For fans of CW's "The Originals"

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For fans of CW's "The Originals" (TV show), "The Beautiful" is a fantasy novel set in 1872 New Orleans. The main character, Celine, is a thrill seeker with a dark past. It's the main reason why she moved to New Orleans (to start a new life). I felt that the author wanted to this to be a "murder mystery vampire novel."

While I enjoyed reading this book, I had some issues with this novel. For instance, the language in the novel felt very modern despite the fact that it was set in 1872. I think the author was aiming for a historical fiction since she mentioned a "Comte de Saint Germain" (you can look them up in Wikipedia). However, since this character wasn't in the book until after 50% into the story, I felt that there had been no reason for the time period to be set in 1872. You can still have a Saint German even if the time period was set in modern times. Additionally, the attitudes the main characters have seemed like they belong in 21st century.

In addition to some anachronisms throughout the novel, the romance just wasn't believable. It just seemed like "insta-love." Fortunately, the author knew how to create tension between characters so I didn't really mind the cheesiness of the romance (because, hey, there's a Jacob Black in this novel). I'm just not sure that the pairing/romance was a favorite.

Then there were tons of repetitions. For instance, Bastien's looks tend to be mentioned A LOT or the author kept bringing up Celine's dark past throughout the novel. I thought the flashback was enough but after that just seemed too much.

However, what I did liked about this story was the friendship and the dark atmospheric writing. Also, I crave paranormal romance and I got it in this book. I wanted a forbidden romance type of story and/or a story with the enemies to romance trope. The author delivered! Needless to say, I was pretty entertained. By CW tv standard, this is enough. I can actually imagine a book to tv show adaptation for this book and I strongly feel that fans of TVD would like this story.

Overall, "The Beautiful" was okay. It was just fine, but it was not the best paranormal romance vampire novel out there (in my opinion). However, if you love Renée's books and you're unfamiliar with the paranormal romance genre, then you might like this one.