From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a sweeping romance with a dash of magic.
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.
When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.
But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina—and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins. The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon.
3 / 5 stars
Immensely readable, and I was swept away with the beauty of it, but ultimately I felt like there was just a little something missing.
Nina’s talent – a form of magic – is only ever a very minor part of the book. The author went to all the trouble of adding it and building it out into something wonderful but it felt like it was only included to be used for one little part of the book. It feels like a waste when it’s something that really makes the story stand out from a standard romance.
It’s set in what seems to be an alternate version of France where Nina, a country girl with a rich family, is sent to stay with her cousin in the city to enter the marriage market. Her cousin is married to Valerie, a beautiful socialite who is poor herself but from an impressive family.
Nina and Valerie clash, with Nina’s talents and plain country style grating on Valerie and embarrassing her in society. It’s not helped when Hector, Valerie’s jilted fiancé, returns to the city and starts courting Nina to get closer to Valerie.
So the story really is quite basic, the wonderful writing and the rich and interesting characters make it readable, but there isn’t anything else to it.
As a historical romance I very much enjoyed it but I felt the promise of the magic was never realised and it left me a little disappointed.
I received a free copy in return for an honest review.