Series: The Heart of Blade #2
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || Paperback
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]
Hidden beneath Catherine Blade’s uncommon beauty is a daring that matches any man’s. Although this has taken her far in the world, she still doesn’t have the one thing she craves: the freedom to live life as she chooses. Finally given the chance to earn her independence, who should be standing in her way but the only man she’s ever loved, the only person to ever betray her.
Despite the scars Catherine left him, Captain Leighton Atwood has never been able to forget the mysterious girl who once so thoroughly captivated him. When she unexpectedly reappears in his life, he refuses to get close to her. But he cannot deny the yearning she reignites in his heart.
Their reunion, however, plunges them into a web of espionage, treachery, and deadly foes. With everything at stake, Leighton and Catherine are forced to work together to find a way out. If they are ever to find safety and happiness, they must first forgive and learn to trust each other again… (from Goodreads)
Well, I’ll give it to you straight: My Beautiful Enemy was totally not what I was expecting it to be! It’s a lot more serious than The Luckiest Lady in London (my first Thomas romance read!), with higher stakes and grave circumstances. This, however, doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it, because I totally did!
Characters: I absolutely loved Catherine Blade! She reminds me of some of my favorite historical fiction ladies (in particular, Christina from The Lion’s Lady) with her badass fighting skills. I really love that she has Asian blood (Seriously, this is SO. FREAKING. COOL.)! Christina is beautiful, but deadly; vulnerable, but sharp. While I wouldn’t want to be her, I admired her spirit. But here’s a quick confession for you: Leighton Atwood just didn’t appeal to me until a little later in the story. He’s got skills, and deeply cares for Catherine, but I just couldn’t fall for him the way I would have wanted to.
Romance: I actually liked the romance! It was balanced between love and hate, enmity and respect. The potent mixture of feelings that it inspired in me definitely kept me turning the pages all the way to the end. While I didn’t necessarily swoon all that much (a first for me!), I did want them to end up together. My one frustration is that all of the things that they went through could have been avoided if they had just talked it out, though I guess there would have been no story otherwise. (Remember folks, proper communication is important in any relationship!)
Plot: It doesn’t just focus on the romance, and that’s totally cool with me! Catherine, in particular, has a few other things to deal with, and they are things that just so happen to involve Leighton (or happen to be things he wants to involve himself in). I loved the sense of danger and action, and the mystery behind Catherine and Leighton’s history.
Even though My Beautiful Enemy was different, it was still quite readable! I loved the mix of espionage, mystery and intrigue, especially when combined with the romance. I’ve still got quite a few Thomas romances to read, but this one was pretty darn solid.