Magnate by Joanna Shupe
Description: Book #1 of The Knickerbocker Club series
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 just might change all that.
Elizabeth Sloane’s mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York’s most accomplished brokers—but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they’ll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…
I just devoured Joanna Shupe’s Magnate. I can honestly say I never thought I would enjoy a book about stock trading so much. Usually, American history is not my thing. I rarely read books set in historical America. However, I’m glad I decided to read outside my comfort zone. I owe the adventure solely to Joanna Shupe’s writing ability. If I hadn’t read her Regency series and loved her plots and writing style, I would have been hesitant to pick up this book. I would have missed out. Kudos to Joanna Shupe for writing about a time period which is not usually covered by romance writers. After reading this book, filled with delicious scandal and powerful millionaires, I’m questioning why more romance novels aren’t set in this time period.
On to the story itself. I fully admit that I really liked the first book in this series, Tycoon. Joanna Shupe did an excellent job of hinting at the millionaires which will be the focus of this series. It centers around a group of businessmen, each focused in different fields, who meet up and aid each other in business matters. The first book focuses on Emmett Cavanaugh, a self-made steel tycoon. He worked his way from the slums of New York into the life of the wealthy. He has all the allure of a self-made millionaire as well as the horrific backstory and trust issues. The story starts with him being approached with a business by Elizabeth Sloane. She is the sister of one of the other tycoons in Emmett’s group. Elizabeth is one of the best romance heroines I’ve read this year. She is determine, smart, and gutsy. She wants to start her own stockbroker firm and needs Emmett’s backing. Elizabeth is a blue blood but wants more than balls and shopping in her life. She’s smart and she knows it. She is perfectly capable of dealing with the stubbornness, and at times, irritatingly masculine nature of Emmett.
What I liked most about this book is the how well Shupe develops her characters. Their motivations are real and heartfelt, even when they are being stupid. What’s more, she takes these characters and creates an undeniable chemistry between them. Emmett and Elizabeth steam up the pages. However, behind that lust is the foundation of a deep relationship, even if it takes the characters a while to realize that. In my opinion, that’s what romance readers truly want. We want a couple who builds a relationship which we believe will endure once we close the book. Joanna Shupe creates that relationship in this book.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review