Monday, 20 April 2015

Blog Tour: The Courtesan Duchess by Joanna Shupe; Review + Giveaway

The Courtesan Duchess (Wicked Deceptions #1)
Author: Joanna Shupe
Release Date: 31 March 2015
Publisher: Zebra

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?

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The blurb to this book immediately intrigued me and I always quite enjoy reading a new-to-me author. You never know what gem you'll discover, and that's exactly how I feel with this.

Julia hasn't set eyes on her husband since their wedding day, but her situation becomes increasingly desperate and she resorts to a scheme to secure her future. By deceiving her husband about her true identity and conceiving his heir, she hopes to have more power over her future. I really enjoyed Julia's character and thought she was clever and determined, finding a creative way to solve her problems. She's also got a heck of a lot of nerve to pull off this scheme, and you've got to admire her for it, even though you just know it's going to end up biting her in the ass. After seeing how he's abandoned her over the years, you easily find yourself cheering for Julia and hoping she can somehow make everything work out.

When Nick and Julia are together in Venice (when he's unaware of her true identity) he's sweet and considerate, not to mention gorgeous. But then he founds out Julia's identity and is understandably furious, but jeez does he act like a dick at times. He's angry and jumps to conclusions about Julia's intentions, accusing her of trying to foist another man's baby on to him. When he eventually realises that he can't put her out of his mind, it still takes him a while to soften towards her and I would have liked to see more grovelling, since she is by far the more injured party out of the two. Saying all of that, it's easy to forgive him when you see why he acts as he does. He had awful parents and is dealing with a mountain of guilt over his older brother's death, which doesn't excuse his actions but make him much more understandable.

When Nick and Julia meet in Venice, the chemistry is electric and their scenes together were perfectly steamy. They have an intensely passionate, unrestrained romance there, so it's no wonder that Julia starts falling for him.

I loved the fast pace and wonderfully creative plot of the story. I couldn't stop reading and was on tenterhooks to see what Nick's reaction would be when he found out Julia was his wife. Then it's all about these two emotionally wounded characters working out their problems and trust issues, and making a happy future for themselves. I'd definitely recommend Joanna Shupe, I was engrossed in this story and am eagerly awaiting the next installment of the series.

*I received a review copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, for my honest opinion. Thank you!

About the Author

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


There are 3 print copies of The Courtesan Duchess to be won to celebrate its release, good luck!

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