Of Curses and Kisses
“Fans of Menon’s frothy, contemporary rom-coms will be excited for this venture into new territory.” —Booklist
“[A] dreamy, sassy confection of a romance…Funny, extravagant, and satisfying.” —Shelf Awareness
From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite boarding school that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.
Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?
His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
In this uneven "Beauty and the Beast" retelling from Menon (When Dimple Met Rishi), Princess Jaya Rao is the heiress to an old Indian kingdom, and though India is now a democracy, she still has to act the part. This means doing her duty (acting "benevolent, firm, and fair"), aspiring to perfection, and looking after her free-spirited younger sister, Isha. Isha's appearance in the tabloids is why, in Jaya's senior year, they've been sent to St. Rosetta's International Academy, a fancy boarding school in the Colorado mountains where the rich stash children who they want out of the public eye. Jaya has reconciled herself to it, though: Grey Emerson, scion of the English family that her own has feuded with over a cursed ruby for generations, also attends there. The plan is to break his heart as payback for his allegedly leaking a photo of Isha to the press. Seventeen-year-old Beast stand-in Grey is lonely, brooding, and, "tainted" by the curse, sure he can't be with people. As if their family connection isn't enough, Grey and Jaya's tempestuous relationship becomes entangled with other school dramas. En route to the inevitable happy ending, readers may tire of repeated descriptions that underline not only the characters' wealth and family connections but also their emotional states, which are often described, and then announced, within the protagonists' alternating first-person narratives. Ages 12 up.)