BY: Amanda Quick
GENRE: Historical Romance
PUBLICATION: December 2005 by Bantam (first published July 1992)
WARNING: Suicide is mentioned several times throughout the book and the reveal about it in the end is quite disturbing, in my opinion.
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.
I recently featured Ravished in a book list post on my blog and I suddenly felt the urge to reread it. So I did. My post features retellings of the classic tale Beauty and the Beast in the Historical Romance genre. To be honest, the only aspect in Ravished that is based on the tale is the hero being a beast. Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin is even dubbed as the Beast of Blackthorne Hall. But aside from that I don’t see anything in the plot that reminds me of BatB. The heroine, Harriet Pomeroy is not even a strong reader or a well-known beauty. Instead she is a bluestocking that is obsessed with fossils. Despite the little similarity to the tale, I still love Ravished. In fact, I loved it the second time around. Spoiler alert: I now rated it 5 ravishing stars.
Ravished opened with Gideon showing up at Harriet’s home due to the latter’s summon. I love both Gideon and Harriet instantly. Both of them seemed to possess intelligence of high level. Harriet knows what she wants in life and she does everything to attain it. In fact, her passion for fossils is the reason why she summoned Gideon to aid her in some conflict that hinders her freedom to dig more fossils in her caves. Gideon clearly admired her and I was instantly drawn to Gideon when he showed concern to Harriet because she might be in danger. And no, its not really instalove. Gideon is just naturally a kind and honorable man despite his reputation.
I love the dynamic between Gideon and Harriet. I admired it so much. Even if love is set aside, Gideon and Harriet have the kind of understanding that I hope every couple has. They understand and respect each other and very loyal. There is never an instance where one of them doubts the other. One time, for a fleeting moment, Gideon thought Harriet maybe wanted out but no, Gideon still trusts her. They both know that the other will come to their aid no matter what. It is so sweet. They’re honest with each other as well, though there are times that Gideon chooses not to tell her everything and if I were him, I would do the same. Harriet is too brave for her own good, sometimes it’s better that she stays at home. That’s why I also get why Gideon insists that Harriet should learn the old-fashioned way of wife’s duty – listen to her husband – because Harriet had spent her life making decision for herself and everyone around her for so long, she just does whatever she wants to do. In these instances, Gideon wasn’t really being autocratic and like I said, the two of them respect each other Even if Gideon insists of one thing, he would still respect and support Harriet.
I love the development they both underwent individually. Gideon learned how to open up to people and not letting the horrible rumors about him control his life, and in the end resolving all his relationship, including his relationship to himself. Harriet learned how to listen and include someone in her life. I mean she has her sister and aunts, who are amazing, but Gideon was right, she’d been a master of her own life for so long. Nothing wrong with that, I admire strong and capable women but there were times she ends up in danger because she wouldn’t listen.
The story started with Harriet and her love for fossils but the core of the plot is in Gideon’s reputation, a reputation that is tied to the secrets that are eventually revealed. The plot is too layered and complex. I think it is very well-crafted. It has many secrets and there are times that I think a conflict is solved and that’s it, but this book had something revealed right to the end. It’s a book that keeps giving.
Finally, I want to comment on the language. It’s very old-fashioned. The way the characters speak, always with the proper address that people in their time use such as “sir” and “madam.” They uses the proper address despite the situation. And I think that’s amazing.
RATING: 5 blissful pages with lilies
If you love a historical romance inspired by Beauty and the Beast, this book is for you. If you love a tortured but loving and honorable hero, you will love Gideon. If you prefer a capable, strong and smart heroin, Harriet is freaking perfect. And lastly, if you love a romance with a couple that respect each other, this book is for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The author of over 40 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense, often with a psychic and paranormal twist, in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 30 million copies of her books in print.
She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.
Ms. Krentz is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.
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