BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Considered the plain, clever one in her family, Lady Cressida Armstrong knows her father has given up on her ever marrying. But who needs a husband when science is the only thing to set Cressie’s pulse racing?
Disillusioned artist Giovanni di Matteo is setting the ton abuzz with his expertly executed portraits. Once his art was inspired; now it’s only technique. Until he meets Cressie….
Challenging, intelligent and yet insecure, Cressie is the one whose face and body he dreams of capturing on canvas. In the enclosed, intimate world of his studio, Giovanni rediscovers his passion as he awakens hers….
Regency England & Italy
Heat Rating: 3
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Evangeline H
The Beauty Within is the third book in the Armstrong sisters series, but it stands alone quite easily. Kaye pairs her pitch-perfect characterization with her mesmerizing prose to create a sensual and deeply emotional romance between an ugly duckling and the darkly handsome Italian painter who finds her beautiful inside and out. This, however, is no typical “ugly duckling” story, for Cressida is confident in her scientific abilities in spite of her insecurities, which is a breath of fresh air. Giovanni is also not your standard rakish artist, possessing a likeability that goes far beyond his physical attributes. The romance burns slowly between Cressie and Giovanni as they gradually realize how perfect they are for one another, and when they do, the book sizzles with their delightful chemistry. A bonus to the story is Kaye’s expert weaving of Cressie and Giovanni’s families into their characterization and their plot, which further enhanced the romance. One wouldn’t think such a meaty and richly textured romance could fit into ~300 pages, but Kaye manages to do so and does it well.