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Beguiling the Beauty

Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
Series: Fitzhugh Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (286 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

When the Duke of Lexington meets the mysterious Baroness von Seidlitz-Hardenberg on a transatlantic liner, he is fascinated. She’s exactly what he’s been searching for - a beautiful woman who interests and entices him. He falls hard and fast - and soon proposes marriage. And then she disappears without a trace.… For in reality, the "baroness" is Venetia Easterbrook - a proper young widow who had her own vengeful reasons for instigating an affair with the duke. But the plan has backfired. Venetia has fallen in love with the man she despised - and there’s no telling what might happen when she is finally unmasked….

©2012 Sherry Thomas (P)2012 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Nice story

Setting: England, Massachusetts, at sea 1886 (prologue), 1896
Genre: Romance
Christian de Montfort, the Duke of Lexington fell in love with Venetia Fitzhugh Townsend as a young man when he spied her at the annual Eaton and Harrow cricket match. Her beauty stunned him and he was disappointed to learn that she was married. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and she became his secret fantasy for years, even after she was widowed, remarried, and widowed again. He was disgusted with himself that he just could not give up his fantasy woman, even 10 years after his first glimpse of her. While giving a lecture in Cambridge, Massachusetts Christian is asked about the the evolutionary purpose of beauty. In his answer he says that beauty may be harmful in the long run and, without naming her, he describes Venetia as being untrustworthy, a woman who drove her first husband to suicide and was unfaithful to her second. Venetia was in the audience and decides she will get revenge. Therefore, on the crossing from the US back to England, she begins an affair with him, disguised as the Baroness von Seidlitz-Hardenberg. Her plan is to make him fall in love, then break his heart. But the thing is, her heart is vulnerable too...
I was torn between 3 and 4 stars. I enjoyed it overall, but I had a problem with the structure. The premise of the novel is good, and the basic plot is interesting. However, the story was muddied by the inclusion of points of view and elements from the other stories in the trilogy. Details of Millie’s unconsummated marriage of convenience and Helena’s unacceptable love interest did not need to take up so time in Venetia’s love story. A few hints would have been appropriate, but these amounted to two cliff-hangery subplots, including changes in the point of view, and added nothing to the main story.
I found the narration by Jenny Sterlin to be quite good. I had no problem following, despite the problems in the structure of the book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth multiple listens

Best book ever? No. But good enough to listen to the audiobook multiple times. In fact, I liked it better the second time because I fully understood the heroine's motivations for never revealing her identity. The ending is reminiscent of The Gift of the Magi with each being willing to sacrifice their reputation/dignity for the other. Well planned and written, excellent turn of phrase, intelligent characters.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Frustrating Plot

What did you like best about Beguiling the Beauty? What did you like least?

Jenny Sterlin, the narrator is always good, which is why I purchased this book.
I got very frustrated with the plot half-way through when Venetia falls in love with the Duke but chooses to act like a "B..." even after he knows her identity. Also, she doesn't tell her family what is going on even when she marries the Duke. There is no reason to keep them in the dark when she has a good relationship with them and they would not judge her.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would change Venetia's behavior toward the Duke after he learns her identity. He could still refuse to forgive her without her behavior toward him being so wicked. She just makes herself look worse in his eyes which at this point she shouldn't wish to do.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed Sherry Thomas's early novels very much and was disappointed in this one.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sherry Thomas is the best!

Would you listen to Beguiling the Beauty again? Why?

One of my favorite romance writers! Her characters are always three dimensional and her plots are riveting. You really like these people! This is the first in the Fitzhugh series. My favorite is the story of Hastings and Helena. Great book!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beguiled

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, especially in the audio form where Jenny Sterlin performed the heck out of Sherry Thomas’s fluid prose. The voices are individualized and the accents-at least five-flawless (to my ears).

I absolutely love Sherry’s style of historical romance. Her characters are compelling, many of them are smart and edgy. Her stories are multicultural, feminist, and inclusive without being anachronistic.

I’ve already downloaded the other books in the series and I’m excited to read them.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Beauty and the Duke...loved it

This book is very similar to one of my all time favourite romances the “Beast” by Judy Ivory. Saying this, the story is written in typical Sherry Thomas’s style, deeply melancholic with heart wrenching despair, it s beautiful and depressing at the same time.
I preferred the first half of the story when they embark on their love affair but later on it becomes a little bit too angsty and melancholic for my liking ( hence four stars rating instead of five). I have a low threshold for tears and this book tested me a few times (when Duke writes letters to Baroness or dinner at Savoy).

This is the first book in a trilogy and it sets up the scene for future romances, secondarily characters are very engaging as they help to dilute the misery and overall make the story more engaging and not too melancholic.....

Overall, this is a beautiful romance, more intelligent and well written than most... highly recommend 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The characters are round. The story is great and t

The romance is beautiful. There's harmony between the development of the characters and the "crescendo" of the story. These book is worthy to read (or listening).

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A very good book, but...

Would you consider the audio edition of Beguiling the Beauty to be better than the print version?

I actually liked the audio version better than the print version

Any additional comments?

I liked the book and the audio up to the last chapter. The way Sherry Thomas finished the book felt abrupt and somewhat unbelievable. I would say this is an excellent the book except for the last book. This is however a great lead-in to the next two books in the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Different Story

Would you listen to Beguiling the Beauty again? Why?

Yes. It was refreshing

Who was your favorite character and why?

the heroine

What about Jenny Sterlin’s performance did you like?

Didn't notice it. So it was perfect

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

yes

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this ooh imensly

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I didn't like it

This is my first book by Sherry Thomas. It is oddly written. I did not like the book at all.

1 person found this helpful