Blog Tour & Review ~~ The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose
Genre: Historical Mystery
Possession. Power. Passion. International bestselling novelist M.J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this erotic, gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.
Sandrine Salome runs away to her grandmother’s Parisian mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insits it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.
Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten – her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.
This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love and witchery.
Nicole’s 4 Star Review
One of my favorite guilty reading pleasure is Historic Romance. I love it! My favorite time period is the 1800s-early 1900s and on either side of the Atlantic. I love the dashing men, the beautiful gowns and of course, the history. M.J. Rose’s The Witch of Painted Sorrows is drenched in all of that and more.
Set in Paris, France in 1894, The Witch of Painted Sorrows tells a story in a time when the arts and sciences, and technology were exploding. Yet, La Belle Epoque was more than a golden age. Underneath and intertwined this amazing time was an exploration of a darker and more free-thinking movement. Alchemy, the occult, mysticism and sexual expression were also making an impression. It is in this world that our story takes place.
Sandrine Salome flees New York City to escape the betrayal and deception of her husband, She finds refuge in her paternal grandmother’s Paris home, La Lune. Upon her unexpected arrival Sandrine finds her family home closed and her grandmother living in apartments nearby. When she presses her grandmother for reasons why the beautiful mansion is closed up, Sandrine finds her grandmother’s evasiveness and resistance to divulge information suspect. Deciding to investigate on her own , Sandrine sets off to see exactly what is going on in the manse.
What Sandrine finds is an architect, Julien Duplessi, hired by her gndmother to inventory the family home and redesign it into a museum. Confused and intrigued by her grandmother’s decision, Sandrine seeks to aid Julien in his exploration of her family home. Along the way, dark family secrets are uncovered and explored leaving Sandrine to wonder who she is and who she will become.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the Parisian backdrop, the world of Art and the exploration of mysticism and the occult. It’s rare to find a book that can combine all of those ideas into a cohesive story. Story aside, I did enjoy Sandrine’s character. Sandrine was a bit of a puzzle for me. She was incredibly smart and intellectual, yet she was so naïve about the darker parts of life. I will warn everyone now that this is not a book that you can just speed through. It is so rich in history and the dark arts that you really do have to read every single word. To skim or speed through truly would take away from the sensual and exotic undertones of the story.
Praise for the novels of M.J. Rose
The Witch of Painted Sorrows
“Rose’s new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris—a perfect match for the author’s lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. A cliffhanger ending will leave readers hungry for the next volume. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A haunting tale of possession.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Collector of Dying Breaths
“Breathtaking…combines fascinating history, torrid romance and a compelling mystery into a marvelous package that will entice fans of Anne Rice and Diana Gabaldon.” (Associated Press)
“A page-turning, alluring concoction of fiction infused with fantastical yet actual history. Readers will be charmed by her well-drawn and memorable characters, and they will be mesmerized by her enchanting narrative, which takes them on a mystical and magical journey.” (Library Journal (starred))
“A terrific piece of entertainment.” (CT Post)
“Wondrously original… elegantly written. Rose manages to utterly suspend our disbelief in a book that leaves us, appropriately enough, breathless.” (Providence Journal)
“Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!” (Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants)
“Atmospherically romantic and perfectly toned. Classy and elegant literary seduction of the highest measure. As wondrously crafted as it is original.” (Providence Journal)
“Readers will be enchanted by M.J. Rose’s supernaturally charged novel Seduction, inspired by Victor Hugo’s self-imposed exile on the British island of Jersey in the 1850s.” (USA Today)
“Has just about everything a thriller fan could wish for.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“Full of well-researched history, the paranormal, and modern intrigue, this atmospheric tale of suspense is fully engrossing to those willing to suspend their disbelief.” (Library Journal (starred review))
The Book of Lost Fragrances
“A compelling page turner…Once you catch a whiff, you will be enchanted.” (Associated Press)
“M.J. Rose is a bold, unflinching writer and her resolute honesty puts her in a class by herself.” (Laura Lippman)
“The Book of Lost Fragrances resonates with spirit, blending myth with reality, tragedy with triumph, pain with joy. You’ll find yourself questioning everything you believe–and wanting more.” (Steve Berry)
“Provocative…a sweeping sense of romance [and] history.” (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)
Buy the Book
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.
She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
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