Gilded Age

A
Imagine

Imagine is the story of a wide variety of characters, all bottlenecked onto an island thanks to a shipwreck just before the turn of the 19th century.  First of all there’s our hero and heroine – Margaret “Smitty” Smith, a hard-working attorney who was hoping to take a refreshing cruise in t ...

B
Baron

I had never read a Joanna Shupe romance before I tried Baron, but I’m glad it was recommended to me. While it wasn’t a perfect read, I enjoyed it and look forward to checking out the next story in Ms. Shupe’s Knickerbocker Club series. Railroad owner Will Sloane has political ambitions (a p ...

B+
Magnate

I read and enjoyed Joanna Shupe’s first historical romance, The Courtesan Duchess, and in my review, said that while it wasn’t without flaws, it was one of the strongest débuts I’d read in a while. I read or listened to the two books that followed it (The Harlot Countess and The Lady Hellion, ...

B-
Into the Whirlwind

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was falsely accused of starting the Great Chicago Fire. While it is accurate that the fire started in the O’Leary’s barn, no one is quite sure how. What is known is that hundreds died in the flames which claimed 3.3 square miles of the city. Into the Whirlwind takes this t ...

A-
Forever a Lady

Part of the reason I loved Forever A Lady so much was political. Delilah Marvelle was, as you might say, “preaching to the choir,” with some pointed remarks about poverty and the treatment of prisoners. However, as we saw in her previous novels, she is not an author that hides against the wallpa ...

A
The Passions of Emma

For years I put off reading The Passions of Emma because it didn’t sound all that romantic to me. I didn’t want to read about the heroine’s dying close friend whose husband is the eventual hero – especially when the romance doesn’t begin in earnest until the last quarter of the book. But t ...

A-
A Season of Splendor: The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age

America does not have royalty or a peerage, but for a period of time right after the Civil War, until the outbreak of World War I, an observer of the social scene in New York might think we did. During this time, known as the Gilded Age, members of society gave lavish balls, built spectacular homes, ...

C+
Murder in the North End

Murder in the North End is the fifth book in P.B. Ryan's Nell Sweeney mystery series set in post-Civil War Boston. While this series has been generally quite enjoyable overall, this new installment is weaker than the others, and the lack of romantic denouement feels forced. Nell Sweeney is still ...

A-
Duchess of Fifth Avenue

Normally a book cover does not influence me, but I thought the cover of Duchess of Fifth Avenue was quite stunning. Would the story inside be as good as the cover?  Lana and her best friend Siobhan escape their harsh lives in Ireland and settle in New York City. Unfortunately, Siobhan’s husban ...

B
Somebody Wonderful

The year is 1882. Michael “Mick” McCann is a New York City policeman, not long off the boat from Ireland. He sees a street gang tormenting a boy and rescues him, only to discover that his waif is a woman in boy’s clothing. Her name is Timona Calverson, and she says she was kidnapped and forced ...