So, I’ve read Sherry Thomas before and really like her. Since I have such high expectations of her writing and story I might be a little harsh with three stars but I don’t think four stars would be right.
Beautiful Enemy starts off with a big action scene. While I LOVE
stories where there is action and the heroine is kicking butt it was too
much. I had to re-read the scene because I kept thinking, what the
heck is going on? Also, because the author jumps right into the story I
couldn’t figure out who the characters where. I love when a story
doesn’t take forever to get started but I think Ms. Thomas jumped the
gun or in this story she jumped the knife.
After I pushed through
the beginning I tried to sort out who the characters were or who they
weren’t… Our heroine is Catherine. Catherine or Ying Ying is the
illegitimate daughter of a Chinese courtesan and an English man. She
grew up longing for acceptance and a place to belong. Her stepfather is
a part of the high ranking society in China. Her stepfather sends her
on a mission to England. Catherine was trained in different arts and is
a type of warrior/ spy. When she is in England she meets her
ex-lover-Captain Leighton Atwood. However, both are in disguise… Ying
Ying (now Catherine) met Leighton before on a mission disguised as a
boy. He sees through her disguise and they become involved.
so a lot is going on in this book. The story jumps around so much I
felt like I needed to draw a graph and follow who the characters were
and where they were. The story also jumps around from the past to the
present, from China, India to England. I think this is a Thomas
signature. She’s done this before in her other books (different
countries and present and past) but in this book it all felt very
chaotic… and I struggled to stay engaged and interested.
story unravels, we learn that Leighton and Catherine are on similar
missions and that they share a common enemy although the enemy is pretty
well hidden (I have to admit I did not guise who the “traitor” was. I
personally think that the book would have worked better if Thomas dealt
with the past first and then made her way to the present instead of
mixing it up. Catherine and Leighton eventually work out their
differences and clear up big misunderstandings that happened in their
past. They had great chemistry and great adventures just a very chaotic
storyline. Also, because there is so much going on I never really
understood Leighton. I didn’t really get him as a character. I really
liked Catherine and I think this book would have worked better if it was
an adventure instead of a romance. Overall, I will continue to read
Thomas and anyone that likes a book packed with adventure, mystery and
travel will enjoy this book.