“Something told her Emmett was different, that this man could cause a woman to lose her head. So did that scare her…or tempt her beyond reason?” – Magnate by Joanna Shupe
**advance reader copy received via NetGalley**
My Summary: Magnate is Joanna Shupe’s first book in The Knickerbocker Club series. The setting is New York during the Gilded Age (1870s-1900), a time when the economy is booming and industry is on the rise, and along with it society’s darling families. In this tale we meet Emmett, the product of poverty and violence in the Five Points, who clawed his way to financial success but still finds some doors closed due to his upbringing. Elizabeth is a woman on a mission. Despite her cultured, high society upbringing and the expectations of her family, she is determined to start her own stock brokerage. All Lizzie needs is the financial backing and possibly a respected male frontman. What could be more of a guarantee than Emmett Cavanaugh, ruthless steel magnate? Emmett did not rise to the top making blind gambles or losing his head over pretty blue bloods, so he sets a wager than he thinks she cannot win. When things take unexpected turns and both parties are painted into a corner, the truth is laid bare…and it may be more than either can live with.
My Review: I don’t want to gush about this book, except I do. I typically read historical romance that reaches a little further back, but I was so interested in the synopsis of this book. The worldbuilding revealed in the first book of this series is wonderful, and it is obvious from the detail and depth of character that the author put a great deal of research and time into crafting Magnate. I love an underdog, and I love success stories, so there was a lot for me to like in this tale from the start. I also love to see women advancing themselves and flexing as much of their power as possible – not a fan of dishrag heroines, and I was not disappointed. There were moments when I felt both characters were unreasonable or unsavory, but I think that made them a little bit more real. In the end, everything came together masterfully, and I could not have asked for a more ideal happily ever after. If you are looking for something different, something steamy, with both dark and light moments – check out Magnate, releasing 26 April 2016!