Joanna Shupe comes to the blog today with the second in her series, The Four Hundred, a Victorian era story that travels to America to unfold. Please read on for my review of
A Scandalous Deal
I haven’t yet read the first in this series – but I’m hoping to remedy that this weekend! This story starts with a touch of deception and a passage to New York from England for our couple. Eva Hyde is an architect, hoping to make her own mark on the world. Her father is both famed for his work, and the one who taught her all she knows, but he’s in failing health with something that feels like a dementia, and is unable to keep working. Unfortunately, Phillip Mansfield has paid (perhaps overpaid) for Hyde’s work, and is determined to make his new New York hotel the talk of the town. But, with Eva claiming the work and designs are her father’s, when in fact they are hers, she heads off to New York on board a ship with Phillip, someone who drew her eye and interest from the start. During the passage, the subtext for the story is built – very much one of equality and a woman’s ability to perform work and tasks that have traditionally been closed to them. But Eva isn’t quite satisfied with her own recognition as a competent and capable woman, and she hopes that the brashness and newness of society in New York will allow her the respect and independence that she craves as an architect who happens to be a clever determined woman, and not as ‘the woman architect’. Subtle differences, but important to progress and Eva.
These two are adorable together, and Phillip is incredibly sweet, charming and laid back. Until they arrive in New York: there he is all business, determined to overcome the many obstacles placed in his path: the ‘woman’ sent in his architect’s place, the workmen’s discontent with a woman on the project, political corruption, and even some clear threats to Eva’s life all make the project unstable, with the completion date being pushed further and further afield. But, there’s something about Eva, and the ease of conversation with her, not to mention the attraction between them. But, the list of secrets and deceptions Eva is hiding could scupper the whole deal, and make her family’s precarious financial situation even more dire.
Proving herself and her work has never been more important to Eva, both personally and professionally. Breaking through Phillip’s hatred of deception to get him to understand the why behind it is the most important thing, second only to completing the hotel and having him impressed with the design and her ability to bring his concept to life. Steam, tension and plenty of subterfuge kept this story moving as pages turned. Both Phillip and Eva have reasons for their behavior, and the attraction between them could power the whole block! Wholly unique with insets of ‘very American’ brashness, the society, corruption and struggle to make the biggest and best, the lovely moments with Phillip’s mother and even the discovery of the many forces trying to stop the construction’s progress kept me engaged and whipping through – happily smiling in the end.
Title: A Scandalous Deal
Author: Joanna Shupe
Series: The Four Hundred #2
Also in this series: A Notorious Vow
Genre: Historical Romance, Setting: American, Victorian
Published by: Avon
Published on: 24 April, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
Joanna Shupe returns with another unforgettable novel set in the glittering world of New York City’s Gilded Age…
They call her Lady Unlucky…
With three dead fiancés, Lady Eva Hyde has positively no luck when it comes to love. She sets sail for New York City, determined that nothing will deter her dream of becoming an architect, certainly not an unexpected passionate shipboard encounter with a mysterious stranger. But Eva’s misfortune strikes once more when she discovers the stranger who swept her off her feet is none other than her new employer.
Or is it Lady Irresistible?
Phillip Mansfield reluctantly agrees to let the fiery Lady Eva oversee his luxury hotel project while vowing to keep their relationship strictly professional. Yet Eva is more capable—and more alluring—than Phillip first thought, and he cannot keep from drawing up a plan of his own to seduce her.
When a series of onsite “accidents” make it clear someone wants Lady Unlucky to earn her nickname, Phillip discovers he’s willing to do anything to protect her—even if it requires a scandalous deal…
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: