Queen Bee (2023)

by Amalie Howard
ASIN/ISBN: 9780593650325
Publication: April 4, 2023

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“A divine dip into Regency waters for the YA set! What happens when you have to choose between revenge and love? Set within a multicultural, LGBTQ-positive society, QUEEN BEE takes flight.“ – Jodi Picoult, #1 NYT bestselling author of WISH YOU WERE HERE

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


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.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


A fan of adult historical romances and revenge plots, I am very pleased I was given the opportunity to read Queen Bee. It is accurately described as a cross between The Count of Monte Christo and Bridgerton (the show), but it is toned down and ideal for YA readers new to historical romance.

It moves at an adequate pace, not too fast nor too slow, with chapters alternating between Lady Lira Whitley’s revenge and before Ela’s exile from society. Labeled an anti-historical novel, the diverse cast was very much welcomed and the sometimes modern dialogue was not as jarring as I expected.

Additional detail would have been helpful. Including more descriptions especially about Ela’s fall from grace and the subsequent inception of her plan for revenge would have contributed to greater intrigue. It also would have increased the sweet satisfaction of a conniving villain getting her comeuppance. Because of the lack of detail, it leads to the book being a lighter read, which I did not mind. In fact, this was another reason I liked the book.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. While the conclusion was satisfying, more groveling would have been the cherry on top. (I am a fan of lots of groveling. Heh…) Queen Bee is a great choice for YA readers who are newer to historical romance and may want to try a contemporary take on historical romance.

**Thank you to TBR and Beyond tours for allowing me to be part of the tour. Remember to check out the schedule and visit more posts. Also, thank you to the publisher and author for providing an eARC.**

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