Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions #2) by Joanna Shupe

When scandal strikes for Maggie, the one person she thought would stand up for her turns his back on her in her time of need, thus changing her life forever.

Years later, Maggie, now a widow trying to survive with the moniker of the Harlot Countess and a her unwillingness to bend to the rules of the ton who so easily shunned her. Necessity and talent have transformed Maggie's tragedy into a sort of triumph when she uses her art to build her life by reinventing herself as the artist Lemarc.

Simon Barrett, the Earl of Winchester has been plagued with political cartoons of himself making their way around London. These caricatures artfully making fun of "Lord Winejester" may wreak possible consequences on Simon's political career if the do not stop, therefore, he is determined to discover who the artist Lemarc is. After seeing Maggie for the first time in years in the art shop where the cartoons prominently adorn the front window, Simon enlist the help of his former love interest to seek out Lemarc. Will he be in for a surprise when he finds out the identity of Lemarc.

Maggie may have sought to discredit Simon as revenge for her treatment all those years ago, but the more she is in his company, it's apparent her feelings for him have only remained strong, even after her debacle of a marriage at the height of her scandal. In many ways, Maggie has arisen stronger from her adversity. 

Simon truly has no idea what Maggie has been through. His determination to find the artist has him almost missing the treasure he has in front of his eyes and his rejection of Maggie when she needed him the most niggles at the back of my mind once they are reunited. I loved and hated him at the same time but to be honest, Maggie is the star of this show in the Harlot Countess by the brilliant Joanna Shupe.

The Harlot Countess by Joanna Shupe is a wonderful follow up to The Courtesan Duchess. Joanna Shupe is easily one of the best new authors out there and she has cemented herself as one of my favorites to date. The Harlot Countess is a solid read with a superb storyline. Ms. Shupe knows how to write the perfect strong female and Maggie is definitely that. Even though I would have enjoyed cuffing Simon in the head a few times, he is an enjoyable hero. Following the trials and tribulations of the ladies of the Wicked Deceptions series is a joy and I look forward to the next one. 

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