Betrayal, a second chance at love, and a revenge plot? Sign me up! When Mandy talked about the plot of Queen Bee by Amalie Howard, I was ready to jump in and it did not disappoint!

Three years ago, Lady Ela Dalvi had her reputation destroyed by her supposed best friend…all over the affections of a boy. After spending time away in the English countryside, Ela has returned to high society disguised as a mysterious heiress and ready to exact her revenge on the girl who ruined her and the boy who stood by and let it happen. Her revenge plot falters when she is reacquainted with the only boy she ever loved and she must decide what’s more important to her - revenge or a second chance at love?

I’m not usually one for period pieces, but this one had me hooked from the start! The format of the story was presented in a way that felt like two different POVs - Ela and her heiress disguise Lyra. It was such a clever way to go about telling the story because you are able to see how much Ela changes from the events of her youth to the present day. It feels as though they are two different characters and, in a way, they are. As she says in a few spots in the book, Ela has to die in order for Lyra to survive. Ela uses the mask of Lyra to feel and act like a different person, one who was not as naive as Ela was, and it makes for a strong reckoning when everything comes to the climax.

A lot of chess metaphors and imagery were used throughout and it played so well with the tone of the story. Lyra was truly moving through the ton as if she were playing chess, making moves that would affect things farther down the line. But, just as when she was younger, Keston throws a wrench in all her carefully laid plans and it’s delicious.

Speaking of delicious things, there were so many sweets described in this book that I found myself drooling on more than one occasion. It’s basically criminal that this book didn’t come with a snack pack. In addition to the mouthwatering descriptions of food, there were incredible descriptions of clothing that had me ready to watch this story unfold on the big screen. Seriously, it would be so beautiful.

If you’re in the market for a YA spin on Bridgerton (or what I imagine Bridgerton is like seeing as how I’ve never actually read or watched it…), this is the book for you!

Queen Bee by Amalie Howard is available now and you can pick up a copy of your own using my Bookshop affiliate link. Special shout out to my local indie, Linden Tree Books, without whom this review would not be possible.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well!