First off, wow!
Second, I can’t believe that this is my first story by Joanna Shupe. What an A-Mazing story!
I heard so many great reviews about this story that I jumped at the chance to hear it and review it. Because I’ve been pressed for time I’ve started to listen to the audiobook and I became addicted. Shupe writes a very thorough, greatly detailed, wonderfully detailed characters. I was so intrigued by the Gilded period and it has to be the first time I’ve ever read a story about this time period. It is absolutely fascinating.
Let’s start with our delicious hero- Emmett Cavanaugh. Talk about a hero. Emmett has made it out of the slums or Five Points with sheer determination, tenacity and some very illegal things. Emmett is ruthless. He controls much of the business that goes on in New York City. He is a very astute business man. He is devoted to his brother and his two half-sisters. The rest of his time, Emmett spends his time focused on business. Emmett is surrounded by his family and his right hand man, Kelly. One day Elizabeth Sloane , an equally smart businesswoman although the term does not exist during this time period, visits Emmett. Elizabeth convinces Emmett to give her a chance and that she will double his investment. Emmett is intrigued by Elizabeth’s proposal and mostly the idea of angering her brother William Sloane. Even though Sloane and William do deal with each other in business they hate each other.
Elizabeth is part of the elite class but she is also very smart and wants to be useful. She knows that the family business is suffering and she actually has the know how to help the business but her brother refuses to allow her. When Elizabeth is successful and doubles Emmett’s money she is exuberant because it proves that she is able to invest wisely and the wager will give her the money she needs to start her own investment firm. But that is just the beginning. When her and Emmett are caught in an amorous embrace her brother steps in and soon her and Emmett are married. That is just the beginning of their troubles.
First, Elizabeth and Emmett, although they have a strong attraction, they are strangers. They have a lot to learn about each other and matters are only more complex when Elizabeth finds out the real reason for their marriage. Emmett for his part carries guilt about his past. He has very serious issues and doesn’t listen to anyone. One huge winter storm forces them to finally give into their feelings but the situation between them still needs work. When Emmett’s stock crash, he instantly suspects Elizabeth and her brother. Typically, when I’m 70% of the way through a story I either get anxious or bored, well let me say, 70% of the way I was on pins and needles! The story really carries through to the very end. I loved how the story was very well developed and the characters included. I loved how Elizabeth was always true to herself no matter who challenged her! Whether it was Emmett or her peers in society.
I absolutely loved this story! As a narrator Amy Melissa Bentley did a good job. I thought that at times she read a little rushed but she kept a good pace! Now the countdown starts to the next book in the series “Baron.”
**Audiobook provided by Publisher**