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Review: The Beautiful and the Cursed

The Beautiful and the Cursed

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THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED by Page Morgan releases in the U.S., today, May 14, 2013, in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House, the print edition is 352 pages.

THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED is the first book in Author Page Morgan’s The Dispossessed series. No information is yet available about the sequel.

This review is based on an ARC I received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Description…

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

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A story as unique, as riveting and as gorgeously written as Page Morgan’s THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED stands out in the crowded landscape of which it is a part. It invites readers to discover a mythology that is refreshingly original, characters that are intriguing and incredibly appealing, and an exciting plot that is full of twists, turns and shocking surprises.

Set in Paris in the late 1800s, this story manages to evoke the charm and elegance of the era while keeping the pace quick, the action thrilling and the characters relatable. And with a mix of paranormal elements, a dark premise and a touch of romance, readers will be transfixed.

Ingrid Waverly was glad to leave London and her tarnished reputation behind. But escaping to Paris only to discover that their new residence was a dilapidated building that was once an abbey and that her brother Grayson was missing wasn’t the fresh start she was hoping for.

And when it turns out that Grayson’s wasn’t the only disappearance, but that a number of girls had also vanished without so much as a clue to their whereabouts, Ingrid is more desperate than ever to solve the mystery and find her brother. Because she knows that he’s still alive. She can feel that he is. But she also knows that he’s running out of time.

Told from multiple characters’ points of view, in a way that weaves together each of their viewpoints seamlessly, readers are able to explore more of the fascinating world the author created, learn more about each of the characters and uncover more of their dark secrets.

Author Page Morgan gives readers two strong and likable, but very different, female main characters in Ingrid and Gabby, three charismatic male protagonists – Luc Rousseau, Vander Burke and Nolan Quinn – who are even more dissimilar from one another than the Sisters Waverly but just as likable, two captivating love stories – one shaped a little bit like a triangle – and one very dark, deadly and deliciously chilling mystery. And with the author’s extraordinary ability to make the grotesque beautiful, she introduces readers to her fascinating and incredibly imaginative world of the Dispossessed.

Danger-filled and exciting, heartwarming and heartbreaking and gripping from beginning to end, THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED is a wildly entertaining must read first book in this new series.

Reviewer gives this book…

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Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

On a personal note…

I never imagined it would be possible for me to fall in love with a book about gargoyles. Not that THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED is only about them, because that would be the understatement of the century. But they are a very important part of this story. And while I’ve always thought they were awesome and the history behind them fascinating, I never would have thought I could be so completely captivated by a story where they played such a large part.

But the impossible happened. I did fall in love. Madly in love. This book was incredible. And amazing and gorgeous and spellbinding and surprising and absolutely wonderful. It was a book that I didn’t want to put down, and when I had to I couldn’t stop thinking about it until the second I was able to pick it back up again.

I was totally transported into this story and its world from the moment I began reading it, which is not always possible for me when there are multiple character points of view. But everything flowed beautifully. And I loved how much of this world I could see when not limited by one character’s viewpoint.

There were just so many characters I adored and wanted to know more about. And if I were only to have gotten a glimpse at them through one character’s eyes, it wouldn’t have been enough. I wouldn’t have gotten to know Ingrid, Gabby, Luc, Nolan, Vander, and even Grayson, in the way that I did without experiencing things from their perspectives.

And I wouldn’t have gotten to love them nearly as much.

THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED checked every box. There was action. Suspense. Mystery. Forbidden romance. There was a love story. There was a love triangle. There were intriguing characters. An exciting storyline. And mythology that was so very different and so very appealing.

The story was dark at times. Chilling, even. And on more than one occasion I may have found myself rambling, “Oh no, oh no, oh no!” over and over and over again. Especially during that one scene with Grayson. And the one with Gabby. And that one with Gabby and Nolan. Oh, and the one with Luc. And that other one with Grayson. And I can’t forget about that one with Ingrid, either. Or that other one.

I don’t often say a story is compelling. In fact, I know I’ve said it less than a handful of times since I started blogging. There aren’t a lot of stories that fit that description for me. But I can’t think of a more perfect word to describe THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED. Unless, of course, ohmygoshthisbookissofreakignamazing gets added to the dictionary.

I did not expect to be as captivated by the mythology as I was by the not one but two love stories. I did not anticipate a story that was as incredibly imaginative as this story was.

And I most certainly did not expect to fall head over heels for a gargoyle. And no, I will not say who that gargoyle is. As much as I may want to.

Actually, there are quite a few things I’d love to talk about. But it is absolutely impossible to say anything without revealing secrets about certain characters, developments in the plot that are best left to be discovered while reading, exciting twists to the story that I would never, ever want to reveal and…

No, I suppose I shouldn’t even mention that.

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Favorite passage…

There were more than a few. But I did have two favorites – a chilling passage about Grayson and a swoon-worthy one involving Ingrid. However, as both were way too revealing, I chose this one, which made me sigh.

“I’ll get to you if you need me,” he whispered, the press of his fingers a tangible version of his pledge. She wished neither of them was wearing gloves. The feel of his skin against hers shouldn’t have been the foremost desire in her mind, but it was. Luc sapped her of all reason, it seemed. And his touch made it difficult to breathe.

“I know you will,” she said.

This review is based on an ARC I received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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