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?
Content Warning: loss of a parent, drug addiction
Title: Queen Bee
Author: Amalie Howard
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
Publisher: Joy Revolution
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
I don’t know the story of The Count of Monte Cristo very well, but that didn’t stop me from falling in love with this book.
The moments between Lyra/Ela and Keston are so cute. I know she wants to get revenge on him, but…they were so good together! He was sooo charming and made lots of flirty remarks and little touches here and there. Plus, their connection as younger teenagers made their reconnection that much sweeter.
This book has a great cast of BIPOC characters! On top of our FMC and MMC being bipoc, there are also lots of side BIPOC characters. And the side characters were so fun! There was a large group of friends that were fun to get to know, especially Keston’s sister who is absolute goals. I would love to get a spin-off book with her HEA!
I loved all the chess references. It made so much sense for Ela to make references to the game when her and Keston played chess all the time and had inside jokes about it growing up. Plus, chess has so many good uses for revenge.
Overall, if you’re looking for a beautiful romance, a stunning look at forgiveness and moving on, and some modern takes on the regency era, this is your book!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
AMALIE HOWARD is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling novelist. Always Be My Duchess was one of Cosmopolitan’s 30 Best Romance Books of 2022 and The Beast of Beswick was one of Oprah Daily’s 24 Best Historical Romance Novels to Read. She is also the author of several award-winning young adult novels. A Caribbean-born AAPI writer, her books have been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, and Seventeen Magazine. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found reading, being the president of her one-woman Harley Davidson motorcycle club, or power-napping. She lives in Colorado with her family.