Welcome to my stop for the second in the Wicked Deceptions series by Joanna Shupe. Please be sure to read my review, don’t miss the excerpt and then check out the other tour stops to see what others thought about the title. In addition, you can enter the tour wide giveaway where you could be one of three winners of a print copy of THE HARLOT COUNTESS by Joanna Shupe.
The Harlot Countess
I enjoyed the debut offering from this author, so I was curious to see what she would do with The Harlot Countess, book 2 in the Wicked Deceptions series from Joanna Shupe. A knack for creating heroines that just dance with the common threads of bold and daring without falling into overly spoilt, shrewish or utter scatterbrains, Shupe has brought a new entrant into the world with Margaret. Intelligent and a survivor, she is using her knowledge of the world and politics to express her opinions under a male pseudonym as a political cartoonist. Shrew, sharp and pointed, her cartoons are the talk of the town, skewering bad behavior and duplicity with equal measure. In reality, Maggie buries the tender heart and hurt feelings beneath an icy façade, married to a much older man, with plenty of angst and drama, she doesn’t believe that love (or even a relationship) is in her future.
Society is full of mean girls and opportunistic men, and nowhere is this more evident than in the cats that make up the Tonne. Rumors and scandals are attributed to Maggie, all of which she has risen above and done her best to ignore, despite the hurt they cause. She’s done what many can understand- ignore the cats, work on what pleases HER (her art) and why not fill expectations from her tattered reputation by attending parties thought scandalous, even when she isn’t misbehaving in the least.
Simon and Maggie had been friends for years, until the scandal broke. At that point, Simon, being a clueless male and striving for his own position in society actually turned his back on Maggie, signifying his dismissal and lack of support for her when she needed him most. I can’t completely see him as a total ass – she wouldn’t have tolerated that for all those years – but he did make huge mistakes in forgetting what and who is truly important to him. Maggie’s ability to take out her anger in the pointed cartoons that attack his reputation are hitting the mark – and his request that she help unmask the artist behind the attack is a perfect opportunity for her to show him just how awfully he had treated her.
Miscommunication and an utter unwillingness to actually communicate are at the heart of this story, after the despicable self-serving behaviors of Cranford ruin Maggie’s reputation. She could, quite easily, hope that her friend Simon would hear the truth – but her plan to bring him to his senses with her own talents is a clever twist that moves the story forward. With plenty of steam, enough uber-alpha insecurities displayed by Simon and a wonderful ‘aha’ moment when things come clear made this a story ripe for imagination and enjoyment. A lovely installment to the series.
Title: The Harlot Countess
Author: Joanna Shupe
Series: Wicked Deceptions #2
Also in this series: The Courtesan Duchess, The Lady Hellion
Genre: Historical Romance
Published on: 28 April, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 46 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Lady Hawkins’s debut was something she’d rather forget—along with her first marriage. Today, the political cartoonist is a new woman. A thoroughly modern woman. So much so that her clamoring public believes she’s a man…
FACT: Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, Earl of Winchester. He’s a rising star in Parliament—and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie’s who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.
FICTION: Maggie is the Half-Irish Harlot who seduced her best friend’s husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches.
Still crushed by Simon’s betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting the ton crush her as well. In fact, Lemarc’s cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock…but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago, and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since…forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?
See the Wicked Deceptions Series on GoodReads
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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