This was everything that the last book by her should have been. The writing was leaps and bounds better, I enjoyed the characters way more, and the progression of the romance was much better than before.
I liked Justina much better than Molly, she was a little ridiculous and silly, I'm not gonna lie but she was also meant to be so it wasn't really a problem. It was nice to see a protagonist in a romance novel be this silly and be proud of it, it kept things interesting especially when you were waiting to see what new shenanigan Justina was gonna get into. Seeing the world through her eyes was so entertaining, I actually laughed out loud a few times and I even had to stop reading to collect myself because I was laughing so hard.
One line comes to mind and I believe it went something like, "Miss Milford bellowed across the room like a cow overdue for milking," and I absolutely lost it.
Darius was a nice change from the male love interests that I've read so far, he's very quiet and shy, very awkward and introverted, doesn't really understand how social interactions work, and it was just nice to see a male love interest that was the klutzy clumsy one for once in my life.
I thought the romance here progressed much better than in the previous book that I read which was really nice and it made the end all that much more satisfying when they finally got together (even though I knew that they would end up together).
And the writing was just in general much better and way funnier this time around than it was before. Is this in any way a literary masterpiece? No. Did I enjoy it and would I recommend it for a quick read and a fun time? Sure.
So it's an interesting read, it's also an interesting concept but honestly I didn't care what happened to the people.
This is a world where in New Orleans people are born grey and only the power of a Belle can make them beautiful. Camellia Beauregard is one of these Belles and she wants to be the court favourite. However she isn't at first but later she is and she starts to discover that court politics aren't fun; that things are complicated and that the life of a Belle isn't that great.
These young women were badly educated for their roles and the fact that it came to them as a shock is actually shocking. Court politics are messy and that should have been a core part of their education, never mind some of the other issues.
It's an interesting concept novel but I feel no need to continue with the series. I might pick it up but I'm not hunting it down.
I can't read anymore of this. The only character I like and empathize with is Sarah and there is not enough of her to deal with the other pathetic characters. I was hoping for WWII to break out already so there would be beginnings of character growth, but at this point I can't go on. I am taking my $1.00 for BL-opoly and moving on.
Honestly I am always worried when a debut author puts their second book out. I always worry that I am comparing it too much to the first. However, since the first book by Clayton was the first book in this series, I can't help but compare it. And I have to say that the second book didn't work for me at all. I was bored and just kept waiting for something (anything to happen). This book didn't expand the world the reader had found out about in book #1. There was barely any development to any characters. And then things just kind of end with a hint that there may be more to happen with these people in the future.
So in "The Everlasting Rose" the second book in the Belles series, we have Camille racing to stop the new evil Queen (Sophia). She and her sisters Edel and Amber managed to get away along with one of the guards, Remy. The group has plans to free the other Belles and rescue the true ruler of the throne Princess Charlotte.
I honestly am surprised that Camille seemed even more clueless in this one. I just felt sick and tired of her towards the end. The series should have shown a growth from book #1 to book #2 and we didn't get it at all. I can't even call Camille a Mary Sue since at least the Mary Sue personality is to be perfect and more beautiful than all other female characters for no good reason. Camille was just bland and there. We know she wants to free her sisters and dethrone Sophia, At least there was no love triangle so we just have Camille obsessing over one person which felt like it came from nowhere.
The other characters barely have anything to do. Camille spends the most time with Remy and we have her thinking about him, wondering how it would be to kiss him, etc. Edel has more personality than Camille, though we barely have her interacting with Camille (which was weird) besides teaching her how to tap into her powers to change her outside looks and height. Edel doesn't trust Amber or anyone else and she acts like a jerk toward Remy. So Camille's personality was set to jerk, but at least she was lively. Amber was a total non-entity. And the Sophia we read about via the news sounded more scary than what we get in this book.
The writing was just okay though I found the flow terrible. There is no sense of magic to me like there was in book #1. I think that this book was too rushed. I would rather have waited another year for more world building and better plotting to be included in this one. It didn't help that each chapter was maybe 4 or 5 pages long. Considering this book was 342 pages (my hardcover) you would think that Clayton would have the main plot be about dethroning Sophia. Sadly we didn't get that until the very end.
The setting in this one just didn't work. If Clayton had stayed focused on the Belles maybe. But instead Clayton includes a resistance group known as "The Iron Ladies" who we just read/hear about for long portions of the book. And then Clayton tries to include a whole thing with the Belles being able to tap into their powers to change themselves and I never want to read about how cold a character is again. The book also started to feel repetitive after a while. Camille and friends run and hide, teacup dragons hide in her skirts, she fights with Edel and or Amber, feels angry, and feels jealous about Remy. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The ending was a bit of a letdown. I mean we get a Happily For Now ending which I honestly I was fine with because I really can't see this series continuing after this.