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NetGalley Review: Queen Bee by Amalie Howard

Hey all, Sam here.

My mom is here for the weekend, and I’m sure we’re going to have a great time. It actually meant David and I had to spend some time cleaning up the house, so it looks like we’ve done more unpacking and settling in than we actually have. We’re settling in fairly slowly, honestly, sort of planning and plotting things for a while before we actually do them. It feels like doing that means no needing to move things again and again before getting it “right.”

Anyway, it’s supposed to be a pretty nice weekend here in Iowa, which is pretty great. We’re probably going to walk around town and enjoy ourselves, maybe visit a few places, do some fun things. We’ll definitely talk about it all during next week’s WIP Wednesday.

For now, let’s go ahead and jump into today’s book review.

A teen girl seeking retribution against her backstabbing former best friend finds her plans slightly derailed once she catches the eye of a familiar, handsome marquess. Bestselling author Amalie Howard delivers a delightful, anti-historical Regency-era romp that’s Bridgerton meets The Count of Monte Cristo!

Lady Ela Dalvi knows the exact moment her life was forever changed—when her best friend, Poppy, betrayed her without qualm over a boy, the son of a duke. She was sent away in disgrace, her reputation ruined.

Nearly three years later, eighteen-year-old Ela is consumed with bitterness and a desire for . . . revenge. Her enemy is quickly joining the crème de la crème of high society while she withers away in the English countryside.

With an audacious plan to get even, Ela disguises herself as a mysterious heiress and infiltrates London’s elite. But when Ela reunites with the only boy she’s ever loved, she begins to question whether vengeance is still her greatest desire.

In this complicated game of real-life chess, Ela must choose her next move: Finally bring down the queen or capture the king’s heart?

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

I honestly really enjoyed this story concept…pitched as “Bridgerton” meets “The Count of Monte Cristo,” and it actually meets those expectations. Or at least it did for me. It’s been a little while since I’ve read a Regency Romance-esque story…and now I kind of want to go and binge read a bunch of different ones.

Following Ela as she creates a new identity and inserts herself into the world she was sent away from years before, and returning to society as Lyra…well that was honestly so intriguing. I honestly thought that the whole plot to get vengeance on those who wronged her and ruined her reputation before was pretty darn riveting.

This book gives us the current story with the intrigue and revenge path, but then we also get flashbacks to what occurred with Ela and Poppy and Keston leading up to the betrayal and ruining of reputation. It helps to showcase how she came to be in the position to want revenge in the first place.

Watching Ela as Lyra, ingratiating herself to polite society, and making social maneuvers really was like watching an intricate chess match. I found myself practically glued to the pages, wanting to keep reading as I got more swept away into the story and the plight of all of the characters. Honestly, I read it in only a couple of sittings, and if I hadn’t started the story late one evening while already fairly tired, I probably would have read it all in one go.

This was exactly the book I needed to whet my whistle while waiting for the release of “Queen Charlotte” on Netflix in another month. I’m ready for more adventures in the Bridgerton world…and if you have any recommendations for Regency Romance-esque stories (particularly if they have magical fantastical elements in them, I’d love to have more books to add to my TBR.

This book was released April 4th in the US, so you can pick up your own copy now.

Well, that is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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