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Beast | [Judith Ivory]

Beast

When the brainy, luminous Louise Vandermeer embarks on a transoceanic quest to marry an aristocrat, she dives into a scorching affair with a stranger on the ship. Their trysts take place in darkness, so Louise does not know her lover is Charles d'Harcourt, the passionate European playboy who just happens to be her intended! Charles is playing a game, but his plan has unexpected results.
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Publisher's Summary

Judith Ivory's tantalizing romances are a hit with critics, readers, and fellow writers alike. When the brainy, luminous Louise Vandermeer embarks on a transoceanic quest to marry an aristocrat, she dives into a scorching affair with a stranger on the ship.

Their trysts take place in darkness, so Louise does not know her lover is Charles d'Harcourt, the passionate European playboy who just happens to be her intended! Charles is playing a game, but his plan has unexpected results. Louise has fallen for her shipboard Casanova, and Charles will have to open her eyes to his own charms if he expects to win her heart. With exotic tales featuring radiant women and vigorous men, Ivory builds her legions of fans every day. Narrator Barbara Rosenblat delivers a rousing reading that deliciously amplifies the intensity of Louise and Charles' search for love.

©1997 Judy Cuevas; (P)2001 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (162 )
5 star
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3.9 (86 )
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4.1 (85 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kathleen Eagle River, AK, USA 06-14-09
    Kathleen Eagle River, AK, USA 06-14-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This Reader Brings an Expressive Author to Life!"

    Judith Ivory writes "rich" prose that are satisfying and imaginative. Combined with this reader's abilities, "Beast" is one of the best audiobooks I've experienced (and I've listened to a LOT!). If you want a story that is more "movie-like" than the average romance novel - buy this book. You won't be disappointed in either the author's storytelling or this reader's portrayal. She can do all of the accents flawlessly, and there will be no "cringe effect" for male voices done by a female reader. Great book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Virginia Beach, VA, United States 05-24-12
    Amazon Customer Virginia Beach, VA, United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2011

    MS

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    "This Book was like "Full Metal Jacket""

    The first half was vastly diffrent than the second. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult to like Louise in the second half of the book. Judith Ivory writes interestingly complex romances, but she may have outsmarted herself with this heroine.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry_ATL MARIETTA, GA, United States 06-06-13
    Harry_ATL MARIETTA, GA, United States 06-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Outstanding performance"

    Judith Ivory writes with such richness that I was able to overcome my rather frequent dislike of both of the main characters. And the combo of Ivory's words under Barbara Rosenblat's amazingly compelling performance definitely make this a memorable listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Blaine, MN, United States 04-24-12
    Linda Blaine, MN, United States 04-24-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Ivory and Rosenblat make a Great Team!"

    Beast is a different spin on the age old fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Even though you know the hero and heroine will find their way together by the end of the story, you want to continue to listen to how they finally get there. Barbara Rosenblat is a genius at creating a unique voice for each of the characters. If you like romance, I recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosina Bellingham, WA, United States 07-22-09
    Rosina Bellingham, WA, United States 07-22-09 Member Since 2004
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    "author & narrator in top form"

    I'm a great admirer of Ivory's historicals - smart, closely observed, interesting characters, strong love stories. This one is one of my favorites, and Rosenblat is the perfect narrator for it. She handles the accents beautifully.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary-Jane Woodinvile, WA, 98072 03-04-09
    Mary-Jane Woodinvile, WA, 98072 03-04-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Wonderful Judith Ivory"

    I have read all of Judith Ivory's books and listened to a few in audio. My favorite in audio is "The Indiscretion". This one is similar although the character of Charles in this book is very well drawn. Her writing is very sensual and beautifully erotic at times. Too bad she has not written more books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 01-18-12
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 01-18-12 Member Since 2010

    Audio-addict!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story and narrator. Don't miss this one."

    What a thoroughly fantastic novel! I love Charles, the dark, beastly Prince. The heroine is young, but her youth is an interesting part of the story. She has the arrogant, careless whim and ignorance of youth. She also feels the emptiness of trying to figure out who she is at that crossroads between girl and woman.
    Their story unfolds in a most compelling, interesting, and unusual way. I love this story. I love this narrator most. Her accents are fantastic. Her voice is enchanting. As is the very story she reads.

    This is a favorite book of mine in a long time. I wanted the story to continue past the final words. And feel giddy to write this review.
    Judith Ivory is a cherished author.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Ciccone Waltham, MA, United States 08-25-13
    K. Ciccone Waltham, MA, United States 08-25-13 Member Since 2011

    I was born with a reading list, so long , I will never finish.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved this unique twist on an old Story theme"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Charles d'Harcourt, was written so well . He felt like a true 3D character ,loved following him though story as he comes to identify his own character flaws


    Have you listened to any of Barbara Rosenblat’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Louise Vandermeer made me angry as she was so obtuse


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 01-19-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2010
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    "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.

    Genre: historical romance

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosina Bellingham, WA, United States 06-24-12
    Rosina Bellingham, WA, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2004

    I'm a published novelist under my own name and the pen name Sara Donati. I'm also an academic specializing in sociocultural linguistics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "best recording of an excellent romance novel, ever"
    What did you love best about Beast?

    Ivory writes complicated characters who are anything but run of the mill. Louise is, in my opinion, Ivory's best. A young woman raised by loving parents with endless resources, very beautiful, a master of social expectations and conventions of her time (circa 1900) and place (New York, and then then the Côte d'Azur) and she is interested in nothing so much as math and the sciences. She knows her own failings and owns them to Charles telling him that she is vain and self-centered, but he has seen the parts of herself she hides away.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The second half of the story, once Louise arrives at Charles' home on the Côte d'Azur.


    What does Barbara Rosenblat bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She narrates Charles to perfection. Perfect accent, intonation, tone. The dialogue between Charles and Louise is handled so well that sometimes I found myself breaking out in gooseflesh -- and I'm not talking about the sex scenes, which are beautifully done -- but the way they talk to each other.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I wanted to stretch it out.


    Any additional comments?

    Some people find the beginning of the book -- letters between Louise's parents and Charles -- go on too long. Rosenblatt narrates them so well that they fly right by.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Heather
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    2/22/10
    Overall
    "Enjoyable upbeat romance."

    A frothy romance with a fairy tale ending. Melt in the mouth smooth; when you?ve finished it you can?t wait to start another one. It?s all hokum of course but?who cares? It?s well written and the narrator does an excellent job, so why not indulge now and again?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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