Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose (Review)

Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Gothic
Publication.Date  March 7th 2015
Published By:  Atria Books
AuthorM.J. Rose

The Witch of Painted Sorrows on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.


The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I've even seen it. I've been bathed in it. I've been changed by it. 

     Set in 1890s Paris, The Witch of Painted Sorrows is an irresistibly atmospheric, flavorful and intensely captivating gothic novel

     I was thoroughly impressed with M.J. Rose's smooth and spellbinding writing style and the amount of historical and cultural detail she included in this story. The combination of the sensual, sexually charged plot line, the gripping intrigue, the emotionally powerful and deeply intimate details of the main character's life and the breathtakingly painted historical tapestry of Belle Epoque simply swept me off my feet. I think I found my new favorite historical fiction author! 

     Sandrine Salome arrives in Paris hoping to find refuge from her dangerous husband at her grandmother's lavish and breathtaking mansion. However, upon her arrival, she discovers the mansion is empty and locked up, and her grandmother explanations seem rather suspicious and evasive. Together with charismatic and fascinating young architect, Julien, she begins to explore Paris's night world, with all its forbidden and dangerously alluring sides, dipping her fingers in the occult and exploring her deepest desires. 

     The Witch of Painted Sorrows surprised me. In a very good way. The story was more substantial and more captivating than I expected. The suspense kept me turning pages and I was undeniably mesmerized by Rose's evocative prose and careful world building. On top of everything else, this book was simply very entertaining to read. I gasped, I blushed, I held my breath a few times, and I kept on turning pages, telling myself "just one more chapter", "just one more page". I just couldn't put it down. 

     Art, erotica, witchcraft, danger, possession, history - The Witch of Painted Sorrows has it all. It's an explosive and highly addictive blend of flavors and themes, and I am certain fans of paranormal mysteries set against rich historical backgrounds will find this book truly unputdownable. I know for sure, I will be following M.J. Rose's writing carrier closely.

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