by Amanda Quick
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.
Really, the best part of this book was definitely Harriet!
While Harriet doesn't stray far from most of Amanda Quick's typical heroines, there's just something about her attitude about life, about her priorities... just her entire style is so, so great! She's unconventional, like an Amanda Quick heroine, but she goes a step further by almost being an absentminded professor. She's so obsessed with her fossils that something life altering could have happened, she reacts appropriately, but then gets distracted pretty easily with thoughts of fossils.
It's a little disconcerting, and while many might find a trait like this a bit annoying, I actually find it kind of amusing.
In comparison, Gideon, the Viscount St. Justin, is also the typical Amanda Quick broody male alpha. He's a good man, but he's got all the broody alpha frustrating traits you can think of. Of course, he's also misunderstood, and has endured a blemish on his reputation without anyone to stand by his side for the past six years. It's no wonder he behaves the way he does at present, because, as Gideon explains, when no one will believe you, no matter how many times you try to explain yourself, you just give up and let people believe what they want to believe.
To be honest, while I didn't really like the way that Harriet and Gideon end up together intimately, the rest of their relationship is just lots of sweetness and fun. I loved how Gideon would keep trying to intimidate Harriet, and she would just blow him off like an obstinate child; and the amusing thing was that he knew she wouldn't be cowed by his behavior, but he kept trying anything, probably to get her fired up or something.
The story of the Beast of Blackthorne Hall wasn't as much like the 'Beauty and the Beast' story as I had expected. Instead, I loved the direction that this story went, because even despite not quite following in the fairy tale it is said to be a retelling of, it still holds an almost fairy tale like flow and ending.
Harriet is a wonderful and sweet person who never once strays from her belief in St. Justin's character. And I love how she continuously defends his honor, constantly becoming outraged on his behalf whenever others try to make him look like the beast they think he is. She has no restraint in her reactions. She is so straight forward about herself, innocently responding without any qualms, without any underlying motives.
I loved when Gideon's mother asked her if she'd received any social polish after being in London for some time, and her response was a very unhesitant, "Well, no, not really." Meanwhile, her thoughts kept straying back to fossils.
It was great being able to predict her responses, but then being pleasantly surprised when her thought process went in a different direction.
The main conflict of the story was pretty predictable, to be honest, which is not to say it took away any from my enjoyment. In fact, I think I spent more time having fun with Gideon and Harriet's relationship and bickering dialogue.
Side characters were also fleshed out and very likable, though they didn't get as much book time as I would have liked. Harriet's sister, Felicity, is lovely and fun; Aunt Effie was stern, but also amusing. Mrs. Stone, what little we see of her, was frustratingly annoying, but comedic in a way. I loved the introduction we get of Gideon's parents, not the arrogant upper crust stiffs I'd been expecting, but quite open, honest, and readily likable.
And even the young group of fossil organization members were cute. The drunken kidnapping to Gretna Green was actually kind of fun.
All in all, Ravished is a wonderfully enjoyable book, with a few quibbles that I chose to ignore. And as I'd stated already, Harriet is probably my favorite of the entire book!
Free Friday #4:
Page Count: 418
Cash Award: $10.00
Updated Bank Balance: $185.00