By: Joanna Shupe
Releasing April 28th, 2015
Lady Hawkins’s debut was something she’d rather forget—along with her first marriage. Today, the political cartoonist is a new woman. A thoroughly modern woman. So much so that her clamoring public believes she’s a man…
FACT: Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, Earl of Winchester. He’s a rising star in Parliament—and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie’s who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.
FICTION: Maggie is the Half-Irish Harlot who seduced her best friend’s husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches.
Still crushed by Simon’s betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting the ton crush her as well. In fact, Lemarc’s cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock…but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago, and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since…forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?
I foresee Joanna Shupe as becoming one of my favorite authors. With her debut story The Courtesan Duchess she had me captivated with the story, and she does it again in The Harlot Countess. This story is awesome. Plus, you are going to have a love/hate relationship with Simon, because he's just a pompous ass throughout the story. If you read The Courtesan Duchess you would remember Simon as a great guy helping Julia find her husband. Now if you haven't I would recommend reading The Courtesan Duchess first, because if you start off with story you might not like Simon. He's kind of despicable in the story, but I he doesn't see it. From his point of view he felt that he was the victim of Maggie's duplicity.
Poor Maggie. I felt horrible for her, because she was her reputation was in tatters and no one was there for her even Simon. Two things happen to girls with reputations in tatters: 1) They disappears into obscurity along with their family or 2) Married off quickly. She happened to get married off quickly. Ten years later, she comes back to society on the outskirts not really accepted. What do you do? Well, she embraces herself as the Half-Irish Harlot. Right there breaks my heart, because everyone assumes it's true even Simon. Some of the things he says to her makes you believe he was abducted by pod people, because he's absolutely rotten to her. I was conflicted with the person I remember from The Courtesan Duchess and the guy he is in The Harlot Countess.
Some people might not like him, because he's so driven to be this perfect Lord in parliament and comes off as an ass. Anyway, why I loved the story. Joanna brings another page turning story that will grab your attention and break your heart at the same time. Yes, your heart will bleed for Maggie at times, because of how society treats her. Everyone believes that she that she does it to grabbed attention, while it she does it cover up her vulnerability. Yes, I still love Simon even if he is a complete ass. He does have some good points though he doesn't show them off in this story. You have to give credit for being tenacious. I can't wait to get my hands on the next story in the series, because the first two books are amazing. I would definitely read these in order otherwise you won't get the full benefit of the series. Honestly, Simon is a hard guy to like in the story if you start off with The Harlot Countess first. Fantastic read built upon revenge.
Copy provided by Kensington via NetGalley
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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.
(Three Print Copies of THE HARLOT COUNTESS)
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