Summary: Who’s the fairest of them all?
Young women from every settlement in the land are being handpicked to enter The Pageant, a beauty contest reminiscent of Miss Universe from the old days. Gwyneth West’s social-climbing mother wants her to compete, by Gwyn isn’t so sure…
The Pageant is government-sponsored. If you’re lucky enough to be chosen, participation is mandatory. Aggressive competition is allowed, even encouraged.
And then there’s the prize…
The winner of The Pageant gets a marriage proposal from Dallas Black, otherwise known as The Dark Prince. Dallas is the son of King Black, who won the last world war and now governs the new settlements. The Royal Family is mysterious. Rumor has it they don’t sleep. Rumor has it they eschew the sun.
Rumor has it they’re immortal.
When Gwyn is thrust into The Pageant, she fights to survive the competitive nature of the other contestants.
But even if wins…can she survive a vampire fiancé?
Review: 4 stars
I requested a review copy of this title for a few reasons, it was compared to The Selection by Kiera Cass and it is also about vampires. When I got the review copy I realized that Leigh Walker also wrote Premonition which I read and reviewed around the time that I first read my blog. I look back on my review of Premonition, which was Leigh Walker’s debut novel, and I remember that I enjoyed the novel, but it was just okay. I do remember that the writing captured me emotionally, so going into this book I was hopeful.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book was. Leigh Walker has made a lot of progress since she wrote her first novel. This did remind me a lot of The Selection by Kiera Cass, if you enjoyed that book you will like this one. They are different, but similar in some ways. This book has vampires and the dates the girls have with the prince are televised kind of in the style of The Bachelor. Another similarity to The Selection is that this book felt like it was cut a little short. Only the first two rounds of the pageant occur throughout the novel leaving you needing the next book.
The characters were done well. I like Gwyn and Dallas, but my favorite character was Eve. Eve it is so outspoken and bold. I actually really enjoyed the romance also, when typically that isn’t my favorite part of novels. It was so sweet and I like that Gwyn got jealous because she liked the prince so much. The romance was adorable and I hope to see more of it in the next book.
I really want to read the rest of this series. I was completely captivated and read this book really fast. In comparison to Leigh Walker’s first book, this book is leagues better. Clearly her experience writing her first series helped her become a better writer for this one. You can find my review of Premonition here, in case you want to see how vastly my opinions are on the first books of her two series.