It’s that time again for another recommendation, but as I’m not feeling 100% right now, I will have to keep this one short and more concise than my usual fashion of rambling on.
I chose this next book because of its alluring atmosphere, gorgeous writing, and complex characters to root for or hate on. It also made me like vampire stories again, and that’s saying something in the post-Twilight era.
Without further ado, here’s The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh.
About the book
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.
At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.
If you loved the gothic, historical atmosphere…
…then you must read Hunting Prince Dracula. The second book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, it follows the two protagonists in the aftermath of book one in a boarding school for forensics located in the famous region of a certain Dracula. Of course, it’s got another self-contained mystery, intrigue, and fascinating twists, but all set in the atmospheric Romania. Where anything may go bump in the night.
If you loved the paranormal mystery mixed with attraction to people during such dire times…
…then pretty much any of the Dark Secrets books by Elizabeth Chandler is up that alley. These stories all contain dark secrets (aha, of course) from the past that influence the present day where the protagonist is unwittingly thrown into its chaos. With plenty of (fatal) attraction intermingling with some paranormal activities, these are fun, quick reads for fans of such a genre.
If you loved the resurgence of vampires (that are not sparkly)…
…then I would recommend the Vampire Academy series. Or at least start with book 1 wherein we are introduced to the ecosystem of vampires and how they live among humans in secret. Maybe not as genteel as The Beautiful vampires (probably due to the time period difference), but nevertheless offers the same heart and extraordinary characterization that brings these paranormal creatures to life so vividly.
What do you think of these recommendations? Have you read some of these before? Agree or disagree? (I won’t be offended).