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Magnate by Joanna Shupe
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Set in New York during the Gilded Age, an atypical setting in this genre, Magnate incorporates many of the historical, social and financial aspects of the time, including the great blizzard of 1888 as well as the conflicts between the old money Dutch Knickerbocker families and the nouveau riche, who acquired their fortunes through industry and technology. These together with the backdrop of the rail networks and the New York Stock Exchange successfully immerse the reader in the time period.

The heroine, Elizabeth Sloan, is wonderful. Her determination and tenacity in achieving her goal of establishing her own investment firm is admirable as is her standing up to those members of her social circle who believe women should be nothing more than adornments for their husbands.

The hero, Emmet Cavanaugh, a self made billionaire who fought his way out of the slums of Five Points to become a force to be reckoned with in New York society, is just as appealing. Shupe thankfully refrains from romanticizing his origins and creates a deeply flawed hero who is likable despite his many faults.

Emmet and Elizabeth's romance is emotionally and physically intense and their chemistry is off the charts. Readers who enjoy well written and hot sex scenes will not be disappointed.

Now to the most significant problem with the book .... there are far too many silly misunderstandings scattered throughout the story. Just as one is resolved another comes up to interfere with the lovers' fragile trust. Each of these could have been easily resolved if Emmet and Elizabeth had looked past their personal biases and had a proper conversation. This type of contrived obstacle gets very old very quickly and puts a damper on an otherwise excellent story.

All in all, an enjoyable romance despite the annoying trope mentioned above. Looking forward to the next book in which Elizabeth's strait-laced brother meets his match. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
This was a fantastic story - I love this time period (I write a series in during this era, in NYC and Newport as well) and Shupe does a delicious (yes, that is the right word) job of creating an atmosphere of the time as well as explosive chemistry between her characters. I can't imagine the rest of the series will be less than stellar, so I'm excited to move on to book two. ( )
  cecilywolfe | Jan 4, 2018 |
Emmett Cavanaugh is caught by surprise when Elizabeth Sloane approaches him to back her stock trading firm. Not once would he have expected that this member of New York City's highest social circles would ever bother to even speak to him as a rich but new monied nobody who worked himself up from the slums of Five Points to the position as one of the biggest steel magnates in the country. He also never expected to find her so attractive. When their business relationship turns to a romantic one both Emmett and Elizabeth will have to determine whether they can ever know each other well enough to make it work.

Another romance novel that I got from a recommendation list from a different romance author whom I enjoy. Sadly, this one wasn't a hit for me. There's nothing really wrong with it, I liked the time period and the characters were ok. But the novel felt a bit too paint by numbers. Romances are nothing if not predictable but I need strong characters and some charm in the mix, otherwise it doesn't quite work for me and this novel didn't quite pull off the combo I prefer. If the premise sounds good to you, I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it but I won't be actively seeking down the other books in this series or by this author. *shrug* ( )
  MickyFine | Aug 10, 2017 |
Historical Romance based in fact that is well written, fast paced and intriguing with a good storyline and wonderful characters is always fun to read. Shupe has done research about the time period and woven it throughout the story. The characters were interesting and there are some like Brendan and Kelly that are not in the Knickerbocker Club that I do want to know more about.

Emmett Cavanaugh is a self-made man who has risen to the top. He is wealthy, powerful and ruthless but has a soft spot for his brother and two sisters. He is intrigued by Elizabeth Sloane and her desire to open an office to trade shares on the stock exchange, so intrigued he wagers 5,000 dollars on a gamble. Elizabeth is everything Emmett tends to avoid in women – until he meets her and his interest is caught. Then both find themselves at the mercy of society’s expectations after being caught together. There are ups and downs, trials to face, lack of trust to experience, pasts to overcome, friends there for both Emmett and Elizabeth and a strong love for both if they can work through all their relationship is forced to deal with. There is plenty of chemistry but will there be communication enough to see them get their happily ever after.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book today and look forward to reading more in this series in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington books for the copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  CathyGeha | Apr 24, 2016 |
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1887. 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 millionaire, 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 Elizabeth Sloane just might change all that.… (more)

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