Tag Archives: Sherry Thomas

My Beautiful Enemy – Sherry Thomas REVIEW

My Beautiful Enemy (The Heart of the Blade Duology #2)

Sherry Thomas


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.

MyBeautifulEnemy_wordpressFrom AmazonHidden 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:

http://www.sherrythomas.com/my-beautiful-enemy.php#read-an-excerpt

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sherry_Thomas_Author_Photo_72dpiSherry 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.

 

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The Ideal Romance Novel – The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas

GUEST REVIEWER – Auralee Wallace

I will be completely honest.  I am not a fan of the bodice ripper.  Maybe I read too many of them, stolen from my grandmother’s bookshelf, as a young teenager.  Maybe I studied too much Literature with a capital “L” in university which turned me into a book snob. Or maybe the market is just over-saturated with bad examples.  Whatever the reason, for the longest time, if I saw a half-naked man or woman in period dress on a book cover, I would scoff and roll my eyes, before mentally droning, Next. This was the case until I was introduced to Sherry Thomas.

LLIL

The Luckiest Lady in London is a perfect example of what I like best about Thomas’s work.

Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth, is The Ideal Gentleman, a man all men want to be and all women want to possess. Felix himself almost believes this golden image. But underneath is a damaged soul soothed only by public adulation.

Louisa Cantwell needs to marry well to support her sisters. She does not, however, want Lord Wrenworth—though he seems inexplicably interested in her. She mistrusts his outward perfection and the praise he garners everywhere he goes. But when he is the only man to propose at the end of the London season, she reluctantly accepts.

Louisa does not understand her husband’s mysterious purposes, but she cannot deny the pleasure her body takes in his touch. Nor can she deny the pull this magnetic man exerts upon her. But does she dare to fall in love with a man so full of dark secrets, anyone of which could devastate her, if she were to get any closer?

In this novel, Thomas’s talent for description is, once again, at the forefront. She pulls and stretches the language to an almost ridiculous degree, deliciously mirroring a society obsessed with the beautiful – if not torturous – forging of decorum and manner.

Her gaze traveled up Lord Wrenworth’s expertly pressed trousers to the flute of champagne at the his side, dangling from his fingers.  Many of the guests at the ball had such crystalware in their hands—Lady Tenwhestle, for one, held hers decorously before her person; Mr. Drummond , for another, idly turned his round and round. Lord Wrenworth’s champagne glass, however, gave the impression that it had leaped off a table of its own will into his hand, because it would never fit better elsewhere, or emanate a quarter so much ease and aplomb.

On that same hand he wore a signet ring, a coat of arms engraved upon a crest of deep, rich carnelian. The white cuff of his shirt extended a perfect quarter inch beyond the dark sleeve of his evening jacket. The cuff links were simple gold studs—or perhaps not so simple studs, for she could see lines and patterns to fine for her to make out the design from where she stood.

She was stalling, she realized, lingering in the same spot because she was…not afraid, exactly, but rather apprehensive about looking higher.  But really, what could he possibly do to a woman as practical as herself?

YummyI admire so many things about this passage.  She doesn’t go for the easy kill (height, build, face, hair) in describing her Ideal Gentlemen – at least not right away.  She goes for the more subtle tells that speak volumes – from bottom to top, building anticipation.  The way he holds the glass naturally leads to the question of what else he can handle expertly with those fingers.  Next, his attention to detail in his dress points to easy wealth which – let’s face it – is an expected convention.  And finally that question, But really, what could he possibly do to a woman as practical as herself? I can’t help but answer it with a, “What, indeed?” (Insert waggling eyebrows here.)

I have found in the four and five novels of hers that I have read, she always manages to fulfill my Cinderella/Happily Ever After expectations without the story going stale or my brain going numb.  It is a little like being a child again and wanting the same bedtime story every night – I know I’m going to fall asleep with a smile on my face.

I doubt that period romance will ever be my favourite genre, but Sherry Thomas has stopped me from dismissing these books out of hand after a glance at the cover.  In fact, lately, I have caught myself stopping to take a good look at the artwork for this type of romance, and, you know what?  While I still may roll my eyes at the heaving bosoms, I have to admit, some of the dresses are really pretty…

Excerpt – http://sherrythomas.com/luckiest-lady-in-london.php#read-an-excerpt