The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Synopsis: 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.

The Beautiful Ones is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the Belle Époque.

Review: I was very curious to discover this novel when I heard about it but in the first reviews, several said that the story was not what they expected. It is true that if one expects a fantasy story, this is not the case here. I’d rather say it’s a historical romance with some distant paranormal elements and I really loved it!

We discover Nina, a young country girl who returns to town to make her first season in society. Nina is not a girl like the others and she even possesses some small powers of telekinesis that she does not necessarily control. But when she meets with Hector Auvray, a famous man in this field, she knows that she must get to know him. While she falls under his spell, she does not expect this man to have a hidden plan. Nina is chaperoned by Valerie, the wife of her cousin. And Hector and Valerie have a story together … Younger, they were supposed to get married and even though Hector knows that nothing is possible between them, he can not help but to court Nina to see her former dear and tender fiancé.

I really enjoyed this story full of ideas. Nina is really very touching with her innocence and freshness. She is far from the model of a young woman that the society of the time produced and she does not care about that. She does not want to be someone other than the person she is already and Hector seems the perfect man for her. I was quite sad for her … She does everything to please Auvray without realizing that despite his attention, he always seeks Valerie. I sometimes wanted to slap Hector so he could realize his actions but nevertheless he will evolve little by little, realizing all that.

It was a pretty lively romance that carried me through the whole story. Between Valerie and her plots, Nina and her kindness and Hector, this man lost in his past, I was caught up by the story, waiting impatiently for the end to know how everything would end.




The Beautiful Ones de Silvia Moreno-Garcia (VO)

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Dans un monde d’étiquettes et de masques polis, personne n’est ce qu’il semble être.

Antonina Beaulieu est dans la ville étincelante de Loisail pour sa première grande saison, où elle participera aux bals et se mêlera à la haute société. Sous la tutelle de la belle mais froide Valérie Beaulieu, elle espère trouver un mari convenable. Cependant, les manifestations aléatoires des puissances télékinéennes de Nina font d’elle un sujet de moquerie continuelle.

Pourtant, Hector Auvray, l’artiste télékinétique éblouissant, considère les pouvoirs de Nina comme un cadeau, et il lui apprend à les affiner et à les contrôler. Comme ils passent de plus en plus de temps ensemble, Nina tombe amoureuse et croit qu’elle a trouvé la grande romance dont elle a toujours rêvé, mais la cour d’Hector à Nina est trompeuse.

The Beautiful Ones est une fantasy sur les étiquettes dans un monde inspiré de la Belle Époque.

Avis :J’étais très curieuse de découvrir ce roman quand j’en ai entendu parler mais dans les premiers avis, plusieurs disaient que l’histoire n’était pas ce à quoi  ils s’attendaient. C’est vrai que si on s’attend à une histoire portée sur la fantasy, ce n’est pas le cas ici. Je dirai plutôt que c’est une romance historique avec quelques éléments lointains de paranormal et j’ai vraiment adoré ça !

Nous découvrons Nina, une jeune fille de la campagne qui revient en ville pour faire sa première saison en société. Nina n’est pas une jeune fille comme les autres et elle possède même quelques petits pouvoirs de télékinésie qu’elle ne parvient pas forcément à maîtriser. Mais quand elle rencontre Hector Auvray, un homme réputé dans ce domaine, elle se dit qu’elle se doit d’apprendre à la connaitre. Alors qu’elle tombe sous son charme, elle ne s’attend pas à ce que cet homme ait un plan caché. Nina est en effet chaperonnée par Valérie, la femme de son cousin. Et Hector et Valérie ont une histoire ensemble… Plus jeunes, ils étaient censés se marier et même si Hector sait bien que rien n’est possible entre eux, il ne peut s’empêcher de vouloir courtiser Nina pour revoir son ancienne chère et tendre.

J’ai vraiment beaucoup apprécié cette histoire pleine d’idées. Nina est vraiment très touchante avec son innocence et sa fraicheur. Elle est loin du modèle de jeune femme que la société de l’époque produit et elle s’en fiche éperdument. Elle ne veut pas être quelqu’un d’autre que la personne qu’elle est déjà et Hector semble l’homme parfait pour elle. J’étais assez triste pour elle… Elle fait tout pour plaire à Auvray sans se rendre compte que malgré son attention, il recherche toujours Valérie. J’avais parfois très envie de gifler Hector pour qu’il se rende compte de ses actions mais pourtant il va évoluer petit à petit, en se rendant compte de ses désillusions.

C’était une jolie romance pleine d’entrain qui m’a emportée tout au long de l’histoire. Entre Valérie et ses complots, Nina et sa gentillesse et Hector, cet homme perdu dans son passé, on est pris par toutes les histoires en attendant avec impatience la fin pour savoir comment tout se conclurait.



DNF: Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney

Rogues Redeemed, Book 1

Synopsis: Rogues Redeemed

As heir to a title and great wealth, Will Masterson should have stayed home and tended his responsibilities. Instead he went to war. Now, after perilous years fighting the French, he intends his current mission to be his last. But all his plans are forgotten when he arrives in the small mountain stronghold of San Gabriel and meets her.

Knowing herself to be too tall, strong, and unconventional to appeal to a man, Athena Markham has always gloried in her independence. But for the first time in her life, she finds a man who might be her match.

Two of a kind, too brave for their own good, Athena and Will vow to do whatever it takes to vanquish San Gabriel’s enemies. For neither will back down from death, and only together can they find happiness and a love deeper than any they’d dared imagine…

Review: I was quickly drawn to this novel when I saw that it was featuring a strong young woman who for once could defend herself against the world. It’s pretty rare in historical romances to have such characters and the atmosphere is confirmed by the very pretty cover presented. How can you resist it?

Yet when I started the story, I quickly realized that this was not the novel I had expected … Not that it was a concern but it’s true that I got a little destabilized out. By cons I loved the historic ambiance of this first volume. It’s rare enough in the novels I read to see a political context marked both with the end of the war and the fall of Napoleon. Of course, this drop causes a lot of consequences, including for San Gabriel where our heroes will meet. The fact that we speak of the history of France was very interesting, and it’s true that it’s not something that I often see but it was really fascinating. I think that’s what I liked the most here. But as for the rest, I struggled to get into the story or to become interested in what was going on exactly. The two characters are good and interesting as well as full of differences but they failed to carry me. Even though I tried to continue to progress to finally achieve the book, I preferred to let it down after half the story. I just think it was not the kind of novel I expected but it surely will be for others.


DNF: Once a Soldier de Mary Jo Putney (VO)

Rogues Redeemed, Tome 1

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Des rogues rachetées

Héritier d’un titre et d’une grande richesse, Will Masterson aurait dû rester à la maison et s’occuper de ses responsabilités. Au lieu de cela, il est allé à la guerre. Maintenant, après des années périlleuses de lutte contre les Français, il pense que sa mission sera la dernière. Mais tous ses plans sont oubliés quand il arrive dans la petite forteresse de montagne de San Gabriel et la rencontre.

Sachant qu’elle est trop grande, forte, et non conventionnelle pour plaire à un homme, Athena Markham a toujours glorifié son indépendance. Mais pour la première fois de sa vie, elle trouve un homme qui pourrait être son âme soeur.

Trop courageux pour leur propre bien, Athena et Will font vœu de faire ce qu’il faut pour vaincre les ennemis de San Gabriel. Pour cela ils ne reculeront pas devant la mort, et c’est seulement ensemble qu’ils pourront trouver le bonheur et un amour plus profond que tout ce qu’ils avaient osé imaginer …

Avis : J’ai été très vite attirée par ce roman quand j’ai vu qu’il mettait en scène une jeune femme forte qui pour une fois pouvait se défendre par elle-même face au monde. C’est assez rare dans les romances historiques d’avoir de tels personnages et cette ambiance est d’ailleurs confirmée par la très jolie couverture présentée. Comment résister ?

Pourtant quand j’ai commencé l’histoire, je me suis très vite rendu compte que ce n’était pas le roman auquel je m’étais attendu… Pas que ce soit un souci mais c’est vrai que ça m’a un peu déstabilisée au départ. Par contre j’ai adoré l’ambiance historique de ce premier volume. C’est assez rare dans les romans que je lis de voir un contexte politique aussi bien marqué avec ici la fin de la guerre et la chute de Napoléon. Bien sûr, cette chute provoque un grand nombre de conséquences, notamment à San Gabriel où nos deux héros vont se découvrir. Le fait que l’on parle de l’histoire de France était très intéressant, et c’est vrai que ce n’est pas quelque chose que j’ai pu souvent voir mais c’était vraiment fascinant. Je pense que c’est ce qui m’a le plus plu ici. Par contre pour le reste, j’ai eu beaucoup de mal à rentrer dans l’histoire et à m’intéresser à ce qu’il s’y passait exactement. Les deux personnages, bien qu’intéressants et pleins de différences en comparaison avec ce qu’on lit habituellement, n’ont pas réussi à m’emporter et même si j’ai essayé de continuer et de progresser pour enfin parvenir à trouver une accroche, j’ai préféré laissé tomber après la moitié de l’histoire. Je pense seulement que ce n’était pas le genre de tome auquel je m’attendais mais ce le sera surement pour d’autres.


When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton

Honeycote, Book 1

Synopsis: Some rules simply beg to be broken…

A dressmaker in London’s busiest shop, Miss Anabelle Honeycote overhears the ton‘s steamiest secrets—and (occasionally) uses them to her advantage. It isn’t something she’s proud of, but the reluctant blackmailer needs the money to care for her gravely ill mother. To make up for her misdeeds, Anabelle keeps to a firm set of rules:

• Never request payment from someone who cannot afford it.
• Never reveal the secrets of a paying client.
• Never enter into any form of social interaction with a client.

Her list keeps her (somewhat) honest—until she encounters Owen Sherbourne, the Duke of Huntford. Not only does Owen nip Anabelle’s extortion plans in the bud, the devilishly handsome Duke soon has the sexy seamstress dreaming of more than silks and satins. With Owen, Anabelle enjoys pleasures she never imagined . . . until a scandal from the past resurfaces. Now her rules could mean his family’s ruin. Owen’s searing kisses carry the promise of passion, but how will he react when Anabelle’s most devastating secret is finally revealed?

Review: I had this novel for some time but I never took the time to read it. Yet I have a special attraction for historical romances so it was with pleasure when I took the time to get into the story. I did not remember the opinions about the novel, and that’s without preconceptions that I started the story. I can tell you that finally I’m happy about this first volume because I had a great time with the story and its characters. Before starting it, I’m always a bit anxious to have a fairly common history but I always look forward to see if the author has managed to present something different from what we would expect and I think that Anne Burton has completely succeeded in her challenge here and even more than that!

We find in the first chapter Annabelle, a young seamstress who is trying to provide for her family … Alas, her salary can not meet the pecuniary needs of her sister and her seriously ill mother. So to supplement her account, our beloved heroine has found nothing better than to sing influential people thanks to the gossip of her shop. The little she recovers manages to finance the precious medicine she wants, or it is in any case the case until she attacks someone stronger than her and that she finds herself caught by her victim. The deal: to avoid prison she has to come to work for the Duke of Huntford to make dresses for her two younger sisters. But now, Annabelle did not expect to fall in love with her employer and vice versa. Alas, even if the duke is looking for a wife, Belle can’t claim the title due to her origins. In addition to this, our seamstress is also at the heart of a story she can’t extricate herself from and which portrays the sisters of Duke. Telling them the truth could help, but she promised before not to do it….

I loved the idea of a young woman who is trying to defraud people especially when we know how she is and we wonder how she did it with her so nice and sweet temperament. What surprised me the most was the Duke’s desire to be with her without more between them and that despite the consequences he did not even try to hold back. It is thanks to this where we can assist to some very funny moments and lively discussions. In terms of Belle, we understand her desire for more, especially since she is now considered as an equal and no more like a servant. This is also why her relationship with Olivia and Rose is very touching, especially when we see that she really wants to do the best for them and that the two young women had become very dear to her heart. Yet her past catches up and she will also have to make difficult choices.

As I said, I had a great time with the story, the four main characters are all lovely and I took a great pleasure in discovering them. The new ideas added were interesting and I was really curious to see how the author would present us everything. In any case everything is very well written and I struggled to put the book down before the end. I’m curious enough now to read on and discover the Daph’s history, Belle’s sister!



No Longer a Gentleman by Mary Jo Putney

The Lost Lords, Book 4

Synopsis: Grey Sommers, Lord Wyndham, never met a predicament he couldn’t charm his way out of. Then a tryst with a government official’s wife during a bit of casual espionage in France condemns him to a decade in a dungeon, leaving him a shadow of his former self. Yet his greatest challenge may be the enigmatic spy sent to free his body—the only woman who might heal his soul.
Cassie Fox lost everything in the chaos of revolution, leaving only a determination to help destroy Napoleon’s empire through her perilous calling. Rescuing Grey is merely one more mission. She hadn’t counted on a man with the stark beauty of a ravaged angel, whose desperate courage and vulnerability thaw her frozen heart. But a spy and a lord are divided by an impassable gulf even if they manage to survive one last, terrifying mission….

Review: I was very curious to try another volume in this series after spending a great time with the first one. This is Volume 4, but fear not, there’s really no problem reading it separately from the others as each couple highlighted in the novels is different. I admit that I was expecting a lot from this story, hoping that it would be at the height of the first one, but even though I found it a bit below, I had a good time.

Cassie Fox is a halt-French half-English spy in a time when war raged between the two countries. She is very good at disguising herself, to pass incognito and thus act when the need is felt. Her skills will send her after an English Lord who has been missing for 10 years, locked in a tower and left to die there. Yet it does not take much to the young woman to save him and help him back to England. But it’s also like that that a story begins to develop between them, evolving over the chapters. This relationship will also allow the woman to recover some of her past, but they may well be forced to return to France to save another of their friends.

As I said, I was pretty excited to discover this new story, but it’s true that I was a little disappointed because I was expecting to be completely swept away. Finally I do not know, but I did not feel the passion between the two characters and I found that we didn’t have much happening for a book such as this one. Maybe I have not really thought that our Lord could return to a fairly normal life after living reclusive and locked up in a prison such as this one for a decade. After that, I’m not saying this is not good because the author writes very well and it was lovely to read it but I thought we would have a little more. However it was interesting to learn more about Cassie and find out who she really was.

It was a good novel even if it is a tone below the one I loved but I’m curious to read more in this series!



Some Like It Wicked by Teresa Medeiros

Kincaid Highland, Book 1

Synopsis: Some like it dangerous . . .

Highland beauty Catriona Kincaid cares nothing for propriety—or even her own safety—when she storms the grounds of Newgate Prison. Determined to return to Scotland and restore her clan’s honor, she seeks the help of Sir Simon Wescott, a disgraced nobleman and notorious rogue. She is prepared to offer him both wealth and freedom, but she never dreams the wicked rake will be bold enough to demand a far more sensual prize.

Some like it seductive . . .

Simon is shocked to discover the tomboy he met long ago has blossomed into a headstrong temptress. Although he’s sworn off his dreams of becoming a hero, he can’t resist playing knight errant to Catriona’s damsel in distress. Both adventure and peril await them at her Highland home, where they will risk their lives to vanquish her enemies . . . and risk their hearts to discover a passion beyond their wildest dreams.

Review: I do not read many historical romances and I was not particularly attracted by the title but as the author is Teresa Medeiros and as I really enjoyed “Yours Until Dawn”, I was curious to discover another of her books.

Highland Catriona Kincaid is still a teenager when she sees her cousin in the stables with a young officer of the Royal Fleet and a notorious debauched, Sir Simon Wescott. And the least we can say is that there, the young man did not leave our heroine indifferent. Then five years later, the Scottish tomboy she was before has now become a beautiful young woman. But an English Marquis bought the land that belonged to her clan and this man is determined to get rid of the remaining members of the Kincaid’s clan, including Catriona’s brother, Connor. Determined to find him, to recover the land and restore the honor of her clan, Catriona decides to go into Simon Wescott’s cell at Newgate Prison to make him a very strange offer he can’t refuse…

The two main characters are nice, they do not bring anything new to the romance genre but nonetheless, they are endearing. Simon despite his reputation as a rake is not as bad as he suggests he is and even behaves sometimes as a true gentleman. Gradually we discover his past and we understand why he has become that kind of man. Catriona seems to be a very proud and rebellious young woman. She also has a good sense for repartee. However she sometimes shows a great weakness and naivety. By the way I did not quite understand her evasive attitude at the end of the novel during a ball. I had the impression that the only purpose of this passage was to add to the novel a few more pages and in the end I found it completely useless.

Overall I must say that it was a very entertaining read. It was not as enjoyable as “Yours Until Dawn” but Teresa Medeiros is definitely an author that I really appreciate. Her writing style is fluid and very readable so that you can read the entire novel in just a few hours. However the main thing that perturbed me was the fact that this quest the heroine wants to accomplish (ie restoring the honor of her clan) is not further exploited here. Indeed, the novel focuses essentially on the romance between our two heroes and all the rest was somewhat eclipsed. And then I wanted to find out more things about Connor too. Because we can say that he is the big absent of the story! The main characters talk about him throughout the novel and we don’t see him. But don’t panic!! Apparently, Teresa Medeiros chose to keep him for book two and when we see how this first volume ends, I must say that now I’m curious enough to read it! 😀

3mon pseudo