The citizens of Orléans are cursed to be born ugly with grey skin and red eyes. The Belles are beautiful women whose blood has the ability to control beauty. The Belles are raised under a strict regime away from society. When it’s time for a class to graduate, the Belles perform in a competition to see which Belle will be named the Royal favorite as well as get the coveted positions in the prestigious tea houses.
Camellia Beauregard is unlike the other Belles. She’s independent, stubborn, and questions the status quo. The Belles are to perform what is asked of them but never reveal all of their “tricks”. Camellia does not abide by these rules and is not chosen for the coveted Queen’s favorite title due to her zealous behavior. However, she becomes noticed by the Queen’s deranged daughter, which puts Camellia on a path that exposes how ugly the world truly is.
This book deals with abuse, attempted rape, murder, etc. This is by no means a light hearted read contrary to the gorgeous book cover and the theme of beauty. Once I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. I’m so excited for The Everlasting Rose and to see what happens to Camellia and her unexpected allies.