The Beautiful Ones: A Novel

The Beautiful Ones: A Novel

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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Overview

"Truly one of the most beautiful books I've read in a long time. This sweeping tale of love lost and found is told with old-world elegance and grace with just the right touch of magic." —M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the belle époque.

In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be.

Antonina Beaulieu is in the glittering city of Loisail for her first Grand Season, where she will attend balls and mingle among high society. Under the tutelage of the beautiful but cold Valerie Beaulieu she hopes to find a suitable husband. However, the haphazard manifestations of Nina’s telekinetic powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

Yet dazzling telekinetic performer and outsider Hector Auvray sees Nina’s powers as a gift, and he teaches her how to hone and control them. As they spend more and more time together, Nina falls in love and believes she’s found the great romance that she’s always dreamt of. But Hector’s courtship of Nina is deceptive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250099068
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/24/2017
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,162,904
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Signal to Noise and Certain Dark Things and the short story collection This Strange Way of Dying, which was a finalist for the Sunburst Award in Canada. She was a finalist for the Manchester Fiction Prize and a recipient of the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Award for Best Emerging Writer. She lives in Canada.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Hector was like a castaway who had washed up on a room of velvet curtains and marble floors. The revelers might as well have been wild animals ready to tear off a chunk of his flesh.

He felt utterly lost, alien and alone.

As Hector watched from a corner of the room, ladies and gentlemen partnered to dance, women fanned themselves and smiled, and men greeted each other with a tilt of the head.

He had attended many glittering balls, but none in this city. He knew no one here except for Étienne and Luc, and he was waiting with breathless expectation for the arrival of Valérie Beaulieu.

The first thing he'd done upon disembarking was to make discreet inquiries about the whereabouts of the lady. He was glad to discover she was in Loisail and, moreover, that she would be at the ball thrown by the De Villiers. He had no direct connection to the De Villiers — or hardly anyone else in Loisail, for that matter, having spent the past ten years abroad — but he did know Étienne Lémy, who was able to secure him an invitation.

Hector had dressed according to the weight of the occasion in a new double-breasted black dress coat, white shirt, and a white bow tie. White gloves and mother-of-pearl studs completed the ensemble. In his excitement, he arrived unfashionably early, not wishing to miss Valérie, and after greeting his host had positioned himself strategically so that he could watch every elegant guest who entered the vast ballroom. But Hector had not been long at his post when he heard a couple of ladies commenting that Mrs. Beaulieu had been taken ill and would not be in attendance, which came as a shock to the women since Valérie Beaulieu's missing the opening of the season seemed unthinkable.

All his plans in tatters, the whole reason for his attendance at the ball suddenly vanishing, Hector did not know what to do with himself. Unable to stand the music and the noise, he escaped to the library, which was gloriously empty, its furniture decorated with a profusion of brass inlays, the bookcases primly protected with glass doors. The only reasonable course of action at this point was to wait there until he could perform a proper exit without seeming rude. He could not possibly retire until nine o'clock.

Hector consulted his watch, and after deliberating, he decided he'd brush up on his history. He wound up flipping through the pages of a book without touching them, having dragged a chair closer to him with a motion of his left hand, his talent at work. He did not read a single line, too troubled by thoughts of Valérie Beaulieu to make heads or tails of the words.

When they last saw each other, they'd both been nineteen, nothing but children, really. But he'd loved her. She had been beautiful, sophisticated, captivating. A perverse part of him hoped that time had somewhat washed away the colors from her face, but in his heart he knew this was impossible and that Valérie Beaulieu must remain as he remembered her: the most devastating woman in the room.

And he would not be seeing her that night.

The clock on the wall struck nine and the door opened. In walked a young woman in a blue pastel silk and velvet dress with appliquéd flowers along the bodice and skirt, the sleeves rather puffed out, as was in vogue.

She closed the door, taking several steps into the room before she raised her head and caught sight of him. "Sir," she said. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize there was anybody here."

"It's no matter," he replied, closing the book with his hands rather than with his mind; he reserved displays of his talent for the stage. He did not add anything else. He was hardly in the mood for polite conversation. The De Villiers prided themselves on attracting the cream of the crop to their functions — the Beautiful Ones, rather than the New People. The barons of barely minted empires of telegraph wires and fresh steel could socialize elsewhere. Hector had been offered an invitation, proof of Étienne's charm and his connections, but he knew he was, at best, a novelty for these aristocrats; at worst, an intruder. He did not wish to befriend any of them and threw the young woman a frosty look. The girl did not take his cue.

She looked at him carefully, her lips curving into a smile as she moved closer. "I know you. You are Hector Auvray."

"Pardon me, were we introduced?" he asked, frowning. He was sure he had not seen this girl before. He had been presented to the hosts, and Étienne had pointed out a few people, but not her.

"I recognize your face from the posters around town. You are performing at the Royal. Phantasmagoric: Feats of Wonder, isn't it? I was hoping to meet you," she said.

"Oh?" he replied, a noncommittal sound, even if his interest had been piqued. Few aristocrats would admit to knowing the name of a vulgar entertainer. Instead, they nodded their heads politely and either assumed or pretended he was a slightly more elevated type of person.

"What were you reading?" she asked, pointing at the book he was clutching between his hands.

"History. Miss —"

"Nina," she said, stretching out her hand. "Antonina, really, but I rather hate it. I'm named after a witch of a great-aunt, the most awful wretch who ever lived. Well, not quite, but I resent the association, and therefore it is Nina."

"Hector, though you already know that part." He shook her hand. "It's probably best if we exit this room now. A bachelor such as myself, a young lady such as yourself — we wouldn't want to cause a scandal."

Truly, he wanted only to get rid of her and could not have cared what anyone thought. If the girl wished to walk around the house without an escort, then let it be. He had come to speak to one woman and one woman alone. If she was not there, then Hector would wallow in his velvet misery.

"I can't possibly leave now," she replied.

"Why not?" he asked, annoyed.

She did not notice his tone of voice or did not care. Instead, she took off the dance card dangling by her wrist and held it up for him to look at.

"If I go out there now, Didier Dompierre is going to ask me for a dance, and if you'd ever danced with Didier, you would know he is the most terrible dancer. I have been told he'll put his name down for two dances, and you must be aware a lady cannot refuse a dance from a gentleman. It would be uncivil."

Hector did not understand why a man might want to corral this particular girl for two dances in a row. She was not an enviable beauty — somewhat run-of-the-mill, to be frank — and her square jaw, black hair, and thin lips were rather unstylish. She possessed eyes of a pretty shade of hazel, though, and her dress was very fine; perhaps that was enough for a young chap with poor dance skills such as this Didier Dompierre.

"Then your thought is to spend the rest of the evening here, avoiding him?"

"Not the rest of the evening, but, say, a half an hour, and by then he will have found some other girl he can stomp on," she replied, sitting in the chair in front of him and stretching her legs.

"This does not seem the best-conceived plan."

"It is a plan, which is what matters. Whom are you hiding from?" she asked. If she were another woman, this might have been mistaken for an attempt at flirting. Valérie would have taken the opportunity to lace her voice with honey, but the girl was plain and spoke plainly.

"I am not hiding from anyone," he said.

"Do you make it a habit to go to balls, then, and creep into the library to brush up on your history?"

"Do you talk to all men in this manner?" he replied, growing more curious than irritated.

She toyed with her dance card, putting it again on her wrist, and gave him a mortified look. "I apologize. This is only the second dance I've attended, and I can see it will end catastrophically already."

"This is the second party of the De Villiers' you've attended?" he asked.

"The second party in the city I've ever attended, and this is the beginning of the Grand Season, the true test of a lady's mettle. You must not think me a complete fool. I went to a couple of dances in Montipouret, but it was different. Small affairs. Loisail is large and there are many people and the rules are different."

He was talking to a country girl, for clearly the designation of "woman" would have been misplaced on her. Worse than that, a country rube. But Hector could not help but feel more sympathy than distaste. He had, after all, been a country nothing at one time and less polished than this girl.

He smiled despite himself, to assuage her. "No doubt you'll learn them soon. You seem quick-witted."

"Thank you," she replied, appearing rather pleased with his words.

She looked at him curiously and another smile crossed her face. "I must confess, I know more about you than your name from looking at the posters. I read about you in The Gazette for Physical Research. Alexander Nicolay has been investigating your telekinetic abilities."

"Are you a fan of The Gazette?" he asked, surprised that she'd be informed about Nicolay's research. He'd bumped into the man a couple of years back. He was attempting to measure and classify all psychokinetic talents and convinced Hector to let him take his pulse while he manipulated objects with the force of his mind. It was the sort of thing people did not think to bring up in casual conversation.

"Not particularly. But I am interested in the phenomena. They say you are one of the great psychokinetics of our era."

"I'm a decent performer," he replied.

"Modest, too."

She was a curious girl, and now he reassessed her again. Not an aristocrat and not a country rube and — what exactly? He didn't like it when he couldn't classify people.

He gestured toward the door. "Shall I escort you to the ballroom?"

She looked down at her dance card, carefully running her fingers around its edge. "Yes. If you feel inclined, you might partner with me for a dance. I would be really thankful. I was not exaggerating when I said Didier Dompierre is the worst dancer you've ever seen. Is that a terrible request? It's not, is it?"

He was somewhat amused by the question and her tone of voice, and though the girl's nervous energy at first did not sit too well with him, he had to admit he felt a bit relieved by her intrusion. He was full to bursting with thoughts of Valérie and could do with a few minutes more of light chatter. It would also satisfy the practical necessity of actually showing himself at the ball, which he ought to do at one point. He could not spend every single minute in the library. He could wallow later, in the privacy of his apartment.

"One dance."

She took his arm before he offered it to her as they exited the library, which was presumptuous.

The owners of the house had placed mirrors on the walls of the corridor that led to the ballroom, an ostentatious touch, but this was a new trend that was sweeping the capital and soon the nation. Whatever took the fancy of Loisail would take the fancy of the whole of Levrene; this was a known fact.

The ballroom was huge, with tall gilded mirrors reflecting the attendees, magnifying the space: the party seemed to go on forever. Above them hung monstrous chandeliers that sparkled with all their might, and all around them there were ladies with their shoulders bare, in their fine silks, while the gentlemen stood sober and proud, creating a glorious rainbow of colors, from the restrained browns of the matriarchs to the pale pinks of the unmarried women.

Hector carefully took hold of Antonina's hand and they joined the dance. He did not consider himself an excellent dancer, though he could manage. His partner fared poorly, but gave the feeling of being entertained.

"Do you know Loisail well, Mr. Auvray? Or is this your first time here? It wouldn't be, would it?"

"I don't know it well, no. I've spent only a few days in Loisail before my move here."

"How do you find it? Is it different from the cities where you've lived?" she asked.

He thought of the myriad countries and stages where he'd toured. To be back in his country of birth, in Levrene, was to be back home, though not due to a quirk of geography but because this was where Valérie resided. Here, in Loisail, even if she was hidden away at this moment. She existed and colored the city for him, lit it brighter than the elegant iron lampposts.

"Interesting. I have yet to form a strong opinion of it," he said politely.

"Then you intend to remain for a while?"

"I will be performing for a few months here, yes. As to whether I intend to make it my permanent base of operations, we shall see. And you?"

He did not expect her to launch into a complete and honest answer. A touch of coquetry, the outline of a smile, those would have been suitable. This had been Valérie's way.

The girl clutched his hand excitedly. "I'll most definitely be here until the summer. I am spending all of the spring with my cousin. My mother thinks a time in the city would do me good. Where are you lodging? My cousin's house is in Saint Illare."

"I think you've asked another bold question," he informed her.

"Is it, really?"

Her words were candid and he found himself amused by the naivety. Rather than schooling her with a scowl and a clipped yes, which normally suited him magnificently, he gave her a proper answer.

"To the east. Boniface. Not as smart as your cousin's house, I would wager," he said.

"Boniface. Is that so you can remain near the theater?"

"Indeed."

"I'm sure it's smart enough. Boniface."

As the dance ended, a young man moved in their direction, his eyes on Antonina. Hector was going to incline his head and release the girl, but on contemplating the look of pure panic that crossed her face, he did his best to suppress a chuckle and instead asked her for a second dance. She accepted and told him the man who had been moving toward them was poor Didier. In the end, he danced a total of three dances with Nina, but since two of the three were lively stevkas, they did not speak more than a few words.

After he had thanked her for the dances and strolled away, Étienne Lémy and his little brother, Luc, wandered over. Étienne was Hector's age and Luc a handful of years younger, though looking at them, people always swore they were twins, so alike were they, both possessing the same blond hair and stylish mustache. They furthered the illusion that evening by wearing matching gray vests.

"There you are, you devil. I couldn't find you anywhere," Étienne said, clasping his shoulder. "For a moment I thought you'd left."

"Not at all. I was dancing," Hector said.

"We saw. With Miss Beaulieu," Luc replied.

Hector did not realize until then that the girl had given him only her first name. He had not bothered to inquire further.

"Beaulieu?" he managed to say.

"Surely you've heard of them. Gaetan Beaulieu. She is his cousin," Luc said. "You have not met Gaetan?"

"I haven't had the pleasure."

"You must. He has the most magnificent wife imaginable, the most beautiful woman in all of the city, Va —"

"Valérie," Hector said, interrupting him.

"Yes. You do know them, then?"

"We both had the chance to meet Valérie before she was married to Gaetan, when she was in Frotnac," Étienne said, maneuvering Luc by his elbow and turning him around. "Luc, why don't you dance with Mari? She's our cousin and looks quite alone."

Luc glanced at a young woman standing by a mirror, the picture of a wallflower. The youngest Lémy made a face as though he had swallowed a lemon. "For good reason."

"Go on, Luc. It is your burden as a gentleman."

"She is a third cousin, and you know Mother keeps buzzing in my ear about her, driving me to madness," Luc protested.

"The more reason to dance with her," Étienne pressed on with a voice that allowed no further reproach.

The younger man let out an exasperated sigh but went in search of the lady.

As soon as his brother was at a prudent distance, Étienne spoke, his voice low. "You should not consider it. Not even for a moment."

"Consider what?" Hector asked. Antonina Beaulieu hovered not too far from them, milling about a small circle of people. He wondered if Gaetan resembled her. He'd not seen a picture of the man. Did he sport that dark hair and the long fingers that might have belonged to a pianist? Beaulieu! A thrice-damned Beaulieu.

"Don't act the fool. Valérie Beaulieu. You lost your head for her," Étienne said.

"Ten years ago," Hector said coolly, attempting to conceal any emotion in his voice.

"Ten, but I still recognize that look," Étienne assured him.

Hector did not reply, his eyes following the movements of Miss Antonina Beaulieu across the room. He made up both an excuse and his exit after that.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Beautiful Ones"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Beautiful Ones: A Novel 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
PattySmith87 More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Netgalley, Thomas Dunne Books and Silvia Moreno-Garcia for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you are in the mood for a love story that takes its time to unfold, characters who dance before your eyes, the evil, the innocent and the lost souls, magicians and those with magical powers and ahhh the power of love, then read this book! Imagine France, during the Belle Epoque. Grand balls, beautiful gowns, debutantes and their suitors set the stage for this love story. Antonina (Nina for short) is not your typical debutante dreaming of fancy dresses, jewels, gossiping with her girlfriends or waiting to fall in love with a handsome beau. She doesn’t care about learning how to needlepoint and rejects the rules of society that dictate how a young girl how she should behave. She loves to explore the outdoors, want to learn about science and oh yes, there is this small matter of her magical powers that she has not yet learned to control. In her small town, Nina’s reputation for being odd has already spread, damaging her chances for a good marriage. So, Nina is sent to Loisail to live with her cousin Gaetan and his wife Valerie, where she might have better luck. Hector is a magician whose talents are unparalleled. His shows are sold out to packed houses, with audiences marvelling at his abilities. Hector and Nina meet and Nina convinces Hector to teach her how to control her telekinesis. Of course Nina falls for Hector but Hector is keeping a secret. The only reason he returned to Loisail was to see Valerie. Valerie was Hector’s first love and she broke his heart. Although Valerie’s beauty is unparalleled, the years haven’t been kind to her. She is a hard bitter woman whom no one or nothing can please. Valerie will do everything in her power to destroy the romance between Hector and NIna, refusing to let him go and love another. Can Hector move on from Valerie? Will Nina still love him after she learns the truth? This is not a book that you race through, quickly turning page after page to see what happens next. This a novel to be savoured. The way Garcia writes you don’t want to rush, you want to experience it all including the setting and the complex characters. Valerie is deliciously evil and Nina is not a sickly-sweet, helpless character in contrast, but richly drawn in her own right. You feel for Hector because his love for Valerie is pure and he gave of himself fully but he was left broken for so many years. I enjoyed this novel immensely and found myself wanting to go back in time to drop in and visit with these characters and spend more time in this world that Garcia created.
Melhay More than 1 year ago
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. P.J. Ochlan is a new narrator for me. It took me a few chapters to get use to his proper feel to the words, as is expected with the style of the time our characters are in. I do very much like his sound for Hector, though for Antonina I had to get use to it. He does do different tones and voices for the characters, easily differentiating them for us. I found I really enjoyed his narration as the book went on. When we came to the emotional moments, his voice was full of love. Though, when he voiced Valerie. Grrr. He did a great job and made my heart thump with anger. Well done! Antonina, Nina as she likes to be called, comes across as a sweet girl that's staying at her cousins in the city to help form her to the proper way as she's from more country setting. I love the more informal feel we get from Nina. She seems so friendly and not backstabbing and two faced as some in the city are. She finds a friend in Hector from the moment she meets him. She's starting to find she's attracted to Hector with each meeting. Hector... He sounds formal. He's been away from "home" for ten years, and is hoping to see the woman he fell in love with before he left. Valerie. It happens that Nina is the cousin of Valerie's husband. Where Nina is falling for Hector, I feared Hector was using Nina to get into Valerie's home and to see her. This could only go one way, right? This is more a historical fantasy romance with a touch of paranormal to it. The setting and formalities remind me of a historical setting. But Hector has a special ability, telekinetic powers, that bring a paranormal feel to the story. And Nina has a special ability as well, which is something she and Hector have in common and brings them together. We get three POV's - Hector, Nina, and Valerie. Yes, this is a love triangle that's very complicated. Valerie's married to Nina's cousin. Nina is visiting to be shaped into the formal lady she can be. Hector. Well, Hector has returned to see his long love, Valerie, but stumbles across Nina which gives him a connection to Valerie. I get frustrated and angered when people use others or play with emotions of others for their benefit. This book frustrated me in that way. Which is not a bad thing. I felt for the characters which drew me to feel frustrated with them and what they are doing to others. Grrr. I wanted to slap these people. All they think about is their selves and not the harm they are doing. Playing games with another person's life for their own pleasures. That's a selfishness of the rich in this world, or so it seems. That all being said, the book was well written in this way, to rise a feeling from me. This means I cared for someone and didn't like others. But, as this is happening I saw sparks of moments where the one being used was slowly making her way into the man's heart and attention. I melted in these small moments. This is a romance. The paranormal with the talent of moving things with ones mind is a part of the characters, something that could be a connection. More a historical romance feel to the story. This story has two parts. In these two parts it seems the positions shift, slightly, in who is the innocent love. These characters have to fight for what they want. Even if it's not for love but for money. Some times people have to live through the hard times and mistakes in love to find their true love, learning the feel
CarolineA More than 1 year ago
Oh goodness this book…. Okay, right off the bat I wasn’t crazy about his one. The blurb promised me telekinesis and I expected this big paranormal world with hidden superpowers or something. Instead, I got a Victorian romance. Once I got over the disappointment that the telekinesis was really just used as a plot devise, (both the hero and heroine have this power), I really got involved with the story and the characters. Let me warn you, right off the bat, that the main characters are not instantly likable. Hector begins courting Nina just to be close to Valerie. He and Valerie, a decade before, had shared a whirlwind romance complete with a secret engagement. An engagement that she ended when she married another man—Nina’s cousin. Though he did things for the wrong reasons, it was easy to like and forgive Hector. Nina is a so naïve at times it’s hard to root for her, but she grows so much as a character in this book. And Valerie… well, to put it nicely, she is a selfish brat for 99.9% of this book. She has her reasons, but those reasons never justified all the wicked things she did in this reader’s opinion. She was an excellent villain. This book is told in third person POV from all 3 of the aforementioned characters. Getting into each of their heads was really crucial to the execution of this story. Without each of their internal thoughts there’s no way a reader could feel anything except hatred, or at least annoyance, with them. The story is also told in two parts and lasts the course of an entire year. When I reached the end of part 1 I was heartbroken. I was flipping pages like mad trying to get through part 2 to see the happy ending I wanted. And in the end, the telekinesis played an important role in the story. It wasn’t just there to add something new and different. It actually was important to the plot. So, should you read it? If you enjoy historical romances of epic proportions and are looking for something new and different…. and if you’re the kind of person who loves to see characters redeem themselves and get what’s coming to them, read this book. (There’s also a good old fashioned duel. No joke. It’s great!)
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
Initially, I was attracted to this story by the cover. It’s a beautiful one and just wanted to jump in and it read it. The story is about Antonina who lives in this world, where she has to attend an event, in order to meet a husband.  The story is written in the third person, which I have a hard time connecting with the characters. It was beautiful written though, I just didn’t connect. It is very slow at the beginning. I’m not a fan of slow, I’d rather get to the heart of what’s going on. Overall, I give this Two Boundless Stars. It was ok, but could have been better. 
jojosmodernlife More than 1 year ago
Antonina ("Nina") Beaulieu is headstrong, passionate, and finally escaping the countryside to enter her first season in London. Instructed by her dispassionate and downright mean cousin, Valerie, to hide her telekinetic powers, Nina does not do a very good job of keeping it a secret. Mostly because she does not know how to control them (kind of like Elsa before she gets her gloves in Disney's Frozen). She finally gets the chance to meet someone like her, Hector Auvray, who can help her rein her powers in until appropriate. But it's not just her powers that attract Hector's attention. It's her connection to the one true love he could never get over; her cousin Valerie. I took away one star because of the slow pace and how often it is beat into the reader's head that Valerie is the villain. Although I appreciate that the reasoning for her cold and greedy heart was given, it still was too forced that she was the antagonist. I took another star away for two reasons: 1. I did not get attached to the romance between Nina and Hector. I thought it was very immature and overly dramatic. 2. It is touted as sci-fi but that only came to the telekinetic powers that Nina and Hector have. I understand that the telekinetic element is supposed to unify Hector and Nina as it is something that they share as well as makes them outsiders in society, however, it didn't scream science fiction to me. When it comes to characters, my favorite was Entienne, Hector's friend. He was calm, loyal, and had a dry, frank sense of humor. If there were to be anything further done with this plot, be it a sequel or spin-off, I do so hope it focuses on Entienne. He honestly saved the book for me at the points where I was tempted to put it down and be done with it. The other supporting characters seemed to be either shallow or weak. I can see why Valerie's husband Gaetan should be weak (for the most part) to balance Valerie's ferocity, however, was still somewhat redundant. I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy a manipulative and selfish villain. I would also recommend this book for readers who enjoy telekinesis. Lastly, I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy insects, particularly beetles, as they play a large part in the plot. I would not recommend this book for readers who may be triggered or offended by the following: mild foul language, suggestions of adultery, bullying, manipulation, and attempted murder. Please note: an electronic copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (thank you!).
DianaDR More than 1 year ago
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia I received a copy of this book for review purposes. This book was 'advertised' as a paranormal romance, which isn't quite exactly true in that the only paranormal bit was that a few people in this world have tele/psychokinesis. Other than that, it is a drama of manners set in an imaginary country/world that could easily double for Regency England, complete with arranged marriages between poor title women being forced to marry men with money they do not love, leaving men that they are at least in lust with behind as the men seek their fortune. Hector is the male who leaves to make his fortune using his psychokinetic ability to not only become fabulously wealthy but incredibly famous. He returns to sweep the woman he left a decade ago off her feet, despite her marriage to a wealthy man, engineered by her greedy family to shore up their title. When this proves impossible, he courts her niece, Nina instead. Nina is the ingenue that we see in most romances, except she too has tele/psychokinesis. He uses this to bond with her. Everything goes to hell, when Hector's first love who happens to be the wife of Nina's cousin, interferes out of jealousy. Fear not, Nina grows up and Hector catches a clue. There is a HEA. When I read a book based on regency Era manners and society, there is a piece of me that wants Jane Austen. But Hector is no Mr. Darcy and Nina is certainly no Elizabeth Bennet. However there is a certain beauty, in description and behaviors. And a certain realism in everyone's reaction to each other's actions. For fans of Regency drama who prefer the melodrama of Wuthering Heights to the fun of Pride and Prejudice or Northanger Abbey, this is definitely the book for you. Also, it was fun having what is essentially all of Europe squished together into three of four countries. The writing itself is good, fitting the period. But the book is about 50-70 pages too long and there is a feeling of slogging through it. This book is Book Nerd accepted. 3 out of 5 https://smile.amazon.com/Beautiful-Ones-Novel-Silvia-Moreno-Garcia/dp/1250099064/
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: 4.5 Stars This is a Jane Austen-esque romance riddled with the darker realities of the world and heavy with its vices. A glowing and pure thread of romance is strung throughout the story as others attack it with greed, money, desire, and selfishness. THE BEAUTIFUL ONES is a tale of innocence and selfishness and the haphazard navigations of true love. Love can strengthen, love can blind, and love can destroy. Read as these characters learn the deep costs of chasing the madness of their desires. *Read my FULL review on my Wordpress site: Pooled Ink