Read A Thing of Beauty by Bianca M. Schwarz Online

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November 1819 To the ordinary observer, the wealthy Sir Henry March, cousin of a duke, seems a typical London gentleman. But to the Crown, Henry is a powerful asset, secret defender of the country. When he sees an injured girl stumbling down the side of the road, he must stop.The stepdaughter of an abusive innkeeper, Eliza Broad is from another class entirely. But the momNovember 1819To the ordinary observer, the wealthy Sir Henry March, cousin of a duke, seems a typical London gentleman. But to the Crown, Henry is a powerful asset, secret defender of the country. When he sees an injured girl stumbling down the side of the road, he must stop.The stepdaughter of an abusive innkeeper, Eliza Broad is from another class entirely. But the moment Henry lays eyes on the spirited and beautiful girl, he feels a connection. To protect her, he takes her into his home.In Henry, Eliza finds a rescuer, handsome and kind beyond her wildest dreams. But danger is at their heels. On Eliza’s trail is one of London’s vilest and most notorious pimps, a man whose connections tie him to a dark world of sadism and treachery.In this dark, historical thriller, can Eliza and Henry fight to protect England, their hearts, and their lives?...

Title : A Thing of Beauty
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781940811345
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 375 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Thing of Beauty Reviews

  • Lilah
    2018-07-22 07:30

    Ms. Bianca Schwarz debuts with a fantastic, well-written novel filled with compelling characters, strong plot, rich detail. It doesn't simply blend the thriller, the historical novel, the depravity and the beautiful romance that blossoms on its pages. A Thing of Beauty balances between the darkness and light, sadism and ecstasy, lust and love. It is a difficult task to keep up with so many themes but Ms. Schwarz handles it like a pro.Maybe it was just my luck but whenever I'd pick up a historical novel that includes love story the latter one always dominates the plot. It would usually be more of a romance novel that has some old timey settings because it seems cool, I guess. I had that initial fear about this book but I was quickly proved wrong.The story opens in a typical Cinderella fashion – a young and beautiful girl gets brutally beaten and abused by her predatory and rapey stepfather who tries his hardest to get rid of her. However unlike her literature predecessor Eliza Broad has backbone and decides to take charge of her own destiny. While she is running away from the arranged marriage with a brute who has his fair share of dead wives our heroine gets saved by a handsome, rich nobleman and war hero whose kind heart can't stand the sight of an abused lady. Little does Eliza know that by taking that leap of faith with Sir Henry March she'd soon be drawn in a world beyond her wildest dreams filled with espionage, intrigues and darkness alongside with high society rules, education and her own sexual awakening.I really loved both Eliza and Henry's characters and their development over the course of the novel. She started as a naïve, virginal tavern girl who has never read book different than the Bible, a diamond in the rough. However she was also strong, naturally intelligent and curious about the world. Henry helps her grow and gives her the best of himself, his knowledge, experience, protection and what he hasn't given to a woman for ages – his trust. As the blurb says he appears like every other London gentleman with too much money to burn and a reputation to match, a lover of pretty ladies and Covent Garden strumpets. Yet there is more than meets the eye with Sir Henry. He is also brave, perceptive and loyal to those who are close to his heart. The sensuality is vital part of his persona but be prepared. The mentioned reputation he has is a mere disguise to cover what he really does. That is another thing you should know about this book: nothing is what it seems in the world of A Thing of Beauty.What I loved most about their relationship was that it was a slow burn instead of insta love or lust. First of all they were friends and kindred spirits. The more they got to know each other the more burning the chemistry between them grows till it reached boiling hot point. I actually cared for them by the time they became lovers and it doubled my pleasure with the erotic scenes. Trust me, Bianca M. Schwarz knows how to write good sex. You can expect a lot of sensual goodness and debauchery as the plot thickens.The Regency period is expertly portrayed as a background by that talented author. She has all the details interwoven in the story, starting from the dialect, the lifestyle of the different classes, the current political and historical situation all the way to the fashion. The story had a wonderful feeling of place and time. The novel is also a study of human nature and raises some very interesting questions about the psychology of victims and abused women forced into prostitution. It has its disturbing moments. But among the darkness, violence and intrigue there was also a lot of laughter, humor, wonderful secondary characters including Henry's three friends and confidantes, his various servants and one hilarious modiste with fake French accent.I don't want to give too much of the plot away. All I will say is that it is dynamic and keeps the reader constantly on the edge. A lot happens in A Thing of Beauty but there is also a lot more to be unveiled in the next books. The finale has a twist that I really didn't see coming that would change your perception of the story. So you have two strong leading characters, cloak and dagger mystery, a wonderful lover story that adds to the plot, political intrigue, cruel nemesis and unexpected turns. What are you waiting for? Buy your copy and immerse in the world created by Ms. Schwarz. You won't regret it.

  • Ashlee Shades
    2018-07-17 06:07

    This is more than just your classic historical love story. 'A Thing of Beauty' goes beyond that and into a captivating world filled with mystery, drama, love, humor, intrigue, compassion - I could go on an on, but I won't. Let's just say, it's a wonderfully well-rounded story that stayed true to it's era.The opening scene was heartbreaking for me. To read the pain and abuse our heroine suffers at the hands of her evil, disgusting step-father left me in tears. She showed great courage in standing up to her step-father against his plan to sell her to an older, lecherous man. Thankfully, for me, this wonderful author wrote a strong female lead - which I thoroughly enjoyed. Eliza was a strong, intelligent woman who, once away from her step-father's clutches, just wants to learn as much about the world as she can. She was courageous and curious, and never the usual "simpering miss" that we often read, or would expect to read about in this genre.Once Eliza finally escapes, she is found and rescued by our hero - Sir Henry. He is much, much more than described in the description/blurb of the story. He's the "knight in shining armor" you want to love and nurture. I truly felt for him; his pain and sorrow, his determination to do the right thing and his drive to help those who are need the most. He cares for Eliza, and through his patience and tutelage she is able to grow into who she was meant to be.The connection between Eliza and Henry was beautiful. Their friendship gradually turned into more than just that, in a realistic way. Bianca M. Schwarz did not rush their tale, and that is what endears them to you even more. You really get the chance to learn about them individually, as well as a sense of the deep and passionate friendship that develops between them. Besides the story of Eliza and Sir Henry, Ms. Schwarz also weaves a tale of intrigue and mystery that includes an ensemble cast of colorful characters that truly complete the whole story. She was able to write this in a way that captivated and held my attention, while staying true to the time period. It was never boring, and each character and setting played its purpose perfectly. Nothing was added just for filler. Like pieces to a puzzle, they all worked together to create the masterpiece that is 'A Thing of Beauty'.I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a story of ... everything.

  • Kat Crimson
    2018-08-09 09:11

    Don't Mess with This Innkeeper's Daughter!The first portion of Bianca Schwarz's 'A Thing of Beauty' paints a classic, yet well told, picture of young Eliza, a woman who has been dealt a cruel blow by the hands of fate. She is in a dark and dire predicament. Both her parents are deceased and she resides at the inn her mother owned, with her abusive stepfather (who may have murdered her mother) and his horrid, rotten slag of a new wife. Sold to an even more putrid and repugnant man, who is rumored to have killed his previous wife, she does the only thing she can - she refuses to go along with it.From the very opening scene it is clear that our heroine is not of the insipid, fainting variety so commonly depicted in historical romance. It is further clear, after she is kicked down the cellar stairs and sustains a concussion, broken ribs and various other injuries, that she needs rescuing. Being not of the 'damsel in distress' variety, Eliza rescues herself, climbing up a coal shoot and out into the cold, with just the clothes on her back. Yet even with her fortitude of spirit and indomitable will she most likely would not have made it if not for the aid of Sir Henry.He brings her home with him and nurses her to health, and of course, the inevitable eventually happens. And if this were just a historical romance, the story could easily have ended there, with a Hallmark HEA, but it's not.Throughout her tale, the author weaves several interesting plot lines, full of intrigue and dark drama, together, which keeps your interest well after the initial culmination of Eliza and Henry's passion for each other. There are many fascinating and well developed sub characters in the book, who are all related to each other in ways that will only become clear if you read through to the thrilling climax - which you should definitely do!

  • Amanda Linsmeier
    2018-07-24 06:35

    I REALLY enjoyed A Thing of Beauty. Because I know the author I went in with high expectations, and it did not disappoint. The story is about Eliza, a young woman from an inn, who is rescued after an awful beating from her step-father, by the wonderful Sir Henry. Henry is a near-perfect hero- kind, generous, handsome, funny, and charming. What I think I enjoyed most is the two characters bonded as friends first, and especially, that they bonded over a love of books and reading. Eliza was naïve in many ways, and Henry could have been way out of her league given his wealth, education, and position, but I never felt those differences would keep the two apart. The sex scenes make this a spicy read, and the suspense in the mystery kept me flipping pages even late in the night. I couldn't wait to see if they would solve the mystery and catch the bad guy. And my, Ms. Schwarz, thank you for writing such great period description. I absolutely loved the fashion descriptions and the way the settings are described. If I have one critique it's that I wanted some kind of a conflict between the two main characters to keep me guessing if they'd end up together. But that certainly didn't distract from a great read. I can't wait to see what else happens, particularly with this horrid secret society we learn about in ATOB. I would definitely recommend this title to those who enjoy romance, intrigue, and history.

  • Jancy Jean
    2018-07-30 10:29

    Very good story, really loved the characters!

  • Jenna Harte
    2018-07-23 11:35

    I've had to sit on my review of A Thing of Beauty as I worked to gather my thoughts about the book. I really enjoyed it, but have difficulty expressing why. At first glance, A Thing of Beauty is a historical romantic suspense, but it's not your typical historical, romantic or suspenseful novel. My first challenge was to get rid of My Fair Lady's Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison in my mind as the characters Eliza and Henry. It wasn't too difficult as the Eliza and Henry of Schwarz's world are younger and a bit grittier. In the beginning, Eliza escapes from a brutal step-father who has sold her to another man. She was found beaten and barely alive by Henry, who takes her home and nurses her to health. These two should be complete opposites; Eliza from a poor, barely educated family and Henry, from wealth and privilege. However, the two forge a friendship over books and a curiosity about the world. They also become embroiled a mystery involving sadism and sex trafficking. Two things really struck me about the book. One was the contrasts. The world outside of Eliza and Henry is dark, violent, heinous, but the world between Eliza and Henry is wonderfully sweet and pure. Both of them have reasons to be bitter, jaded and untrusting (especially Eliza), and yet, they've retained enough of themselves to forge an incredible bond. And while Eliza is in the inferior position, her friendship and love do as much to heal Henry as his help healed her. The second thing that stood out was the untraditional ending. It made me think of Jane Eyre and how I've always wondered if Bronte considered not having Mrs. Rochester die at the end, and if she hadn't, would Jane have accepted Edward's invite to be his mistress, now that Jane had her own source of financial security. In A Thing of Beauty, Eliza is faced with the same societal constraints as Jane. She needs marriage to provide a secure future, and a good marriage won't come her way if she isn't a virgin. But she tosses that aside for Henry. While she's young and naive about some things, she knows exactly what she's risking. Of course, this risk is lessened a bit through Henry's help in security her family's property (an inn), which provides her with income, but still, her choice to be his mistress will caste her in a low light in society. In a traditional romance, Henry would find a way to marry her and they'd have their HEA. However, at least in this installment, that's not what happens. While Henry is no hurry to marry, in order to introduce his illegitimate daughter into proper society when she's of age, he needs to marry well, and that would not be the case with Eliza. Eliza knows and accepts this. So while you don't get the love and marriage HEA, you do get two people who love and care for each other, who are together because they want to be, and that is romantic.Of course, the die-hard romantic in me hopes that will change in further installments, but so far Schwarz is remaining true to the times in which the book is set, which adds more realism.It should be noted that many parts of the book are violent and gritty, and that the love scenes between Eliza and Henry are detailed. I enjoyed all of it, but some readers who might not be expecting it might be be surprised by it.I'm looking forward to future installments of the series and have my fingers crossed that Eliza and Henry will eventually have their HEA!

  • C.H. Armstrong
    2018-07-20 08:23

    I owe a bit of an apology to Bianca M. Schwarz today as I sit down to write my review of her book, A Thing of Beauty. In my ignorance, I imagined it to be a romance and assumed it would fit within the tidy confines of a “set” recipe for romance. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good romance, especially everything Julia Quinn. All Ms. Quinn has to do is type the word “Bridgerton” and I’ve got my iPad fired up and ready to hand out 5-stars…and I don’t give out very many 5-star reviews! So I really do enjoy some romance, but most days I need more story to go with the romance.But I digress…back to A Thing of Beauty. I did this novel a huge disservice by assuming it was strictly romance. Having finally finished this wonderful novel, I have to say that I’m not sure what genre to fit this book into. It has a little something for everyone: Romance, Intrigue, Mystery, Suspense, History…it has everything! And it doesn’t fail to deliver on each of those elements!One of my favorite elements of this novel was the characters — I simply loved the characters, particularly Eliza and Sir. Henry. I love the relationship that they develop. Sure, their relationship is romantic and, for those who enjoy spicy intimate scenes, you won’t be let down; but it’s a relationship based first and foremost on respect and friendship. They are equals in a way that most book couples aren’t.To delve a little more deeply, I fell in love with Sir Henry’s character. He’s basically what I think every woman looks for in a mate. He’s strong, yet sensitive. He’s protective, yet not smothering. At first glance, he’s fearless and yet he’s secure enough in his manhood to admit he’s afraid or openly show tears. And he has a moral compass that guides his actions. Simply stated, he’s awesome!Now, I’m sure to get some flack for this, but the novel I can most closely relate this title to is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. No, it’s not set in Scotland — and no, it doesn’t have the King of Men, Jamie Fraser. What it has in common with Gabaldon’s books, though, are strong leading characters who respect each other completely. It has a sense of time and place, a lot of history thrown in, and no small amount of intrigue and mystery. In those elements, I think the comparison is fair. What it doesn’t have is time travel and Jamie. But I think readers who enjoy the relationship between Outlander’s Jamie and Claire will find much to recommend the characters of Eliza and Henry.If readers find they enjoy A Thing of Beauty, they’re in luck. The author has left it open for further editions to follow; and I think I heard she’s already working on followup editions. As for myself, I can’t wait to read what next adventures await Eliza and Sir Henry, because surely there must be more in their future! They’re just way too good together not to have a followup title.

  • Jamie McLachlan
    2018-08-07 06:17

    A Thing of Beauty is a fitting title for this novel, because after everything that happens, the author offers you beauty in the end—which, to me, was the hope of love between Henry and Eliza. Their romance starts off with friendship when Henry rescues Eliza on the side of the road, and then blossoms into mutual trust and affection. In the beginning of the book, I was tempted to label it as a romance. But after a while I realized I was reading a thriller with romantic elements. The romance is significant, but not overwhelming. Neither does it distract from the plot. Before I discuss the thriller aspect, I would fist like to mention that Henry’s character was refreshing. He’s intelligent, a little naughty, but always a gentleman. He wasn’t overbearing, and instead welcomed and encouraged Eliza’s aid. She wasn’t just a pretty prop, but became his equal. Also, when it came to the sexy parts, Henry was a perfect lover for Miss Eliza.Now, onto the plot. This truly was a dark historical thriller. There were moments when my heart was pulsing with anticipation and dread, and the author wrote it in such a way that made me truly fear for the characters involved. And despite the uplifting ending (which I think was necessary), there were sections that were sinister and shocking. The revelation at the end was also a pleasant surprise and sent a chill through me.Of course, A Thing of Beauty is the first novel in a series. So I won’t hold anything against the author for not revealing everything in the first book. Those unanswered mysteries only entice me to read the next one! But everything that is necessary to the first book’s plot is resolved. I can't wait to read the next book and learn more about Henry's position and the secret society the author created!

  • Michelle Whitman
    2018-07-17 14:22

    I was fortunate enough to be involved in a live chat event with author Bianca M. Schwarz. Ms. Schwarz was promoting a fellow writer's first novel. I found myself becoming more and more interested in A Thing of Beauty as we chatted, though. I liked both the author herself and the synopsis, so off I went.I stared at the first page in shock. What-in-thunder had I gotten myself into? I doNOTread bodice-rippers! I scanned through the first few pages, wondering how I had misled myself to think I would like this book! Earthy, coarse language and imagery (in my mind) could not deliver up a tasteful tale of intrigue, suspense, quick wit and, yes, charming characters that I could identify with.Then I settled down and actually READ. From the first word to the last. Now, this, indeed, is NOT my usual genre. Romance books are not high in my preference list, no matter where or when they are set. However,A Thing of Beautyreally did draw me in. Each time I felt I had a "handle" on a character, that I sensed the story line was falling into a pattern, there was a twist - either in the plot, the character's action/reaction, or an event that caught me off guard - that made me more eager to turn each page. Each character is revealed as multi-faceted; no one dimensional "fillers" here. Each "good-guy" has an opportunity to reveal their best - and I brushed aside their scars, warts and blemishes to revel in their strengths, humor and intelligence. Each "bad-guy", on the surface a demon to rail against, strikes a chord of familiarity (although not taken to the same extreme, perhaps) in how I myself could be convinced that my actions were warranted. Except for the main villain. He's just a tumor in desperate need of excision.Schwarz has crafted a fast-paced "Dagwood-sandwich" of a novel here. By combining Romance, Suspense, Mystery, Intrigue, and History genres with deceptive ease, I'm not even sure where I would shelve this book - One final note; while not gratuitous, the torture and sex scenes in this book are graphic and intense. Had I been aware of the depths of depravity some of the characters would be subjected to, I might have passed this book by altogether.I'm glad I didn't. I can't wait for a sequel!

  • Kelly Cain
    2018-07-29 14:05

    I love historical fiction set in the UK. Add in mystery and romance - even better. So I had high expectations when I began this novel. It did not disappoint. The heroine, Eliza, is beautiful, smart, strong, and by all accounts, should be damaged beyond belief. But it was the hero, Sir Henry, who stole the show for me. He is a proper hero: physically attractive, brave, insanely rich, but most of all, kind and good. He doesn't give a second thought to do for others, especially Eliza in her broken state.As the mystery unravels, we are introduced to the author's vivid descriptions. At the retelling of a particularly horrendous act, we are dumped into the scene - the last place we want to be. The graphic nature with how Daisie tells her story had me both angry and uncomfortable, however, it is not gratuitous. When we are finally confronted with the actual environment from Daisie's story, even knowing the space was unoccupied, I stilled skimmed through.I would have liked to have seen more of Sir Henry's relationship with his daughter, Emily, earlier rather than only hearing about it. I believe the stakes would have felt higher for me. Maybe more actual involvement of Emily to the plot as well. But those are small complaints that are easily overlooked because of the overall enjoyment of reading this book.I highly recommend to any reader.

  • Jim Cangany
    2018-07-28 11:26

    Take The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, drop her in the early 1800's, add a healthy dash of The Three Musketeers, and you have A Thing of Beauty, the debut novel by Bianca Schwarz. This historical tale is set during the later years of George III, and Schwarz put me right in the middle of the action. Her word choice made me think the novel was written in 1815, not 2015.The heroine, Eliza Broad, is a resourceful and beautiful young lady of low class on the run from her abusive step-father. The hero, Sir Henry Marsh, is a nobleman and military veteran who uses his playboy reputation as cover for his operations on behalf of the Crown. Henry rescues Eliza, and fall in love as they work together, along with Henry's team to solve a mystery involving an sadistic kidnapper. The story has something for everyone-intrigue, forbidden love, adventure, fashion, and characters with layers and layers of depth.Like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, A Thing of Beauty wasn't my typical read, but I enjoyed every moment of this page turner and learned so much about life in England during the period. This is a stellar debut by Bianca Schwarz that lovers of historical fiction don't want to miss.

  • The
    2018-08-08 07:31

    Beautifully written The attention detail puts you in the room. The story is beautifully written with grace and love. Every woman wishes for a Sir Henry, I found mine in the pages of this romantic story.

  • Cathleen Townsend
    2018-08-14 11:30

    I enjoyed Bianca Schwarz’s A Thing of Beauty. The details are vivid, the story arc is cohesive while still leaving room for a sequel, and the characters are well-drawn and three-dimensional. They surprised me at times, but in a good way. It kept the book from being too predictable.The sex is very explicit but well done. Actually, as a writer, I’m somewhat in awe of people who write sexy scenes that are so detailed. It’s not what I do, but even if it was, I’m not certain I could pull it off this well.I was occasionally distressed by the comma usage and the point-of-view shifts. The latter happened more rapidly than I like. However, I’m very picky about writing mechanics, and like all writers, I have my preferences, which happen to differ from the author’s.Still, the story was engaging, and I read it through to the end in one sitting, and romance isn’t my genre of choice. The historical touches felt authentic to me, from what I know of the Victorian era.In addition to the vivid lovemaking, there are also some detailed torture scenes. I skimmed a bit on those—it’s rather more detail than I want. However, it certainly established the antagonist as a definite villain.If Victorian romance is a genre you enjoy, A Thing of Beauty would certainly be worth the read.Full disclosure: I received a free Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review.

  • Scarlett
    2018-08-15 07:16

    First off, can I just say what a gorgeous cover this novel has?? This book ended up being a unique blend of genres. It's part historical romance (set in London in the early 1800s), and there's plenty of beautiful, detailed descriptions of the clothing for readers who love playing vicarious dress-up! Also, the romance between experienced Henry and virgin Eliza is very sweet - and also quite erotic! The novel is also part dark thriller. It has one of the most despicable villains I've read in a long time. He's so much fun to hate that I almost wish he would have had more "screen time," so to speak. I didn't get a real sense of how bad he was until about 40% through the book. That brings me to my biggest critique: the story often moved at a slow pace for a thriller, and I feel that it could have been a more efficient story if it was tightened up and the pacing faster with more urgency, consistently throughout. That said, ultimately, the book builds to a satisfactory ending, and it even has a little twist discovery that I wasn't expecting that was also satisfying to find out. Overall, it's a nice debut by author Bianca Schwarz!

  • Naya Free
    2018-08-04 13:17

    The heroine, Eliza, along with her gentleman almost-prince in shining armor, Sir Henry have an undeniable connection between them, one that the exquisite author, Bianca M. Schwarz illustrates in a beautifully sinister manner. Eliza is no Cinderella, who needs a prince to rescue her; she fights for her freedom. But every heroine needs a friend, that is found in the darkly seductive Henry. Why should it be any different? Even a historical drama can be contemporary. That is the real triumph of Schwarz as the author bridges the gap between what the reader expects in a classic love affair and a current day sexual affair. I enjoyed the graphic sensuality, which made the story even more accessible for a modern audience. Grab your copy of A Thing of Beauty now, enjoy the feeling of traveling in time, and discovering the truth behind pure friendship, profound love, and passionate sexuality. Fantastic read by a new author, who will surely be around for years to come, entertaining her satisfied readers.

  • Annelisa Christensen
    2018-08-15 06:15

    A Thing of Beauty by Bianca SchwarzDisclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.Further disclaimer: as an editor myself, I can be pernickety.This historical novel, the first of a series (and rightfully too) is set after the Battle of Waterloo in the early eighteen hundreds. Eliza Broad, who escapes from her brutal and sadistic stepfather, is rescued by aristocrat, Sir Henry March (who reminds me a little of the Scarlet Pimpernel in the way he hides his true persona in society). Fortuitously, this very rescue provides leads for Henry in his undercover search for evil spy, De Sade.Eliza turns out to be a plucky heroine, the equal to Henry, and they make a great partnership, along with Henry’s friends and employees (many who have been in the war against Napoleon with him) in their efforts to discover and foil De Sade’s sinister and sadistic plan.I won’t say more about the story, although I should point out the erotic sex-scenes, though well written, would be x-rated if it were a film, as would the torture scene, but on the grounds of violence. I accept both as part of the story, but I think some might be very affected by them, particularly the latter.When I first started reading A Thing of Beauty, the action filled prologue and Ch1 had me looking forward to a good read. Apart from a niggle that the local dialect of some of the side characters was not quite right, I started to empathise with the main character (MC), Eliza Broad.I stalled briefly in Chs. 2 and 3. The sudden slowing of pace, the increase of ‘tell’ and (admittedly beautifully researched) passive description took me out of the story a bit, and had me questioning the role of Henry in Eliza’s life. They seemed to fall into a friendship too quickly, with no conflict between themselves or with the views of the society they came from. Certain things I’d think they’d question, they didn’t. The friendship didn’t feel properly explored, only referred to.Saying that, though, when the action started, I stopped dissecting the writing and was drawn right back into the exciting scenes and mystery right until the end of the book. The action was tight, the wonderfully authentic, detailed description was interwoven with a fast paced narrative and I looked forward to picking up the book again whenever I had to put it down. I cared for Eliza and Henry and empathised with them.At the end, there were some untied ends that I believe are deliberate, with the view to continuing the story in the next book, one that I’d happily read.There was one detail I did feel was not answered and should’ve been: Where did Wilkins go?[The reason I didn’t give the book another star is not because of the story itself, which I enjoyed, but because it could really have done with another edit. The problems of the above mentioned two chapters, the spelling errors dotted throughout and the point of view jumps occasionally took me out of the story. I did feel, at times, the point of view should’ve stayed with a single character for the whole scene, or chapter (the jumping around unsettled me), but it was not enough to detract from the overall story.]

  • Moctezuma Johnson
    2018-07-30 12:26

    Bianca can really write well. The grammar is sound and the writing is highly polished. The book starts off somewhere in England before the invention of the telegraph and slowly builds around a rich gent and a pretty woman he finds beaten at the curb. The tone is way more suited to literature than genre fiction, at least in the beginning. The tone is slow and meaningful, not the fast paced superficial prose of much contemporary Erotica. Bianca has done her homework and has the sound of the English spoken in that time period with detail paid to the different accents of the different classes. The first half of the book follows as a period piece giving you the feel of the day with a love story of Henry and Eliza. The second half has a plot about an old enemy that they try to catch in the act of torturing young girls. One demerit for me was the attitude of the novel toward what sexual deviances are acceptable and what are evil wasn't made clear to me. It was assumed the reader would consider some men good and others bad, but I am not so easily convinced. I wished there was more discussion on the subject. Also worth thinking about and discussing is the style of prose. It's slow and languid. My guess is that fans of historical fiction will really enjoy the attention to detail and appreciate that Bianca took the time to install a thorough plot. Personally I wish the plot came into prevalence a bit earlier but do applaud the overall structure. Admittedly I don't usually read historical romance fiction, so i suspect this probably means this was built smarter than I've even realized. Overall, The dialogue was quite well done even though Henry didn't always speak like a man. Still, the dialogue was true to its time with a smattering of old words like phaeton, serviette, and curricle. The ending was really well done. I don't usually like when plots are neatly tied up but in this case it was like a 1000 piece puzzle had slipped into place. Pretty cool.

  • Marian Gils-McLeod
    2018-08-09 08:07

    "A Thing of Beauty" is a dark historical thriller taking place in England during the early 1800's. Eliza, a young woman whose family owned an inn, is ill-treated by her stepfather and flees from a life of abuse. She is rescued by a man whose treatment of her show nothing but care and respect. Together they find themselves battling to put an end to the actions of a group of men who know only cruelty and misuse towards women.The relationship between Eliza and her rescuer, Henry, is what I enjoyed most in the book. The admiration and consideration that they shared helped them to solve the mystery of who was ill treating the women and finally have them brought to justice. What I found difficult was the traffic nature and language in the book. But I must say that this was a well written book that had me on the edge of my seat.My thanks to to Goodreads Giveaways for this free book that I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to read.

  • C.J. Fosdick
    2018-08-08 08:15

    A historic blend of British secret service dealing with erotic crimes and class distinction, with a heroine readers can sympathize with.

  • Mystk Knight
    2018-07-30 06:35

    Bianca M. Schwarz’ historical romance A Thing of Beauty is an extraordinarily well-written story of a young woman who escapes her subjugated life only to be rescued by a nobleman intent on saving her from the hands of her would-be oppressors. The uplifting, historically correct tale then follows the lives of Eliza and her saviour, Henry, as they navigate their way through intrigue and romance while attempting to solve a long-standing mystery. Schwarz does the period piece proud through the consistent use of period-appropriate descriptors, painting a picture of life as it was during that era. If you love historical romance, A Thing of Beauty is a must-read novel. 5 well-deserved stars for this novel.

  • Cynthia
    2018-07-26 08:31

    New Fan of BiancaRecenly received this book free for signing up for one of Bianca's reading lists.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is the first of her books I have read, it won't be the last.