Friday, October 28, 2016

One pragmatic industrialist is about to learn 
that a man may make his own destiny, 
but love is a matter of fortune . . .

The Knickerbocker Club #2
Joanna Shupe
Releasing Oct 25th, 2016
Kensington Zebra

New York City’s Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .

Born into one of New York’s most respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city’s highest echelons of society, he’s now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract him from his next pursuit—except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never saw coming . . .

Ava Jones has eked out a living the only way she knows how. As “Madame Zolikoff,” she hoodwinks gullible audiences into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life—and lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his campaign—unless he’s the one who’s already put a spell on her . . .

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Two more steps brought Will alongside her. “Are you always so difficult?”
She threw her head back and laugheda genuine, sultry sound that hit him square in the gut. He pushed down the reaction, put it in a place with all the other things he ignored.
“Only with men who try to boss me around.”
“A lot of those in your life?”
“Just one, apparently. Any ideas on how to get rid of him?”
Wills lips twitched from suppressing a smile. “No, unless youre ready to give in. I wont disappear until you leave John alone.”
She stopped in her tracks and put her hands on her hips. Her brown gaze lit up with fire and brimstone, her generous bosom heaving in a distractingly enticing manner. “Why do you care so much? Your money could buy whatever election you wanted, cover up any hint of scandal that might occur. Therefore, you dont really care about what Im doing to John. Tell me, why are you following me? ’Cause I need to tell you, Im not buying it.”
What the hell was she implying? That he was after her? His muscles clenched as he stepped closer, hoping to intimidate her with their difference in height. Surprisingly, she held her ground, merely lifted a brow as if to say, Get on with it. He tried not to be impressed.
“First, I would never use my money to buy an election. I want to win, and I mean to do that fairly. Second, I can cover up just about any scandal I want, but all it takes is one whiff, one hint of impropriety, and my political career will be over before it begins. Ill be a laughingstock. And theres no way Ill allow that to happen.”
“No, John will be a laughingstock. Johns political career will be over. And”—she made a disbelieving sound—“you act as if New York politics are clean and fair. We both know politicians are dirtier than chimney sweeps, and thats saying something.”
“I wouldnt throw stones at the legitimacy of other vocations, were I you.”
“Oh!” She threw up her hands and stomped away. “Leave me alone, William Sloane.”
He trailed after her, catching up in a few steps. “Youre wrong. In my world, youre judged not only on your own actions, but the actions of those around you. The company you keep. If John goes down, I go down as well.”
“Then I can only imagine what your world would think of you keeping company with me in the Tenderloin.”
“Theyd think Id lost my ever-loving mind,” he muttered.
“Then scurry back home to Fifth Avenue. Im sure your butler has brandy and cigars waiting. No one here is stopping you.”
Washington Square.
Her head swung toward him. “Pardon?”
“I live on Washington Square.” It had been a long time since hed had to tell anyone that. The Sloanes had been in that location since the city covered up the graves and converted the space to a public park.
“Oh, excuse me,” she said with mock sincerity. “Scurry back home to Washington Square.”
“After you promise to stop your shenanigans with John.”
The voice came from behind them, so he spun to see who was there. A few people were out, but no one close enough. No one came forward or even met his eye. Who had called his name?
Facing forward, he instantly noticed something else. He was now alone.
“Ava?” Feet planted, his gaze swept the sidewalk and the street, searching. He peered across to the other side, thinking maybe she had crossed the street. Nothing.
There was no sign of her. She had disappeared into thin air.

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.

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He dipped his head and slid the tip of his nose along the softness of her cheek. Would she be this soft and sweet everywhere? He was suddenly desperate to discover the answer. “I am anything but cold around you.” He brought a hand to her waist, holding her steady as the train suddenly rocked. “You make me burn, Ava.” 

I LOVED IT! I absolutely loved this book, and its characters and their relationships and the plot and and and... Will! Delicious torture and angst come to mind when I think of what I experienced while reading Ava and Will's story. They're star-crossed lovers, Will is a blue-blood he comes from old money. He's probably the most eligible bachelor in New York and his prospects are only getting better. Then there's Ava aka Madame Zollikof the infamous medium whose performances have blown society away. But what people don't know is that Ava does everything for her family, her 3 siblings are the most important thing in her life. So when Will comes along threatening to expose her, lightning sparks and the two become instant enemies, until they realise they have an even stronger attraction. It starts of as physical but soon they realise they can't be apart.

Perspiration broke out on the nape of his neck, under his shirt collar. “You are asking dangerous questions, Ava. A woman, alone in a private car with a man, should not encourage him to lose control.”
“Why, because you’ll ravish me?” She laughed, the husky sound like a stroke over his stiff c*#k. “My dear man, I’m having the hardest time preventing myself from ravishing you.”

This book definitely put me throught the ringer. Between Ava's pride and stubborness and Will's pride and stubborness and occasional snobbery, I was constantly shouting at my kindle! It's weird I know but I love it when a book can coax such strong feelings out of me. Will and Ava's relationship was so difficult, they live in a time where appearances are everything (not that they aren't now), when if someone marrys below his station it could very well ruin his reputation. And for someone like Will who values how people think of him next to the fact that he's trying to build a political career, being with Ava could never be an option. It literally killed me to read about his angst about his realionship with Ava.

I can't say even one negative thing about Ava because she was the perfect heroine in that she never settled. She may not have been the most sought after debutante but she never dropped her standards! I just love it when a heroine knows she deserves the best even though the entire world is telling her no.

Heavens, he was beautiful. Men should not be this appealing; it was unfair to the women of New York.

I thoroughly enjoy this book and let me tell you the sex scenes were amazing they left me positively scandalised! Read it!

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  1. Thank you for taking the time to review BARON today!

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