The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

22608277Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists 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. – Goodreads Excerpt

Wow, was this one a wild ride. Romance, witches, sex, painting, Paris…this story had it all.

Set in the late 1800’s in dark, romantic Paris, a grieving Mademoiselle (though, to be accurate, Madame) Sandrine Salome has flown the coop (and her terrible husband, Benjamin) to hide with her grandmother in France. Her father has just committed a forced suicide, and her husband is to blame.

During this time, Sandrine finds herself—and perhaps, the spirit of someone else.

She learns that she is a fabulous painter, and becomes consumed with a desire to create. She sees the world in colors now, a vivid imagery that M.J. Rose masterfully paints. Though caught in a loveless, cold marriage, she meets Julian, a handsome architect.

Okay, okay. On to the review.

Rose’s writing style is gorgeous. I’m used to reading sex scenes that include uncomfortable words such as “throbbing”, “rod”, and “moist”. Rose, however, writes sex scenes in a way that is both intimate and beautiful, two words I never thought I’d pair with a book sex scene. Sandrine sees emotions in a swirl of colors, which is depicted in these scenes. They were very tasteful, and I probably wouldn’t even blush if I recommended this book to my mother.

I loved Sandrine’s character. She began as a pitiful creature, terrified and depressed. I was okay with this, because she’d been through a lot. However, she blossomed into a truly defiant character after a few chapters, after settling in Paris. She even gave the middle finger to an all-male art school until they accepted her. No, not literally. This was the late 1800’s.

If you’re into paranormal historical romances (is that a thing?) then this is the book for you. I enjoyed it, and would definitely look at reading another book by the same author. I rated it a 4/5 on Goodreads.

lauren (2) I was given a free ARC of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. The Witch of Painted Sorrows will be released on March 17, 2015 by Atria Books.

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