Review: A Notorious Vow by Joanna Shupe

Reviewed by Jen

I have enjoyed every installment in The Four Hundred series so far, but Joanna Shupe has outdone herself with this third book. It was fantastic.

The blurb sold at this as a young woman who escapes a repugnant suitor by making a marriage of convenience to a reclusive inventor. Let me just say, the blurb did not do this book justice. It leaves out so much about what makes it good. [Read more…]

Review: A Scandalous Deal by Joanna Shupe

Reviewed by Jen

As much as I love the Regency romances that are the mainstay of my historicals, I am really enjoying the foray into New York’s Gilded Age I’m getting with this series. This is the second installment in Joanna Shupe’s The Four Hundred and–though I enjoyed the first one–if you want to jump in here, this holds up just fine as a standalone.

Lady Eva is a talented architect who learned her craft at the feet of her renowned father. Unfortunately, her dad has developed dementia and can no longer work. To make matters worse, he mismanaged their money and despite his success, she can’t pay the bills. So she decides to use her own skill to fix the situation. Of course, no one will hire a woman as an architect, so she takes a lucrative job in New York, pretending to serve in her father’s stead. After all, she’s been designing in his name for years. What could possibly go wrong? [Read more…]

Review: A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe

Reviewed by Jen

I read a lot of historical romance, but it was fun to step out of the ballrooms of regency England for a change in order to enjoy this love story set against the New York City of the late 1800s. I really liked the change of pace.

Lady Honora is in America because her father shipped her off there after she was caught in a compromising position with an unsuitable man. All she wants to do is get back to her beau. So she concocts a plan to tie herself to a man even more unacceptable then her Robert. Surely, if she becomes betrothed to a wild gossip magnet like her neighbor Julian, her father will force her to come home. [Read more…]

Review: Magnate by Joanna Shupe

magnateReviewed by Janell

Lizzie Sloane is part of a rich Knickerbocker family in New York. If you, like me, are unfamiliar with the Knickerbockers, I would say that they’re like the English ton: the snobs who cling to breeding, rules, and tradition, looking down on the nouveau riche. The year is 1888, and Lizzie wants to open her own stock brokerage firm, which is obviously not going to be easy.

She approaches Emmett Cavanaugh, the former gutter snipe turned superrich owner of a steel company, because he’s a friend of her brother’s and he might give her financial backing. Emmett is his own type of snob — he doesn’t think she has the cunning to succeed, and he actually hates her brother. Lizzie is strong-willed, though, and very attractive even though she’s not his usual type of woman, so Emmett gives her a trial run to see if she even knows how to make money on the exchange. [Read more…]

Review: The Courtesan Duchess by Joanna Shupe

courtesan duchessReviewed by Jen

I wanted to love this book. The virginal heroine poses as a courtesan to seduce the husband who abandoned her, so she can conceive the heir she desperately wants and needs.  I really liked the idea of this woman having the ingenuity and guts to wrestle control of her future. She is bold, smart, and sexy. While the world would think her incapable of such a thing, she transforms herself into what she needs to be in order to get what she wants.  Very cool.

The thing is, that while Angela absolutely delivers, I hated her husband. Yes, I expected him to be a douche at the start of the book. The very premise kind of insists upon it. He abandoned his wife on their wedding day and stayed gone for 8 years.  But I expected better from him once they got together.   I don’t know why, but I did.  I don’t want to give too much away here, but it was very difficult to root for a romance where the hero craps on the heroine in almost every way imaginable. [Read more…]