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Beast by Judith Ivory

Beast (1997)

by Judith Ivory

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2651264,685 (3.55)5



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This was work to get through, not enjoyment. The first half is the 'hero' pretending to be someone else, seducing his wife to be-in the dark, as punishment for her flirtatious behavior and for believing him ugly and crippled before they even met.
The second part is the 'heroine' pining for her lost love, acting very superficially and treating her new husband like dirt, which he allows. There is not much to recommend either character. I can make allowances for her age-she is 18- but he is 32 or 35! Pleez!
There is also way too much painstakingly detailed description of their physical appearances and of scents.
Although Ivory is a very talented writer, I would not recommend this book. ( )
  mary23nm | Feb 27, 2019 |
The heroine, Louise Vandermeer is gorgeous beyond belief. When she walks into a room every single man flocks to her side to bask in the brilliance of her goddess like beauty. Normally, this would annoy me, but I was fine with it since this is supposed to be a kind of B&tB retelling. Plus, Louise isn’t sugary sweet or extremely naive and this helped to take away some of the distraction of her over the top beautiful.

Louise is bored with most of the people around her, because no one gets her humor or way of thinking. Until she meets a man who refuses to meet her in the light. The man is actually Charles, her scarred, French, soon to be husband. Who’s bent on seducing her as a “joke”, because while he was lurking in the shadows of the boat he accidentally overheard one of her conversations that hinted at her not liking the idea of marrying an deformed guy.

Meanwhile, Charles has decided that he doesn’t want to carry out his joke anymore and wants Louise to love him, French Charles, not mystery Charles. They get hitched as planned and Charles tries to woo Louise while she’s sighing and tearing up over her mystery man.

The main problem I had with Beast was that I got bored during a lot of scenes. Charles and Louise are on the ship for well over 100 pages and I just got tired of all the games and Louise swooning over some guy she just met. That was another problem I had, the romance was rushed at the beginning. I understand that it had to be that way, because it built the foundation for the rest of the book, but I just wasn’t all that interested in their relationship during this part. I didn’t skim as much when they got off of the boat, but I was still annoyed with some of the cookie cutter romance scenes that went on.
What I liked and that kept me skimming onward was the relationship between Charles and Louise. I think if you’re a fan of Beauty & the Beast then you’ll find something to like here. Otherwise, I’d probably skip this book. ( )
  Book_Minx | Jan 24, 2015 |
A Goodreads reviewer noted that Sherry Thomas' [b:Beguiling the Beauty|11990937|Beguiling the Beauty (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #1)|Sherry Thomas|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1318999928s/11990937.jpg|16954866] (which I enjoyed immensely) borrowed heavily from Judith Ivory's [b:Beast|1130878|Beast|Judith Ivory|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266725722s/1130878.jpg|1350944]. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to read the latter.

The similarity between the two books is, indeed, striking, though it needs to be said that [b:Beast|1130878|Beast|Judith Ivory|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266725722s/1130878.jpg|1350944] is itself a re-telling of the the Beauty and the Beast fable.

My reactions to the two books couldn't have been more different. I found [b:Beast|1130878|Beast|Judith Ivory|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266725722s/1130878.jpg|1350944] dull and uninspiring, the description of the transatlantic liner arousing more interest than the personalities of the two main characters.

I also found Ms Ivory's prose style difficult to digest. By way of example, the cacophonous and careless repetition of 'staticky' suggests that either the author writes in short bursts without bothering to back up and read earlier text, or she has a poor ear for rhythm and euphony. Or perhaps her editors were less than diligent.

I abandoned this book during the scene in which Beauty and the Beast are breathlessly copulating in a pitch-dark room. I found myself caring not a whit what happens to them on the rest of the voyage, or after they disembark in England.

Did not finish; did not rate.
  skirret | Jan 2, 2015 |
This book was so disappointing. I have always liked Judith Ivory so I expected a fun read with a strong, independent and smart hero and heroine. What I got was a book with a spoiled obnoxious 18 year old society girl who was placed in an arranged marriage to a duplicitous man in his late 30's. Ivory tells us all about how smart this girl is (she really is a girl, not yet a woman) but there is no real evidence other than a facility for language. Ivory tells us that the hero and heroine are having deep and intellectually stimulating conversations, but we are never privy to those conversations. Ivory tells us that the dirty old man is in love with this girl's mind, but the only thing he ever responds to is her youth and beauty. He never works hard to get her to chat, he only works hard to get her into bed. Also, both characters lie to each other about things central to their existence (his is the bigger lie by a country mile, but both lie) and there is little consequence for this once they come clean. Add to all this the fact that I was bored by the book. Really bored. I put the book down for weeks and did not feel compelled to pick it up again. That never happens to me with romances, even bad ones. I can't recommend this at all. ( )
  Narshkite | Sep 15, 2014 |
Judith Ivory is an excellent writer of beautiful prose. But the plot of this book didn't please me nearly as much as the prose. I was highly skeptical of the lovers-in-the-dark plot, which however, she pulled off quite convincingly. But once the ship docked and the lovers "met" one another for real, I was just impatient to get to the reveal. And that comes very late in the book.

I'm glad that I read this, but I have no desire to reread some day. And I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the stomach-churning (literally) details of ambergris. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380786443, Mass Market Paperback)

An exquisite American heiress, Louise Vandermeer is beautiful, brilliant. . . and bored-which is why she has agreed to a daring adventure: to travel across the ocean to marry an aristocrat abroad. Rumor has it her intended is a hideous cad-a grim prospect that propels her into a passionate, reckless affair with a compelling stranger she never sees in the light of day.

Though scarred by a childhood illness, Charles d'Harcourt has successfully wooed Europe's most sophisticated beauties. For a lark, he contrived to travel incognito on his own fiancee's ship-and seduce the young chit in utter darkness. But the rake's prank backfired. It was he who was smitten-while the hot-tempered Lulu, now his wife, loves only her shipboard lover, unaware it was d'Harcourt all the time! And Charles will never have her heart-unless he can open her eyes to the prince who hides within.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:32 -0400)

An exquisite American heiress, Louise Vandermeer is beautiful, brilliant. . . and bored-which is why she has agreed to a daring adventure: to travel across the ocean to marry an aristocrat abroad. Rumor has it her intended is a hideous cad-a grim prospect that propels her into a passionate, reckless affair with a compelling stranger she never sees in the light of day.… (more)

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