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…
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The Knickerbocker Club
By Joanna Shupe
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Joanna Shupe
All rights reserved.
Man cannot do without society, and society cannot be maintained without customs and laws.
— American Etiquette and Rules of Politeness, 1883
Seventy-Fifth Street and Fifth Avenue, New York City December 1887
If given the choice between bears and bulls, Lizzie vastly preferred the bull. Bears were tentative and sluggish, whereas bulls charged forward and caused things to happen. She had finally decided to consider herself a bull, ready to pursue her hopes and dreams by any means necessary.
Which is how she found herself on upper Fifth Avenue this afternoon, waiting in the largest mansion on Millionaire's Row. The monstrosity belonged to one of the wealthiest men in the world, a steel magnate who had reputedly forged his empire through daring, determination, and sheer grit.
And before Lizzie left his house today, she intended to convince him to take another risk, this time on her.
A noise caught her attention, and she turned as an immense man stepped into the receiving room. "Miss Sloane, I am Emmett Cavanaugh."
Lizzie clasped her trembling hands and tried not to gawk. She'd heard the rumors, of course. Not only was Cavanaugh the owner of the powerful East Coast Steel, but he was also her brother's friend. Still, the bits of news and gossip here and there hadn't quite prepared her for the shock of actually seeing him in person.
He was huge — a mountain of a man. Thick and tall, with wide shoulders that could only be borne of physical activity. The breadth of his chest ... good heavens. His tailor must charge a fortune for the additional fabric required to clothe him.
He did not smile. No welcoming warmth lit his expression, no curious twinkle shining in his eyes. He merely stood watching her, as if taking her measure as well. Her knees wobbled in the weighted silence, uncertainty hollowing out her belly and drying out her mouth. There was a hardness about this man, an edge, like one of the new skyscrapers towering unapologetically over the city's old, elegant buildings.
"Mr. Cavanaugh," she returned, straightening her shoulders. "Thank you for seeing me."
"Of course, though I'm a bit unclear on the rules. I don't normally entertain unmarried ladies in my home. Am I supposed to offer you refreshment?"
Yes, she'd heard rumors of the types of ladies he entertained. All actresses, and the liaisons never lasted long. "That's not necessary. I promise not to take up too much of your time."
"Then by all means, please sit."
Lizzie lowered herself onto a chair and studied him through her lashes as he assumed the chair opposite. She hadn't expected him to be quite so ... striking. He had full lips and a finely curved jaw. Stark, slashing cheekbones and slightly long, dark brown hair. A small indent graced the tip of his bold chin, an imperfect mark on an otherwise perfect profile, and her heart began picking up steam, thumping hard in her chest. His handsomeness made her even more unsure of herself, unsure of her decision to come here today.
But what choice did she have? She needed a partner, one wealthy and influential enough to help get her business up and running. Using her talent for stock speculation, she could save her family's finances if given a chance. Unfortunately, no one else would even meet with her. Emmett Cavanaugh was her last hope.
She cleared her throat. "The reason I've called today is that I have a business proposition for you."
One dark eyebrow shot up. "A business proposition? Interesting, though I'm curious as to why you've not taken this idea to your brother. William Sloane does own one of the country's largest railroads."
True, the Northeast Railroad Company was one of the biggest railroads, and Will had served as the president since their father's death. Her older brother never included her in business matters, however. He staunchly refused to discuss any of their financial problems, insisting he had everything well in hand, even when she knew otherwise. "Stick to your parties and theater, Lizzie," Will often said. "Leave the business side of things to me."
Why couldn't she do both, as Will did? That precise attitude — that women were narrow-minded creatures incapable of understanding financial matters — never failed to anger her. No one took her ambition seriously, not even her friends. To them, her dreams were merely a temporary fancy, one that would disappear the instant she found the right man to marry. All the more reason to move forward with her plans, quickly and quietly.
"I have spoken with him, yes, but he's proven difficult to convince. I'm hoping you'll be more open-minded."
"Well, that does intrigue me. But what about the Rutlidge boy, the one to whom you're nearly engaged?"
Hardly a surprise Cavanaugh had heard the rumors about her and Henry Rutlidge. Will was keen on the match, as was Edith Rutlidge, Lizzie's good friend and Henry's sister. But Lizzie hadn't yet made up her mind. Henry's views on women in business were far from progressive. "Mr. Rutlidge is not in control of his own pockets, I'm afraid, and his father would never agree to what I'm proposing."
"Then I suppose I'm flattered to be approached. You must tell me this radical idea." Cavanaugh moved not a muscle, his focus unwavering yet guarded. She hoped that was a sign of interest on his part.
"I want to open a stock brokerage firm. I am seeking a partner, one to provide working capital to get started. Someone high profile enough to help me lure clients."
No sign of amusement or horror showed on his face. His expression remained unreadable. "Like Vanderbilt did for Woodhull a few years back?"
"Precisely." She relaxed a bit. He understood.
"And who will be doing the advising?"
"Me. I will advise on all the trades. I do plan to keep that knowledge from the male clients, however, at least until they're comfortable with the idea of working with a woman."
He tilted his head and stroked his jaw. "You speculate on the exchange?"
She nodded. "Indeed. Of course, I can't trade myself, so I plan to hire a young man to represent me on the exchange floor."
He gave her a long, indecipherable look. She couldn't tell if he was considering her plan or preparing to laugh.
"You are from one of the oldest and wealthiest families in New York, Miss Sloane. Surely you can finance whatever scheme you're dreaming up. Sell a bracelet or two to raise the money. Why bring someone in from the outside?"
This was a sticky, yet not entirely unexpected, question. She couldn't tell Cavanaugh the truth, that she suspected the worst of the Sloane finances. Her brother would not discuss it, but she was certain they were in trouble. Paintings disappearing, servants let go, stock sold ... Had Will thought she wouldn't notice? Had he honestly believed she didn't pay attention? Yet her offers to help had been refused. So she had decided to do this without Will's assistance.
Moistening her dry lips, she charged on with the answer she'd prepared, one that was not a lie. "I do not come into possession of my trust until my twenty-fifth birthday, which leaves me with very little money to work with before then. However, even if I had the capital, I won't be taken seriously by my clients — the male clients — until I prove that I can earn money."
"And I am to believe you're competent, entrust you with my money?"
She picked up the ledger she'd been keeping for four years, the proof that she wasn't some silly female with unrealistic aspirations. No, in here lay her undeniable abilities in ink. "These are records of the transactions I would have made, had I been allowed." He held out his large hand, and she slipped the volume into his grip. "I read the reports, Mr. Cavanaugh. I follow the markets. You'll see I maintain a healthy balance in the black."
"A fictional balance," he noted, before studying the most recent entries. "Most of these are obvious, sure bets any trader would make." He paused. "What's this, a short sale on Pennington? Did you truly see that price drop coming, when no one else did?"
Not easy to keep the smugness out of her voice, but she managed it. "Over the past three years, I've noticed their second quarter earnings are always delayed. The Pennington stock drops ten percent like clockwork as a result."
"How do I know you didn't write these entries the next day, once you read the papers?"
Heat washed over her skin, like she'd been dipped in a hot water bath. "Are you saying that I am a liar?"
The question seemed to amuse him. His lips twitched as he handed the ledger back. "Why me?"
She lifted a shoulder, trying to appear casual when she felt the exact opposite. "First, you have the means and the influence. Second, I know about your meetings with my brother each month, along with Calvin Cabot and Theodore Harper." She drew in a deep breath and admitted the truth, praying she would not offend him. "And neither Mr. Cabot nor Mr. Harper would see me when I paid a call."
"Well, at least you're honest about my being your last choice," he said dryly.
Cavanaugh's reputation for ruthlessness had factored into the decision to save him for last. Legend held he'd grown up on the streets of Five Points, fought his way out of the slums to a steel mill, which he later purchased to start his empire. Unlike the other wealthy men of business, he didn't involve himself in charitable causes and kept far removed from the social scene.
He surprised her by rising in one fluid motion. "Follow me," he said, and started out of the room.
Stomach fluttering with nerves, she trailed him into the corridor and deeper into the garishly decorated house, passing the two-story entry hall with its sleek pink marble staircase and gold railing. Next came a long gallery, with paintings from Dutch and Italian masters and a carved ceiling decorated with frescoes and rimmed in gold leaf. If she weren't so anxious, she might've found the surroundings impressive.
Cavanaugh walked fast, and Lizzie had to lift the hem of her skirts in order to keep up. Not very loquacious, was he? Or polite, for that matter.
She had no idea where he was leading her. To the safe where he kept his money? A side door, where he'd eject her from his house? For some strange reason, she wasn't worried for her safety. He'd been patient with her, asking intelligent questions and listening to her answers. Moreover, he was her brother's friend.
They ended up in a large room containing a massive desk. Rows of books lined the walls and a collection of modern-day conveniences — telephone, telegraph machine, stock ticker — shared what must be Cavanaugh's office. The space smelled of cigar, lemon polish, and big business. A thrill slid through her as she imagined the deals and fortunes this room had witnessed.
"Colin, leave us," Cavanaugh said, and a young man stood up from a smaller desk in the corner. He wore round glasses, his eyes curious behind the frames as he hurried to the hall. Lizzie guessed not many ladies had ever crossed into this masculine domain.
Cavanaugh continued to the stock ticker, which was churning and spitting out a long white strip. He ripped off the paper, returned to her side, and held out the tape. "Read it. The last five updates."
Taking a deep breath, she lowered herself into a chair, set down her ledger, and smoothed the thin strip of paper between her fingers. Cavanaugh sat as well, thankfully saving her from craning her neck to see him. "Deere and Company down seven and three-eighths. State Street Corporation up two points. Seneca Textiles down twelve points. PPG Industries up six and one-eighth points. Kimberly-Clark up three and five-eighths."
"Very good," he said, though he hardly sounded impressed. "But interpreting the tape is the skill. So tell me, based on what you read, what would you advise your clients to do?" She didn't even need to ponder it. "I would advise them to buy Seneca Textiles."
"Why, when they've been down steadily since September?"
"Because Easter is three months away, and in a few days, the ladies will begin ordering their bonnets, dresses, gloves, and the like. I also know that Seneca will soon announce an exclusive agreement to import the same Honiton lace as supplied to Queen Victoria."
Cavanaugh glanced away, his brow furrowed. She held utterly still, watching and awaiting his decision. Blunt fingers stroked the rough skin of his jaw, and her attention was drawn to the small indentation in his chin. She imagined tracing it with her finger....
"Not bad, Miss Sloane. Not bad at all. But my answer must still be no."
* * *
Emmett studied her carefully as the news sank in. Christ, she was beautiful. How did a bastard like Will Sloane have such a breathtaking sister?
In a high-necked, blue-and-white-striped shirtwaist and matching skirt, Miss Sloane possessed a cool, untouchable beauty, the kind far removed from the type of women he usually fraternized with. She had the flawless skin found only in the top tier of society — people who'd never worked, toiled in a field, or sweat in the heat of a steel mill. Emmett felt dirty just sitting across from her.
Still, his blood stirred all the same. How could it not? Blond hair, perfect poise, slate-gray eyes, the fair Miss Sloane would cause a dead man to sit up and take notice.
And the way she'd read that ticker tape, with such confidence and skill, had almost knocked him on his ass. He hadn't met a woman that quick with numbers since Fannie Reid, owner of the most successful bordello in Five Points.
"I'm sorry, you said no?" Her blond brows pinched, and he had the ridiculous urge to smooth his thumb over the tiny creases that dared mar her immaculate forehead. "Why?"
He forced his gaze to hers. "I said no for two reasons. First, I have no interest in owning an investment firm. And second, while it seems you have a knack for speculating, I cannot see how this is a good idea. I wish you luck, however."
Her shoulders went rigid, and he knew he'd offended her. "I have more than a 'knack.' Why do you think I will not succeed?"
How could he explain it to her, that talent only got one so far in business? More important were cunning, a lack of scruples, and an ever-ready supply of favors you could call upon at a moment's notice. This woman was far too well-bred to play in the street with the other vermin.
"The world you think to involve yourself in is a cutthroat, nasty business. I cannot believe you have the stomach for it."
Her lips thinned into a white line. "And how do you know what, precisely, I have the stomach for?"
She hadn't backed down, so perhaps Miss Sloane was stronger than she appeared. Still, she had no idea what awaited her if she continued along this insane path. Bribes. Lying. Cheating ... Christ, he'd bought off two politicians already today — and the day was only half over. No woman, especially one whose family could be traced to the Dutch patroons of New Amsterdam, should swim in those filthy waters.
"I don't, not really," he admitted. "But I have a strong suspicion."
"A suspicion based on how I look. On my last name."
It was not a question, but Emmett felt he owed her the truth. "Yes. Life in Washington Square will not have prepared you for —"
Anger bloomed on her cheeks, her pristine skin turning a dull red. "You have no idea of my life or what I'm prepared to do. I know as much about stocks as any man. Women shouldn't be forced to put up with ... with ..."
She trailed off, and Emmett couldn't drag his eyes away. Furious, she was downright breathtaking. Emmett's body began to take notice, but the last thing he needed was a bit of stiff in his trousers. With an effort, he returned to the conversation. "With?"
"With men like you! You are just as closed-minded as my brother."
Emmett frowned. God knew he wanted nothing in common with Will Sloane. Emmett hated her brother with everything he had, which was quite considerable.
He studied the determined set of Miss Sloane's shoulders. The resolute gleam in her steady gaze. "Why?" he finally asked.
"Why do you want to do this? You have to know it won't be easy. You'll likely be shunned by high society once word gets out. And who will serve as your clients?"
"They won't shun me, not if I've proven myself. Which is why I need a prominent name on the door, one that people will accept at first. As for my clients, they'll likely be mostly women at the outset. Shopgirls, teachers, widows, society women. And ladies with ... other sources of income."
"Prostitutes, you mean." God Almighty, her brother would lose his snobbish, blue-blooded mind if he knew. Emmett was growing to like this girl.
Excerpted from Magnate by Joanna Shupe. Copyright © 2016 Joanna Shupe. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lizzie was ready to pursue her hopes and dreams so she was in the mansion of one of the richest men in the world. Emmett was a steel magnate who had forged his empire through daring, determination, and sheer guts. Now lizzie wanted him to take a chance on her Emmett owned East Coast Steel but Emmett was also Lizzie’s brother William’s friend. Emmett was known for dating actresses but the relationships never lasted very long. Lizzie needed a partner who was wealthy and influential to help her get her business going. Emmett wondered why Lizzie needed a partner. Why Lizzie didn’t go to William as he owned North east railroad Company. Emmett brought up Lizzie turning to Henry the man she was almost engaged to. William and her best friend Edith- who is Henry’s sister wanted to see Henry and Lizzie married to each other. But Lizzie hadn’t decided yet about Henry. Henry’s view about women in business was not progressive. Lizzie wanted to open a stock brokerage firm. She tells Emmett she needs someone with capital and high profile enough to help her lure clients. Lizzie would be the one advising on all the trades. As far as male clients went she would keep the fact she was doing the advising until they were comfortable working with her. Then lizzie would hire a young man to represent her on the exchange floor since a woman isn’t allowed to trade. Lizzie had a ledger she had been keeping for four years which showed her abilities in ink. Emmett told her no but as she absorbed the answer he thought how beautiful she was to have a brother like william. Emmett did know anyone he hated as much as William. Emmett hadn’t met anyone as quick with numbers as Lizzie in a long time. When Lizzie asked emmett why he had said no he couldn’t explain that talent only went so far in business more important was owning a lack of scruples and ever ready supply of favors you can call upon at a minutes notice. Emmett told Lizzie it is a nasty cutthroat business- bribes, lying, and cheating. Emmett found he liked Lizzie and was surprised at how much. Lizzie makes a bet with emmett and he agrees. He also wanted dinner at Delmonico’s where all N Y society would see them together. I liked this story a lot. I like the loyalty Lizzie portrayed to her brother and his business. I like that she actually had the nerve to go to Emmett about a partnership. I like how emmett didn’t reveal what he knew of William and he didn’t want to tell her how ruthless business was. I found emmett’s character in this. I loved the characters and the plot. I liked the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.
I LOVED this story!! I've always loved when romances were between people of two different classes, because it adds a layer to the story that traditional historical romances don't have. There is definitely a large gap between Emmett who came from the slums of Five Points and Elizabeth who has come from a wealthy family and has grown up in the splendor that Emmett now enjoys through his hard work. I really liked Elizabeth and Emmett for the same reason. They both worked hard to breakout from what was expected of them and to make a better life for themselves. Harrison wasn't about to continue to live in the squalor that he was born to, so he did what had to be done to build his steel empire. Elizabeth on the other hand, wanted more from her life than to be a society lady. She had a talent for picking stocks and wanted to do what she could to help other women have better lives than they were currently living. It was pure pleasure to watch these two strong willed people find a love that they didn't know they needed! Thanks go out to Kensington Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
This is a new author to me and enjoyed the characters and time frame the story was written. The guilded age fit these characters. Will be looking forward to the next books in the series. Ebook from netgalley
I have a new favorite author.
I first found Joanna Shupe last year at a time when historical romances had lost any sort of appeal to me. I had just read this genre so much over the past 15 years that every book I picked up was reading basically the same for me. But I saw The Courtesan Duchess and figured I would give the genre one last shot to redeem itself. And boy, did it ever. Shupe showed me that no, all historical romances were NOT alike and I realized that I was enjoying that genre once again. And then I got the rest of the Wicked Deceptions series as quickly as I could and just tore through them. After I finished that series, I started reading other books within the historical romance genre by other authors and what happened? They had absolutely no appeal. Shupe had effectively ruined me for other books, it seemed. When I saw that she was releasing a new series, The Knickerbocker Club, I had only one thought ... Count. Me. In. You just don't turn down a Joanna Shupe novel. This one isn't like her others, it's set in a later time period but you know what? It was just as freaking good. It was interesting to read a historical romance that was set more closely to modern times. I've found that usually, an author will get a bit overzealous and try to include things that were not in the time period that they chose but that has never been the case with Shupe. She's always very true to the times she's writing about and that makes the story so very much more enchanting. I could go on and on about Magnate and tell you bits and pieces of the story then say how much I adore each aspect of everything within these pages but I'm not going to do that. I'll just tell you that you want to get to know Emmett Cavanaugh. You NEED to get to know Emmett Cavanaugh. He's a character that you want to hate because he's so ruthless and seemingly cut-off from his feelings. You want to hate him, but you don't. You also want to get to know Elizabeth Sloane. She's so spunky and headstrong and intelligent and completely rubs every other well-born lady the wrong way because she has the audacity to think for herself and stand up for what she believes in. These were two amazing characters. And the love story between them was something that kept me on the edge of my seat. I was never for sure what was going to happen between these two head-strong people. But what happens is good. Really good. The story, as usual with all Shupe novels that I have read, just bumps along at a quick pace that leaves you breathless and wanting more. There were more twists and turns in here than I had imagined and a couple of surprises that I never saw coming. Which, obviously, made the book that much better than I had imagined. This is a great book for all of you historical romance lovers out there and it's a great book for those who have never read the genre and want to give it a go. There isn't any of that hath and doth nonsense in these - they are easy to read. Shupe's books read in such a way that you can easily transport yourself to another time and place and experience the magical prim and proper world where chivalry is alive and well practiced. Here's the deal ... pick up ANY book by this author and you won't be disappointed. She's my favorite and no matter how I feel about the genre she writes in, I will never hesitate to pick up a book that has her name on the front. * I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
In a lot of ways, this was exactly was what I was expecting, which in this case is a good thing. A woman who was strong in a time that maybe didn't value her, a man who saw not only her strength and her talent, but was also willing to look past society, and the Gilded Age setting. I was drawn by the time period, as historical novels seem to all be set no later than about 1820, and the early 1900's get ignored, but they were such a fascinating time. I enjoyed this, overall. The characters were compelling, the story well written. There were a few times where I thought the dialog was a little awkward, but that could be just me. I recommend this for the difference provided by the setting...and, apparently there is a prequel novella that I have not read...which I think is going on my TBR list. ***ARC Provided by the Publisher and NetGalley***
I won an ARC from Joanna Shupe at a party and agreed to give a fair and honest review. This is not hard to do because this book was great. The characters are witty, charming, intense and real. This story takes place during New York's Gilded Age. Elizabeth is from the Knickerbocker set but would rather own her own stock brokerage firm. Emmett grew up in the slums of Five Points but now is one of the richest men in New York. A business proposition turned wager leads to scandal which leads to marriage. Both have trust issues and must learn that love can conquer all that is thrown at them.
This is a great book; this is the first book in The Knickerbocker Club by Joanne Shupe. This book has a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
I really enjoyed this story. Emmett is a self-made man, coming from the lowest of lows and a rough home. He gets what he wants when he wants and keeps people at a distance to maintain his privacy. He is unprepared for the determined Elizabeth who wishes to run a business in a world where only men can do such things. Lizzie knows that she needs to keep herself in the background in order for her dreams of running a brokerage firm and goes to Emmett for his backing and name. The two spark but neither want to admit there is more. Circumstances push the two together and now they need to work out how to be married to each other. This was a fun, thought-provoking read and had my heart engaged from the beginning. I highly recommend this book.
New York City - 1887 Elizabeth (Lizzie) Sloane, age 21, is meeting secretly with Emmett Cavanaugh, owner of East Coast Steel. A big and handsome man, he is a business acquaintance of her brother, William Sloane, owner of the Northeast Railroad Company, that he inherited from their father. Since she is a woman, William has never allowed Lizzie to get involved with the business. Lizzie is meeting with Emmett to tell him that she wants to open a stock brokerage firm and needs a partner who can back her financially and who is well-known enough to bring in clients. She shows him a ledger of her own stock trades she has made on paper over the last two years to prove her success. Impressed with her capabilities, he still turns her down. As she is so lovely and well bred, Emmett doesn’t feel she has what it takes to enter this dirty, cut-throat business. Secretly, Lizzie suspects that her family’s railroad business is not doing well and Emmett wonders the same thing. She finally convinces Emmett to back her for three weeks and promises to double his money. If she fails, she will give him some of her preferred railroad stock from her trust. While Emmett is very wealthy, he is also considered to be socially beneath Lizzie. Growing up in a very bad part of town with no parental guidance or help, he was very poor and learned to fight for everything he could. Starting at the bottom, Emmett worked hard at the steel mill until he became injured. Using his settlement money from his injury, he invested it and within a few years had made enough money to buy the mill himself. Today, his shrewd investments have made him a multimillionaire. But few people know the accident that caused his injury was his own fault and also caused the death of two men. For this, he has never forgiven himself. While Emmett is a hard-working, driven man, he loves and takes care of his half-brother, Brendan, a doctor, and his two half-sisters, Katie, age 13, and Claire, age 11. In the eyes of society, Lizzie is considered to be engaged to Henry Rutlidge. However, he is just an old friend and she has no romantic feelings for him. When Lizzie is caught by her brother having dinner with Emmett in a public restaurant, he goes into a rages and says she is ruined and that Emmett must now marry her. There is much hate between William and Emmett mostly due to their vast differences in social status. In this time period of the Gilded Age, social status is everything. Lizzie and Emmett do marry but their marriage is fraught with many problems. Can they make a go of it? Will their ever be any harmony between the two families? This is a magnificent story that I enjoyed it very much and would like to see it made into a mini-series. This is Book 2 of the series The Knickerbocker Club Book 1 is a novella called “Tycoon” Book 3, entitled “Baron,” will be published in November 2016 Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Magnate the first book in the Knickerbocker Club series makes you wonder what Historical Romance did before the Age of author Joanna Shupe! Detailed descriptions of New York City during the Gilded Age flourish and come to life in this marvelous story. Social demands and emotional barriers wreck havoc as the leads in this work struggled to find footing after capitulating to their desire. Author Shupe has a natural aptitude for creating arresting portrayals with her sharp writing skills and ability to convey intense emotions eloquently. As this author builds a solid body of work one of the things that make her stand out is her distinctive heroines who openly defy the social of constraints of the historical period they are depicted in. With an astounding amount of research and this writers talent at taking her readers to an intimate and soul searching place via the pages of her books Joanna Shupe is a must read for Historical Romance lovers everywhere! *I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.* *While part of a series this work can be read as a stand alone.*
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… Review: Fascinating, sexy, historical romance! What first drew me to this story was that it was set in the Gilded Age, I myself have not read a lot of romances set during this time period and in New York. I thought the author did a great job of immersing me into the time period and the climate of the day. I also found it interesting that she based Lizzie's plan/goal to play the market on actual women of the time. The backroom dealings and machinations were very interesting too and I could totally picture the elite of the time doing that. As for the couple, I thought they were perfect together. Don't get me wrong they had issues, but those issues and problems made them more interesting. Emmett exudes the nouveau riche badboy vibe and it totally suits him. He is tough and does what it takes to ensure his brother and sisters are taken care of. Lizzie is far from your typical high society lady, she wants to join the "man's world" and do trading and make a living. She is smart, caring though a little naive. They have that spark from first meeting and buck conventions with their intimate interactions that lead to marriage when Lizzie's brother finds them in a intimate situation. The marriage starts off badly and with hurt feelings, even-though their chemistry is undeniable. Communication and trust are their biggest downfall and obstacle to their HEA. Now, I am rambling. Without retelling the whole story I will stop here...lol I will say I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Baron. Which is Lizzie's brothers story. I am hoping Kelly's story will follow after. 4Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Elizabeth Sloane – Lizzie – loves trading stocks, but being a woman, she has been able to indulge in her passion only as a hobby. Her own brother, Will, refused when she came to him for help to start her own business. Lizzie also suspects the family business’ finances are not what they once were, but no one will tell her anything. After having had every door shut in her face, Lizzie knocks on Emmett Cavanaugh’s door, but she never imagined this financial giant to be so handsome! Emmet doesn’t laugh at Lizzie’s proposition, he’s a businessman who started out with nothing, and he is quite taken with the socialite’s spunk. They strike a bargain: he will partner her business if she will have dinner with him. Joanna Shupe’s extensive research into the business world of the late nineteenth Century really pays off, because everything that has to do with the cutthroat world of finance is totally captivating and feels authentic. We also get a view of the chasm between new money and old money in America; the snobbishness is painful to witness. But Emmett is used to it: he is ruthless, driven, still quite rough around the edges, and doesn’t really care what Society thinks of him: he wants as much money as he can make so he never goes hungry again. Emmett is not nice! He doesn’t want to give in to his intense attraction to Lizzie, because no good can come out of it. MAGNATE is everything but predictable! It is not your average type of romance, and I don’t believe I’d ever seen a character quite like Emmett, and I loved Lizzie! Underneath her polished exterior and impeccable manners, she is just as determined to succeed as Emmett, in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, mainly her gender. MAGNATE is a much multilayered story, and Ms. Shupe’s attention to historical is again astounding: MAGNATE is nearly as good as time travel. I loved that, even given their initial mutual attraction, it’s a long and difficult road before they act on it. I also liked Emmett’s brother Brendan, and I hope to see more of him in the future. The reason why half a star is missing from my review is that I thought there was a tad too much sex – or maybe because the scenes happened too close to one another – and Emmett was still a little too much of the thug he had once been, but I’m sure none of this will matter to most readers! I actually give 4 ½ stars. I receive a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Historical Romance based in fact that is well written, fast paced and intriguing with a good storyline and wonderful characters is always fun to read. Shupe has done research about the time period and woven it throughout the story. The characters were interesting and there are some like Brendan and Kelly that are not in the Knickerbocker Club that I do want to know more about. Emmett Cavanaugh is a self-made man who has risen to the top. He is wealthy, powerful and ruthless but has a soft spot for his brother and two sisters. He is intrigued by Elizabeth Sloane and her desire to open an office to trade shares on the stock exchange, so intrigued he wagers 5,000 dollars on a gamble. Elizabeth is everything Emmett tends to avoid in women – until he meets her and his interest is caught. Then both find themselves at the mercy of society’s expectations after being caught together. There are ups and downs, trials to face, lack of trust to experience, pasts to overcome, friends there for both Emmett and Elizabeth and a strong love for both if they can work through all their relationship is forced to deal with. There is plenty of chemistry but will there be communication enough to see them get their happily ever after. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book today and look forward to reading more in this series in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington books for the copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 Stars