Last year around Halloween, I read Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s CERTAIN DARK THINGS. I really enjoyed that book and as soon as I saw she had another book coming out I had to grab it. THE BEAUTIFUL ONES is a completely different type of tale then the previous book but the writing style was just as gripping. This authors knows how to make a character come to life.
Antonina (Nina) has always been a strange girl. People at home call her the witch of her home town due to her telekinetic powers that are out of control. Nina relishes the chance to spend her first Grand Season with her cousins in the beautiful city of Loisail. Loisail is dominated by customs and formalities of which Nina is ignorant so her cousin (by marriage) Valérie, takes her under her wing and tries to tame the girl. When Valérie’s ex lover (Hector) shows up and starts to court Nina, Valérie’s jealousy comes out. When Hector reveals his true intentions Valérie sets out to ruin things for the two would be lovers.
This story starts out pretty slow. Nina is living in Loisail and trying to learn etiquette from her retched cousin Valérie. Nina is young and naive and tries her best to fit in to formal society. When she learns that Hector is famous for his telekinetic powers on stage Nina is smitten by him and tries to learn how to control her powers as he does.
Despite the slow start, I really enjoyed this story. Maybe the first half was slower paced. Also, you may want to throttle a few characters in this story by this point as well, but then it picks up and becomes this grand romance. The paranormal telekinetic abilities made this historical romance something I could just stomach at first, but then I fell so hard for the story.
The characters are perfectly played. Valérie is the ultimate villain with her status in society and her power over her husband, Nina’s uncle (the head man of Nina’s family). She is perfectly horrible to Nina and her husband and sets out to ruin a man denied love early in life. She is also quite miserable and desperate to control something, so I sympathized with her and hated her all the same. Nina is so demur at first but as her life experience expands, so does her boldness in dealing with others. I don’t even know what to say about Hector. I hated and loved him. He was very deceptive and completely transparent. He was such a tortured soul and he deserved exactly what he got. We get all three POVs in this story.
I really enjoyed all the descriptive settings in this book. The author was able to describe the scenes without overloading me with silly details. I really felt as if I was right there. I have to admit I wish I could go back into the world this author has created. Since I have finished this book I am honestly missing Nina so much. I know that sounds silly, but I wish I could have spend more time reading her story. I would highly recommend this to those who love well written paranormal historical romance.
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on October 24th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Also by this author: Certain Dark Things
eARC provided by Thomas Dunne Books
"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
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.
The Beautiful Ones is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the belle époque.