There was something about this book cover that reminded me of Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series. I kind of thought that I was going to read a steampunk-esque romance with a little paranormal thrown in.
But considering that I have not actually read the Finishing School series, I think I can safely say that I had no idea what this book was going to be about other than maybe something YA with magic.
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 Valérie 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 dreamed of, but Hector’s courtship of Nina is deceptive (summary from Goodreads).
In many ways this novel was just what I expected….romance with some fantasy but interestingly enough I felt like it needed a lot more in the way of the supernatural to be considered a ‘fantasy novel’. However, this was first a romance novel with a little fantasy thrown in which I found oddly disappointing. I am not sure why but I just expected it to be the other way around and was kind of disappointed when it was more romance and flimsy fantasy at best.
That said I liked how the romance was more of a slow burn rather than in inferno. It was clear that the author went to great pains to make the romance evolve slowly so that readers could savor the ‘chase’ and ultimate outcome. I loved that. Although I would have liked to have seen more of the supernatural powers work within the romance as well. As is, I felt like this novel would have been just as good, if not better without the supernatural elements. They were so underused in the story that I often found myself wondering if they were even necessary at all.
I thought the author did a great job at writing a classic romance in the vein of Bronte or Austen. She was a very unique story telling style and I enjoyed watching the romance develop. This is not really a plot based book, it is more about the romance between the characters and less about anything monumental happening if that makes sense.
A note on the cover. The cover is absolutely stunning. I would have read this book simply for the beautiful cover design. Though it isn’t necessarily ‘unique’ as I mentioned, it looked just like the ones from The Finishing School series, however it is eye catching and has a decidedly romantic feel about it.
While slow at times, this book was a decent read. It was enjoyable enough to continue reading but at the same time I felt like a little refining within the story or more plot development would have helped it be a great novel. On the whole I gave it 3.5 stars because the romance was so reminiscent of the classics that I can’t fault how well it was done.
- Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 3.5 out of 5
Genre: historical fiction, romance, fantasy, pararomance