Between the insufferable navel-gazing segments about unrequited love and pining after god-forsaken Isabelle, Thomas keeps us riveted in the "past" chapters with long, detailed accounts of Millie and Fitz's estate renovation project. Later, she treats us to the trials and adventures of creating Victorian advertisements for probably disgusting canned foods. The movement of plot suffers for this. Just when I thought I might be interested in the present, Thomas would hurl me back into the past so Fitz could wax poetic about losing his dreams and stuff.
I won't be reading that. Despite all of my complaints, I've read worse than Ravishing the Heiress. The writing isn't bad, although I did notice a few awkward turns of phrase and several typos. If only the content hadn't been so insufferable and depressing, I wouldn't have to be so harsh in this review. You can find her review, which I guarantee will entertain you, here.
View all 54 comments. Jul 04, Jill rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-romance-european. So, we come to it at last.
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A mundane marital task, was this not? An obligation he'd put off for too long. Why then, as he advanced toward the bedroom, did he feel as if he were being swept out to sea? That the tides and currents would be unlike anything he'd ever known in the calm estuary that had been his marriage? Millicent Millie Graves, an heiress was wed at sixteen. Her father determined that they be joined to a titled family, arranged the marriage to the impoverished Earl Fitzhugh. Fitz, a So, we come to it at last. Fitz, at nineteen and newly titled, was not yet ready for marriage let alone children. Fitz and Millie make an agreement to not consummate the marriage until they both want children.
Though married they would live separate lives for the agreed eight years. But now with the eight-year pact finally drawing to a close, Fitz's first and only love makes a reappearance in his life. There are many talented writers of historical romance. But even they tend to write within certain guidelines, never wavering from what's expected from the genre. Sherry Thomas does not write the expected. She steps on the toes of predictable romance tropes.
Her romances rely on the usual happily-ever-afters, misunderstandings and impossibly handsome heroes. But she takes a twisted and often tortured path to that rainbow at the end of the story. Her romances don't work for everyone, that's for sure. But with a writing style and prose almost second-to-none in historical romance, she delivers in Ravishing the Heiress another absorbing story.
Sweet, sensible, self-controlled Millie falls in love at first sight with the handsome, young Fitz. Fitz, in love with another barely notices Millie as a woman, but they develop a deep, beautiful friendship over their eight-year marriage. Readers who baulk at adultery, misunderstandings and the hero pining for another woman for most of the book, will have trouble enjoying this.
Fitz, for the most part is a blind, selfish fool. He's offended when others disrespect Millie, yet he is the worst offender and the cause of others' disrespect, a hypocrite. The narrative switches back and forth between the past and present. The resolution of all this drama is quick and the ending abrupt. But like every Sherry Thomas novel I've read, at the end, I'm left with the impression that I've just read something more than a mere romance. Steam: 2. View all 32 comments. Dec 31, Didi rated it it was amazing Shelves: i-love-u-love-me-back , friends-to-lovers , library-loan , historical-romance , angst-in-my-pants.
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Let me first just say that the title is quite misleading. Ravishing The Heiress is a title that sounds like you'd be reading a bodice ripper, or that the story is quite lusty and not very deep. In reality it was none of these things. It was angsty, emotional, heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time.
This is not a quick historical romance and although it's just under pages, it unravels slowly, letting you witness the evolution of love from friendship. This also 4. This also reminded me of Unforgivable, by Joanna Chambers. Same idea: a young and plain girl gets married off to a fledging man of the nobility to save his family from ruin. Said man is resentful and not at all happy to be married off to someone other than the girl he loves. Where as in Unforgivable, the hero was quite the asshole, abandoning his wife and seeking other women for pleasure, this book shows our hero accepting his lot in life and basically making the best of it.
You see, impoverished and almost destitute, George Fitzhugh has become an earl at age His distant cousin, the previous Earl, has died suddenly and was betrothed to Heiress Millicent Graves, in a bid to save his land and title. Now the burden falls on Fitz George , but not only is he in opposition to the union, he also must abandon his love, Isabelle Englewood and marry Millie.
My heart broke for Millie so much throughout this book. She was in love with Fitz from day one even though she was only Their marriage became very amicable and they became very good friends but never consummated their union, rather deciding to wait 8 years! I'm not going to spoil that one! But throughout their marriage, they became close and dear to one another. Millie would get her hopes up but then they'd be squashed again with Fitz's unrequited love.
She never shared with Fitz how she felt, believing that to protect her heart she must remain stoic and complacent. She knew what he did with other women, it wasn't a secret then that a man had a wife and various lovers throughout his life. But she suffered internally and quietly. I also loved Fitz. I tried to hate him for how he made Millie feel, although unbeknownst to him, but he was a great and caring husband in almost every sense of the word. But his affection and lust were entertained elsewhere.
Until Isabelle came back on the scene. I couldn't stand that woman! I understand she and Fitz once had something but she was so callous at times and insensitive to Millie and her position in Fitz's life. Watching Fitz slowly realize how he truly felt about Millie was one of my favorite things about this book. It was almost subconscious, his change in feeling. He'd bottled up his desires and thoughts and mistook them for friendship but when things were tested he really came through.
Still, the honeymoon scene broke me in two, and many others had me tearing up constantly, especially when Millie believed Fitz had abandoned her. This was a beautifully written, moving, emotional and affecting book. I love the friends to lovers plot but seeing it with a twist here was fantastic. Unrequited love is a guaranteed tear jerker for me, it gets me every time. But when that person finally sees the fool he or she has been, it's perfection. Highly recommend this book to HR fans, it's different and refreshing, also beautiful and epic feeling. Loved it, loved it!
View all 45 comments. Mar 02, Rachel Reads Ravenously rated it it was amazing Shelves: men-can-be-stupid-sometimes , historical-romance , not-enough-groveling , angsty-intense , library-checkout , guilty-pleasure-read , romance. And it's all Didi's fault because of this spectacular review she wrote. I have a long history of loathing with historical romance.
Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2) by Sherry Thomas
As a history major in college I get nitpicky about the details and often end up screaming things at the book such as "why are you not pregnant yet?! Ravishing the Heiress w 4. Ravishing the Heiress with a title that has nothing to do with the book is about a young girl named Millie who meets her intended fiance and falls in love with him on sight. The problem is Fitz is in love with another girl but he must marry Millie for money. Cue eight years of Fitz's anguish over losing the love of his life, and eight years of Millie anguishing over a husband who could never love her back.
Through these eight years the two become best friends and have an unconventional marriage in which they aren't together initmately but only put on a show for propiety. Fitz also remains unaware of Millie's feelings for him. This was the perfect angsty read to get me out of my reading funk, and it definitely made me rethink my historical romance ban. As long as it's angsty and historically accurate. For those who are maybe interested in reading this, it reminded me quite a bit of Natasha Anders' The Unwanted Wife, which I also loved.
View all 30 comments. Jun 18, Las rated it did not like it Shelves: hate-read , historical , romance , unrequited-love. The take home message of this book: Be a good girl, never complain, don't make any waves, and eventually he'll fall in love with you. Yeah, I hated everything about this book. It's love at first sight for Millie. She just sees Fitz, and boom, it's love. I'd give her a pass on that since she was only 16, but since she shows no signs of growing up in the course of this story, I'm calling it Fail 1.
Fitz still fancies himself in love with Isabelle after not having had anything to do with her for 8 y The take home message of this book: Be a good girl, never complain, don't make any waves, and eventually he'll fall in love with you. Fitz still fancies himself in love with Isabelle after not having had anything to do with her for 8 years.
They weren't married, or engaged, or in a relationship, really. They were teenagers in the throes of their first crush. As tragic as the circumstances of their parting were, they each went their own way and had lives of their own. But they still managed to be in love with each other, so much so that when Fitz finds out her husband died, he immediately contacts her, and they make arrangements to spend the rest of their lives together, his wife and her children be damned. If it had been, say, three years, sure, that would be understandable. But eight years? Fail 2. So Fitz just announces to Millie that he plans to permanently live with Isabelle, right?
After a bit of a freakout, Millie, of course, agrees, no questions asked. Questions like, "Hey, asshole, don't you think it's fucked up that you plan to abandon me for another woman, making me an object of curiosity and ridicule in society? You're going to abandon your child?
Or do you expect me to hand him over after I give birth? How exactly will this child be raised with one parent sobbing in her pillow every night because she's a pathetic loser with shitty tastes in men and another who's shacking up with his childhood sweetheart? And how will society treat him under such circumstances? With all that's wrong with this book, THAT is what most chaps my ass.
Those things didn't occur to anyone? Fail 3. As Fitz and Isabelle spend more time together, he inevitably starts comparing her and Millie, with Isabella coming short. That's right, people, he has to be annoyed by the woman he loves in order for him to consider staying with Millie. What's the problem with Isabelle? Well, what it all boils down to is that Isabella is too opinionated. She's impulsive, vivacious, has qualms about his interests in business and isn't afraid to tell him so. I suppose I should be grateful Sherry Thomas didn't go completely conventional and make Isabella a total bitch, but, really, the end result was the same Fitz having an easy choice to make because one woman is so "obviously" wrong for him personally, I think he could use a woman who would challenge him, but that's not the kind of heroine we're stuck with.
Fail 4. Both the book and many reviewers insist that Millie should have been honest about her feelings to Fitz. I don't agree. First, because I don't really believe in her love for him--love at first sight doesn't count, and there's not a single indication that Millie's love ever matures from that beginning. If at the very least there has been a moment where Millie thought, "What the hell was wrong with me that I thought I loved this fool," especially during their honeymoon, and then showed her falling in love in earnest, than yeah, I'd call it love.
But that never happened. Second, and most importantly, Millie's pride in this is about the only thing I found admirable about her. Why would she confess to loving a man who's made it clear he doesn't love her; who plans to leave her and live with another women? We're told that by telling him, it will open his eyes to how much he loves her, and that's what ends up happening. And that, my friends, is bullshit. Why would anyone want that?
How could anyone believe in the love of man who barely noticed you for 8 years, who had to told that you loved him in order for the possibility of a future between them to occur to him? How can anyone believe that this man truly loves her instead of just feeling a combination of lust and obligation? Of course, Millie believes it easily. She actually knows he's in love with her before he does, and she just quietly! Ever the stoic martyr, our Millie hopes that he'll eventually realize it and and come back to her, so she can happily take him back, no questions asked, no anger, no recriminations.
Fail 5 The book sets up Helena's story with Hastings. Helena, pretty much the only interesting women in the series, is getting a really shitty love story. Another love at first sight tale, since Hastings has loved her forever, and he has a really creepy way of showing it. Following her around, interfering in her private life, threatening her Fail 6. What the hell happened to Sherry Thomas? View all 4 comments. Shelves: cheating-elements , hero-accomplished-lover , childhood-ties , friends-to-lover , hero-protective-or-loving-husband , made-me-cry , historical-romance , marriage-betrothal-of-convenience , heartbreaking-powerful-romance , married-couples.
You read this book with a very heavy heart. The dialogues, the emotions, the way the story commenced, matured and proceeded, the visits to past and the returns to present, make your heart constrict so bad that it pretty much makes you one of those candidates who cry time to time from reading a book. Every dialogue, every incident and every tiny yet intense anecdote between the scenes make you die a thousand deaths and yet you still keep going with a hope of happy ending.
The yr old exceptionally handsome Earl Fitzhugh inherits the earldom in a very dire and destitute condition. On top of that, the previous deceased earl, who was 33, has left behind not only vast amount of debts and obligations, along with his disheveled castle and no-good estate, but also a yr old fiance, whose gigantic dowry has been chosen to rebuild and reestablish the earldom after their impending wedding. But Fitz, with his own dreams of a yr old dashing man and joining the army, was madly in love with his childhood friend Isabelle.
The yr old Millicent was brought up to be the lady of a manor someday. She was prepared for anyone and anything, accepting her duty and obligation to marry and produce an heir. But she was helpless. Their marriage is companionable, friendly, but nothing that a man and a woman will share were they were truly married. Until now that is. Lady Isabelle is a free widow now, coming back to London. Both Milli and Fitz have agreed upon on him taking up with Isabelle and having a second chance of love that has been snatched by fate from them.
But prior to that, Fitz must now finally consummate his marriage to Milli to beget an heir and before return to Isabelle and remain faithful to her for the rest of their life, leaving Milli behind for good. They have six months before the sham marriage ends. Six months to start his life with Isabelle which he was destined for.
The Fitzhugh Trilogy Series
Six months to finally say goodbye to his sweet wife who has been there with him in sickness and health for the last eight years. But is it too easy to farewell the man you love so much to the girl he always loved? Can she remain impassive still and hide the tremendous love she has for him since always? Will it be easy for Fitz to finally touch his young wife he has been seeing grown up right in front of his eyes and walk away?
You will want to know these answers once you start reading this book. I felt the author ran out of page suddenly and hence had to finish it with the given few that were left. Not a good feeling. It was short and rudely abrupt. Hence the 4. Regardless, with its exceptional plot and supreme writing of Ms Thomas I recommend it is worth for you all to give it a try.
View all 7 comments. Oct 24, Sam AMNReader rated it really liked it Shelves: romance , torchbearer , f-is-for-fortitude , strong-silent , its-complicated , marriage-of-convenience , best-heroine , historical , inadequate-reviews. I rate this about a 4. I'm big into rounding down these days. About 4. Her stoic pragmatism was something here, and her strength something else.
I won't recap, but I'll definitely say in many ways this isn't an easy read. And it would be easy to malign Fitz for his choices and seemingly constant rejection of Millie, but part of why this book worked was that he, too, was rejected time and again by her. At least in my eyes. If my spouse is all, "hey, I rate this about a 4.
If my spouse is all, "hey, going to meet another lover? Also well done was her 'status' in his eyes. This very sweet "no one treats my wife rudely" thing, which could sound ironic, but isn't. And friendship is such a lovely foundation, isn't it? I think the choices in this book were brave and made for a unique plot. It would be easy to have Fitz hung up on his long forgotten lover but Thomas made her available to him, and in the end that's what set this book apart.
I did feel like the end was too quick--would have loved some more quiet scenes from these two once they really start their lives together. So a couple random paragraphs there, but in the end I'll just say this: I loved their quiet humor, I loved their quiet strength, and I loved their quiet and powerful love. View all 12 comments. Nov 30, Mei rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical. I don't know if I could do what Millie have done, but I applaud Ms. Thomas for having written such a wonderful story! I wanted so many times to slap, shake, punch Fitz that it's not funny!!!! How can an intelligent man submit a woman his wife!!!
I got, at the beginning that he was devastated. I got that he didn't want to marry. I got that he was sick to his heart. I got all that!!! But, for God's sake, he went with other woman without shame or thought I don't know if I could do what Millie have done, but I applaud Ms. But, for God's sake, he went with other woman without shame or thought how his wife will feel about that!!!! And when, after many years, finally they became friends and partners and they both had feeling for each other what did he do?
He decided to leave Millie for his ex when she returns to London as a widdow!!! With two children too!!! So, I don't, really don't know if I would have been able to bear all Millie went through! She was a saint!!! A fool, IMHO, but stilll a saint! So, why 5 stars? Because Ms. Thomas you, dear lady, are a genius!!! More, the idiot finally discovers what a gem he has as a wife and how much he loves her! What a journey this was!!! Spanning years, heartbreaks for poor Millie obviously! View all 14 comments. Jul 03, Elisabeth Roam rated it liked it.
I'm sad to say I was disappointed by this book. I was really looking forward to it and even paid the full price for an ebook version. After all is said and done, almost 9 bucks is a little much for a book that really doesn't deliver. I wanted to like it because the story line is amazing and has so much potential. I think Sherry Thomas is a good writer, Some of the lines in the book were very poetic and true of love and life. I get the main idea with Fitz, he's heartbroken about not getting to li I'm sad to say I was disappointed by this book.
I get the main idea with Fitz, he's heartbroken about not getting to live the life he had planned. He's in love with a woman he can't have. But the way that his heartbreak was used as an excuse for his behavior over and over again was annoying. There is nothing I hate more then a heroine who is humiliated through out the novel repeatedly and then made to feel sorry for by the reader. The author didn't even have the good grace to make the heroine some what beautiful.
It was said many times that she could never compare to her husband in looks and that she wasn't as beautiful as the woman he really loved. At least make her beautiful if she's going to suffer for most of the novel! I was cringing at the thought of Millie who is described as short, tubby and not very pretty finally confessing that she had secretly loved her husband for years. Just the clincher that makes her look more pathetic.
I know the book praised her many other qualities but I felt that Fitz needed to suffer a little more and really yearn for Millie like he did Isabelle. The fact that Millie can organize and remodel a house and start a business doesn't exactly do it for me. I had a hard time believing that those qualities endeared her to Fitz as much as they did.
The last few chapters were rushed and there wasn't even an epilogue. In fact the closing chapter is that Millie's face is all splotchy and red from crying and Fitz starts to kiss her, really? The love scenes left something to be desired and I felt the book in general lacked that heat, that special spark that should endear us to Fitz and Millie. Instead we were given lots of facts and events that took place "with his wife" and "with her husband".
In the end it sounded like Fitz was just way too comfortable with his dowdy wife and the life they had built together. Way too comfortable with the way "his wife" had catered to him over the years and done everything to make him happy as he continued to pine after Isabelle. The author did very well in describing two people that shared a friendship. The author did very well in describing the story in the element she most likely intended it to be in.
Yet as the reader I kept thinking, Where's the spark? The passion? Why doesn't Fitz man up? Where's the retaliation that Millie deserves? Where are the 'fantasy elements' in this romance novel? Where's the freaking epilogue? View all 3 comments. Shelves: brilliant-cover , frustration-alert , no-no-no-noooo , i-cried-like-a-baby , sherry-thomas , amnesia-hit-me-hard , bitch-slap-coming-through , nightmare-in-romancelandia. My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book I tried, tried, tried, tried I love her writing so much that I would read anything she writes.
She definitely took mine away with her first 4 books. But in this book, she failed me miserably. I put my faith in her writing but I ended up being so miserable that I was torn between a DNF and throwing the book out the window. Even the first book in this series, though not a favorite, I enjoyed much. But God, what the hell happened in Ravishing the Heiress? First, words of caution: This review is going to be all rants, disjointed rants at that and might question my sanity.
But I have to let these off of my chests. As I always do, a little recap of the series first and to keep myself calm. In Beguiling the Beauty , an enraged Venetia weaved a drama of deception for the Duke of Lexington, Christian because he tried to defame her in one of his lectures. Christian is a scholar, who has been in love with Venetia and her unearthly, head-bumping beauty his whole life. Venetia even apologized for hurting Christian and considering her personal troubles with first two marriages, I sympathized with her. I liked Millie from the get go because undoubtedly she was no vapid miss.
Ravishing the Heiress
It was explained that their marriage was a MOC. Alright, I knew trouble was ahead… and then, in a very disgusting scene it was also revealed that Fitz is a cheater. He keeps mistresses regularly and worse, flaunts them. Millie not only knows that but also, she knows of their identities. Helena is independent, as in she owned a publishing company from some relative and earns herself.
It was because of her is how Venetia, who had no idea about Christian but for his title, finally meets him. She actually hates Hastings. And Hastings likes to rile her up, very recently with the knowledge of her secret affair. Then came book Let me tell you about the flashbacks first.
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Her self-confidence was low to begin with, thanks to everyone around her. I really felt for her. She learned other things to make up for, such as, how to run a house, all the ladylike behaviors that a titled gentleman will look for in a wife, mastering the piano and different languages etc. From all things, Millie was dedicated and brilliant.
She knew she would never fall in love when she saw the 33 yrs old Earl of Fitzhugh, yet she sympathized because he was also being forced in this marriage for money. But that man died soon after the betrothal. The next on the line was one of his cousins. He was much closer to her age she 16, he 19 and as handsome as they came. Millie fell in love, just like that but she knew this man would never love her back.
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Does Fritz truly feel nothing but friendship for his wife? Ravishing the Heiress was refreshing in that it's not the usual how-they-fell-in-love story: Millie already loves Fitz but he still had ways to go in realizing that maybe his true love was right under his nose. Millie was not your typical bold, brassy, outspoken historical romance heroine. She was quiet and tend to stay in the background but she's not weak. She's smart and had a quiet strength and confidence about her--she's the rock that held Fitz together throughout their marriage.
But I felt sorry for her. She was feeling a lot of guilt for coming between Fitz and the woman he loved--in the novel, she's sort of the "other woman" despite being the one married to Fitz. I liked Fitz as well but at times I wanted to shake him and tell him to forget about Isabelle and to really look at Millie!
A few minor issues : For more than half of the book, the author went back and forth from the past eight years before when Millie and Fitz just married and the "present day". Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the scenes set in the past where we see how Millie and Fitz's friendship was developed. I just didn't like being wrenched back and forth from past to present time. I'd be totally immersed in the present and then the next chapter, it flashes back to the past.
It was a bit jarring, especially since there would be little cliffhangers at the end of the present-day chapters and you have to read a whole chapter before you can get to see what happens next. I wish it was a little bit longer. The ending was rushed. I should not have doubted her. She did. But I still wish that last scene was extended at least one page longer. In conclusion : Ravishing the Heiress was very engaging, original and beautifully written. I love Sherry Thomas's sparse yet elegant writing style. I practically inhaled the whole novel as Millie and Fitz's story captured me from the start and didn't let go until the end.
And in return, the Earl Fitzhugh receives the benefit of her vast wealth, saving his family from bankruptcy. Because of her youth, they have agreed to wait eight years before consummating the marriage--and then, only to beget an heir. After which, they will lead separate lives. It is a most sensible arrangement. Except for one little thing.