I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Magnate by Joanna Shupe
Series: The Knickerbocker Club #1
Genres: Historical, Romance, Historical Romance
It’s 1888 in New York City, where wealth and power are king, and four men are determined to rule—no matter the cost. With MAGNATE, author-on-the-rise Joanna Shupe kicks off The Knickerbocker Club, a new historical romance series set in Gilded Age New York City!
New York City’s Gilded Age shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power. The men of the Knickerbocker Club know this more than anyone else. But for one titan of industry, the business of love is not what he expected…
Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city’s “high society” types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that…
Elizabeth Sloane’s mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York’s most accomplished brokers—but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they’ll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…
Hooray for historical romance outside Britain!
Thoughts on Magnate
What’s this, me reading a historical romance not set in Britain? Can’t remember the last time I did, and it was a nice, refreshing break from the norm. What’s not to love about NYC in the late 1800s?
Joanna Shupe sticks to the tried and true trope of two unlikely people trapped into a marriage, with the man thinking he’s not worthy of his bride, and his bride holding out for love. Set against the backdrop of the Knickerbocker society era, what could have been an eye-rolling Victorian era romance had me desperate for more of the historical NYC and its high society.
Magnate is the second book by Joanna Shupe that I’ve read. While her stories are interesting, her writing style isn’t my favorite. Part of it is the reliance on naming emotions and feelings rather than letting the reader fully experience them, which keeps me from fully immersing myself in the characters’ experiences. The practice of switching POV in the middle of a scene with a short recap of what’s happened from the other character’s perspective is heavy-handed; I’d rather draw that conclusion on my own.
That said, I enjoyed this story. Elizabeth grew up in high society, but she’s smart, and she wants to set out on her own, with her own investment group. Although society isn’t quite as rigid as the ton, that doesn’t mean they’re any more receptive to a woman in business for herself. Emmett has pulled himself up out of the slums, and he, more than anyone, appreciates Elizabeth and her value. Especially after the snowstorm. (Which, oddly, makes me want more historical romances involving being trapped by a massive snowstorm.)
Curious to see what happens next with this series.