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The Courtesan Duchess (Wicked Deceptions) Mass Market Paperback – March 31, 2015
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-- Award-winning author Valerie Bowman
About the 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. In 2013 she won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband. Visit joannashupe.com.
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Top customer reviews
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However, the actual story is another matter. That can be summed up in 3 words: contrived, dull, implausible. I don't mind a bit of contrivance if it sets up a good story line and I don't mind a whole helping of implausibility if the story can carry it but to hit the triple is a killer. I won't go into the issues in detail, because that would involve too many spoilers for those that want to give the book a go, but I will say that the plot meant that I didn't get any of the build up to a relationship that I enjoy in romance books. I like the sexual tension to be built slowly and for that to be woven into the development of the relationship as a whole. To jump straight to sex and then to try to build the relationship from there just didn't work for me.
I would only advise reading this book if you are content with a totally predictable story, minimal character development, a heroine who seems to be particularly stupid and a hero whose only "good point" seems to be that he's great in the sack. If those are not selling points for you then I'd suggest looking elsewhere. Or, if you're still intrigued by the story's premise, get it on Kindle Unlimited or from your library. If you decide you love it and want to encourage the author you can always buy it afterwards.
This story was captivating from the very beginning. Right off the bat, I loved the unconventional setting of Venice. There were just enough hints of impropriety in Julia's background to make me want to know what she'd really been doing during her husband's long absence. Nick, on the other hand, was the perfect tortured hero. The supporting characters provided a little levity while adding insight into Nick's and Julia's true personalities.
Joanna Shupe is one of the few authors I want on my physical bookshelf, and I intend to own everything she writes.