Happy Release Week!!!
The Beautiful One
by Emily Greenwood
A PICTURE SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS...
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.
BUT NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES
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.
The first book in a delightfully scandalous new Regency romance series from blossoming author Emily Greenwood…
This is book one in The Scandalous Sisters Series. What a lovely cover. And she has her clothes on! Unfortunately, a rogue has a book of sketches that show poor, sweet Anna with nary a stitch on. She's appalled and mortified when a peer informs her that she will be posing, naked, for a painting that the original artist is doing for, and of, him and Anna together. Anna starts the book with her backbone firmly in place and no interest in the proposal.
While looking over her shoulder every step of the way, Anna finds herself a place in a girls' school. She's not very pleased when the headmistress sends her along as a chaperon to a young woman being sent to her guardian. At least she figures they are far enough into the countryside that hopefully no one near will have heard of The Beautiful One.
A first meeting with Will, the guardian, has them both annoyed with the other, but still rather attracted.
I enjoyed how these two fought their attraction for many reasons. But, as we've all come to expect from a romance (and that's why we read them) they do find their way into each other's hearts. It was bumpy along the way and I worried how the hunt for The Beautiful One would end. It was very well done of Ms. Greenwood! I liked that part very much.
There were a couple things that brought this one down a bookmark for me. The language is littered with contemporary words and sayings. At one point Will says, "Do what?" Stopped me in my reading tracks! Also, this book would have been many pages shorter if the repetition had been cut out. I didn't need to hear, over and over, how her father was unloving; how he hated his step-mother; how Lizzy hated Anna's clothes...and the list goes on. Readers get it the first time they read such things. Also, Lizzy...for 9/10ths of the book, she's all about her looks. We don't hear any deeper thoughts from her. Then...suddenly...she's going on about how balls, etc., are just about shallow things. I almost expected her to begin a speech about how she just wanted world peace. It was odd...like she had had a brain transplant. Would have been different if she'd even once mentioned liking to study, or...world peace. It came out of the blue. One more little quibble, the artist that did the sketches. Why did he have to have Anna right in front of his eyes to paint her? He had sketched her "on the fly," so to speak. He had the sketches of her, nude. Why couldn't he have painted her from them? I'm an artist, so this didn't make a lot of sense to me.
Having said all that, I did enjoy this. Will was charming as he came out of his grief. Anna was very original in looks and manners, and charming herself. I liked Tommy and Judith, too. I will be looking for more from this author, that's for sure. Hope you search her out, too.
Thank you, SourceBooks Casablanca and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this book.
Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance novels are the chocolate of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.
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