Eager for the Sequel

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After reading the sample provided, I was determined to obtain a copy. The setting is captivating: New Orleans, 1872, right around Mardi Gras. There are festivals and parades and the whole city is bright with celebration, despite the recent gruesome murder of a young girl.

A group of girls from various countries in Europe have landed at port and will come to live at a convent, where they will work and hope to be matched with a husband. All are escaping something in their past, making this their best chance for a good life. Celine's past is darkest of all and she is desperate to keep it hidden. However, darkness seems to follow her, and she can't help but admit her increasing attraction to it.

One of the best aspects of the novel is how it challenges the social norms of the era. For instance, minorities have positions of authority and are well-respected, and the fashionable Odette proudly wears trousers. Bastien is a minority and he is widely regarded as the handsomest of devils by everyone who looks upon him.

I had high hopes embarking on this novel. I read it over the course of a week as a buddy read on Instagram with daily discussions. Unfortunately, it wasn't as spectacular as I had hoped. The storyline is just a little lackluster, as are Celine's interactions with her two potential love interests. I was left feeling sort of incomplete after finishing the book.

The ending is a cliffhanger, and the way it concluded is compelling enough that I am excited to read the second book in the series when it is published. Overall, this was a good book, and I'm hoping that its sequel will be even better.