Sunday, October 9, 2016

seriously romantic: baron by joanna shupe

unlike my usual romance reads, baron doesn't take place in nineteenth century england. even though you might think it did from the title. the only baron in the novel is not the aristocratic kind, at least not in the conventional sense of the word. will sloane is a railroad baron rubbing shoulders with carnegie and astor in new york's gilded age. definitely a different time period for me, but it shares a lot of familiar social mores with regency and victorian society.

the late nineteenth century also saw an increased interest in spiritualism and the paranormal, . mediums cropped up all over the place, and most of them were charlatans. this sadly includes our heroine, ava jones, also known as madame zolikoff. she has turned to performance as a way to get her family out of the tenements, and her actual goal is to get her siblings out of the city. she dreams of buying a farm somewhere upstate and having room to breathe. but when her professional relationship with a client gets in the way of sloane's political aspirations, ava and will find themselves at odds.

of course, since it is a romance novel, they also can't stay away from each other. when they eventually give up the pretense of fighting and begin an illicit relationship, they can't stop themselves from feeling more. from the moment they meet they are well-matched. will has found the one woman who won't just cave to his dictates and ava has found someone who will respect and cherish her the way she deserves.

when scandal threatens everything, will and ava have to make a choice. and will's decision to go for broke finally wins her over. a good thing, because clearly the guy could do nothing else to convince her that he loved her and wanted to make their relationship work. and honestly it's always easier for the guy to marry down than the other way around, so there was no need for her to protest that much.

**baron will publish on october 25, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/kensington books/zebra in exchange for my honest review. 

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