Beguiling the Beauty is the sort of book that lingers long after you've read it. The story of Venetia Easterbrook, twice-widowed stunner, and the Duke of Lexington, gorgeous scientist, continued to dominate my thoughts for days. A captivating tale of revenge, it's also a rumination on the cost of beauty.
No surprise, really, that a book by Sherry Thomas should have such an effect. She's immediately become one of my must-read authors, and her short career has already provided us lucky historical lovers with several best-of-all-time stories. (I'm looking at you, Not Quite a Husband .)
The quick description of Beguiling the Beauty is this: a woman, Venetia Easterbrook, seeks revenge on a man, the Duke of Lexington, who has slandered her name and ruined her reputation.
Venetia Easterbrook isn't just pretty, she's stunningly beautiful. The very sight of her casts spell on people, including unsuspecting lords who glimpse her across a field. The Duke of Lexington, Christian de Montford, is a scientific man; he's dedicated his life to the pursuit of natural sciences. Yet he is madly in love with a married woman - Venetia - solely because of her face. He can't come to terms with this, and in the course of trying to think himself out of his feelings, does something that irrevocably damages Venetia's reputation.
On the other side of this equation is Venetia, whose beauty is a curse and, when she chooses to unleash it, a weapon. Her plan is to break Christian's heart, but of course she loses her own - to him - in the process.
Beguiling the Beauty is one of an onslaught of amazing May titles. I've spent the last weeks sitting on my hands, trying to save up all my gushing for when they went on sale. Well, it's the first, so I'm shouting it out: there are too many great books to miss this spring. Visit Romantic Reads for an ongoing discussion of my favorites. While you're there, read Jennifer Bernard's thoughts on firemen and why we love them and why you should read her debut book, The Fireman Who Loved Me . And of course, if you need to know what's out now, don't miss our New Release Tuesday thread.
So until next week, happy reading!
Melanie Murray is the moderator of Romantic Reads, BN.com's all-romance, all-the-time community forum.