From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a sweeping romance with a dash of magic.
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.
When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.
But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina — and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins.
The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon.
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Moreno-Garcia (Certain Dark Things) fills her fantastic novel of manners with sumptuous language and plausible romantic complications in a setting that appears to be based on 19th-century France and is lightly garnished with minor magic, including the telekinetic abilities of unconventional debutante Antonina "Nina" Beaulieu and performer Hector Auvray. Both of them dwell uncomfortably adjacent to the titular beautiful people, society personages with old money and impeccable pedigrees. Hector is intrigued by country mouse Nina's unfashionable traits of directness, interest in entomology, and romantic na vet , as well as her scientific approach to studying psychic abilities but he is even more interested in her cousin by marriage, Val rie Beaulieu, with whom he was involved years before and whom he still passionately idealizes. Brittle, attractive Val rie enjoys Hector's renewed presence as he pretends to court Nina; her memories of her youthful romance with him contrast with her indifferent, dutiful relationship with her husband. Readers who enjoyed Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories magical Regency series will be particularly enthralled by the genuine emotions evoked in the course of the unsustainable love triangle.