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Friday, April 24, 2015

Review & Giveaway! The Courtesan Duchess by @JoannaShupe @TastyBookTours

The Courtesan Duchess
Wicked Deceptions # 1
By: Joanna Shupe
Releasing March 31, 2015

Can a bold-faced lie lead to everlasting love? One by one, the impetuous heroines in the Wicked Deceptions series intend to find out, each in her unique way…

How to seduce an estranged husband—and banish debt!—in four wickedly improper, shockingly pleasurable steps...
  1. Learn the most intimate secrets of London’s leading courtesan.
  2.  Pretend to be a courtesan yourself, using the name Juliet Leighton.
  3.  Travel to Venice and locate said husband.
  4. Seduce husband, conceive an heir, and voila, your future is secure!

For Julia, the Duchess of Colton, such a ruse promises to be foolproof. After all, her husband has not bothered to lay eyes on her in eight years, since their hasty wedding day when she was only sixteen. But what begins as a tempestuous flirtation escalates into full-blown passion—and the feeling is mutual!

Could the man the Courtesan Duchess married actually turn out to be the love of her life?

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

Review- 4.5 Stars
This is a sexy historical romance with sweetness, angst, and intrigue! This is one of my favorite time periods to read about and I enjoyed this books immensely.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. No truer words could be spoken about Julia’s situation. Married at sixteen to a man who wanted nothing to do with his title or his wife, she is abandoned and ignored for eight long years. Her mother-in-law is a tyrant and hates everything to do with her younger son and therefore, by his extension, Julia. In Nick’s absence, his cousin has been “managing” (mismanaging really) his estates and has been slowly dwindling down Julia’s income until she is forced to do something drastic, or end up in the poor house.
            Her pride keeps her from going to her friend, Simon, for money. However, she does ask him to help her locate her wayward husband and find a way for her to meet him. Her plan? To find him in Venice, pretend to be a renowned courtesan, and seduce her husband in hopes of producing an heir. But, plans are just guidelines because fate has her own ideas for your future.
            Nick is bitter and heartbroken over his childhood, the death of his brother, and the rumors that are a catalyst to his running away and leaving his problems behind. He roams the world (with the exception of England), gambling to survive and spending time with mistresses. He is somewhat content with this life, until he meets the beautiful and mysterious Juliet Leighton. He is immediately addicted to her and sweeps her off of her feet to spend an incredible week lost to everyone but each other.
            After the magical week, Mrs. Leighton or Julia, as she is better known, realizes that she has made a huge mistake by duping her husband. She has grown attached to him and he has confided in her enough that she’s knows her assumptions about him were wrong. In an effort to keep her deception from going any further, she disappears without a word. Well, not a word from her, anyway.
            When Nick realizes the truth of what has happened, he feels as though he has been played the fool and due to his already cynical nature, he believes the worst of Julia. These two strong willed lovers are at odds, both being justified in their anger toward each other. However, Nick takes it too far and he endangers any future he might have with Julia by doing and saying things that are potentially unforgiveable.
            All the while, they must figure out what is going on around them, because every day, it appears more and more likely that both Nick and Julia’s lives are in danger.
            Nick and Julia are great leading characters. So full of life and personality that they keep you interested in their story. They are both hardheaded, independent, intelligent, and despite their wish to believe otherwise, incredibly loving. During their time in Venice, they have a wonderful repartee that made me smile. Their romance was sweet at times and incredibly steamy at others.
            The secondary cast of characters definitely help to shape the story. Simon, Aunt Theo, Fitz, and Sophie are little burst of light and laughter among the angst of the hero and heroine. The mystery in the book is good, although it takes a backseat to the relationship of the leading man and lady. That’s not a bad thing, however, I felt the story would have gripped me a little stronger if it had been more prevalent. I figured out who the bad guy was pretty quickly, hut it did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.
            If you like historical romance, I highly recommend this book. I am looking forward to continuing the series and reading about the lives of a few of the characters we have been introduced to! Excellent read, 4.5 stars!

Displaying Joanna Shupe.jpgAuthor Info

Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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