The Beautiful One by Emily Greenwood
Overview by Amazon:
A PICTURE SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS…
The ton is buzzing about The Beautiful One, a striking figure in a scandalous book of nude sketches. Only two men know the true identity of The Beautiful One, and they are scouring the countryside, determined to find her.
BUT NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES
The unlikely center of the scandal, Anna Black is forced to flee home as disaster looms. Her tomboy’s heart and impertinent tongue serve her well when she meets the most brooding viscount ever to darken a drawing room. Will Halifax, Viscount Grandville, has his reasons for pushing people away, and when his tempestuous teenaged ward arrives on his doorstep, he presses Anna to take on her care. As Anna begins to melt the Viscount’s frozen heart, she knows the more she loves, the more she has to lose. For although Will cares nothing for what makes Society titter, he has yet to see The Beautiful One.
One of my favourite tropes is the runaway who is hiding a secret. Anna is certainly hiding a whopper in this story. The story of the scandalous sketches is the motive for Anna to be searching for a hiding place in England from the contemptible men who hunt her, but it is only a part of this story.
This book revolves around the love connection between Anna and Will. Through circumstances, Anna finds herself at Stillwell, a beautiful country estate. The Viscount is difficult. That’s almost an understatement as when they first meet he is downright rude and insulting. Slowly Will begins to transform from a grief stricken shell of a man to a man who has come alive again.
What I liked about this book was the dance between Anna and Will. She is not afraid to challenge him and does so repeatedly. Is there a better way to catch the attention of a reluctant man? Not that Anna is trying to catch his attention for herself. She wants him to take responsibility for his ward and be the man she knows is buried under the grief.
I always enjoy books where the lead characters frustrate, excite and challenge each other. This book definitely has my favourite elements. Anna and Will are really well developed characters. I liked that they worked through their issues and didn’t just forget the past. They helped each other deal with the problems before them, so that when they final got together, it felt natural. The author writes love scenes really well. They are titillating and creative. The author makes you see the characters through a beautiful lens.
The secondary characters in this story are great! The ward and the stepmother not only create drama that forces the lead characters into action, but they show their humanity. The author is really skilled at using these characters as a method of provoking the characters. Plus, they added moments of great humour.
This story was a lovely story to read. One thing I really liked about it was that Anna was such a strong character. In the end, when she receives help from Will, it didn’t feel like he was a hero and taking over her life, but rather that she finally had someone she could count on. The author has created a wonderful plot that is entertaining and emotional.