The Beautiful is the first book in the duology by Renee Ahdieh.
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead.
But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, it’s also a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life in Paris. Quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its extravagant soirees and even its danger, she soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, and particularly the group known as La Cour des Lions.
But when a body is found in their lair, Celine is forced to battle her attraction for the group’s enigmatic leader, Sebastien Saint Germain, and suspicions about his guilt, along with her own secrets.
As more bodies are discovered, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose – one who seems to have Celine in his sights. But when she finally takes matters into her own hands, she finds herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.
Ahdieh takes us to New Orleans where vampires roam around with the living. Celine travels from France to New Orleans where she is living at a Church. I found the pacing slow but it built a lot of the characters backgrounds and the locations in New Orleans.
Ahdieh creates a dynamic atmosphere surrounding New Orleans where no matter where Celine goes she is in danger.
The relationships that Ahdieh creates between Celine and Bastien as well as her friendship with Pippa and Odette are amazing as well as you can see the dynamics change through the book. There is also a love triangle that gets built between Michael, Celine and Bastien which has me intrigued to see what happens in the next book. The reluctant romance between Bastien and Celine reaches the apex at the end and Celine sacrifices her memories to save Bastien.
The book ends on such a great cliffhanger which has me excited for book 2.