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Black Silk Mass Market Paperback – June 4, 2002

3.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Judith Ivory's work has won numerous awards, including Romance Writers of America's RITA, Top Ten Books of the Year, and Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice. With two degrees in mathematics, Ms. Ivory never expected to make her living writing novels. "How did this enormous stroke of luck happen? To live off imagination and invention? You'd think something so much fun would be illegal or at least fattening. I can't figure out what went so right."

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; EX-LIB edition (June 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060098538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060098537
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,867,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book begins beautifully and has a truly refreshing ending but some chapters in the middle are quite a challenge to read through, something due to Ivory's style I suppose. While Ivory's writing is rich and compelling it is also demanding. If you are looking for a light read with a familiar storyline this book is not for you. However if you have had enough of the love/lust at first sight pattern this is a book to sink your teeth into.
Graham and Submit are two wonderfully portrayed characters, real and complex. Too often in romance books one or both of the main characters undergo a miraculous, almost unbelievable, change in order to ensure a happy ending. No such easy solution here and that's what makes the book worth reading.
Graham is charming, wild, irresponsible and often childish but he is never mean and never stupid. He is ruled by his emotions (not for lack of brains, though), enjoys life and refuses to feel guilty about it. Submit is serious, reasonable, has a sharp open mind and the fact that she is not easily shocked, plus, that she has a very strong sense of self makes her a good mate for Graham.
The fact that Graham is a very appealing hero (and he is! faults and all) and that Submit is not boring is a tribute to Ivory's deep understanding of human nature.
The dialogues are delightfully sophisticated, through them we discover the character's inner strengths and weaknesses and follow the growing friendship between two completely different people who move in different circles of London's society.A friendship that will eventually bring Graham and Submit together, supposedly against all odds, without giving up their essential personalities. When Submit finally agrees to take Graham on she knows exactly what she'll get.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A truly adult historical romance, possibly for more mature readers, that scores high on sexual tension while also scoring big on clear, thinking, almost poetic prose. (I might mention that sexual tension here is not to be confused with a lot of sex, though, boy, is the reader ready for the staircase scene when it comes!) Fresh characters, good examples of smart people who discover how inadequate intellect is when it comes to high emotions. And a plot that revolves around the mystery of a dead man's true intentions. All fascinating stuff.
If you are looking for a mindless story to skim thru for the sex, this is NOT your book. Ivory goes deep into what love and attraction can mean and do to people, then builds an erotic tension that more or less combusts when the hero and heroine least expect it. Black Silk doesn't read like a traditional romance. It is its own kind of love story and not to be missed if you long for something unique in a genre that doesn't always specialize in one-of-a kind concepts. Pass if you like to be lead by the nose through a comfortably familiar story, though this one does begin with some familiar ideas: the rake, the widow in dire straits. If you enjoy unexpected twists, however, as a book assembles itself like a well-built, complicated puzzle, you'll fall in love with this story and keep it on your shelf for rereading.
This version of Black Silk is an "author-enhanced" (some romance site reviewer said this somewhere) reprint of a cult classic from the early 90's that fully deserves the attention of this versitile author's new, much larger audience. It's like none of her other books. But then which of her books are? Only the author's style seems to link her books, while each novel--each new set of characters, each new story--seem an attempt to reinvent the romance paperback again and again to the author's own liking.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Black Silk is a delightful book. Cuevas does a wonderful job detailing her characters giving them idiosyncracies that make them very real. Graham is an overly, indeed aggressively attractive man intent on enjoying himself and not too concerned with the dangers (One of his hobbies is fireworks). Submit, on the other hand, is the prim, slightly smug widow of Graham's former guardian. When the story opens both Graham and Submit are in legal troubles. A cousin is contesting Submit's husband's will while Graham is in a paternity suit. This context of intransigent legal troubles sets the stage for their frustrations and gives reason for this very unlikely couple's ongoing interaction. Cuevas builds the erotic tension beautifully through the book. Graham and Submit's perplexity over their attraction, their prickly friendship, and their simultaneous fascination and annoyance with the others habits is both poignant and sensuous. A tour de force
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Black Silk ends up feeling more like a literary novel than a romance. Sure, many events take place that fit into genre conventions: boy meets girl, boy aggravates girl, boy establishes a friendship with an eye on pushing it farther. But Judith Ivory set the novel in 1858 particularly so that her characters could have a modern mindset - don't expect to see swooning females, heroic males, and so forth.
Graham Wessit, the Earl of Nethem, is a lonely ne'er-do-well, a lady's man. In a simple romance he would be reformed by the love of a good woman. In this book he treats his mistress, a married American woman, approximately the same way he treats the heroine, Submit Channing-Downs. He has a keen and rude sexual interest in women but he also wants to be friends with them in a completely believable characterization. His riches and poor reputation have him spend the first several chapters of the book unsuccessfully defending himself against a paternity suit. The world at large thinks he is getting what he deserves and Graham sulks about the fact that not even his attorney believes he is innocent.
Graham is summed up by an exchange with his attorney :
"It is a shame to see someone your age so cynical. Especially someone who has as much as you."
Gathering his things, Graham said, "I am up to here" - he made a chop at the underside of his chin - "with how much I have."
Submit Channing-Downs, on the other hand, has spent her life before Graham doing what other people tell her to do. She married the older man her father picked out to take care of her - Henry Channing-Downs, the marquess of Montmarche - and did what she was told through the burial the carrying out of his last bequests.
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