Published: March 17, 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Historical
Obtained via: Publisher from Edelweiss
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com
Fleeing an abusive husband Sandrine Verlaine runs to her beloved grandmother in Paris. When she arrives her dear grandmother is not at her home, Maison de la Lune. She her grandmother, a famous courtesan, has vacated her home and moved to an apartment. Sandrine makes her way to the apartment and is stunned when her grandmother greets her with a command to return home to Sandrine’s husband, Benjamin because what awaits her in Paris is worse—much much worse, than the husband who caused her father’s death.
Sandrine is determined to stay. Her memories as a fifteen year old in Paris, feelings of not only joy but safety, make her more determined to stay. Despite her grandmother’s admonitions to leave, she remains and the women adapt a routine of daily activities. When it is time for her grandmother to entertain her guests Sandrine recedes into the background yet she cannot completely accept what she has been told about her family home. When she finds herself on her own one day she ventures to,
La Lune and there meets Julien Duplessi, an architect hired by her grandmother to, as he tells her, turn La Lune into a museum. Sandrine cannot believe this, but with Julien explores the house—finding a hidden bell tower. There Sandrine feels the first awakening of something she cannot define. It is dark, but at the same time, it is light. It binds her yet is freeing. She comes across a series of paintings, alike in so many ways, but each holds its own mystery. She also finds a breathtakingly beautiful ruby necklace. She immediately puts it on and soon finds her life changing in ways she never expected.
As she and Julien become closer, desiring each other above all else, they are also torn apart—Sandrine is still married and Julien is engaged. She is aware that her husband is looking for her and Julien strives to keep his engagement apart from his world with Sandrine. A series of troubling events occur and Sandrine finds herself in the middle of a world she never dreamed exists. Is her love for Julien enough to save not just the two of them, but all she holds dear? Or will that love ultimately destroy all?
I started to read M.J. Rose’s latest book, WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS on a Friday night. With only a few breaks to sleep, eat with friends and take care of needed tasks I read straight through until the early hours of Sunday morning. This is not unusual for me when it comes to reading on of Rose’s books. From her earliest Butterfield Institute series through her Reincarnationist series and now her latest, The Daughters of La Lune, she tells an enthralling and compelling story. Her words paint the most vibrant pictures in the reader’s mind. She weaves a story that leaves you satisfied yet at the same time wanting more. With each of her books I think she has reached her personal pinnacle in writing only to find that she outdoes herself in the next she writes. Each book is more powerful than the one before. When I read the REINCARNATIONIST I was, at first, angry at the ending—it was not the one I wanted. But when I sat and thought about it, the ending in was the only one the book could have. The summation was breath-taking. The same can be said of WITCH OF PAINTED SHADOWS. The clues were there but the ending was still stunning. It not only caught me off guard but as I read the words they took my breath away. It was brilliant. Utterly brilliant and so very much M.J. Rose’s signature style.
I loved how Sandrine changed and grew through the story – both aspects of her. You can feel her fear as she flees Benjamin and I cringed each time she thought perhaps she saw him. Even as she grows in her own way through the story I felt for her, for what she wanted, needed, watching her dreams happen outside of her she is an encompassing character.
While we do not see all that much of Benjamin, what there is, is frightening in its own way. He is a force that needs few words to be felt.
As always Rose paints vivid scenes – the houses and venues the characters venture to feel real—as if the reader is transported to that very locale. I did have to chuckle when she makes a reference to a character from the Reincarnation books – subtle and well done. A small kudo to show the uniqueness of Sandrine’s grandmother.
I was thrilled to see the WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS is the first of a trilogy. That said—I so do not want to wait for the next book!
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.