Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

Set against the backdrop of 1890’s Belle Époque Paris, The Witch of Painted Sorrows begins with an escape.  As Sandrine Salome flees from her cruel husband and the tragedy of her beloved father’s recent death, her thoughts revolve around one place: Paris, the home of her infamous courtesan grandmother Eva Verlaine.

To her surprise, Eva is wary of her plan to stay, insisting that the city holds nothing but dangers for her.  Undeterred, she begins to rebuild her life there.  Secretly, she visits the Maison de la Lune against her grandmother’s wishes, eager to learn what it is she is trying to hide.  The home is said to have belonged to her mysterious 16th century ancestor, La Lune.  She was a courtesan.  She was a painter.  But was she also a witch?

As Sandrine discovers more about the enigmatic La Lune, she begins to feel passion unlike anything she’s felt before - a passion for painting, a passion for love, and a passion for a life of her own.  The only question is, are these her passions?  Or has La Lune’s spirit begun to take over Sandrine’s life? 

Like a wonderful painting, I found the elements of this novel blended in a beautiful way.  Rose weaves together aspects of history, fantasy, romance, art, and the supernatural, with the lush setting of Belle Époque Paris coming alive and creating a really engaging scene for the story.  It was at times suspenseful, sensual, and alluring, and I found the characters to be very well drawn.  A perfect read for those who like gothic romance, a beautiful Paris setting, or simply a story that will transport you to another time and place.

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