Review: A Terrible Beauty

A Terrible Beauty
By Stephanie Patterson

5 stars
Genre: Historical Romance
Subgenres: 1850s (Victorian?), Crimean War
Heat Level: spicy
Amazon Link

Between A Terrible Beauty and a head cold, I haven’t had much sleep the last couple of nights. I could have read this in one sitting. In fact, I would put it right up there with some of the best books I’ve read this past year.

Let me go through some of the things I really liked about the book, and then I’ll bring up one thing I had to overlook:

Stuff I liked:
I admit I never knew much about the Crimean War and the nurses like Florence Nightingale who gave up comfortable lives to save soldiers on the front lines. I learned a lot in this book without feeling like I was being fed a history lesson. This book is gritty, but it needed to be.

The heroine is easily one of my favorites. She went from being the talk of the ton to a nurse in the front lines in the space of a few months. Some authors talk about how they torture their characters. Patterson really does, but every step of it was believable.

The plot is tightly woven. Before they see the error of their ways, the hero, heroine and secondary characters are always scheming. Patterson manages to thread these schemes together like pieces of a puzzle to create an amazingly intricate whole.

The heat level is spicy, with several explicit loves scenes and one rather crude one early on, but it is a necessary component of the plot and reveals quite a bit about the character of the hero if one bothers to read closely. I could have done without some of the later love scenes, but they weren’t overly gratuitous.  

I like the overall theme. Essentially, you never really know why someone acts the way they do until you hear (and really listen to) their side of the story.

Last but not least, a Terrible Beauty is available on Kindle Unlimited (at least as I write this), so it was low risk to give it a try. I LOVE finding new authors this way, and I have already downloaded the next book in the series, Mrs. Lady.

One teensy tiny thing I didn’t…
There are quite a few typos in the book and the use of commas is sketchy at best. The typos aren’t egregious…it’s usually a missing article or the use of “nor” when it should be “not.” It’s the kind of stuff an author doesn’t often catch, but a copy editor should have. I might have set a less well written book aside, but the story was so captivating it became easier and easier to overlook these errors.

No comments:

Post a Comment