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Beguile Me Not: A Colonial New Zealand Victorian Romance (19th Century Love Stories (historical romance fiction for the discerning woman))

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He came. She saw. He conquered. It happened one hot, moonlit midsummer night at a ball in Auckland, New Zealand, 1884. Miss Anna Brown walked out onto the terrace and into arrestingly beautiful Russian artist Sasha Ivanovsky. He is unconventional, unfettered, adventurous, dangerously bohemian—everything she is not, everything she fears. But she is bewitched. His eyes—dark He came. She saw. He conquered. It happened one hot, moonlit midsummer night at a ball in Auckland, New Zealand, 1884. Miss Anna Brown walked out onto the terrace and into arrestingly beautiful Russian artist Sasha Ivanovsky. He is unconventional, unfettered, adventurous, dangerously bohemian—everything she is not, everything she fears. But she is bewitched. His eyes—dark, mysterious, smoulderingly passionate— burn into her mind, into her heart, into her very soul. Unthinkingly, she dances the night away with him. When dawn breaks, it brings with it the cold light of reality. Ivanovsky is not wealthy, not well-bred, not respectable, not suitable, not safe. Anna’s carefree exhibition on the dance floor has set the tongues of society wagging, and she cannot bear it. With one glance from his dark eyes, he stole her heart away on that fateful midsummer night. But she is desperately determined that he will not steal away her body and soul too. A resistance must be mounted. Her rebel heart must be subdued, and all thoughts of doomed, dangerous loves locked away. But is forgetting such a man, such a love, impossible? The flame of love he ignited in her heart will not extinguish. Drop by drop she can feel herself melting away. Soon there might be nothing left of her… But the sea has a gift for Anna. Something dangerous. Something forbidden. Something that threatens to wreck her… Content: A sweet romance with no strong language or graphic sexual content. Length: 62,000 words In a book from the 19th Century Love Stories series you will find: A swoon-worthy hero who knows how to treat a woman right Real woman with real issues Truly meaningful romance Atmospheric, enticing settings lovingly rendered in poetic, image-rich language Fresh, original writing, plots and characters A rich and zesty mix of irony and wit, contrasted with poignant, heartfelt emotion and involved drama A lively, dialogue-focused narrative style An uplifting and entertaining read which will also leave you satisfied on a deeper level


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He came. She saw. He conquered. It happened one hot, moonlit midsummer night at a ball in Auckland, New Zealand, 1884. Miss Anna Brown walked out onto the terrace and into arrestingly beautiful Russian artist Sasha Ivanovsky. He is unconventional, unfettered, adventurous, dangerously bohemian—everything she is not, everything she fears. But she is bewitched. His eyes—dark He came. She saw. He conquered. It happened one hot, moonlit midsummer night at a ball in Auckland, New Zealand, 1884. Miss Anna Brown walked out onto the terrace and into arrestingly beautiful Russian artist Sasha Ivanovsky. He is unconventional, unfettered, adventurous, dangerously bohemian—everything she is not, everything she fears. But she is bewitched. His eyes—dark, mysterious, smoulderingly passionate— burn into her mind, into her heart, into her very soul. Unthinkingly, she dances the night away with him. When dawn breaks, it brings with it the cold light of reality. Ivanovsky is not wealthy, not well-bred, not respectable, not suitable, not safe. Anna’s carefree exhibition on the dance floor has set the tongues of society wagging, and she cannot bear it. With one glance from his dark eyes, he stole her heart away on that fateful midsummer night. But she is desperately determined that he will not steal away her body and soul too. A resistance must be mounted. Her rebel heart must be subdued, and all thoughts of doomed, dangerous loves locked away. But is forgetting such a man, such a love, impossible? The flame of love he ignited in her heart will not extinguish. Drop by drop she can feel herself melting away. Soon there might be nothing left of her… But the sea has a gift for Anna. Something dangerous. Something forbidden. Something that threatens to wreck her… Content: A sweet romance with no strong language or graphic sexual content. Length: 62,000 words In a book from the 19th Century Love Stories series you will find: A swoon-worthy hero who knows how to treat a woman right Real woman with real issues Truly meaningful romance Atmospheric, enticing settings lovingly rendered in poetic, image-rich language Fresh, original writing, plots and characters A rich and zesty mix of irony and wit, contrasted with poignant, heartfelt emotion and involved drama A lively, dialogue-focused narrative style An uplifting and entertaining read which will also leave you satisfied on a deeper level

34 review for Beguile Me Not: A Colonial New Zealand Victorian Romance (19th Century Love Stories (historical romance fiction for the discerning woman))

  1. 5 out of 5

    G.S. Bailey

    Romance in your heart and a degree of interest in how women have changed their world over the past several generations – this wonderful way of being and intriguing social development are the centrepiece this story is woven around. It is woven expertly. We experience late 19th century New Zealand through magical imagery – the use of metaphor is amazing. This book is crafted intelligently and beautifully. It is also real and true to life, not overdramatized. The struggle our heroine faces is within Romance in your heart and a degree of interest in how women have changed their world over the past several generations – this wonderful way of being and intriguing social development are the centrepiece this story is woven around. It is woven expertly. We experience late 19th century New Zealand through magical imagery – the use of metaphor is amazing. This book is crafted intelligently and beautifully. It is also real and true to life, not overdramatized. The struggle our heroine faces is within herself. There are the expectations of society, which stand firmly in the way of romance. Anna is not rebellious, though. She believes in and upholds the social values, even though at a depth she FEELS differently. What of love in the face of duty? This conflict is powerful within her. It threatens to defeat her. Her human flaws have her seeking refuge in the anti-depressant remedies of the day… Our heroine is far from perfect. She strikes me as intriguingly real. Will she find strength and rise above? Will she take a step along the difficult and powerfully transforming path women have walked over recent generations? I was enthralled by the telling of this story. I was particularly impressed by the harsh reality of the resolution. Again, it hits hard with the truth. It took utter desperation for Anna to make her choice. There was an awful lot riding on it. Either way, the consequences were going to be extreme. Happily ever after? I strongly recommend reading to find out. You will meet some other richly interesting and well depicted characters along the way. The hero will tempt you with his raw ideals and charisma, but will ultimately win you with his grasp of love and respect. The domineering sister is genuine in her concern for Anna’s youth having slipped away and her seriously diminished potential for attracting a suitor. The suitor Anna attracts and who earns the approval of her family is also a product of the time – appallingly so… In conclusion, I want to again mention the imagery. The setting is delivered vividly to all of our senses. This compliments an excellent story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shaheen Darr

    Set in the 1880s, Beguile me not is a story about 27 year old Anna Brown who comes from a wealthy and respected family in Auckland, New Zealand. At a ball she meets Alexander Ivanovsky, a struggling artist who confesses his love for her. Anna is engaged to Reverend Norris Sleighman, an arranged match she is not particularly happy about because she does not love the man. Then Ivanovsky has a sailing accident and re-enters her life, and their love begins to blossom. Odelia Floris is a talented wri Set in the 1880s, Beguile me not is a story about 27 year old Anna Brown who comes from a wealthy and respected family in Auckland, New Zealand. At a ball she meets Alexander Ivanovsky, a struggling artist who confesses his love for her. Anna is engaged to Reverend Norris Sleighman, an arranged match she is not particularly happy about because she does not love the man. Then Ivanovsky has a sailing accident and re-enters her life, and their love begins to blossom. Odelia Floris is a talented writer, she takes the reader on an enjoyable journey back in time when women were fashionably feminine and not ashamed to show it. Ivanovsky is the perfect gentleman, an antithesis to Sleighman, who just can’t get it right. The book shows that love is timeless, it is ideal for those who love a story weaved with good old fashioned romance. Being one of them, I certainly enjoyed it!

  3. 5 out of 5

    boogenhagen

    This was a nice little romance with a society miss and a Russian artist. But the best character is the country of New Zealand itself. In describing the land, Ms. Floris does for colonial NZ what Margaret Way did for Australia and the descriptions are beautiful and fascinating.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Collins

    I have to admit that when I first started this read I thought, "Oh no...I'm not going to like Anna [the main character]!" She appeared to be a spoiled, stuck-up snob, and I feared it would take a miracle to endear her to me. Well...it happened - I soon began rooting for Anna - liking her, even - and before I knew it I loved her - and the miracle that allowed my change of heart was this author's incredible writing. I am in awe. I think Anna - written by any other hand - would have easily remained I have to admit that when I first started this read I thought, "Oh no...I'm not going to like Anna [the main character]!" She appeared to be a spoiled, stuck-up snob, and I feared it would take a miracle to endear her to me. Well...it happened - I soon began rooting for Anna - liking her, even - and before I knew it I loved her - and the miracle that allowed my change of heart was this author's incredible writing. I am in awe. I think Anna - written by any other hand - would have easily remained the annoying, unlikable young woman I first mistook her for. Ms. Floris was able to weave a beautiful historical romance while remaining TRUE to historic themes that other HR authors tend to avoid or glaze over (like the true weight of familial pressure, the crutch of substance abuse, the prevalence of sexual discrimination, etc.) This story - much more than a simple romance, entailed an honest, realistic struggle for courage and strength. These attributes are not easily come by, and the journey is not typically very pretty. The ability of Ms. Floris to tell an honest tale of character growth, while simultaneously gifting us with a touching love story - in a setting described with the adoring touch of a poet - is all testament to her superb writing ability. I particularly appreciated Sasha's character, and his ever-patient, tender love for Anna. There were a few occasions when I found myself growing weary of Anna's faltering strength, and it never failed that Sasha's calm, careful response to her antics would remind me of the massive obstacles Anna was working to overcome. Then I'd be right back to cheering for her success. As a side note, the epilogue offered me a good laugh out loud, with the "battle" of The Stove vs. Table. Brilliant. Thank you for the laugh, but a heartfelt thank you for the lesson/reminder - offered in the most beautiful way - that women in years past - and even some today - (strong, independent, intelligent women) had/have to overcome the very real and challenging obstacles of societal expectation and family obligation...and that patient, understanding love was (and still is) the best weapon.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patty Seitz

    I found this to be a wonderful story set in the late 1800s of New Zealand. The main character, Anna, struggles throughout the story to decide if she will follow the traditions and obligations set in stone for women during those years or follow her heart. There will be sacrifices to endure no matter which path she takes; pros and cons no matter her direction. Which will she choose and what will she give up? You’ll have to read to find out. I’m definitely glad I did!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vera mallard

    STORY LINE, BEGUILE ME NOT: Author Odelia Floris has penned an emotional roller coaster ride in Beguile Me Not. Set in 1884 Auckland, New Zealand, Ms. Floris takes you into the wealthy ballrooms and lives of society. Anna Brown, older than the usual husband hunting miss, finds herself once more in the crowded ballrooms. However, what she finds on this night will change her perceptions forever. Fate has stepped in and placed Russian artist Sasha Ivanovsky in her path. However, Anna knows Sasha is n STORY LINE, BEGUILE ME NOT: Author Odelia Floris has penned an emotional roller coaster ride in Beguile Me Not. Set in 1884 Auckland, New Zealand, Ms. Floris takes you into the wealthy ballrooms and lives of society. Anna Brown, older than the usual husband hunting miss, finds herself once more in the crowded ballrooms. However, what she finds on this night will change her perceptions forever. Fate has stepped in and placed Russian artist Sasha Ivanovsky in her path. However, Anna knows Sasha is not proper society; a painter, poor, bohemian, handsome, and fascinating, she finds herself enthralled. After dancing all night with Sasha, determined to remove him from her mind and heart, Anna tries to forget him. Anna must find a proper husband, and live the upright society life destined for her. The life ingrained into her person and which rules her destiny. However, her behavior has set societies tongues wagging. Sent to her sister at Gravemore Station by her parents, fate throws another wrench into Anna's life. A first-rate historical romance, come along with Anna as life throws unexpected challenges and a sea storm blows her well planned life apart. Will Anna succeed in her quest for the proper society husband and lead a boring ordinary life or does fate have a different scenario in store? Grab a cup of tea, have a seat, and enjoy a few hours of wonderful entertainment. CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT: Without a doubt, Ms. Floris crafted an epic love story filled with agony and ecstasy. Odelia Floris kept the emotion in this story at high peak as she leads you from the highest highs to the lowest lows. Furthermore this story-line has many plots and is multi-faceted. Ms. Floris brought all the pieces together and created a character driven historical romance. As in her other works, Beguile Me Not, contains descriptions and prose which grab the reader. Without a doubt, Beguile Me Not transported me into New Zealand. I walked on the arid soil. I could see the color of the leaves and smell the sea from her vivid descriptions. Most importantly, I could feel the emotions driving the characters. Ms. Floris has mastered the art of story-telling. With writing skill, Ms. Floris ably shows people who love us do not see us as we see ourselves. Those which love us, see from the heart, not from the eye. Ms. Floris skillfully portrayed the importance of finding what really matters in life and the pain of change. Does Anna have the courage to step out from societies standards and grab life with both hands? Will Anna ever grow from the spoiled little rich girl governed by rules and society? Will she buck the system or bend under pressure? At time I wanted to shake Anna until her eyes rolled! I wanted to yell, grow up little girl! I found Ms. Floris interpretation and portrayal of societies attitude towards men and their occupation skillful. Painters of this time period, considered lowly and bohemian, stood outside society. While a Reverend, considered a solid citizen, worthy of inclusion into the family circle and bloodline, stood within society. Furthermore, I found the story-line solid, characters well-developed, and pacing consistent with the length of the book. Ms. Floris writing style is clear and easy to follow. Also, Ms. Floris did not use fluff or sex to add to the page count. Ms. Floris included everything need to create an enjoyable story and did so skillfully. I found the epilogue one of the best I have read for some time; sweet, funny, and insightful. In conclusion, I would not hesitate to buy this book for myself or a friend. BEGUILE ME NOT RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4.5 I found Beguile Me Not enjoyable and entertaining. An epic historical romance which will grab you immediately and hold your attention until the last page. Suitable for young adults and adults, I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys historical romances filled with emotion. Without a doubt, well- worth your time and purchase. Finally, I received this book by way of the author in return for an honest book review. All book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on line and on my blog under my name are my opinion.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hock Tjoa

    This is a lively and satirical look at three main characters, Anna the spinster with a spiffily upturned nose, Sleighman the troglodyte intended as her groom (after many failed social campaigns in the city), and the impossibly romantic Russian, Ivanovsky. Written in a 'slashing' style, these three characters strike me as caricatures of the types. Of Anna herself, I must say it is impossible to believe that she loves Ivanovsky. She propositions him with calculation and in desperation but with no This is a lively and satirical look at three main characters, Anna the spinster with a spiffily upturned nose, Sleighman the troglodyte intended as her groom (after many failed social campaigns in the city), and the impossibly romantic Russian, Ivanovsky. Written in a 'slashing' style, these three characters strike me as caricatures of the types. Of Anna herself, I must say it is impossible to believe that she loves Ivanovsky. She propositions him with calculation and in desperation but with no apparent emotion or passion. Between the Anna who was “too aghast at the thought of her own high-class blood mixing with that of peasants and gypsies” to the one who says “I am a nomad now, my home is where my heart is, and I shall lay down to sleep wherever love is there to watch over me” there seems an impossibly broad gulf. What character development the author intended must now be compressed into the remaining forty pages out of two hundred and ninety. Only the country twins appear genuinely alive, although they use language that does not ring true (to me) for late nineteenth century New Zealand.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Senhaji

    The hero of this book, Sasha Ivanovsky, is a romantic, sweet, extremely patient artist who falls in love with a woman who desperately needs him, even though she doesn't know it. I enjoyed Mr. Ivanovsky. At every turn he was a gentleman yet full of passion. You feel as though the main character, Anna, is totally undeserving of him. He is too good for her even though she is the one higher in society. Anna is not a lovable character yet you can't help routing for her. You want her to have a happy e The hero of this book, Sasha Ivanovsky, is a romantic, sweet, extremely patient artist who falls in love with a woman who desperately needs him, even though she doesn't know it. I enjoyed Mr. Ivanovsky. At every turn he was a gentleman yet full of passion. You feel as though the main character, Anna, is totally undeserving of him. He is too good for her even though she is the one higher in society. Anna is not a lovable character yet you can't help routing for her. You want her to have a happy ending because she is so miserable. I haven't read historical romance in a while, as I've been reading mostly contemporary and paranormal lately, but I really enjoyed this book. I recommend to anyone who enjoys Regency romance.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jolie Mason

    I had to think a while to adequately describe this book. It's a historical romance, but it's so very different. I can honestly say I've never read anything like it. It's language skirts a modern feel at times, probably by design. The characters are very, very real. Gotta say a word about one aspect of her characterizations. Drug use among women in the era was commonplace. Almost expected. This book takes a stark reality and exposes it for these women trapped in horrible marriages, unable to DO an I had to think a while to adequately describe this book. It's a historical romance, but it's so very different. I can honestly say I've never read anything like it. It's language skirts a modern feel at times, probably by design. The characters are very, very real. Gotta say a word about one aspect of her characterizations. Drug use among women in the era was commonplace. Almost expected. This book takes a stark reality and exposes it for these women trapped in horrible marriages, unable to DO anything about the state of their lives, and probably depressed out of their minds. She does an incredible job here painting this harsh reality and making you think about it. Really well done.

  10. 5 out of 5

    L. Benitez

    Beguile Me Not is a great book that I enjoyed from the first page to the last. Its story is very captivating and has a great atmosphere about it. I found the story to be very endearing as well as the author's writing style. I enjoyed the little things about the book, such as the illustrations for each chapter and the creatively unique fonts when the characters write each other letters. Fantastic! ((I was given a free copy in exchange of an honest review)) Beguile Me Not is a great book that I enjoyed from the first page to the last. Its story is very captivating and has a great atmosphere about it. I found the story to be very endearing as well as the author's writing style. I enjoyed the little things about the book, such as the illustrations for each chapter and the creatively unique fonts when the characters write each other letters. Fantastic! ((I was given a free copy in exchange of an honest review))

  11. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Land

    Beguile Me Not by Odelia Flores is the story of a 19th century woman who is torn between her duty to society and her desire for personal happiness. She meets the man of her dreams early on in the story, but he is deemed to be socially unacceptable. After she commits a social gaff with this same man, she is sent off to live with her sister in a remote part of the country and betrothed to another for whom she has no love. This is a romance novel so the end is a predetermined part of the plot. What Beguile Me Not by Odelia Flores is the story of a 19th century woman who is torn between her duty to society and her desire for personal happiness. She meets the man of her dreams early on in the story, but he is deemed to be socially unacceptable. After she commits a social gaff with this same man, she is sent off to live with her sister in a remote part of the country and betrothed to another for whom she has no love. This is a romance novel so the end is a predetermined part of the plot. What holds my interest in romances is how the journey unfolds to finally reveal that end. In this case, I was unable to invest myself in the main character, Anna, due to both the implausibility of the plot and her lack of credibility as a person. Her entire life seems ruled by her ability to stay within societal norms. The “social gaff” she commits with the hero at the beginning of the book amounts to nothing and yet she is exiled to her sister’s home as a result. And finally, for someone who does nothing with her life but strive to maintain a sort of social perfection, her personal habits are beyond disaster and this fact doesn’t seem to bother her at all. None of it makes sense, and the journey to the end of the book suffers as a result. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest non-reciprocal review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lillian Graves

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. First and foremost, I was very impressed with the writing style. It was eloquent with a sense of wonder, and suited the story well. The imagery in the book really painted a picture in my head and reminded me of my favorite book with the metaphors and symbolism. While I've never been to New Zealand, I could see it vividly which in this genre made all the difference. I also will admit that I have a thing for Russian accents. I have listened to Russian music s I was pleasantly surprised by this book. First and foremost, I was very impressed with the writing style. It was eloquent with a sense of wonder, and suited the story well. The imagery in the book really painted a picture in my head and reminded me of my favorite book with the metaphors and symbolism. While I've never been to New Zealand, I could see it vividly which in this genre made all the difference. I also will admit that I have a thing for Russian accents. I have listened to Russian music since I was a child. Can't speak a word of it, but I think it sounds so beautiful. So when I read that the love interest was a Russian man named Ivanovsky, I swooned on the spot. Call me bias, but I loved that the Russian language was included in this book and wanted more! While I will admit that the storyline was a bit predictable and the plot wobbly at times, it was still captivating. The point of romance is not knowing the ending, but how the author chooses to get you there. I don't hold it against the genre, as a fan, for giving me a story I want to read. This one definitely didn't disappoint.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Patient Lee

    This story was a delightful trip into the past. The author described the setting and the characters so well, I had a very complete picture in my head of everything- the ball, the beach, and especially the characters. Falling in love with Mr. Ivanovsky was easy, which made Anna's plight so much more pitiable. My one reservation was the dependence on coincidence, especially in the early chapters. Anna was the one to discover too many of the events- the shipwreck, the suitcase, a person in the wate This story was a delightful trip into the past. The author described the setting and the characters so well, I had a very complete picture in my head of everything- the ball, the beach, and especially the characters. Falling in love with Mr. Ivanovsky was easy, which made Anna's plight so much more pitiable. My one reservation was the dependence on coincidence, especially in the early chapters. Anna was the one to discover too many of the events- the shipwreck, the suitcase, a person in the water. Overall this was a lovely read for the historical romance reader.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aderonke Moyinlorun

    This book is very well written and neatly edited. The author did a good job with this book. However, I found it very predictable. I could tell the end of the story from the very first page. The only character that manage to surprise me are the twins. I love their character and it seems they could have been born in the 21st century. What I love most about this book is that love speaks its own language. I like when Sasha would say things in Russian, and even though Anna didn't understand, she was This book is very well written and neatly edited. The author did a good job with this book. However, I found it very predictable. I could tell the end of the story from the very first page. The only character that manage to surprise me are the twins. I love their character and it seems they could have been born in the 21st century. What I love most about this book is that love speaks its own language. I like when Sasha would say things in Russian, and even though Anna didn't understand, she was able to feel the love in those words.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rhyllis Bignell

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lily

  17. 4 out of 5

    Petra

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Berridge

  19. 4 out of 5

    joan carner

  20. 5 out of 5

    Odelia Floris

  21. 4 out of 5

    S.J. Hermann

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mishell Castro

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Smith

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eeva Lancaster

  25. 4 out of 5

    Coper Omo

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ian Fairfield

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Kerns

  28. 4 out of 5

    Polo

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Gervais

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yesenia

  31. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

  32. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

  34. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Roussety

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