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Ravished (1992)

by Amanda Quick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0322615,189 (3.94)37
From the cozy confines of a tiny seaside village to the glittering crush of the a fashionable London soiree comes an enthralling tale of a thoroughly mismatched couple . . . poised to discover the rapture of love. There was no doubt about it. What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man. Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot. But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself. . . . Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing. Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him. For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe . . . and a searing passion she yearned to answer. Now, caught up in the Beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart–and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
1377 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
I read this for Romance Book Bingo 2017: Fairy tale Retelling square.

I have carried this book with me to countless countries and on countless vacations at this point. I love “Ravished.” I think Amanda Quick was firing on all cylinders for this one. I ended up reading this after another romance book I started was ticking me off so badly I just ran to my shelves and pulled this book down. You have a hero and heroine you can root for, an A and a B plot, and some very cute secondary characters.

Harriet is a typical Quick heroine. She’s not conventionally beautiful, but is very smart. Harriet is interested in archaeology and more to the point with anything dealing with old bones and teeth. Living in Upper Biddleton she calls on Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to come and deal with thieves who have set themselves up in the caves she is exploring.

St. Justin is a recluse from society due to his very large body and the scar that is down one side of his face due to a fencing accident. St. Justin, called the Beast of Blackthorne Hall by the local residents, does come to Upper Biddleton wanting to know what female dared to command him to come and do his duty. Readers find out quickly about St. Justin’s nasty past with many blaming him for the suicide of one of the local young girls who St. Justin was engaged to at one time.

Harriet and Gideon were wonderful together. Honestly. From the very beginning you get to see that Harriet doesn’t let Gideon’s scar or bad temper (justified in this case) get to her at all. She looks past that and sees a man who is very lonely and doesn’t have anyone in the world. She’s also very focused on archaeology and only Gideon is able to divert her from her pursuit of finding out about a tooth she finds that does not seem to belong to any creature that she has heard of.

Gideon is scared to love anyone again after dealing with the fact that the local girl he was engaged to really didn’t love him. He and his father fight every-time they see each other, and he barely speaks to his mother. Gideon hides from them thinking that they would prefer it if he were dead, and his older, more handsome brother were still alive.

I love the fact that Harriet is so protective of Gideon and not once, but twice goes after anyone that calls St. Justin a Beast. There is a scene in a ballroom where she launches herself at someone and I cracked the heck up. And Gideon does his best to provoke Harriet in order to see I think how much she does love him. Good for her for never taking any of his crap and telling him that she loved him all of the time. That was probably tho only failing of Gideon’s that I saw. Due to what has happened to him, he really doesn’t believe or think he can love someone.

The secondary characters in this one are really great. Harriet’s aunt is very stern, while her sister Felicity is hilarious. I once again wish that Quick had spun off some of her characters into other books. Felicity seems to find most of Society hilarious. And honestly one can’t blame her due the hypocrisy of most of the people in this story. St.. Justin’s parents are really good in this too. You get to see how far apart he is from his parents, but the fact that his father realizes he was wrong about St. Justin, and his mother thanks Harriet for bringing her son back to her were tear jerker moments for me while reading. We also see one of St. Justin’s old friends rear his head, and we realize why the two men fell out.

The A plot (thieves in Upper Biddleton) and B plot (a man trying his best to pursue Harriet for his own reasons) tie together nicely in this one. I did love though that when push came to shove in one key scene, we have Harriet saving herself.

The writing was easy to read and the flow was great. No complaints from me at all.

The setting between Uppder Biddleton and a Society that had turned its back on St. Justin was an interesting contrast. Apparently people in the countryside can be just as much jerks as people in London.

The ending was satisfying and the epilogue was too.

( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I liked this one! Bluestocking spinster tames beast. A good bit of angst and self doubt. (3.5 stars)

Re-read in 2018; I'm tempted to take this off the angst shelf, as the mystery is far more central to the story than the emotional development of the relationship. But, Harriet does fall for Gideon hard andworries he may not love her back, though she is very hopeful. Not as much self-doubt as I had originally thought ( )
  PNRList | Aug 15, 2018 |
Ravished has been on my TBR pile for quite a while. It ended up being my very first read by the prolific and much-loved Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz, Jayne Castle, et. al.). Overall, I very much enjoyed this tale that has a Beauty and the Beast theme. It’s light and witty, while also expressing some deeper emotions, particularly for our hero who’s been through quite a lot. It also contains a couple of light mysteries surrounding exactly what happened six years earlier when the hero called off his engagement and became known as the Beast of Blackthorne Hall, as well as the identity of the leader of a band of thieves who are leaving stolen loot in the cliff-side caves frequented by our fossil-hunting heroine. There was a lot going on to hold my attention in this story that travels from the provincial charm of the seaside town of Upper Biddleton to the glitz and glitter of the ton in London. Other than a few minor flaws, which I’ll get to shortly, I found it to be a great story that was sweet, enchanting, and full of heart.

Harriet is the daughter of the former rector of Upper Biddleton. Both he and her mother passed away, so she lives with her younger sister and a widowed aunt. At twenty-five, she’s pretty much a firmly on the shelf spinster, who has no real intention of getting married. She’s far more interested in collecting and identifying fossils than ballrooms and fashions or finding a husband. When she discovers that thieves are hiding stolen goods in the caves where she hunts for her fossils, she knows she must put a stop to it immediately to prevent some other fossil-hunter from making a monumental discovery first. To that end, she summons the Viscount who owns the land, asking him to intervene. When Gideon shows up, Harriet finds him attractive but a bit too autocratic. However, when he does help her, she’s quite grateful. Due to some misadventures during the capture of the thieves, the pair find themselves trapped in one of the caves overnight, which of course, leads to Harriet being compromised with a hasty engagement and marriage to follow.

Harriet is a geek of the first order with a one-track mind regarding her fossils, but rather than being the typical nerdy introvert, she’s the type who talks incessantly, which can be amusing. She also has very strong opinions, which she isn’t afraid to share, particularly with Gideon, while having an underdeveloped sense of her own mortality, which at times, nearly drives Gideon crazy with worry over her. Harriet is very even-tempered and has a matter-of-fact way of looking at almost everything. In fact, she’s a bright ray of sunshine in Gideon’s dark, cave-like existence. The thing I loved about her the most, though, is that she believes in Gideon right from the start and never wavers in her trust in him. The way she’s constantly defending him is almost comical, but at the same time, very endearing. She’s definitely a unique heroine who is full of life and vitality. I’d say the only thing that gave me pause about her is that I found it difficult to believe that anyone could be as perky and optimistic all the time as she is, but I’ll allow that it did make her a very cute and humorous character.

Gideon hasn’t been active in society for the past six years. For starters, in his wild youth, he’d engaged in a drunken duel that was supposed to be all for fun, but which left him with an ugly scar down one side of his face. Few young ladies paid him any attention after that, most finding his countenance hideous. He fell for the beautiful daughter of the former rector and offered for her hand in marriage. But according to the rumors run amok in society, he got her pregnant and broke the engagement, which led to her committing suicide. He’s been an outcast dubbed The Beast of Blackthorne Hall ever since. Even his relationship with his parents is a troubled one, since they’d shown preference to his older brother, who died in an accident, and they also seem to believe the rumors everyone else is telling rather than his own story. Gideon scarcely cares what anyone thinks of him anymore, and so he frequently does rather scandalous things. But when he meets the bossy daughter of the latest minister, who demands his assistance, he’s met his match.

Gideon is the classic, tortured, misunderstood hero, who’s had many things go wrong in his life. As a result, he’s mostly hidden himself away, but helping Harriet with her problem with the thieves revitalizes him. While he believes he’s lost the ability to love, he finds it to be no hardship to marry the lady once she’s been compromised, even though she insists it’s unnecessary. He may not understand her fascination with fossils, but what he does understand is her belief in him. He has no real friends, and no one has had his back ever since the events of six years before. Yet Harriet giving him her absolute trust reaches to a place deep inside him that he didn’t even realize was yearning for something more. Gideon may try to keep Harriet’s energy in check, but she’s an unstoppable force of nature. I loved Gideon for his sense of honor and how the loss of it has been the hardest pill to swallow. And yet, he proves his honor time and time again both by his ready acknowledgement that he would be marrying her before they ever left the cave and with his defense of her when she’s attacked by a former friend. He was a very lovable hero who I very much admired.

I had a few small issues with various things in the story. First is that, while it takes Gideon a bit longer to recognize his feelings, Harriet basically experiences insta-love for him, which doesn’t always work well for me. I couldn’t fully quiet the nagging voice in the back of my head, asking exactly what it was about Gideon that made Harriet fall for him in a matter of days and trust him completely. I was mostly OK with it, though, because the author manages to express the emotion between them pretty well. Next was that the love scenes didn’t fully have that perfect spark for me. A couple of them end abruptly, with a fade-to-black, in the middle of them making love, while some of the others just didn’t quite flow the way I would have hoped. The last thing is that I picked up on occasional repetitious words, where synonyms would have made the narrative flow better. Overall, though, these are pretty minor things in an otherwise fun tale. The story is jam-packed with colorful secondary characters who liven things up quite a bit, while also presenting some potential red herrings for the mystery portions of the plot. And I have to say that part was well-done, too. More than once, I thought I had it all figured out, only to have a little surprise twist pop up that changes everything. So all in all, Ravished was a very good read and a wonderful introduction to Amanda Quick. I look forward to trying out more of her books under whichever name she happens to be using. ( )
  mom2lnb | Jul 30, 2018 |
Ravished
5 Stars

With her fascination for fossils, Harriet Pomeroy has little time or patience for rumor and scandal. Thus, when she discovers that smugglers are using her beloved caves for their nefarious schemes, she never thinks twice of summoning Gideon Westbrook, the local landowner and the man everyone calls the Beast of Blackthorne Hall. With his scarred visage and lecherous reputation, Gideon spurns society, but something about Harriet draws him in and soothes his tormented soul. Yet to be together, Harriet and Gideon will have to face society and evade the clutches of a sick and twisted mind determined to destroy them both.

Amanda Quick is a favorite author of mine and I've decided to read through her backlist. This book, a lovely retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast, is one of her earliest and showcases her trademark plotting, characterization and banter.

Harriet and Gideon's romance is wonderful. At the outset, they are both somewhat bewildered by their attraction, but as they grow closer and learn more about it each other, this turns into an incredible connection based on trust, devotion and a true meeting of the minds. Their conversations and witty banter are a highlight of the story.

The minor mystery only heightens the intensity of the romance as Harriet is able to look past external appearances to the real man beneath Gideon's stoic façade. The villain of the piece is not surprising although the motivation and the extent of his depravity is astounding.

All in all, a charming and entertaining read with endearing characters, clever dialogue and an interesting story. Recommended for both fans and newbies alike. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amanda Quickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zilli, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Frank, with love.
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It was a scene straight out of a nightmare.
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From the cozy confines of a tiny seaside village to the glittering crush of the a fashionable London soiree comes an enthralling tale of a thoroughly mismatched couple . . . poised to discover the rapture of love. There was no doubt about it. What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man. Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot. But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself. . . . Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing. Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him. For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe . . . and a searing passion she yearned to answer. Now, caught up in the Beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart–and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.

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