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Book: Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy #1)
Author: Sandhya Menon
Published: February 18, 2020
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Format: Advanced Review Copy
Source: the Author
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Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast set at an elite boarding school in the mountains–think Beauty and the Beast meets Gossip Girl! It’s out February 18th, 2020 and even has a *map* in the hardcover. Featuring an Indian princess and a misanthropic British aristocrat, it’s immersive, glamorous, and full of smoldering kisses! I hope you guys will order it wherever you get your books! Read below for the official description from the back of the book.
I joined Sandhya’s Sweethearts Street Team on Instagram and was lucky enough to score an early copy of this book to review to help spread the word. A whole host of us are posting on our blogs and YouTube Channels over the next month to share our thoughts and reactions to Sandhya’s new series. Check out a Playlist and Author Q&A at BookishOwl Reviews who is also posting today. Thank you, Sandhya for the free copy to read and review!
Okay, and now for my thoughts. I knew I needed to read this book for two reasons:
- I adore Sandhya’s books and her ability to write stories full of delicious tension that’s broken by hilarious misunderstandings and rewarded with romantic moments and kisses that always make me swoon. I can’t help but grin when I read her books.
- Beauty and the Beast is one of my absolute favourite Disney movies. I may have most of it memorized…
So what did I think? It took me a bit to get into it, probably because life and I just wasn’t in a reading mood, but once I started to get to know the characters, I loved them and their world. Yes, the characters are pretty much all spoiled rich kids (which can get annoying) but they are all dealing with things every teenager deals with and that we can all connect with—except for Jaya and Grey who are also dealing with a family curse and what that means for their futures.
Jaya is smart but also a little blinded by her own ideas. Grey is dark and broody and lonely. They are both firecrackers. And they do not mix well. At least at first. But, just like in Beauty and the Beast, their eyes start to open, and friendship and romance bloom. It felt real and natural to me. I always love a slow burn hate to love trope.
I wanted to see more from some of the side characters (and lucky for me this is the first in a series that will include books about a host of the other characters).
There are touches of magic in this book that may seem strange for a contemporary romance, but I really enjoyed them. I feel like the magic—like the curse and the rose pendant—fit really well with who the characters are and with their heritages.
While I don’t love this book as passionately as I do When Dimple Met Rishi, I really enjoyed it and I’m excited to see where the series goes.
Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending… Right?
His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life. Sparkling and elegant, Jaya’s unlike anyone Grey has ever met. Still, he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
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Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi, Of Curses and Kisses, and many other novels that also feature lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony boys. Her books have been included in several cool places, including the Today show, Teen Vogue, NPR, BuzzFeed, and Seventeen. A full-time dog servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado. Visit her online at SandhyaMenon.com, on Twitter @smenonbooks or on Instagram @sandhyamenonbooks.