Nina has spent most of her life in the country side, far away from the manners and conventions that govern life in Loisail…so when she arrives for her first Grand Season, she finds her adjustment anything but easy. This is complicated by the fact that she must live in the shadow of her perfect, and beautiful cousin through marriage, Valerie. Valerie is one of the Beautiful Ones, to whom everything is given on a silver platter, as she glides through life, throwing money at her problems. But, Nina’s luck starts to change when she meets Hector, a handsome and wealthy slightly older man, who begins to court her, and seems to be falling in love with her. But perhaps, things are not as they seem…because Hector and Valerie are hiding an explosive and scandalous secret.
The Beautiful Ones is a book that is hard to pigeon hole into one genre. At times it reads like a historical fiction piece, or Jane Austen novel, with a brooding male lead and slightly high strung female lead, beset by the issues that come with wealth and family obligation. At other times, it reads like a paranormal fiction novel, since both Hector and Nina are talents, those who can manipulate the natural world with their minds. This is a force that seems to draw them together, but also one that makes Nina vulnerable to the cruelty of the Beautiful Ones. And finally, at times it reads like a dramatic romance novel, with the sins of the past weighing heavily on the present. One thing that remains constant however, is that the imagery in the book is amazing! In fact, I would say it is one of the most vividly detailed and beautifully written stories I have read in quite some time. At times, I felt as if I could step into the pages of the book and look around, drinking in the colors and sounds of this fictional world, which is much like our own. Similarly, the characters are all well developed as they move across the story line, seeming very life-like…Sylvia Moreno-Garcia has a talent for making truly repugnant villains, likable but frustrating protagonists, and everything in between.
The only thing that stopped me from giving this book a full five stars, is that at a few points the drama seemed almost a little too mellow-dramatic, to the point of being totally unbelievable. These instances were rare, however, and would definitely not keep me from highly recommending this book. It has a fast moving plot, wonderful characters, romance, paranormal fantasy, and a truly satisfying ending. Add a copy to your shelf or queue today!