ARC Review: The Lovely and The Lost (The Dispossessed #2) by Page MorganThe Lovely and The Lost by Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed #2
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on May 13, 2014
Format: ARC
Source: Netgalley
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Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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I REALLY HATE to admit this, but……..

TheLovelyandTheLostisEVENBETTERthanTheBeautifulandTheCursed!!$!!#!

THIS. BOOK. Ohmawgawd.

Okay, calming myself down now. Time to review like the civilized bibliophile that I am. *coughs*

You can check out my review of TB&TC (The Dispossessed #1) and Marco’s Story (The Dispossessed #.5) here and here. This review will be SPOILER FREE for those who have not been lucky enough to read The Beautiful and The Cursed yet. 

I’m glad I read The Lovely and The Lost in digital format. Had I had the physical book, I might have started making out with it. This sequel to TB&TC was HOT.

I found myself using the book mark option on my Kindle like an exclamation mark. I would tap it over and over because  highlighting and one digital blue book mark wasn’t enough for some of the literary strokes of genius and moments of Victorian passion Page Morgan delivers in this book. The Lovely and The Lost is now on my Top 5 Books of the Year list.

Page Morgan really knows how to work an ensemble cast. In most books with an ensemble cast of characters I’m usually waiting for the main characters to show back up and I read through the shenanegins and thoughts of the secondary folk with a hint of annoyance. That is NOT the case with The Dispossessed series. I’m friggin’  in love with ALL of the characters and am wholeheartedly entertained by each of their stories.

Menacing scenes of demonic action set against a stoney and darkly-dreamy Paris is a creepy-cool effect that Page Morgan uses to both woo the bad-ass in me and scare the devil out of me. The intrigue, the action, the romance, the wit- all of it mixed together so well and there was never a dull moment.

Luc-Ingrid's gargoyle.
Luc-Ingrid’s gargoyle.

Ingrid and Luc face new challenges in TL&TL since the rocky turn of events at the end of TB&TC. There should be a new word invented to describe how awesome the confused and romantic tension that builds between them throughout the novel is. Throw in another mysterious gargoyle that Luc might have to share Ingrid with and things get even more intense.

Luc let go of her only to take her shoulders this time. His strength didn’t surprise her, but the way he pressed her shoulders together did. There was passion in it. Urgency in the downward slant of his brow, his pale lime eyes lit as if from within.

I am your gargoyle,” he whispered, his breath sweet and warm against her lips. […]

Ingrid
Ingrid

Especially when you throw a smart and sexy Vander Burke, a fellow ”duster” like Ingrid into the mix. Sparks are flying everywhere and oh, how I wanted to be caught on fire. Page Morgan didn’t let me down.

Vander
Vander

“I mean it. I feel an electricity whenever we touch,” he said, stepping closer, leaving an inch, maybe two, between them. Ingrid already felt hot, and when Vander reached up to run his thumb across her lower lip, she thought she might combust.

“Do you feel anything now?” he asked. Before she could answer, Vander had his lips against hers.

To make matters worse for my poor, racing  pulse, Gabby, Ingrid’s younger sister, and Nolan, an Alliance member, engage in a fun and completely seductive courtship. Discreetly enough to be bursting at the seems in the way only a Victorian romance can do.

Gabby
Gabby

And, oh, God- Nolan’s accent and, and…just the words that come out of his mouth-YES. I can’t even fully express how much I enjoyed Gabby and Nolan’s exchanges in this book. Let this suffice: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nolan
Nolan

Nolan leaned his forehead against hers and sighed. “My da’s decision is final, so no, lass, you can’t join the Alliance. Noy yet.”

He rubbed his nose against the tip of hers. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep learning how to fight. If it’s done between us, in private, there’s no reason anyone else has to know.” Gabby liked how that sounded. She brought her mouth to his, kissing him first this time. She felt Nolan’s lips stretch into a smile. He captured her bottom lip with a soft nip of his teeth.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Grayson’s, Ingrid and Gabby’s brother, part expand in TL&TL. After the first book in The Dispossessed series, I was on the fence about the quality and integrity of his character, but like the masterful writer she is, Page Morgan completely keeps me guessing about him. One minute he’s a savior and the next he’s self-serving. I could appreciate the struggle Grayson mentally endures while trying to balance the side of himself that is good and the side of himself that is drawn to the darkness in his blood.

Grayson
Grayson

So, if you couldn’t already tell, this book turned me into a blathering fan girl.  I really enjoyed this sequel to TB&TC and I think it is positively wicked that I have to wait another year for the next book to come out. Every scene, every turn of events, every paragraph of dialogue kept me mentally engaged. Sometimes I didn’t know if a love-triangle was being developed or a love-quartet between certain characters. I was constantly kept guessing about the intentions of a few gargoyles. Page Morgan coyly planted seeds of ideas about an array of possible outcomes in the next Dispossessed novel. You can check out Page Morgan’s Pinterest page here to see more image boards for the settings and characters in The Dispossessed series.

If you have read and enjoyed this series and are dying for something to hold you over until the next book comes out, I suggest reading C.J. Archer’s Freak House series. It’s set in the same time period and has a very similar feel to The Dispossessed. You can find my reviews for The Freak House series here.

Freak-House-Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Beautiful and The Cursed: Marco’s StoryThe Beatutiful and The Cursed: Marco's Story by Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed #0.5
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on July 16, 2013
Pages: 35
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
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Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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Page Morgan had me at Sangiovese.

If you haven’t read the first book in this series by Page Morgan, The Beautiful and the Cursed, then you can check out my review of it here.

This short and satisfying novella had me ready to leave my house and go buy some wine and cheese to enjoy it with. I was intoxicated with the story by the first page.  Marco is Italian. I LOVE all things Italian. This story warms us up to  Marco, a gargoyle that we are first introduced to in The Beautiful and the Cursed. Luc is our main gargoyle in TB&TC, and Marco and he have a shaky relationship. I didn’t feel it was safe to like Marco as a character in the first book, but after reading his story I’m a fan of this cinnamon-colored creature in his human and coalesced form.

Marco’s story is short, so I won’t give too much away. In this novella we learn about his past and what his daily routine is like since becoming a Dispossessed.  Marco is the cheif custodian at Hotel Dugray in Paris, and the same intensity and loyalty that drives Luc also drives Marco. Page Morgan does a phenomenal job of capturing the essence of an Italian persona. Marco is suave, and exudes the casual arrogance of someone who knows their strengths outweigh their faults. He has an eye for beauty, and doesn’t mind acknowledging a woman’s charms as long as he keeps the coals of desire cold and dark. He is conscientious in his work, and diligent in it’s excellence. Similarities between Marco and Luc are drawn when Marco’s charges are faced with danger, and it gives us insight into Marco’s attitude toward Luc in TB&TC.

Marco
Marco

The writing and imagery in Marco’s Story is lovely and heady. It went down like a bottle of finely aged wine. I was excited to delve into the essence of Marco, and see if there was a softer side behind that facade of self-importance and coldness.

“He had murdered a priest in cold blood, and because of that one unforgivable sin, Marco had been banned from Heaven upon his own death. He had been cast into the Dispossessed. Made into a monster. That priest had deserved to die, though, and Marco would not, for one second of one day, ever regret killing him.”

If the quote above doesn’t capture the sentiment of what it is to be Italian, than I don’t know what does. Marco acts with passion, purpose, and finality. Bravo to Page Morgan for making this gem of a novella shine as brightly as the first book in the series. The next book in the Dispossessed series, The Lovely and the Lost, is expected to be published in 2014. Check out Page Morgan’s Pinterest page for Marco here.

 

 

 

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The Beautiful and the CursedThe Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on May 14, 2013
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
Add to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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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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