I hope everyone’s week is off to a lovely start!
This past week I read the second installment in the Belle Morte series Revelations by Bella Higgin.
After getting an ARC of book 1 last year, I was super excited to return to the world that has lived rent free in my head for the last 400+ days. I normally have a very bad habit of forgetting information and losing interest in series if I don’t read them one book after another. HOWEVER, Belle Morte has proven to be an exception to this rule. I cannot tell you how many times in the last year I have stalked Bella Higgin’s Instagram and Goodreads profiles trying to get more information on book 2.
For all intents and purposes, this series has sank it’s fangs into me in the most delicious little love bite ever and I’m not letting it let go!
First things first, check out my review of book 1 here: Belle Morte
Now let’s get to my book 2 review!
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Paranormal
Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Quote that sums up the book: “The walls of Belle Morte were supposed to keep intruders out. I never imagined they’d keep traitors in.”
Truth comes at a cost.
Ever since Renie Mayfield survived the merciless attack on Belle Morte that killed donors and vampires alike, she is forever changed. Now a vampire, the agonizing transformation of her body and mind is rivaled only by uncovering the horrific truth about her sister, June, who has escaped the mansion in her rabid form, adding even more chaos to Renie’s reality.
As the vampire responsible for Renie’s change, and now her distress, Edmond Dantes remains in his own desperate place. He’s confined in the secret cells of Belle Morte, awaiting the arrival of the council and the subsequent punishment for his actions. Edmond questions if what he did was right and deeply regrets what has become of his home.
Desperate to free Edmond, find June, and bring justice to whoever is behind the recent violence, Renie is out for blood in more ways than one. The smell of corruption is embedded in the walls of Belle More, but behind the walls are even more secrets that may lead to the truth and to justice.
What I liked about the book:
1. Vampire murder mystery full of political intrigue, secret passageways(!), the banding together of unlikely friends, and la petite mort we so desperately craved!
2. I loved and appreciated that the author gave us callbacks of events in book 1. I for sure didn’t remember some of the details, and Bella had our backs with reminding us of important details.
3. I loved watching the mutual respect grow between Ysanne and Renie. Getting to see from Renie’s point of view, we got insight into her internal thoughts on things, and saw her grow to truly understand Ysanne. This line for me, really sold that:
Similarly, seeing Ysanne open up to Renie (in her own ways), was tragically beautiful. She was so broken in this book (for several, really good reasons) that she really opened up to those in her circle and we got to see that hidden side to her I KNEW existed.
Given they are both strong, smart women, I loved watching them work together instead of against one another!
4. I loved that Roux and Jason still played such a large part in these series, and are now the only humans around going forward, besides maybe Nikki, who I LOVED!
5. The characters remained strong!
Edmond I felt was a stronger character in this one. Perhaps it was too long ago that I read book 1, but I felt he was more in touch with his soldier past in this book and I loved seeing this side of him. In fact, his battles side by side with Ludovic were some of my favorite scenes in the whole book!
Ysanne I for sure have a crush on. She is a Boss Babe and I would die for her!
Jason was hilarious and served as the comic relief in this actiony installment.
Roux was solving riddles like a world-class sleuth.
Ludovic was even more badass than book 1 (didn’t know that was possible!) and I definitely didn’t miss those lingering glances at Roux. I swear to the Gods, if they don’t end up together I’m going to have a FIT!!!
Nikki was a new character who was fantastic! She was smart as a whip and fearless even in the face of potential death. I really hope she continues to be in this series and we see more of her!
6. I started a list of quotes and scenes I loved and quickly realized they are all Edmond! ALL OF THEM! Check these out and see why Edmond has me googling sweet men with French accents.
“I swore to myself that I’d never love again,” he said, and Renie stiffened. “I told myself that it wasn’t worth the pain,” he continued. “But…” Leaning forward, he rested his forehead against hers. […] “It was worth it. It’s always worth it. I didn’t want to fall in love with you, but you stole my heart and I don’t want it back.”
Loving someone was giving them your heart – when someone hurt Renie, they hurt Edmond too. He feared for her more than he feared for himself, and that fear was an icy wave that crashed into him, making him feel like all his vampire strength had been stripped away.
What use was superior strength when he couldn’t use it to protect the woman he loved?
Edmond: “How are you feeling?”
Renie: “Calmer. I’m still processing everything that’s happened, and I’m still not okay, but I’m not going to fall apart.”
Edmond: “If you do fall, I’ll always catch you.”
Renie: “I know.”
“I have lived a very long time, and I’ve loved a number of women, but you, ma chérie – you undo me.”
7. That cover is Gorg-town! Super pretty!
What could have been better:
1. Similar to my thoughts on book 1, it was dual POV, but Renie’s sections were in first person, while Edmond’s were in third person, and I disliked it strongly! I really wanted this story in first person dual POV, or if once Renie became a vampire her POV to shift to third person like Edmond’s. If this was a style choice by the writer to have all vampires be third person POV, I could have actually gotten behind this in a really big way, but that didn’t happen so I’m left with eye twitches of frustration.
2. Renie was kind of annoying in this book. I did like how every time she started getting annoying, though, she did call herself out. I appreciated her ability to self-regulate her attitude and trains of thought, but it was still a little annoying to go through the process with her.
3. There simply was not enough build up into the Roux and Ludovic relationship I MUST HAVE in the next book! I will legit cry if this doesn’t happen ☹
4 Ludovic-can-bite-me-any-day stars
Thank you to Rachel Wu at Wattpad WEBTOON Book Group and Bella Higgin for the advanced copy of this book! The thoughts and opinions expressed above are voluntary and my own.
Want to check out what else Bella is working on? Hop on over to her social media accounts using the below.
While you’re at it, let’s be antisocial together!