MAGNATE (Knickerbocker Club #1 – The Gilded Age) by JOANNA SHUPE

Historical romance – Standalone in a Series
A former Five Points hooligan turned steel magnate. A blue-blooded beauty with a knack for trading stocks.
New York City’s Gilded Age will never be the same.

‘All that glitters isn’t gold…..’

purchase now

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK


magnate

SYNOPSIS

New York City’s Gilded Age shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power. The men of the Knickerbocker Club know this more than anyone else. But for one millionaire, the business of love is not what he expected…

Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city’s “high society” types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that.

Elizabeth Sloane’s mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York’s most accomplished brokers—but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they’ll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…


Magnate

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘The stains on my soul are vast and permanent. I don’t deserve a woman like you…’

It’s been a while since we’ve devoured a Historical romance and we’re not sure why because we absolutely adore them! This is our first book by this author, and the first time we’ve experienced a story set in the Gilded Age period and didn’t we just love it! Joanna Shupe lured us into her world by vividly and beautifully capturing the essence of New York 1887 with her stunning imagery. Thanks to the descriptiveness of her prose we not only experienced this journey with Emmett Cavanaugh and Elizabeth Sloane, we felt as though we had been transported back in time with them to live it….and it doesn’t get better than that!

‘Love was like stock, Lizzie realized. You gambled on it paying off in the long run – but just as easily it could cost you everything.’

The Gilded Age was a time when women had to keep to themselves, attended parties, support their husbands and remain in the background – spending their time gossiping with the other society women and always remembering their place. Aspirations of maintaining a career was deemed unacceptable where reputation, wealth, standing and proprietary were considered the measure of success.

Lizzie was such a fabulously strong character. Beneath her beauty and innocence, lay a bold and intelligent woman who sought to start her own stockbroking firm, however this had to be attained on the quiet, so as not to be shunned by society. Although she’s demure with a beautiful soft heart, Lizzie had a tenacity that sees her wanting to succeed in a ‘man’s world’ … fierce and determined, Lizzie seeks a career and independence and always vowed when she did eventually marry, it would be for one based on love and mutual respect.

“You are entirely unexpected, Elizabeth.”
“Is that good or bad?”
“I haven’t decided yet.”

Seeking the assistance of Emmett Cavanaugh, an enigmatic man who both entices and confounds her, Lizzie proposes to start a Stockbroking firm with Emmett as the face of the business. However, what starts out as a business venture, soon turns to an intense attraction between the pair and gosh, didn’t we feel that intensity in every pore!

And where do we start with Emmett Cavanaugh? Goodness this man made us week at the knees! Strong, masculine, virile, imposing, passionate and so caring despite his tough facade. Emmett was from ‘new money’ and considered an outsider to society’s elite who termed his rise from the Five Point slums in New York to one of the wealthiest and most revered men, to be vulgar and crass, rather than admired and celebrated.  Society merely tolerated Emmett, they would never accept him.

“They said ladies never call on you.”
“That’s because most ladies know better.”

Emmett certainly hadn’t had an easy life and little by little we experience his story as it is unfolded and it indeed a sad story, yet it is a story of strength, loyalty and perseverance and testament of his character because not only did Emmett survive life in the slums, he escaped and prospered.

“Ask me about anything else, Elizabeth. I won’t answer questions about my childhood.”

The drive for Emmett is his three siblings and best friend Kelly. There is nothing Emmett wouldn’t do for them to ensure they never suffer the pain and squalor that he and his brother, Brendan did.

“I’ve done many terrible things in my life and will no doubt commit hundreds more. But you are the first woman I’ve ever me who makes me ache to be worthy”

Emmett admired Lizzie’s resolve and persistence, becoming lost in her passion, innocence and heart. Lizzie accepted Emmett for who he was and where he had come from, never once judging him.

Oh and the passion between Lizzie and Emmett…..wow! The chemistry was scorching, the passion…torrid, gripping, steamy and consuming. Their love story that grabbed our hearts!

“Why do you call me Elizabeth instead of Lizzie, like everyone else?”
“It’s a noble name, for a queen. A conqueror. ‘Elizabeth’ sounds like a woman strong enough to change history, to chart any course she chooses. Anyone could be a Lizzie – but only you could be Elizabeth.”

We adored Magnate and we fell deeply in love with the strong, loyal and alpha Mr Cavanaugh, unable to put it down for a minute. Magnate reminded us why we love historical romances so much. We reveled in the elegance, the intrigue, the sweeping setting and the romance… Joanna Shupe’s story completely captivated us. We would have liked a little more from the epilogue as there was one aspect we would’ve loved to have experienced with them, but maybe we’re just being a little greedy by not wanting to let them go.

4.5 ✯

Williams story will appear in :
BARON – Knickerbocker #2

Releasing 25th October

preOrderButton

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK

Leave a Comment

Filed under Joanna Shupe, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THIRTEEN : LOVE BY NUMBERS BOOK #4 by E.S. CARTER

An interconnecting series but this book can be read as a standalone.

‘Love is like a four leaf clover; lucky to have but hard to find.’

THIRTEEN by E.S. CARTER

purchase now

 amazon us  &  amazon uk

Thirteen

SYNOPSIS

Thirteen…
Unlucky for some.
Including me.

The woman I loved left me on the thirteenth.
Thirteen months of living together and she walked out the door without looking back, straight into another man’s arms.
She was kind enough to leave something to remind me of her: thirteen thousand pounds worth of debt.

Thirteen; the day I lost my nuts.
Well, I didn’t lose them, cancer took them from me. Better to be a man without balls than one without life.
Still, thirteen sucked… until it didn’t.

Until her.
Thirteen might just be my new lucky number.

 ❈

Thirteen

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 ‘Man spontaneously combusts from sexual deprivation in the backseat of a cab.’

We love this Author and all her characters who’ve become like friends and family to us now after a huge binge read. We’d already read Three but wanted to read Nineteen and Twenty-One before embarking on Thirteen. Confused by numbers? We were too but the reading order can be found in this post. We’d recommend reading this series in order to get the most out of it and you definitely won’t regret it. We have become so attached to the characters and hearing their individual stories has been fabulous yet so is catching up with the rest of them.

I understand wanting to just be…you. Not a lesser version of yourself, or the you that you wish to be, but the you that makes you…whole, normal even.”

This is H’s story – Harry with the big heart, the wicked sense of humour and the gentle soul. We couldn’t wait to hear his voice and find out just who could possibly measure up and deserve to win that heart of gold. Harry’s been a constant in the Fox family and has always been there for his friends whom he consider his ‘chosen family’. This time it’s them who have to step up to the plate when Harry is dealt some devastating blows. We do have to give a shout out to Harry’s Mum though because she’s a fabulous Lady who clearly passed on her fantastic sense of humour to her son.

‘I’m H, funny guy, happy-go-lucky, banter king and source of fun. Not H, the pissy, get your own drink, sour faced bastard, who calls his friends shitty names.’

After going through the rounds Harry’s not the same joking jovial self and we can’t blame him. If we could we would’ve jumped into our kindles to hug him. He’s been through the ringer and has lost his happy-go-lucky self somewhere in the process. His mates see it and we see the change in him too. Enter Delilah, the quirky, sweet and funny bunny.

‘Me and my Davidson wanted to tango all night long with her. I really should get out more; watching Strictly Come Dancing with my folks on a Saturday night has got me using dance terms as a euphemism for sex. I look down at my Davidson and shake my head. “We will fuck again, my son. No tango shite for us.” Yes. That feels more manly.’

We fell in complete love with Lilah, she too has not had it easy and is fighting her own demons. We could tell immediately that they were two sides of the same coin and that each would in some way save the other. We wanted Harry back and for Lilah to feel safe and loved.

‘Broken. Defective. Weak. All words I’ve felt about myself over the last year or so, but never with Lilah. I’ve never felt those things when I’m with her. Whole. Connected. Complete. That’s how being with Lilah makes me feel. Now I need to make her feel it too.

We enjoyed this story and it was great to catch up with the rest of the crew and like we said, you’ll find yourselves feeling part of one sexy, funny and loving family! We are counting the days to get Isaac’s story!!!!

“I’ve waited my whole life to be someone’s extraordinary.”

 4 Stars 

THE LOVE BY NUMBERS SERIES by E.S. CARTER

ES Carter

purchase book

Nineteen -Our review ::   Amazon us ::  Amazon uk 
Twenty One - Our review ::  Amazon us ::   Amazon uk 
ThreeOur review ::  Amazon us ::   Amazon uk 
Thirteen Amazon us  ::    Amazon uk 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under E.S. Carter, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

NINETEEN and TWENTY ONE by E.S. CARTER (Two Book Review)

 Spoiler free dual book review. Both books are to be read in order.

‘Eternal love; a love that can make someone immortal, for as long as you their heart in yours.’

purchase now

Nineteen Book One : amazon us  &  amazon uk
Twenty One Book Two amazon us   amazon uk 

Nineteen

SYNOPSIS

 Your life can change in the blink of an eye.
How you adapt to these changes is what defines you.

Jake Fox is an aspiring actor who has found little success.
He is also a typical, cliche, bad boy, who ‘loves them and leaves them’ without love ever coming into the equation.

Emma Campbell is finding her way in life, struggling with memories from her past, an apathetic mother and the choices ahead of her. Can she keep focused on the light when life keeps surrounding her in darkness?

Polar opposites, will love be the thread that binds them or will circumstances beyond their control, tear them apart?


TwentyOne2

SYNOPSIS

 Fate kept placing Emma Campbell and Jake Fox in each others paths.
Fate also kept putting overwhelming obstacles in their way.
What fate didn’t realise is that Jake and Emma share a connection that is stronger than circumstance.
An intense bond that threatens everything they thought they knew about themselves, one that is only made stronger by a perfect day.

A perfect day where they both surrendered to the force of their feelings for one another.
A perfect day that ended in darkness and tragedy.

Jake is missing.
Emma is lost.
Lost in grief; lost in hopelessness.

Will fate finally grant them a chance to be together or will it tear them apart?


❈  ❈

19 and 21

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“…you have it all wrong. You overwhelm him because he feels things for you that he has never felt before. It’s scaring the shit out of him.”

We were first introduced to E.S. Carter’s Fox-William clan in Three, Liam’s story, and it was here we relished the camaraderie and the deep family bond between the five Fox-William brothers and their parents, not to mention the heartfelt romance between these men and the women who consume their hearts, leaving us with a big desire to know more!

“I bloody knew it. My little brother, the man whore, has finally found someone he has feelings for, well fuck me.”

We had read Three as a ‘standalone’ and whilst we enjoyed every moment of Liam’s story, we did feel as though we were ‘missing’ out on something. There were characters and storylines in Three that were interconnected from Nineteen and Twenty One, particularly the close friendship between Emma (Jules) and Liam and Emma and Jakes romantic relationship which was explored in Nineteen and Twenty One.

Knowing that H’s (a close friend of the Fox-William brothers) was due for release this month, we decided we wouldn’t proceed any further with the story until we had a chance to catch up and explore Jake and Emma’s story and we’re so glad we did.  In a strange way, to have already experienced the point at which Emma and Jake were at in Three, the man Jake had become helped us relate more to his character in the preceding books and we didn’t feel as though the story had been spoiled in any way as there was so much we didn’t know going into these books that wasn’t touched on in Three.

“I fucking know that Nate, but she keeps running and every time she does, she takes a piece of me with her, it hurts Nate…It fucking hurts.”

Jake is a very different man to the one we me in Three. He’s a tart and makes no apologies. He has an insatiable sexual appetite and has no qualm in fulfilling his needs with whatever pretty thing takes his fancy. Now, we know there are readers who don’t like the thought of their hero getting all hot and bothered with anyone other than the heroine but we appreciated the way E.S. Carter had us experiencing Jake’s roving ways first hand because it made the moment he realised his feelings for Emma, and the confliction he was feeling, all the more believable when it did eventuate.

‘I only play with women like me, women who know all I’m offering is a few hours to escape into a haze of sex and lust, nothing more.
The Emma’s of this world are not made for a man like me.’

Jake and Emma couldn’t have been more different. Jake the conceited cock who found it very hard to express his emotions and Emma the sweet girl who wore her heart on her sleeve and was riddled with self-doubt were right for each other in so many ways. On the surface, they shouldn’t have been attracted to each other, but there were certainly not only sparks, but something between them that went soul deep.

‘Love is one soul, living in two bodies, beating in two hearts, making them whole.’

For Emma and Jake the timing couldn’t have been worse. Jakes TV career was starting to take off, his star was on the rise and his bad boy persona was perfect fodder for the paparazzi. Emma was coasting along, looking for a change in her life and life was about to change in the blink of an eye for her in the most heartbreaking of ways.

‘How can you follow your heart if it’s even more confused than your head?

Emma and Jake had to part ways, one needing to reaffirm and restart their life and one coming to terms with feelings that couldn’t be explained, however fate has other ideas!

We did have a bit of an issue with Nineteen and Twenty One which was the retelling of the story in alternative points of view. Reading the same story by Emma and Jake did become  a little tiresome and had the effect of slowing the story down at times, however on the upside there were times hearing the scene in a different voice added to the moment and expanded on what had occurred, though we feel a sporadic alternative POV would have been something we would have enjoyed more.

The essence of the Love by Numbers series is friendship, family and love and on that account E.S. Carter has delivered a rich and beautiful series. We thoroughly enjoyed Jake and Emma’s story and whilst it didn’t allow us the level of emotional impact nor the focus on family we loved so much in Three, Jake and Emma’s story still managed to pull at our heartstrings and allowed us that perfect romantic escape we cherish, making this a series we’d recommend in a heartbeat!

 4 Stars

THE LOVE BY NUMBERS SERIES by E.S. CARTER

ES Carter

Nineteen Amazon us    &    Amazon uk 
Twenty One Amazon us   &   Amazon uk  
Threeour review  Amazon us  &   Amazon uk 
Thirteenour review: Amazon us   &   Amazon uk 

1 Comment

Filed under E.S. Carter, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE BEAST – BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD #14 by J.R. WARD

Paranormal series to be read in order

“How is it possible…that you always make me feel so beautiful?”

THE BEAST

purchase now

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK


the beast 5th Apr

SYNOPSIS

Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today).

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from..


✲✲✲✲

The Beast

Reviewed by Gitte

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is still my favourite paranormal series after all these years. Whilst I haven’t loved every book in the same way, I’ve loved being part of this journey from the start. Being back with Rhage and Mary was fabulous and I didn’t think I could fall any more in love with this couple, but I did. The Beast was actually a really emotional read that had my heart melting into a puddle one minute, excited from the action the next, laughing out loud, only to suddenly burst into tears.

‘The trouble was, he realized with dread, when your heart finally stopped beating in your chest, everything that you wished you’d said but hadn’t, all the missing pieces of yourself that you had yet to give, all the failures you had stuffed under the rug in the guise of life being so very busy…that stopped, too. The mid-stride step, never to be completed, was the worst regret anyone could have.’

This is JR Ward, she never fails to write one bloody fantastic story and The Beast reminded me once again why I fell in love with The Black Dagger Brotherhood. I actually thought this was such a beautiful story at the heart of the ongoing fight the brothers have on their hands. It had such rawness, insecurity and vulnerability and if you know Rhage and Mary….well….you know that means one passionate and emotional ride.

“How is it possible…that you always make me feel so beautiful?”

He kissed her once, and then again. “I’m just reflecting back what I see and know to be true.”

It’s been years since I read Lover Eternal which was Rhage and Mary’s book, and the second in the series, catching up with them it all came back to me and my heart was reminded once more why I love them so. Whilst Zsadist has always been my most favourite Brother, I have to say, that after The Beast, Rhage seriously comes in close second. What him and Mary go through in this book was completely not what I expected and I loved every minute of it. The feeling I had upon finishing was like coming home. Home to perfection and what makes the BDB so bloody special! Oh and hot!

‘She was the watch on his wrist, the roast beef when he was starving, and the pitcher of lemonade when he was thirsty. She was his chapel and his choir, the mountain range to his wanderlust, the library to his curiosity, and every sunrise or sunset that ever was or would be…She was all the power in the universe coalesced into a living, breathing thing, the miracle that he had been granted in spite of the fact that he had long been undeserving of anything but his curse.’

I have to mention that as always we get POV’s from others in the continuing fight against The Lessening Society. We meet some new characters as well as the continuing Xcor and Assail storylines. Oh and Lassiter….MY HEART….that Angel always has me in stitches and I love him! He really needs his own book after all this time!

“Lassiter’s a fallen angel who we’ve somehow gotten stuck with. He’s like gum on the bottom of your shoe. ‘Cept he doesn’t smell like strawberries, he hogs the TV remote, and on a regular basis, you think to yourself, is that really the best the Creator could do with an immortal? The guy has the worst taste in television…”

I’ve had this reluctant love for Assail since I met him so can’t wait for his book but Xcor and Layla’s next which is exciting too.  If you haven’t picked up The Beast yet, do it! As a crazy arsed BDB fan this instalment was pure heaven. I laughed, cried, my heart melted as did my knickers…bloody brilliant Warden, once again!

5✯

 THE BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD SERIES by J R WARD

BDB

*DARK LOVER BOOK ONE
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

* LOVER ETERNAL – BOOK TWO
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER AWAKENED – BOOK THREE
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER REVEALED – BOOK FOUR
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER UNBOUND – BOOK FIVE
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER ENSHRINED – BOOK SIX
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER AVENGED – BOOK SEVEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER MINE – BOOK EIGHT
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER UNLEASHED – BOOK NINE
Amazon US || Amazon UK

*LOVER REBORN – BOOK TEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER AT LAST – BOOK ELEVEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

 *THE KING – BOOK TWELVE
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*THE SHADOWS – BOOK THIRTEEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*THE BEAST – BOOK FOURTEEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK

Leave a Comment

Filed under J.R. Ward, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

BEAUTIFUL BOY by LEDDY HARPER

Standalone romance of love and redemption

You destroyed me.”
“You saved me.”

purchase book

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK 


beautiful boy 28th April

SYNOPSIS

One introverted girl.
One extroverted guy.
One assignment.
One afternoon.
Then everything changed…

“You destroyed me.”

Novah wanted nothing more than to walk away, never see him again. She was determined to pick up the pieces of her tarnished reputation and move on. Her torture became her muse, earning her well-deserved notoriety for capturing beauty with her lens. She had come full circle. She had it all…until he returned.

Nolan found himself surrounded by the grim facets of life, no longer the prominent boy from an affluent family who’d caught Novah’s eye. The years had been unkind and left him in the dark, painful trenches of life. He needed her help.

Fifteen years can equate to a lifetime of change, neither one the same person they once were. Despite the humiliation, the latent wounds, the missing years…they’re destined to heal one another in unexpected ways.

“You saved me.” 


  ❈

Beautiful Boy

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 “Fifteen years ago, you showed me something beautiful, but it became ruined, tainted, turning our moment into a nightmare- for us both. We were too young to defend ourselves, which left our fate in the hands of others.”

We love Leddy Harper; her writing is beautiful and her characters demand such attention. Beautiful boy is the epitome of a second chance at love. The premise that when you give your heart to another, you truly give it circumstances and life be damned. We had a brief snapshot of a soul destroying moment in the past which heavily played into the present for Nolan and Novah. Whilst we would’ve loved more from their teens, been allowed to live it with them and what transpired we did thoroughly feel its impact now that they’re in their thirties.

‘I’d found myself clinging to the emptiness, scared of what I’d be without it. Because in my mind, letting it go didn’t mean it’d be replaced with the opposite. No. It’d be replaced with absolutely nothing. And if I had nothing…I’d have even less to live for that I do now. And that’s what scared me.’

We did find that the story was a tad on the slow side. We completely understood the poignancy and beautiful human element of this story. Of healing and redemption. However the focus was lost along the way until towards the end where it picked up and re-stole our complete and undivided attention. Yes, healing is a long drawn out process and knocking down barriers to find your true self takes blood, sweat and tears.

‘I want to hit play. I want to live.’

In order to fully love another and live unburdened you need to heal, love and fight for yourself. Beautiful Boy showed us just that with stunning writing and a hero and heroine who grabbed our hearts and never let go from start to finish. It is clear to see where Leddy Harper got inspiration from and this story truly is that. Inspiring.

‘Because with her, I felt no pain. Because with her, I wasn’t in the dark. Because with her, I wasn’t…me. Because with her…I was somebody.’

 3.5 ✯

 

Another TB Recommended Read by Leddy 
Standalone – emotional, moving and unforgettable story. 

“You were my reason to breathe. And then you left me and took my oxygen with you.”

MY BIGGEST MISTAKE by LEDDY HARPER

purchase bookamazon us || amazon uk

my biggest mistake

Leave a Comment

Filed under Leddy Harper, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny