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…]