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The Damned
Cover of The Damned
The Damned
The Beautiful Quartet Series, Book 2
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Instant New York Times bestselling sequel to The Beautiful Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the...
Instant New York Times bestselling sequel to The Beautiful Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the...
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  • Instant New York Times bestselling sequel to The Beautiful
    Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly.
    But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien. Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can't quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn't know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she's not ready to learn.
    Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

    The Damned, Renée's latest installment in The Beautiful series is just as decadent, thrilling, and mysterious as her last, as she continues her most potent fantasy series yet.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    The Awakening

    First there is nothing. Only silence. A sea of oblivion.

    Then flashes of memory take shape. Snippets of sound. The laughter of a loved one, the popping of wood sap in a fireplace, the smell of butter melting across fresh bread.

    An image emerges from the chaos, sharpening with each second. A crying young woman—her eyes like emeralds, her hair like spilled ink—leans over him, clutching his bloodstained hand, pleading with him in muffled tones.

    Who am I? he wonders.

    Dark amusement winds through him.

    He is nothing. No one. Nobody.

    The scent of blood suffuses his nostrils, intoxicatingly sweet. Like lechosa from a fruit stand in San Juan, its juice dripping down his shirtsleeves.

    He becomes hunger. Not a kind of hunger he's ever known before, but an all-consuming void. A dull ache around his dead heart, a blast of bloodlust searing through his veins. It knifes through his stomach like the talons on a bird of prey. Rage builds in his chest. The desire to seek and destroy. To consume life. Let it fill the emptiness within him. Where there was once a sea of oblivion, there is now a canvas painted red, the color dripping like rain at his feet, setting his world aflame.

    My city. My family. My love.

    Who am I?

    From the fires of his fury, a name emerges.

    Bastien. My name is Sébastien Saint Germain.

    Bastien

    I lie still, my body weightless. Immobile. It feels like I'm locked in a pitch-black room, unable to speak, choking on the smoke of my own folly.

    My uncle did this to me once when I was nine. My closest friend, Michael, and I had stolen a box of cigars hand-rolled by an elderly lady from Havana who worked on the corner of Burgundy and Saint Louis. When Uncle Nico caught us smoking them in the alley behind Jacques', he sent Michael home, his voice deathly quiet. Filled with foreboding.

    Then my uncle locked me in a hall closet with the box of cigars and a tin of matches. He told me I could not leave until I finished every single one of them.

    That was the last time I ever smoked a cigar.

    It took me weeks to forgive Uncle Nico. Years to stomach the smell of burning tobacco anywhere in my vicinity. Half a lifetime to understand why he'd felt the need to teach that particular lesson.

    I try to swallow this ghost of bile. I fail.

    I know what Nicodemus has done. Though the memory is still unclear—fogged by the weakness of my dying body—I know he has made me into one of them. I am now a vampire, like my uncle before me. Like my mother before me, who faced the final death willingly, her lips stained red and a lifeless body in her arms.

    I am a soulless son of Death, cursed to drink the blood of the living until the end of time.

    It sounds ridiculous even to me, a boy raised on the truth of monsters. Like a joke told by an unfunny aunt with a penchant for melodrama. A woman who cuts herself on her diamond bracelet and wails as drops of blood trickle onto her silken skirts.

    Like that, I am hunger once more. With each pang, I become less human. Less of what I once was and more of what I will forever be. A demon of want, who simply craves more, never to be sated.

    White-hot rage chases behind the bloodlust, igniting like a trail of saltpeter from a powder keg. I understand why Uncle Nico did this, though it will take many lifetimes for me to forgive him. Only the direst of circumstances would drive him to turn the last living member of his mortal family—the lone heir to the Saint Germain fortune—into a demon of the Otherworld.

    His line has died with...

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2020
    Following The Beautiful (2019), Bastien and Celine struggle with the consequences of her deal with Nicodemus. After Celine traded her memories of them in exchange for his powerful vampire uncle Nico's turning him, Bastien's reborn as a vampire--and he's not happy about it. Volatile, he embraces vices until his uncle, having given up on molding Bastien as a human legacy, decides on even higher aspirations for Bastien, ambitions in the Otherworld that the vampires had been banished from. The mythologies hinted at before (the Fallen, the Brotherhood, the Otherworld, the Sylvan Wyld's Winter Court, and the Summer Court of the Sylvan Vale) are unveiled in expansive worldbuilding. On top of that, multiple members of the Saint Germains' vampire family gain greater prominence in third-person point-of-view chapters that frequently reveal their backstories. Meanwhile, Celine recovers from residual traumas from experiences that she can't remember--because of a head injury, or so she's been told. Handsome detective Michael is patient with her every step of the way; she wishes she could return his feelings, but nagging flashes of memory have her looking for someone else. But those returning bits of memory shouldn't be possible, not with how powerful Nico is. Eventually, the romantic storyline gets quite steamy. Historical, multicultural New Orleans is depicted with all its racism--Bastien is multiracial (quadroon and Ta�no) and Celine's French father was always secretive about her Asian mother. Decadent escapism. (map) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Forbidden love, sultry romance, and clashing immortal factions fill this sequel to The Beautiful. S�bastien Saint Germain has been cursed to live forever as a vampire. The love of his life, Celine, saved him from certain death at the end of the first book by sacrificing all her memories of him in exchange for his immortality. Now S�bastien must learn to accept his fate, obey the rules of his kind, and forget the mortal Celine. Yet watching her from afar on the streets of New Orleans as another courts her, he can't forgive or forget. Celine herself remembers nothing about the night she was attacked and left brutally scarred, but she's haunted by strange dreams and mysterious recollections. Then she encounters S�bastien, and knows him only as a hedonistic man she feels disturbingly connected to. Meanwhile, their reunion becomes a catalyst for the warring immortals around them. Heavily laden with callbacks to events from the first book, this installment suffers from slow pacing. The secondary characters are intriguing with unique backstories (i.e., a prizefighter who's half-man, half-cat), but they make few appearances. VERDICT Where the first book circulates well, this sequel will keep readers engaged. But with main characters who spend most of their time delving into their own emotions and inner conflicts, this is more for fans of vampire love stories than those seeking action or mysteries.-Sandi Jones, Wynne H.S., AR

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Damned
The Beautiful Quartet Series, Book 2
Renée Ahdieh
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Renée Ahdieh
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