Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: Baron by Joanna Shupe

Baron by Joanna Shupe
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Zebra
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Author (in exchange for an honest review)

Summary (from Amazon):
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 "Madam 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...

Ava's responsible for taking care of her three siblings but even though all of them work they're barely able to make enough money to stay afloat. One of her brothers is sick while the other wants to join a gang and steal money to help support them, which adds even more stress. Ava just needs a few more months, though, until she can move them to the country, where she hopes to give them a better life. But Ava doesn't expect William Sloane to disrupt her plans. William will do whatever it takes to get rid of Ava so his political partner doesn't rely on her for answers. But Ava won't give up her job, even when Will threatens to discredit her as a medium. As they spend more time together, they realize they have a connection that neither one of them expected—when they're apart they can't stop thinking of each other and when they're together they can't keep their hands to themselves. Even though they're from two separate worlds, will they be able to make a relationship work?

I've read other novels by Joanna Shupe and Baron is by far my favorite because the writing is great and the characters are perfect together. I liked the class difference between Ava and Will, and I appreciated that Ava understood that they likely could never get married and she didn't try to convince Will otherwise. Ava was my favorite part of the story because she was real and gritty and most readers will be able to connect to her. It was fun reading about her medium career and how she performed for her audiences, and it was easy to root for her from the beginning of the story because she would do anything for her siblings. Will, on the other hand, was at times likable but there were times where he wasn't likable, specifically in the way he tried to ruin Ava's career and did whatever he could to have a sexual relationship with her. But even that didn't stop me from liking Will because those aspects made him realistic and swoon worthy. He has all the elements that make up a great hero in a historical romance novel, and although he was stuck in his ways, I liked watching him grow as a character.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Baron.


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