“If you are looking for a fun and romantic book, pick this one up.”
~ Under the Covers

You may have seen me talk about Joanna Shupe in videos/social media.  Last year I discovered her books when I read a Christmas anthology she was part of.  I wanted to read more of her books, especially her NYC Gilded Age stories.  But I found this gem on Audible Romance and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to start yet another series.  Such is the life of a book hoarder.

First things first, this book is not about a courtesan.  Our heroine gets help from a courtesan to figure out how to seduce her husband so she can get pregnant before she loses everything to her husband’s cousin.  The hero and heroine married when she was just sixteen.  An arranged marriage of course and somewhat forced, especially on the hero who left town right after the wedding and hasn’t seen his wife in eight years.  All part of his family trying to control him after his brother died.  She now sets out to seduce her own husband with the help and guidance of a London courtesan to make that happen.  She wasn’t expecting to develop feelings for him while doing it though.

If you are looking for a fun and romantic book, pick this one up.   Julia showed a strength that many women wouldn’t find in trying to do whatever was necessary to help her situation.  Nicholas was the part of the story that I think could’ve been a little better.  He’s supposed to be the Depraved Rake but I never got a full sense of that from him.  He had a lot to grovel for after he abandoned his wife without looking back and I don’t know if he ever did enough of that for my taste.  But overall, I found them endearing together and had a fun time while reading this.

Another thing that really stood out to me was the fact that this was Ms. Shupe’s debut novel and already it felt like a seasoned storyteller.  I am looking forward to reading more of her books and continuing this series as well.


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