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  • The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer
Morgan, Page. The Beautiful and the Cursed. Delacorte, 2013. [352p]. Library ed. ISBN 978-0-375-99095-3 $21.99 Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-385-74311-2 $18.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-307-98081-6 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 9-12.

The drafty halls of L'Abbaye Saint-Dismas are as unwelcoming as the grotesque gargoyles that adorn its roof, but Lady Ingrid Waverly and her family, leaving behind the scandal that drove them from London society on the eve of the twentieth century, must make the best of their new home. There's already a problem, though: Ingrid's beloved brother Grayson is missing after having gone ahead of the family to secure their new residence. Additionally, the city is uneasy as a string of unsolved and increasingly violent murders continues, and Ingrid finds herself particularly unnerved by Luc, a handsome abbey servant who seems inexplicably angry with her family. Unbeknownst to her, Luc is a gargoyle, a protector of the abbey and its occupants, and his fury is derived from the fact that Ingrid's reckless brother has gotten himself captured by demons and placed Ingrid and the abbey in danger. This supernatural romance gains an intriguing edge from the shifting third-person points of view, which move from Grayson in the Underneath to Luc in his gargoyle form to Ingrid and her sister, Gabby, both together as sisters and as individuals. Readers therefore become invested in all of the characters, not just the two romantic leads, and the various subplots involving secondary characters are just as intriguing as the overarching tale. Secrets abound, but they are revealed organically and without melodrama, keeping the pace brisk. The romantic entanglements of both Ingrid and Gabby are entirely sigh-worthy, making this a deliciously satisfying mix of historical fiction, mystery, and supernatural romance (along with a lesson on Parisian architecture) that will have readers hoping for a sequel.



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