Really enjoyed this book. Was completely different from your standard regency romance - felt the author really did her research regarding Chinese Turkestan and really loved this side of the story - it gave the book a fascinating, almost magical, Arabian Nights flavour. My only small criticism was that, when Catherine and Leighton met again, their reunion seemed a bit too easy, especially when Miss Chase was so easily made into a villain and dismissed. Would have preferred more tension and emotion to this love triangle. However, I would still recommend this book. Sherry has now secured her position among my favourite authors.
Such a splendid, beautifully written resolution of the story of Ying Ying and Leighton. I loved the depiction of China and the development of their relationship there. I was completely engaged by Catherine's/Ying Ying's gradual defrosting in England and how she and Leighton eventually resolved their differences and came together again. So good I wanted to go back to the beginning and read it all over again. Would definitely suggest reading The Hidden Blade and then this one immediately afterwards - but you'll get nothing done until you're finished so beware!
An extremely well written book. Sherry Thomas is getting to another level. I have read all her books and this book shows her doing something different than what she used to do before. The author being ethnic Chinese, the descriptions and the prespective from that viewpoint was very authentic. I have learnt Chinese and many times in the book, it struck me what she was saying in Chinese and the exact phrases or idioms she was saying. The book is really striking and beautiful to read. I would highly recommend this to any romance readers. It is something different from the masses of books out there.
I'm a huge huge fan of Thomas' work and this just takes her work to another level. Action packed, sensual, writing to die for and so emotional I had tears in my eyes by the end. And hey it takes a lot for me to start blubbing. Wish all HR could be this innovative. I'm going to leave it for a couple of weeks and then take my time reading it all over again. Can't wait for her next spectacular novel.
Absolutely Amazing Story - Sequel to The Hidden Blade: A Prequel to My Beautiful Enemy (Heart of Blade Book 1) - with the storyline of "My Beautiful Enemy" set in 1880's-1890's. I pre-ordered this book and read it in one sitting with barely a trip to take care of the necessities of life. Sherry Thomas writes an amazing story about two people - Captain Leighton Atwood and Catherine Blade (Ying-ying) who encounter one another in England after having met and fallen in love eight years earlier in far off Chinese Turkestan. Leighton was a spy on assignment for the English government and Catherine was a highly skilled operative working for her stepfather who served as a governor in a remote area of China.
Theirs is first and foremost a love story, however - it is also a story about two people who initially have very little in common except for the rough country they find themselves in, their fascination for one another and what one might call their destiny. Separation happens, and by the time they encounter one another in England, Leighton is set to marry a lovely English girl and Ying-ying has been sent by her stepfather to find some treasures that were taken out of China. For her part, she had reason to believe Leighton was long dead, after deserting her eight years previously.
Leighton's and Ying-ying's story is revealed in flashbacks going back and forth from the present to the past. The reader is engaged in their story to the point, one feels the grief, heartache but also the warmth in the hearts of two people whose stories are shared against the harsh, yet beautiful land that brought them together. Sherry Thomas does a fabulous job in bringing an understanding to the reader of how Leighton's and Ying-Ying's lives were torn asunder, the misunderstandings that took place between the two of them and the long-held regret that both have carried in their hearts for their mistreatment of one another.
I am still reeling from this story. Rarely does one have such an honorable "Main Guy" presented in this genre. In my opinion, "My Beautiful Enemy" is comparable to another of Ms. Thomas' works - "Not Quite A Husband" relative to the story of love, misunderstanding, years apart and love eventually overcoming loss, sadness and misunderstanding. What to say, except that few authors in this this genre have the ability to craft a story in the manner in which Sherry Thomas brings it. She is truly gifted.
O_o! Atwood and Ying-Ying are back, and they are all grown up and very dangerous! Such a delicious story, full of spies, political intrigues and serious heartbreak. Reminded me a bit of Mr and Mrs. Smith, the main characters are so capable and confident. Throughout the story which involves quite a few years and couple of continents it's Atwood who is more vulnerable and desperate to find his love, and Catherine who is reticent and stoic. Really, really loved it, and recommend it to almost anyone but the most cynical reader.