Review: Queen Bee by Amalie Howard

Ela Dalvi is determined to get revenge. Three years ago her former best friend Poppy Landers betrayed her. Since then, Ela has been waiting for her chance to go to London to make things right.

Ela has everything planned. She looks completely different from three years ago and is going by the name Lyra Whitley. She’s ready to enter the current social season and finally see Poppy again after all these years.

While Ela feels overwhelmed by all the people and the opulence, she keeps her eyes on the prize. Well, until she sees Keston Osborne for the first time in years. Keston is the only boy that Ela ever loved and like Poppy, Keston hurt her.

Ela’s still ready for revenge, but the more time she spends with Keston, the more she realizes that she’s falling for him again. He’s still the charming guy she knew when she was 15 years old. Now Ela has to decide between her head or her heart. She could have everything she wanted as a 15 year old or she can focus on her goal for revenge.

Queen Bee is advertised as a regency era story where Bridgerton meets The Count of Monte Cristo. The themes of high society, the social season and revenge are clear from the start.

Queen Bee is told through different timelines. One is Ela as Lyra in the present, which is 1817. And then one follows Ela starting in 1814 and explaining everything that happened leading up to current events. We have to say that we thought the timelines were done well. It could easily have become confusing, but Howard made all of the details clear and revealed new information at a good pace.

Like Bridgerton, Howard focused on having a diverse cast of characters. It was nice to see a world where high society was tolerant of all races and ethnicities. The issues tackled focused more on socioeconomic status, titles and feminism.

Howard commented on how women at the time were measured by their looks and their wealth. Ela challenged this, especially as a 15 year old, when she proved to Keston that she was intelligent, strong and brave.

We liked Ela a lot and understood her rationale for revenge and how she used it as motivation. While we don’t want to say everything that happened to Ela, we felt so bad for her. She was lucky though to find some amazing people who supported her and helped her with her goals.

Keston was someone we weren’t sure about from the start. It took a while for us to get to know him and fully understand what happened three years ago. We did eventually decide to forgive him, but he definitely owed Ela an apology.

That being said, we shipped them together and enjoyed their chemistry. Ela, even as Lyra, had no problem challenging Keston. And the two had excellent witty banter in both timelines. We especially enjoyed the scene where they take a boat ride together.

Our other favorite character was Keston’s sister Zia. She’s feisty, hilarious and loyal. Zia was always great to Ela, even when they were young. We loved that Zia had no problem challenging societal norms and speaking her mind. Zia is an excellent best friend and we were happy to see her get closer to Ela and Lyra in both timelines.

As for Poppy, wow was she a villain. She would do anything to social climb and win the heart of Keston. But obviously she only wanted him for his title. Ela and then Lyra stood in her way. Clearly Poppy didn’t change at all in three years. She still had the same goals and knew hot to control those around her.

Everything goes crazy near the end of the book. Without spoiling anything, it was interesting to see how Ela chose to handle her relationship with Keston, her role in society and how to handle the Poppy situation. While nothing ended up being too surprising, we were happy with how everything got resolved.

Overall, Queen Bee is a fun interpretation of regency London and we really enjoyed the plot and the character development. We recommend the book to everyone who enjoys regency era romance books. If any of our readers have read Queen Bee yet, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

14 thoughts on “Review: Queen Bee by Amalie Howard”

  1. Regency romances can be such a hit or miss for me, so I decided I would wait for a bit to see people’s responses before I picked this one up; I am glad to hear you both enjoyed it so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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