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Beast by Judith Ivory

Reckless affair with a compelling stranger she never sees in the light of dayThe BeastThough 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 fiancée's ship and seduce the y 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 like an idiot and a cowardOverall 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

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Oung 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 with This had the potential of being stupendous but the ludicrous plot and unlikable ice ueen 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 forgetTHEY HAVE THE SAME FREAKING NAME That s just a special kind of stupidLogic 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 limpWE GET IT Please move onThere 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 grotesue 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 justcriminal 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 uite 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 eitherThere 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 spoilerAnd 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

Judith Ivory Ü 8 Summary

The BeautyAn exuisite American heiress Louise Vandermeer is beautiful brilliantand 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 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 fianc 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 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 than a spoiled darling Louise is excruciatingly intelligent I can hardly think of any heroine from any other book who is sharper or 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 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 ualities 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 exuisite 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


10 thoughts on “Beast by Judith Ivory

  1. says:

    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 Iimage erro

  2. says:

    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

  3. says:

    When you keep wishing your husband who's been abroad for 3 days will delay coming home at least 3 or 4 hours 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 everThi

  4. says:

    35 starsI did a buddy read for this so for all of my thoughts comments and uotes Beast buddy read With him I became aloud the person I had always been silently inside myselfThis uote right here is what I want to read about and feel when I pick up a romance book Beast is obviously a play on the Beauty and the Beast story an

  5. says:

    Very nice Edwardian romance The hero Charles was uite different and most of the book was written from his POV He was scarred

  6. says:

    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 bo

  7. says:

    Interesting story but couldn’t get into the characters Really enjoyed the setting but I didn’t care much about the romanceHRBC April 2020

  8. says:

    This had the potential of being stupendous but the ludicrous plot and unlikable ice ueen heroine ruined it enti

  9. says:

    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 an

  10. says:

    45 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

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