Genre: Historical Mystery
Possession. Power. Passion. International bestselling novelist M.J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this erotic, gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.
Sandrine Salome runs away to her grandmother’s Parisian mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insits it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.
Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten – her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.
This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love and witchery.
Ah 1890s Paris! A place in time I would love to travel back to and a great setting for this novel with its elements of spirits, courtesans, art, and passion. The heroine Sandrine, who comes from a long line of courtesans, flees to Paris to escape a crappy husband and bad situation. She stays with her Grandmother, who is a bit mysterious from time to time, and along the way discovers that she can have a good life for herself, and that in order to do so, she must be strong and overcome some otherworldly challenges. Otherworldly? Why yes, because La Lune would like to live on through her most favorite descendant.
I will not reveal any spoilers, but hopefully the above whets your appetite for more. As usual M.J. Rose is a master at using reincarnation and the sense of smell in her books to evoke changes and push the story along. Her descriptions of everything, the scenes, the food, what the characters smell to invoke memories and action in the story, actually translates over to the reader, at at least it did for me. The sense of smell plays strongly in all of Rose's books, and for good reason. Smells or scents invoke memories, and can comfort or sadden people. While this may sound odd, it totally works in Rose's books and works well.
Overall this book was an enjoyable read with a wee bit of everything: passion, mystery, spiritualism, and romance. If you haven't read an M.J. Rose book before, then this one would be a good one to start with.
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About the Author
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.
She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
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Thanks to Amy and Netgalley for my copy in return for an honest review.
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