Rajkumari Jaya Rao has one goal during her time at St. Rosetta’s International Academy: to take revenge by breaking the heart of English aristocrat Grey Emerson.
Indian princesses Jaya Rao and her sister, Isha, begin their senior and sophomore years, respectively, at St. Rosetta’s near Aspen, Colorado, a school that has a reputation for well-kept secrets. The Emersons and Raos have had a feud for generations over a ruby that once belonged to the Raos and was stolen by the Emersons in the days of British colonialism. Now Jaya has discovered that the Emersons have dragged her little sister into the feud, and she will not rest until she has gotten her revenge. On a mission to break Grey’s heart, Jaya finds to her surprise that there is more to him than she thought. Grey, on the other hand, has lived as a recluse thanks to Jaya’s great-great-grandmother’s curse that makes his family fear he will die at age 18. Seeing Jaya at St. Rosetta’s wearing a shining ruby pendant fills him with terror. The story is told from the perspectives of both Jaya and Grey. Readers will empathize with both of them, although their long internal monologues may cause their attention to waver at times. Grey is white, and there is diversity among the secondary characters.
A lukewarm retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.” (map) (Romance. 12-16)