My Beautiful Enemy eBook ß My Beautiful Epub /

My Beautiful Enemy eBook ß My Beautiful Epub /

My Beautiful Enemy [PDF / Epub] ☉ My Beautiful Enemy By Sherry Thomas – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk In this spellbinding romance by the acclaimed author of The Luckiest Lady in London, a beautiful and cunning woman meets her match in a man just as dangerous and seductive as she is, putting both her In this spellbinding romance by the acclaimed author of The Luckiest Lady in London, a beautiful and cunning woman meets her match in a man just as dangerous and seductive as My Beautiful Epub / she is, putting both her heart and her future at risk 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 herDespite 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 heartTheir 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.


About the Author: Sherry Thomas

Because actual world domination is too much trouble, USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided that her goal is life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading Thus My Beautiful Epub / far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia inspired duology Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best of the year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio She is also a two time winner of Romance Writers of America s prestigious RITA Award And by the way, English is her second language Her upcoming release is A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN , book of the gender bending Lady Sherlock mystery series Sherry Thomas has done the impossible and crafted a fresh, exciting new version of Sherlock Holmes From the carefully plotted twists to the elegant turns of phrase, A Study in Scarlet Women is a splendid addition to Holmes s world This book is everything I hoped it would be, and the next adventure cannot come too soon Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author Thomas weaves a lush, intricate fantasy world around a gorgeous romance that kept me riveted until the very last page What a breathtaking journey Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series Sherry Thomas is the most powerfully original historical romance author writing today Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author Visit Sherry at her website Follow Sherry on twitter Find Sherry on Facebook.



10 thoughts on “My Beautiful Enemy

  1. Jill Jill says:

    4.5 starsWhen Catherine Blade arrives in England, the last person she ever thought she d meet again is Leighton Atwood Afterall, she d thought he was dead They d last seen each other eight years previously But her erstwhile friend, travelling companion and lover is very much alive, and engaged to another woman.Set in 1891, England and written in alternating chapters with flashbacks to 1883, Chinese Turkestan when Catherine and Leighton met and fell in love, this is an absolutely brilliant rea 4.5 starsWhen Catherine Blade arrives in England, the last person she ever thought she d meet again is Leighton Atwood Afterall, she d thought he was dead They d last seen each other eight years previously But her erstwhile friend, travelling companion and lover is very much alive, and engaged to another woman.Set in 1891, England and written in alternating chapters with flashbacks to 1883, Chinese Turkestan when Catherine and Leighton met and fell in love, this is an absolutely brilliant read It is quite dissimilar to most of Ms Thomas s other historicals, muchplot driven than character driven, which some readers may not appreciate This isaction and adventure, than ballrooms and boudoir.Though not essential to read the prequel and first book in this duology, The Hidden Blade, it is advisable The early chapters will be better understood if you ve read the prequel, which though not a romance, is thoroughly enjoyable It lays the groundwork, shows the backgrounds of the protagonists as children, and how and why they became the adults they are today Catherine is the illegitimate daughter of a Chinese courtesan and English adventurer, trained in the martial arts by her amah nanny and sent to England to retrieve two jade tablets by her stepfather, the uncle to the Ch ing emperor Leighton, a former British spy, has now returned to England, conscious of his need to marry well and provide an heir.There were a couple of things that didn t work for me, but not enough to lower my rating Particularly, Catherine s martial arts skills and athleticism which utilised the jumping spinning hook kick with butterfly twist to land somewhere in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon territory It just came off as well, an over the top Chinese martial arts movie Not that it wasn t entertaining, just hyperbolic.But My Beautiful Enemy is everything you d expect from a Sherry Thomas novel An incredibly entertaining and enjoyable historical adventure, delivered with lush prose and a beautiful romance Highly recommended.Steam 2


  2. Navessa Navessa says:

    Gah JustGAH I don t have the words to do this duology justice They were, simply put, a masterpiece New favorite HROFALLTIME


  3. Jan Jan says:

    This was the second book in a duology I read the first one, The Hidden Blade, a few months ago, but have finally gotten to this one The first one was mainly about two children growing up in kinda parallel or connected circumstances In this book they re all grown up and we follow their beautiful romance The book takes place in both England and also parts of Asia It has a present day timeline mostly in Victorian London , well interspersed with flashbacks that reveal Ying ying and Leighto This was the second book in a duology I read the first one, The Hidden Blade, a few months ago, but have finally gotten to this one The first one was mainly about two children growing up in kinda parallel or connected circumstances In this book they re all grown up and we follow their beautiful romance The book takes place in both England and also parts of Asia It has a present day timeline mostly in Victorian London , well interspersed with flashbacks that reveal Ying ying and Leighton s highly dramatic past what happened between the end of The Hidden Blade and the start of this book There are moments of violence, but it s almost stylised, and though not pleasant, the writer doesn t linger over these scenes There is wuxia style martial arts and one very evil bad guy.Sometimes I don t like a flashback style book structure, but in this case it worked well When Leighton and Ying ying have their first, shocking re meeting, you really want to find out how they got there The romance in the book is truly lovely the connection between our lovers is deep and real, and the time they spend apart is wrenching and painful Their final HEA is movingly done I loved this aspect of the book There are sex scenes outside marriage , but otherwise it s a clean read Nothing too explicit, and the scenes fade to black Quite suitable for older teens IMO.I guess this book could be called a romance adventure Although Leighton is a spy, this isn t really the main focus Ying ying is literally a kick a heroine, and Leighton isn t bad either The book has a YA feel, actually as did the previous one Not my usual kind of read, but in fact it s quite a lovely book I do recommend reading Bk 1 first, though, because some plot points would be pretty confusing otherwise It added a depth to my reading of this one Overall, very enjoyable book


  4. Lizzie Lizzie says:

    I increasingly feel Thomas is constrained by the artificiality of publishing a historical romance novel The Hidden Blade, a supposed prequel, was a better book by far, rich with small details that brought the interior life of its two protagonists to the fore In comparison, My Beautiful Enemy is telegraphic, jumping from plot point to action scene in order to bring all elements to a resolution.I adore Thomas s choice to meaningfully set the book in Ch ing China, and the fact that while her lead I increasingly feel Thomas is constrained by the artificiality of publishing a historical romance novel The Hidden Blade, a supposed prequel, was a better book by far, rich with small details that brought the interior life of its two protagonists to the fore In comparison, My Beautiful Enemy is telegraphic, jumping from plot point to action scene in order to bring all elements to a resolution.I adore Thomas s choice to meaningfully set the book in Ch ing China, and the fact that while her leads may be British at least in part they have the will and desire to move through the world entire to find a place that suits them both However, this story had the potential to be a sweeping epic, big, meaty, sad, and sweet Instead, by cramming the second half of the story into the slight page count and format of a historical romance, Thomas lost the richness that defined the first chapter Key moments were compressed, leaving me somewhat dissatisfied I wanted muchof everything, and cannot help but wonder if Thomas would be better off self publishing a la Courtney Milan.Still, all in all a remarkable two books


  5. Susana Susana says:

    It was good, but not great.Full review to come. Even taking into consideration the fact that I amused to an occidental pov, than an oriental one, it still doesn t explain the fact that I found this story somewhat lukewarm.I can t even give the explanation that I fell into this story without having read the previous story, because I did read it, and I pretty much loved it.I think that for me, Ying Ying s and Leighton s story would have worked better, if instead of two books, we were It was good, but not great.Full review to come. Even taking into consideration the fact that I amused to an occidental pov, than an oriental one, it still doesn t explain the fact that I found this story somewhat lukewarm.I can t even give the explanation that I fell into this story without having read the previous story, because I did read it, and I pretty much loved it.I think that for me, Ying Ying s and Leighton s story would have worked better, if instead of two books, we were to have had three The second book following where the narrative stopped in the first book, allowing us to accompany their relationship, and all that happens next I can t help feeling that, that would have givenstrength to their story by allowing the readers to feelempathy towards their story.As it is, we are given flashbacks to see what happened between those two in the past, _for me theinteresting parts of the book _ and then we are thrown into the present, with just too many balls up in the air We have Leighton who is engagedCatherine Blade, who is trying to find the Jade tablets..A maniacal foe who sounds as if he s been having too much fun with catnip o_OThe issue of both characters having met Herb Gordon..I don t knowit felt a little too much for nothing.Also, I really didn t appreciate the way the engagement between Leighton and his fianc e was resolved.It was too convoluted and convenient, designed it seemed, so that Leighton wouldn t come out as a cad.The writing as always is flawless.In the end, I can only say that this wasn t exactly my cup of tea, but this is not to say that this is a bad book.It isn t Only that as an adventure book, or a romantic tale, it neededon both fronts


  6. Caz Caz says:

    I ve given this a C for narration and B for content at AAR, which makes it a C overall 3.5 stars.I have to state upfront, that I m a Sherry Thomas fangirl of immense proportions I ve loved each and every one of her books including her recent YA titles and take delight in her skillful storytelling, her wonderful prose, the complexity of her characterisations, the angst and ultimately, the superb way her romances unfold and the depth of the connections she creates between her heroes and her I ve given this a C for narration and B for content at AAR, which makes it a C overall 3.5 stars.I have to state upfront, that I m a Sherry Thomas fangirl of immense proportions I ve loved each and every one of her books including her recent YA titles and take delight in her skillful storytelling, her wonderful prose, the complexity of her characterisations, the angst and ultimately, the superb way her romances unfold and the depth of the connections she creates between her heroes and heroines.BUT.I hate to say this, My Beautiful Enemy didn t quite work for me Many of the things I ve mentioned above are undoubtedly present in the story The prose is beautiful, the hero and heroine share a deep connection, and the author s descriptions of the sights and sounds of the unfamiliar landscapes of Chinese Turkestan are incredibly evocative, putting the listener right there with the characters I also very much enjoy the flashback technique Ms Thomas employs it s a device she uses often and to great effect.I suspect, however, that this is a book best experienced in print Normally, when I enjoy a book, I will then look for an audio version so I can experience it again in a slightly different way if I m lucky and the narrator is good, I will enjoy it evenIn the case of My Beautiful Enemy however, I hadn t read the book prior to listening to the audio, but I will now be turning to the printed edition because I suspect it is a much better story than the audiobook leads me to believe.In 1891, Catherine Blade, illegitimate daughter of an English Diplomat and a Chinese courtesan, is on a steamer ship travelling to England During a terrible storm, she is attacked by the villain of the piece, Lin, who has been hunting her for years, and it s during that early scene that the listener gets the first glimpse of Catherine s whose real name is Ying Ying deadly martial arts skills when she both fights off Lin and rescues one of the ladies on board Following this, Catherine is kind of adopted by the lady and her friend, who decide to sponsor her introductions in England.Immediately upon her arrival in the company of Mrs Chase and Mrs Reynolds, Catherine is stunned to see the man with whom she had fallen in lovethan eight years previously Following a passionate and brief affair, they had parted on bad terms and Catherine believes she killed him, but here he is, alive, well, and handsomer than ever and engaged to Mrs Chase s beautiful daughter.You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance.Back in 1883, twenty one year old Leighton Attwood is a British spy disguised as a Persian jewel merchant as he travels throughout the East gathering information On one such journey through Chinese Turkestan, he encounters a cocky young man he immediately realises is a woman Intrigued, he suggests they travel together for safety and companionship, and although they never learn each other s names, a connection is forged between them, one so strong that when they part, they discuss the possibility of finding each other again in a year s time.Even though both Leighton and Ying ying know that it is extremely unlikely that they will ever meet again, both of them nonetheless make their way to their agreed rendezvous, hoping against hope that the other will be there En route, Leighton rescues Ying ying from a vicious group of bandits and cares for her injuries, which is when he finally owns up to the fact that he s always known she was a girl From there, their relationship progresses quickly, in the manner of people who live dangerous lives never knowing if the next day could prove to be their last.Despite its speed, the romance is beautifully written, and their inevitable parting is utterly heartbreaking But the problem with the audio version is that, while the words are there, the emotions just aren t Leighton has some truly heart melting speeches which are read as though they are part of a shopping list The love scenes in the book are not explicit, but there s an underlying sensuality to them that is completely absent in the audio these are just two of the factors which led to its being rather a disappointment overall.Charlotte Anne Dore is a new to me narrator, although she has a number of narrations to her credit at Audible She has a pleasant, slightly husky voice, and she performs the narrative fairly well for the most part, and speaks at a good pace There are, however, a number of mispronunciations throughout, as well asthan a few occasions where she trips over a word or seems about to do so or where she appears to have run out of breath part way through a phrase, giving it rather an odd inflection overall.Ms Dore differentiates fairly well between the characters, but I really didn t like her portrayal of Leighton much of the time Her vocal range is not wide, and she has opted to portray him at the very lowest end of it she sounds as though she is struggling to maintain the lower pitch This has the unfortunate effect of making him sound unattractive and somewhat pompous It is also detrimental in theromantic moments, which are lacking in emotional intensity.The story itself is somewhat of a departure from Ms Thomas other historical romances, too, as the romance in the book is just one element of a muchwide ranging story and not the primary focus Catherine has been sent to England to locate two precious jade tablets and return them to China Lin is on her trail, and she has also to contend with her feelings for Leighton and the fact of his engagement Ms Thomas exploration of the Oriental mindset is fascinating and both central characters are complex and fully rounded My issues again relate to the narration, which just didn t engage me sufficiently to carry me through those sections of the story where I found myself zoning in and out like the fighting sequences.All in all, My Beautiful Enemy is a prime example of what happens to a good story matched with the wrong narrator One can t completely blame Ms Dore she was engaged to do a job and has, I am sure, done it to the best of her ability So I m chalking this one up as a misfire, and going back to read the print version instead in the hope I will find the Thomas magic is present after all


  7. Nina Nina says:

    A unique plot, riveting characters, and a heartfelt romance That s what you can expect from My Beautiful Enemy First and foremost, I highly recommend you start with the prequel, The Hidden Blade Although My Beautiful Enemy can be read as a standalone, understanding the background of Catherine s Ying Ying s turbulent childhood and Leighton s indirect connection with her gives the readers a greater insight on their characters Trust me, I don t think it would have been the same for me if I sk A unique plot, riveting characters, and a heartfelt romance That s what you can expect from My Beautiful Enemy First and foremost, I highly recommend you start with the prequel, The Hidden Blade Although My Beautiful Enemy can be read as a standalone, understanding the background of Catherine s Ying Ying s turbulent childhood and Leighton s indirect connection with her gives the readers a greater insight on their characters Trust me, I don t think it would have been the same for me if I skipped out on the prequel Heads up though, the prequel is not a romance Moving forward The story alternates between past and present The past was the most endearing part of the book for me Cathrine and Leighton s meeting and their journey in an exotic backdrop was entirely engrossing and heartwarming Leighton is absolutely charming Historical romance heroes seem to be all the same to me though all enjoyable but Leighton is a certainly a keeper In the present, Catherine is in England on a mission to find jade tablets for her stepfather She runs into Leighton, a British spy, after their long separation Old feelings resurface, past misunderstandings mix with passion that the long years apart haven t diminished, and sparks ignite But that s not all, there s an assassin from Catherine s past that is seeking revenge you will knowabout him if you read The Hidden Blade , which forces Catherine and Leighton to put aside their hurt and anger to work together Full of action, adventure, and an unforgettable romance, My Beautiful Enemy is a delightfully unique historical romance that I would recommend to everyone looking for a fresh take on romance in the Victorian era


  8. Feminista Feminista says:

    What a disappointment.There are so many things wrong with this book Firstly, both hero and heroine were not who they said they were, so just because the heroine found out who the hero was before he found out who she was, he left her All those promises and vows So useless Was that supposed to be romantic Because there was nothing romantic about it.At the end of the novel when they get together again and he tells her he will never leave her and that only she will be in his heart, the same as What a disappointment.There are so many things wrong with this book Firstly, both hero and heroine were not who they said they were, so just because the heroine found out who the hero was before he found out who she was, he left her All those promises and vows So useless Was that supposed to be romantic Because there was nothing romantic about it.At the end of the novel when they get together again and he tells her he will never leave her and that only she will be in his heart, the same as what he said years before All I could think was, why would the heroine be stupid enough to believe him the second time around How does the saying go Fool me once, shame on you Fool me twice, shame on me.Lastly, the ending was not satisfactory at all He barely even apologises before she takes him back There was a lot of wrongs he had to right and he didn t right any of them Where was the grovelling There was nothing to make me believe that they would last as a couple


  9. Sam (AMNReader) Sam (AMNReader) says:

    Loved the story, romance was romantic but lacked the punch I ve come to expect More later Maybe I next to think Loose threads3.5 rounding up.


  10. Wollstonecrafthomegirl Wollstonecrafthomegirl says:

    This is Sherry Thomas so right off the bat I want to emphasize that she writes very well She sets a scene with precision and paints a believable picture of late Victorian London, China and the East generally and a typical Sussex country House She writes strong dialogue Martial arts are not my thing, nor for that matter is the history of the East, but that aspect of this story wasn t too much and the descriptions of the battles and fights and the training were quite diverting There s a lovely This is Sherry Thomas so right off the bat I want to emphasize that she writes very well She sets a scene with precision and paints a believable picture of late Victorian London, China and the East generally and a typical Sussex country House She writes strong dialogue Martial arts are not my thing, nor for that matter is the history of the East, but that aspect of this story wasn t too much and the descriptions of the battles and fights and the training were quite diverting There s a lovely moment where the heroine is training in her small flat in London and she jumps onto the table and balances on an upturned tea cup Thomas explains in the author s notes that she s played around with the realism of everyone s martial arts abilities, in a similar style to traditional writing on the subject So all that was good and I cannot rate the book lower than 3 stars given these successes The problem is this is a romance novel and, oh boy, do I feel like she phoned this one in Thomas has a favorite trope of reuniting lovers many of her books rest on this premise or variations on the theme She s also a fan of the flashback, not for everyone, I know, but it s worked well for me in the past Not Quite a Husband is one of my absolute favorite novels Private Arrangements is great, as is Luckiest Lady in London which somewhat rests on this premise albeit it doesn t use flashbacks The romance here felt like a watered down version of those books I never, ever believed in the love between the H h, I mean, come on What was it based on I had zero investment or belief in it I suppose love at first sight does exist but it seems to me it s pretty lazy to write a romance novel revolving around it and if you re going to do that, you need to show that the love endures Show two people who are, in fact, right perfect for one another Here the H h are parted after only a few days The hero leaves her, seemingly without a backward glance for reasons which really didn t hold up to me and when he does the heroine puts in place a plan to kill the hero So much for that love conquering all It also means Thomas can just avoid the necessity to write the romance The reuniting scenes are nearly entirely angst based and angst, whilst often an important aspect of romance, cannot be the entirety of the relationship between your H h and then, ultimately, be easily set aside angst is also easier to write in my view than creating scenes with a genuine romantic connection between characters Even the sex, which Thomas usually writes both well read hot and in a fashion designed to move her characters and the story forwards, is utterly forgettable mediocre I got the overwhelming impression reading this that Thomas is done with historical romance That s not where she has the fun here, it s not where the interest lies for her and she s lazy in my opinion etc etc about the romance aspects As a longtime fan of Thomas s historicals, this left me disappointed


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10 thoughts on “My Beautiful Enemy

  1. Jill Jill says:

    4.5 starsWhen Catherine Blade arrives in England, the last person she ever thought she d meet again is Leighton Atwood Afterall, she d thought he was dead They d last seen each other eight years previously But her erstwhile friend, travelling companion and lover is very much alive, and engaged to another woman.Set in 1891, England and written in alternating chapters with flashbacks to 1883, Chinese Turkestan when Catherine and Leighton met and fell in love, this is an absolutely brilliant rea 4.5 starsWhen Catherine Blade arrives in England, the last person she ever thought she d meet again is Leighton Atwood Afterall, she d thought he was dead They d last seen each other eight years previously But her erstwhile friend, travelling companion and lover is very much alive, and engaged to another woman.Set in 1891, England and written in alternating chapters with flashbacks to 1883, Chinese Turkestan when Catherine and Leighton met and fell in love, this is an absolutely brilliant read It is quite dissimilar to most of Ms Thomas s other historicals, muchplot driven than character driven, which some readers may not appreciate This isaction and adventure, than ballrooms and boudoir.Though not essential to read the prequel and first book in this duology, The Hidden Blade, it is advisable The early chapters will be better understood if you ve read the prequel, which though not a romance, is thoroughly enjoyable It lays the groundwork, shows the backgrounds of the protagonists as children, and how and why they became the adults they are today Catherine is the illegitimate daughter of a Chinese courtesan and English adventurer, trained in the martial arts by her amah nanny and sent to England to retrieve two jade tablets by her stepfather, the uncle to the Ch ing emperor Leighton, a former British spy, has now returned to England, conscious of his need to marry well and provide an heir.There were a couple of things that didn t work for me, but not enough to lower my rating Particularly, Catherine s martial arts skills and athleticism which utilised the jumping spinning hook kick with butterfly twist to land somewhere in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon territory It just came off as well, an over the top Chinese martial arts movie Not that it wasn t entertaining, just hyperbolic.But My Beautiful Enemy is everything you d expect from a Sherry Thomas novel An incredibly entertaining and enjoyable historical adventure, delivered with lush prose and a beautiful romance Highly recommended.Steam 2

  2. Navessa Navessa says:

    Gah JustGAH I don t have the words to do this duology justice They were, simply put, a masterpiece New favorite HROFALLTIME

  3. Jan Jan says:

    This was the second book in a duology I read the first one, The Hidden Blade, a few months ago, but have finally gotten to this one The first one was mainly about two children growing up in kinda parallel or connected circumstances In this book they re all grown up and we follow their beautiful romance The book takes place in both England and also parts of Asia It has a present day timeline mostly in Victorian London , well interspersed with flashbacks that reveal Ying ying and Leighto This was the second book in a duology I read the first one, The Hidden Blade, a few months ago, but have finally gotten to this one The first one was mainly about two children growing up in kinda parallel or connected circumstances In this book they re all grown up and we follow their beautiful romance The book takes place in both England and also parts of Asia It has a present day timeline mostly in Victorian London , well interspersed with flashbacks that reveal Ying ying and Leighton s highly dramatic past what happened between the end of The Hidden Blade and the start of this book There are moments of violence, but it s almost stylised, and though not pleasant, the writer doesn t linger over these scenes There is wuxia style martial arts and one very evil bad guy.Sometimes I don t like a flashback style book structure, but in this case it worked well When Leighton and Ying ying have their first, shocking re meeting, you really want to find out how they got there The romance in the book is truly lovely the connection between our lovers is deep and real, and the time they spend apart is wrenching and painful Their final HEA is movingly done I loved this aspect of the book There are sex scenes outside marriage , but otherwise it s a clean read Nothing too explicit, and the scenes fade to black Quite suitable for older teens IMO.I guess this book could be called a romance adventure Although Leighton is a spy, this isn t really the main focus Ying ying is literally a kick a heroine, and Leighton isn t bad either The book has a YA feel, actually as did the previous one Not my usual kind of read, but in fact it s quite a lovely book I do recommend reading Bk 1 first, though, because some plot points would be pretty confusing otherwise It added a depth to my reading of this one Overall, very enjoyable book

  4. Lizzie Lizzie says:

    I increasingly feel Thomas is constrained by the artificiality of publishing a historical romance novel The Hidden Blade, a supposed prequel, was a better book by far, rich with small details that brought the interior life of its two protagonists to the fore In comparison, My Beautiful Enemy is telegraphic, jumping from plot point to action scene in order to bring all elements to a resolution.I adore Thomas s choice to meaningfully set the book in Ch ing China, and the fact that while her lead I increasingly feel Thomas is constrained by the artificiality of publishing a historical romance novel The Hidden Blade, a supposed prequel, was a better book by far, rich with small details that brought the interior life of its two protagonists to the fore In comparison, My Beautiful Enemy is telegraphic, jumping from plot point to action scene in order to bring all elements to a resolution.I adore Thomas s choice to meaningfully set the book in Ch ing China, and the fact that while her leads may be British at least in part they have the will and desire to move through the world entire to find a place that suits them both However, this story had the potential to be a sweeping epic, big, meaty, sad, and sweet Instead, by cramming the second half of the story into the slight page count and format of a historical romance, Thomas lost the richness that defined the first chapter Key moments were compressed, leaving me somewhat dissatisfied I wanted muchof everything, and cannot help but wonder if Thomas would be better off self publishing a la Courtney Milan.Still, all in all a remarkable two books

  5. Susana Susana says:

    It was good, but not great.Full review to come. Even taking into consideration the fact that I amused to an occidental pov, than an oriental one, it still doesn t explain the fact that I found this story somewhat lukewarm.I can t even give the explanation that I fell into this story without having read the previous story, because I did read it, and I pretty much loved it.I think that for me, Ying Ying s and Leighton s story would have worked better, if instead of two books, we were It was good, but not great.Full review to come. Even taking into consideration the fact that I amused to an occidental pov, than an oriental one, it still doesn t explain the fact that I found this story somewhat lukewarm.I can t even give the explanation that I fell into this story without having read the previous story, because I did read it, and I pretty much loved it.I think that for me, Ying Ying s and Leighton s story would have worked better, if instead of two books, we were to have had three The second book following where the narrative stopped in the first book, allowing us to accompany their relationship, and all that happens next I can t help feeling that, that would have givenstrength to their story by allowing the readers to feelempathy towards their story.As it is, we are given flashbacks to see what happened between those two in the past, _for me theinteresting parts of the book _ and then we are thrown into the present, with just too many balls up in the air We have Leighton who is engagedCatherine Blade, who is trying to find the Jade tablets..A maniacal foe who sounds as if he s been having too much fun with catnip o_OThe issue of both characters having met Herb Gordon..I don t knowit felt a little too much for nothing.Also, I really didn t appreciate the way the engagement between Leighton and his fianc e was resolved.It was too convoluted and convenient, designed it seemed, so that Leighton wouldn t come out as a cad.The writing as always is flawless.In the end, I can only say that this wasn t exactly my cup of tea, but this is not to say that this is a bad book.It isn t Only that as an adventure book, or a romantic tale, it neededon both fronts

  6. Caz Caz says:

    I ve given this a C for narration and B for content at AAR, which makes it a C overall 3.5 stars.I have to state upfront, that I m a Sherry Thomas fangirl of immense proportions I ve loved each and every one of her books including her recent YA titles and take delight in her skillful storytelling, her wonderful prose, the complexity of her characterisations, the angst and ultimately, the superb way her romances unfold and the depth of the connections she creates between her heroes and her I ve given this a C for narration and B for content at AAR, which makes it a C overall 3.5 stars.I have to state upfront, that I m a Sherry Thomas fangirl of immense proportions I ve loved each and every one of her books including her recent YA titles and take delight in her skillful storytelling, her wonderful prose, the complexity of her characterisations, the angst and ultimately, the superb way her romances unfold and the depth of the connections she creates between her heroes and heroines.BUT.I hate to say this, My Beautiful Enemy didn t quite work for me Many of the things I ve mentioned above are undoubtedly present in the story The prose is beautiful, the hero and heroine share a deep connection, and the author s descriptions of the sights and sounds of the unfamiliar landscapes of Chinese Turkestan are incredibly evocative, putting the listener right there with the characters I also very much enjoy the flashback technique Ms Thomas employs it s a device she uses often and to great effect.I suspect, however, that this is a book best experienced in print Normally, when I enjoy a book, I will then look for an audio version so I can experience it again in a slightly different way if I m lucky and the narrator is good, I will enjoy it evenIn the case of My Beautiful Enemy however, I hadn t read the book prior to listening to the audio, but I will now be turning to the printed edition because I suspect it is a much better story than the audiobook leads me to believe.In 1891, Catherine Blade, illegitimate daughter of an English Diplomat and a Chinese courtesan, is on a steamer ship travelling to England During a terrible storm, she is attacked by the villain of the piece, Lin, who has been hunting her for years, and it s during that early scene that the listener gets the first glimpse of Catherine s whose real name is Ying Ying deadly martial arts skills when she both fights off Lin and rescues one of the ladies on board Following this, Catherine is kind of adopted by the lady and her friend, who decide to sponsor her introductions in England.Immediately upon her arrival in the company of Mrs Chase and Mrs Reynolds, Catherine is stunned to see the man with whom she had fallen in lovethan eight years previously Following a passionate and brief affair, they had parted on bad terms and Catherine believes she killed him, but here he is, alive, well, and handsomer than ever and engaged to Mrs Chase s beautiful daughter.You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance.Back in 1883, twenty one year old Leighton Attwood is a British spy disguised as a Persian jewel merchant as he travels throughout the East gathering information On one such journey through Chinese Turkestan, he encounters a cocky young man he immediately realises is a woman Intrigued, he suggests they travel together for safety and companionship, and although they never learn each other s names, a connection is forged between them, one so strong that when they part, they discuss the possibility of finding each other again in a year s time.Even though both Leighton and Ying ying know that it is extremely unlikely that they will ever meet again, both of them nonetheless make their way to their agreed rendezvous, hoping against hope that the other will be there En route, Leighton rescues Ying ying from a vicious group of bandits and cares for her injuries, which is when he finally owns up to the fact that he s always known she was a girl From there, their relationship progresses quickly, in the manner of people who live dangerous lives never knowing if the next day could prove to be their last.Despite its speed, the romance is beautifully written, and their inevitable parting is utterly heartbreaking But the problem with the audio version is that, while the words are there, the emotions just aren t Leighton has some truly heart melting speeches which are read as though they are part of a shopping list The love scenes in the book are not explicit, but there s an underlying sensuality to them that is completely absent in the audio these are just two of the factors which led to its being rather a disappointment overall.Charlotte Anne Dore is a new to me narrator, although she has a number of narrations to her credit at Audible She has a pleasant, slightly husky voice, and she performs the narrative fairly well for the most part, and speaks at a good pace There are, however, a number of mispronunciations throughout, as well asthan a few occasions where she trips over a word or seems about to do so or where she appears to have run out of breath part way through a phrase, giving it rather an odd inflection overall.Ms Dore differentiates fairly well between the characters, but I really didn t like her portrayal of Leighton much of the time Her vocal range is not wide, and she has opted to portray him at the very lowest end of it she sounds as though she is struggling to maintain the lower pitch This has the unfortunate effect of making him sound unattractive and somewhat pompous It is also detrimental in theromantic moments, which are lacking in emotional intensity.The story itself is somewhat of a departure from Ms Thomas other historical romances, too, as the romance in the book is just one element of a muchwide ranging story and not the primary focus Catherine has been sent to England to locate two precious jade tablets and return them to China Lin is on her trail, and she has also to contend with her feelings for Leighton and the fact of his engagement Ms Thomas exploration of the Oriental mindset is fascinating and both central characters are complex and fully rounded My issues again relate to the narration, which just didn t engage me sufficiently to carry me through those sections of the story where I found myself zoning in and out like the fighting sequences.All in all, My Beautiful Enemy is a prime example of what happens to a good story matched with the wrong narrator One can t completely blame Ms Dore she was engaged to do a job and has, I am sure, done it to the best of her ability So I m chalking this one up as a misfire, and going back to read the print version instead in the hope I will find the Thomas magic is present after all

  7. Nina Nina says:

    A unique plot, riveting characters, and a heartfelt romance That s what you can expect from My Beautiful Enemy First and foremost, I highly recommend you start with the prequel, The Hidden Blade Although My Beautiful Enemy can be read as a standalone, understanding the background of Catherine s Ying Ying s turbulent childhood and Leighton s indirect connection with her gives the readers a greater insight on their characters Trust me, I don t think it would have been the same for me if I sk A unique plot, riveting characters, and a heartfelt romance That s what you can expect from My Beautiful Enemy First and foremost, I highly recommend you start with the prequel, The Hidden Blade Although My Beautiful Enemy can be read as a standalone, understanding the background of Catherine s Ying Ying s turbulent childhood and Leighton s indirect connection with her gives the readers a greater insight on their characters Trust me, I don t think it would have been the same for me if I skipped out on the prequel Heads up though, the prequel is not a romance Moving forward The story alternates between past and present The past was the most endearing part of the book for me Cathrine and Leighton s meeting and their journey in an exotic backdrop was entirely engrossing and heartwarming Leighton is absolutely charming Historical romance heroes seem to be all the same to me though all enjoyable but Leighton is a certainly a keeper In the present, Catherine is in England on a mission to find jade tablets for her stepfather She runs into Leighton, a British spy, after their long separation Old feelings resurface, past misunderstandings mix with passion that the long years apart haven t diminished, and sparks ignite But that s not all, there s an assassin from Catherine s past that is seeking revenge you will knowabout him if you read The Hidden Blade , which forces Catherine and Leighton to put aside their hurt and anger to work together Full of action, adventure, and an unforgettable romance, My Beautiful Enemy is a delightfully unique historical romance that I would recommend to everyone looking for a fresh take on romance in the Victorian era

  8. Feminista Feminista says:

    What a disappointment.There are so many things wrong with this book Firstly, both hero and heroine were not who they said they were, so just because the heroine found out who the hero was before he found out who she was, he left her All those promises and vows So useless Was that supposed to be romantic Because there was nothing romantic about it.At the end of the novel when they get together again and he tells her he will never leave her and that only she will be in his heart, the same as What a disappointment.There are so many things wrong with this book Firstly, both hero and heroine were not who they said they were, so just because the heroine found out who the hero was before he found out who she was, he left her All those promises and vows So useless Was that supposed to be romantic Because there was nothing romantic about it.At the end of the novel when they get together again and he tells her he will never leave her and that only she will be in his heart, the same as what he said years before All I could think was, why would the heroine be stupid enough to believe him the second time around How does the saying go Fool me once, shame on you Fool me twice, shame on me.Lastly, the ending was not satisfactory at all He barely even apologises before she takes him back There was a lot of wrongs he had to right and he didn t right any of them Where was the grovelling There was nothing to make me believe that they would last as a couple

  9. Sam (AMNReader) Sam (AMNReader) says:

    Loved the story, romance was romantic but lacked the punch I ve come to expect More later Maybe I next to think Loose threads3.5 rounding up.

  10. Wollstonecrafthomegirl Wollstonecrafthomegirl says:

    This is Sherry Thomas so right off the bat I want to emphasize that she writes very well She sets a scene with precision and paints a believable picture of late Victorian London, China and the East generally and a typical Sussex country House She writes strong dialogue Martial arts are not my thing, nor for that matter is the history of the East, but that aspect of this story wasn t too much and the descriptions of the battles and fights and the training were quite diverting There s a lovely This is Sherry Thomas so right off the bat I want to emphasize that she writes very well She sets a scene with precision and paints a believable picture of late Victorian London, China and the East generally and a typical Sussex country House She writes strong dialogue Martial arts are not my thing, nor for that matter is the history of the East, but that aspect of this story wasn t too much and the descriptions of the battles and fights and the training were quite diverting There s a lovely moment where the heroine is training in her small flat in London and she jumps onto the table and balances on an upturned tea cup Thomas explains in the author s notes that she s played around with the realism of everyone s martial arts abilities, in a similar style to traditional writing on the subject So all that was good and I cannot rate the book lower than 3 stars given these successes The problem is this is a romance novel and, oh boy, do I feel like she phoned this one in Thomas has a favorite trope of reuniting lovers many of her books rest on this premise or variations on the theme She s also a fan of the flashback, not for everyone, I know, but it s worked well for me in the past Not Quite a Husband is one of my absolute favorite novels Private Arrangements is great, as is Luckiest Lady in London which somewhat rests on this premise albeit it doesn t use flashbacks The romance here felt like a watered down version of those books I never, ever believed in the love between the H h, I mean, come on What was it based on I had zero investment or belief in it I suppose love at first sight does exist but it seems to me it s pretty lazy to write a romance novel revolving around it and if you re going to do that, you need to show that the love endures Show two people who are, in fact, right perfect for one another Here the H h are parted after only a few days The hero leaves her, seemingly without a backward glance for reasons which really didn t hold up to me and when he does the heroine puts in place a plan to kill the hero So much for that love conquering all It also means Thomas can just avoid the necessity to write the romance The reuniting scenes are nearly entirely angst based and angst, whilst often an important aspect of romance, cannot be the entirety of the relationship between your H h and then, ultimately, be easily set aside angst is also easier to write in my view than creating scenes with a genuine romantic connection between characters Even the sex, which Thomas usually writes both well read hot and in a fashion designed to move her characters and the story forwards, is utterly forgettable mediocre I got the overwhelming impression reading this that Thomas is done with historical romance That s not where she has the fun here, it s not where the interest lies for her and she s lazy in my opinion etc etc about the romance aspects As a longtime fan of Thomas s historicals, this left me disappointed

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