web of espionage, treachery, and deadly foes. With everything at stake, Leighton and Catherine are forced to work together to find a way out. If they are ever to find safety and happiness, they must first forgive and learn to trust each other again…
In my opinion what sets Sherry Thomas’ writing apart is her knack for creating characters with such authenticity at the same time without compromising the relationships within, her plotting or language. Rather than Leighton, it is Catherine (Ying-Ying) who is the warrior in My Beautiful Enemy. A reversal of character which is uncommon in historical romance yet is handled deftly by the author. It is not the only deviation from the norm this story takes as the scenes vacillate between action worthy of a Bruce Lee movie to the staid drawing rooms of Victorian era London.
My Beautiful Enemy was a departure from the stories that I have become accustomed to from Ms Thomas and at the same time it was not. The story opens with Catherine Blade docking in England and coming to the realization that her beloved “Persian”, a man she believed long dead at her hand is alive and betrothed to another. Told in flashbacks between the present and their time in Asia, My Beautiful Enemy takes Sherry Thomas’ trademark formula and blends the exotic locale of nineteenth century Chinese Turkestan resulting in a fascinating story. While this was not my favourite work by this author that honour belongs to Tempting the Bride. A novel that I return to whenever a reading slump occurs and it never fails to captivate me anew. Regardless My Beautiful Enemy is a lovely addition to the genre and if you have not read this or any of Ms Thomas’ other work I cannot recommend them highly enough.
To read an excerpt from My Beautiful Enemy follow the link below:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed historical romance authors writing today, winning the RITA Award two years running, and appearing on innumerable “Best of the Year” lists, including those of Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Dear Author, and All About Romance. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and sons.
Sherry Thomas is represented by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency.