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Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: The Beautiful One by Emily Greenwood

I’ve had this one sitting on my kindle for a while and I didn’t even remember I had already written the review!!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: June 2, 2015

The ton is buzzing about The Beautiful One, a striking figure in a scandalous book of nude sketches. Only two men know the true identity of The Beautiful One, and they are scouring the countryside, determined to find her.

The unlikely center of the scandal, Anna Black is forced to flee home as disaster looms. Her tomboy's heart and impertinent tongue serve her well when she meets the most brooding viscount ever to darken a drawing room. Will Halifax, Viscount Grandville, has his reasons for pushing people away, and when his tempestuous teenaged ward arrives on his doorstep, he presses Anna to take on her care. As Anna begins to melt the Viscount's frozen heart, she knows the more she loves, the more she has to lose. For although Will cares nothing for what makes Society titter, he has yet to see The Beautiful One.

What’s it About? A scandalous book of nude sketches is basically setting the ton on its ears but the identity of the woman in those sketches is a mystery to everyone except two men who are desperately looking everywhere to find her. Anna Black is the woman in question and though she didn’t actually pose for those sketches, she has to leave her home so that she won’t be discovered. Then Will Halifax, the Viscount Grandville insists that Anna act as a chaperone of sorts for his teen ward Elizabeth. Spending so much time together forces Will and Anna to confront their individual demons and to learn to depend on another person for comfort.

Overall reaction to the story? The Beautiful One had so much potential that it didn’t quite live up to. I felt that the plot needed more depth, and the characters needed more development. Some of the personality traits of both characters were too convenient to the story and made it a touch unbelievable. I found the conflict of the nude sketches to be an interesting one but the explanation of how Anna was watched too unbelievable. To me reading this book felt like I was only touching the surface of a bigger and better story. If the author had spent more time developing everything then this would have been a winner of a story.

Describe the hero in five words: Grumpy. Grieving. Noble. Intelligent. Stubborn.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? I love a grieving hero because it shows he’s capable of emotions and that’s what Will is. He’s grieving someone to the point where he just wants to shut everyone out but at the same time he won’t ignore his responsibilities which is how he ends up all but demanding that Anna act as a chaperone to Elizabeth. Will is the type of character that breaks your heart and makes you root for him as he finds love with the heroine. I do think with some more fleshing out Will would have made a dashing, tragic figure of a man who lost someone he loved.

Describe the heroine in five words: Smart. Unconventional. Caring. Determined. Brave.
Did you like her? For the most part yes.
Why? Anna was raised by a widower father and with mostly her brothers for company. She’s a bit of a tomboy which I loved about her. She’s quick to say what she really thinks and doesn’t let much stand in her way when she’s got a goal in mind. I will say that I found some aspects of her personality a bit too modern and unbelievable but I guess the author felt they were necessary to further the plot. Anna still lacked a bit to me though, almost like she was reaching for a point in character development and didn’t quite get there.

Let’s talk about the romance: Will and Anna made a good couple and they balanced each other out, Will was steady and serious while Anna was the one with the blunt way of speaking and a rebel at heart. I do think their love was too instant and needed more development in order to be believable and less fluffy but on the surface they were a good couple.

How about that supporting cast? Will’s ward Elizabeth wasn’t an easy character to like, in face I don’t think I did like her. She’s just too much and a little too modern for a historical romance. If I had to describe her in one word I’d use the word brat.

Click It or Skip It? I would skip this one there’s not enough depth and development in this really. The author had a good, solid idea but didn’t really bring it to life like she could have. Now if her follow up books are more developed and grounded in the time that they take place then she would easily be a force to be reckoned with. The possibility is there, it just needs a bit of polishing.

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