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.
I have yet to find a book by Renee Ahdieh that I didn't absolutely love. This book was no exception and I can't wait for the second book to come out this year.
Celine is an amazingly realistic character who I fell in love with from the moment I met her. She moves from Paris where she had a great job and family to a convent in New Orleans where she knows nobody. She is looking for a fresh start in the aftermath of a major event in her life. She wasn't looking for a man but she has two great choices in front of her and a demon chasing her as well.
Sebastien Saint Germain has lost every member of his family, except his immortal Uncle. He is surrounded by his Uncle's immortal children. He is well respected in town and most people give him a large berth like he's royalty. The moment he sees Celine fresh off the boat so to speak he's intrigued. They keep meeting in strange ways but they both know they can't be together.
Do Sebastien and Celine end up together? Does the power of the supernatural catch up with both of them? Does the war going on in the supernatural world about to start?
This book was beyond what I was expecting. I bought it by chance because I loved the cover, didn't even see who wrote it until I got it. I pick books based on their covers usually or author if it's one that I've fallen in love with, this one just happened to be a cover choice. Again, I wasn't let down. I absolutely love the way this author wields words and creates a world you don't want to leave. I was enthralled. But there were some things that I'm still not entirely sure about in this book but I hope that it's all cleared up in the next book.
5 fantastical stars!