- Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group (Oct 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425176959
- ISBN-13: 978-0425176955
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.2 x 2 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,271,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Belinda Croft is approaching spinsterhood without a care in the world, other than how to satisfy her aunt's desire that she participate in her cousin Sissy's debut season when Belinda would just prefer to stay home and work in her laboratory, mixing home remedies for anything that ails those around her. She has never enjoyed going out in society and, fortunately for her, her widowed recluse of a father has never required her to do so.
However, Belinda does not want to offend her aunt or hurt Sissy's feelings, so out into society she goes. And not only does she accompany Sissy, but provides her with a miracle beauty cream that all of the matrons of the ton begin to clamor for.
Marcus Barrow should be an earl, if only his father had not angered King George by choosing to marry a servant girl rather than the woman chosen for him by the King. That choice caused the King to strip Marcus's father of the title and property that had been in his family for generations. Marcus has always made it his personal campaign to win back the earldom. So, when he accepted a secret wager from Prince Regent that forces him to spend time with the bluestocking Belinda Croft, Marcus had no idea he would be so thoroughly bewitched by the brainy miss.
The ensuing romance and comedy of this story are both enjoyable and charming. As in all of Casey's books, the dialogue is engaging and witty. I love an independent and intelligent heroine, especially set in the Regency era, and Belinda certainly delivers. Marcus makes for a delicious hero with enough wit, respect for his heroine, and a touch of the deep dark secret to make things exciting between them.
As always, Casey Claybourne delivers an entertaining and satisfying story for all lovers of romance, especially those of us intrigued with Regency-era England. Don't miss A Thing of Beauty.
The plot goes as follows: Bookish scientist heroine wears ugly clothes and tries to blend in, because she despises society functions and prefers to study her medicines. (So far, so good. Typical, but not bad.) When her frilly sister can't go to her coming out ball because of a pimple, Heroine presents frilly sister with a jar of boot polish claiming it to be a cream to make zits go away, frilly sister thinks it actually works and of course introduces it to the ton, which makes her sister the cat's PJs because all the fine ladies would like some boot polish, too.
Enter tortured Hero, who must prove that the magic pimple-fixing cream is really false in order to win back his earldom. Heroine wears uglier clothes to make Hero go away. Hero wooes, romances, and smooches with Heroine until the inevitable conclusion of our story.
Personally, I think it's the silliest thing I've ever read. It's a nice romance, but why can't the author come up with something better than a pimple-fixing cream for a plot? Even the stereotypical hairbrained Ladies and Lords of Regency England aren't that stupid. And no girl without a title or fortune is going to be suddenly accepted into society because of a cream. It's a terrible plot device, and it really doesn't work. On top of that, the characters were a bit hollow and cliche and I found that I really couldn't sympathize with their plights.
I'm afraid that I don't agree with the rest of the people that found this book very enjoyable, and I wouldn't recommend it, espeically if you're bothered by plots like that.
Marcus Barrow wants Prinny to return the family title lost when his father married someone unacceptable to the monarch. Prinny constantly asks Marcus for his opinion on fashion because the Ton recognizes the nobleman as the final arbiter. However, Prinny puts Marcus on the spot when he challenges him to investigate the miracle cream that is now the talk of the aristocracy. The stake is the earldom. When Marcus meets Belinda, they fall in love, but he refuses to repeat the "mistakes" his father made when he married his royally unacceptable mother.
A THING OF BEAUTY is an amusing Regency romance starring two likable individuals. The story line moves quickly as Belinda's cream becomes the rage. Belinda is an intelligent, witty character while Marcus struggles between his love for her and regaining his family title. Though stereotyped as inane, the support cast provides much of the silliness that lightens the plot. Casey Claybourne has written a facetious tale that will charm sub-genre fans with its fresh outlook on early nineteenth century aristocratic life.
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