The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on May 14, 2013
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After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
“You’re my human.”
Can I really be attracted to a gargoyle? That was the question I asked myself while debating whether or not to read this book. The mention of gargoyles struck up cemented images in my head of hog-nosed, crumbling stone creatures ready to tumble-down from their lofty perch and end me. Then, the memory of The Gargoyles cartoon from a decade ago hit me like a ton of bricks, and I recalled how much I had liked the idea of these stone aberrants being more than three-dimensional scarecrows. I shrugged and figured if I could be hot for Jay Ryan as a beast in the CW’s B&B, then I could swing gargoyle, too. The promise of Paris in all of it’s Gothic glory, and clandestine romance is what ultimately pulled me in. I was excited to give gargoyles and romance a try.
Page Morgan features several characters in this novel, and was able to invest my interest in all of them. We become most familiar with Lady Ingrid Waverly and Luc Rousseau. Ingrid is our pale and pretty heroine who has relocated to Paris from London with her younger sister Gabby, and her mother, known as Lady Brickton. Grayson, Ingrid’s rebellious twin brother was sent ahead of the family to procure a home for them that would also be suitable for their mother’s soon to be art gallery. When the Waverly ladies arrive in Paris at the steps of their new home, they are repulsed by their brother’s choice. Their new home is an archaic Abbey. Menacing gargoyles and all. Enter, Luc.
Luc, our heroic and jaded gargoyle is the protector of the family’s new abbey, and keeper of all the humans who reside there. Luc’s job is to make sure all of his charges remain safe and out of harms way. Unfortunately for Luc, things don’t unfold in brick by brick fashion. Luc daylights as a handsome dark-haired, green-eyed servant to the Waverly household and knows there’s something different about Ingrid the moment she sets foot on the abbey’s sacred ground. Her scent is mysterious and his desire to protect her out weighs his desire to protect the other’s under his care. Ingrid is also drawn to Luc, but more so because of his breathtaking features and the sense that she unsettles him.
It is forbidden for gargoyles to favor one human over another under it’s care, and punishable by death to form a romantic bond with one. That’s one of the main ingredients that makes this story so sweet. The romantic bond that develops between Ingrid and Luc is perfectly paced and memorable. I never thought I would be fantasizing about a scale-y gargoyle flying through my bedroom window for a tryst, but I did. When you throw out phrases like, “You’re my human,” and, “I’m her gargoyle” a shiver of sexy possessive-ness runs through my veins. I was hot for this Luc character. Heck, I even imagined how Luc would look in a kilt, human and pre-human form. (It makes sense if you’ve read the story.) The way Page Morgan paints a picture of the transition between gargoyle to human is seductive. Coalesce. That’s the word she uses when Luc shape shifts. That’s totally sexy.
This book was neither light nor heavy, but somewhere between a C.J. Archer and Cassandra Clare novel. The gargoyle lore and back drop of Paris was fascinating and dark. Page Morgan saturates the reader in descriptive details from the vivid colors of decadent clothing the Waverly ladies wear, to the anatomy and sheen of a gargoyle’s facade. Illuminated Angels, demonic throw downs, mysterious disappearances and underground vigilantes gave this book a hefty amount of action and edge that was electric against the historic Parisian background. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and can’t wait to read more about Ingrind and Luc. The only downfall? Having to wait until Spring 2014 for the next book in the series to come out. 🙂
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Classical music nerd by day, freelance writer and blogger by night. When I review books, I don't dish out and rehash every character and detail. What's the point of reading a book if you give most of the deets away in a review??? My reviews are more about my impressions and over all experience with the book. I am also a world-renowned armchair psychologist, and love to psychoanalyze authors.