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Publisher's Summary

How to seduce an estranged husband - and banish debt! - in four wickedly improper, shockingly pleasurable steps.... 1. Learn the most intimate secrets of London's leading courtesan. 2. Pretend to be a courtesan yourself, using the name Juliet Leighton. 3. Travel to Venice and locate said husband. 4. Seduce husband, conceive an heir, and voila, your future is secure!

For Julia, the duchess of Colton, such a ruse promises to be foolproof. After all, her husband has not bothered to lay eyes on her in eight years, since their hasty wedding day when she was only 16. But what begins as a tempestuous flirtation escalates into full-blown passion - and the feeling is mutual! Could the man the courtesan duchess married actually turn out to be the love of her life?

Contains mature themes.

©2015 Joanna Shupe (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This original and alluring novel is a very promising beginning to Shupe's career." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susynne
  • hartland, VT, United States
  • 07-29-15

Wickedly Delightful !

Fantastic! I know nothing about Joanna Shupe except that she wrote THIS book ... and what a great job she did at that! From depth of character and plot to fabulous emotional trials and enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes. All of this wrapped expertly into a enchanting, enthrailingand stimulating novel.

NARRATOR: Excellent as well. Her performance is spot on as she delivers individual personalities with voices all their own.

CREDITWORTHY? OH YES!

HEAT FACTOR: steamy, sizzling and constantly boiling over!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A joy to listen to

I was in the hunt for a good historical romance when I came across this book. Yes I did LOVE the first half but as a whole a VERY enjoyable story. The plot was intriguing and I found myself wanting to get back home so I could listen to the rest. I agree with the Amazon reviewer saying, "I don't know what it was ... the writing style, the characters, the whole premise" was what drew me to the Audible app at every free turn in my day. The best scenes are in the first half when Julia pretends to be a famous courtesan and tries to seduce Nick. Tender moments and passionate love scenes. You can't go wrong with this book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

How to Entice Your Husband :-)

This well written and narrated book grabbed my attention from the beginning and held it until the end. This is basically the story of a wife whose husband has abandoned her and how she devises a solution to the situation. Because of the plan to entice her husband, be aware that there are detailed sex scenes as well as adult language. I enjoyed the journey and I definitely recommend to all romance lovers. 4-1/2 stars!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My Musings

This is the first book I have read by Joanna Shupe. I was drawn to it because it was a finalist in the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence contest. The premise sounded intriguing, and so I went ahead and downloaded it along with the Audio version. I’m so glad I decided to read/listen to this book!

Julia, the Duchess of Colton has a dilemma on her hands. Eight years before, at the tender age of sixteen, she married Nicholas Seaton and was immediately left at the altar, the marriage never consummated. Now, the duke’s second cousin threatening to lower her meager stipend yet again, leaving her and her aunt weighed down with debt. She is desperate to produce an heir to secure her livelihood.

She travels to Venice disguised as a courtesan to capture Nick’s attention. Her plan works beautifully until she starts to fall in love with her husband. She flees and returns to England, her goal accomplished, but at what cost?

When Nick follows her, she is devastated because he does not believe the child she carries is his. Is all lost, or will the passion that ignited between them open his heart when he realizes the child is his?

The Courtesan Duchess is a riveting read, holding me in its thrall from the startling first scene. It is a fast-paced romance with unforgettable characters. At first, I continued to read because I could not imagine how I could ever like the hero, but as the story unfolds, he won my heart. He is truly a tortured soul, a man who was manipulated by his late father.

Julia is a wonderful heroine. She is determined to save herself from the clutches of her husband’s second cousin and is willing to do whatever it takes. I loved her loyalty to her aunt. I always admire a heroine who feisty, yet feminine, one who is brave, even though she has great reason to live in fear.

Now, let’s talk about the sexual scenes. They practically set my ears on fire! The chemistry between Nick and Julia is intense from their first encounter and remains so until the end of the book. The scenes are emotionally-charged and very well-written.

I listened to the audio version narrated by Carmen Rose. Wow! She is excellent. Her ability to bring the characters to life allowed me to become totally engrossed in the story. She does an outstanding job of distinguishing the voices and her tone for the male characters is fantastic. I will definitely want to listen to other books performed by Ms. Rose. In fact, I have already downloaded the next book in this series, which is narrated by her.

If you enjoy a story with plenty of passion and an intriguing plot, along with complex characters with great depth, then you will love The Courtesan Duchess. This is a book you will either love or hate, but it will never be one that you will feel indifferent over. Happy reading!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Story good, narration was off

The love story in this book is complicated from the beginning. Julia deceives the husband she hasn't seen in eight years by pretending to be a courtesan in order to produce an heir. The story begins with Julia's seduction of her husband and their romance in Venice. It's steamy and explicit so if you don't like those type of bed scenes, this book isn't for you. I thought the villains were rather predictable. In addition, a storyline where the main characters are distant and at odds for half the book isn't my favorite. Other than that I thought the story was well written and mostly believable. However, it seems unlikely that a Duke would abandon everything and allow a distant relative to take over. But it's necessary for the plot so…
The narrator was interesting. She does a decent job but her pauses and segues into the next scene are awkward. A few times I realized the scene had completely changed but the narrator never paused so it took a minute for my brain to adjust and change scenes then catch up. Her inflections during the dialogues were often unexpected because they weren't natural to the conversation and I had to re-narrate in my head to make sense of it.
Overall, however, I enjoyed the story and will listen to the next book in the series. This was my first time reading a Joanna Shupe novel.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • EnVee
  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, United States
  • 05-28-16

His Mysterious Mistress

Raunchy,romping romance that takes you too Vienna,back to London.Two people who've lived through hardships and heart ache,find love and trust with eachother breaking the legacy of hate,abuse and regret.To start anew,bringing in new Life to create a new beginning and to have a happily ever after.Narration was good with the exception of the main male character,unfortunately she made him sound out to be a whiny mess.Overall great story.Would be better if read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy T
  • Jacksonville, FL USA
  • 10-12-15

WOW Hot and steamy. Never a dull moment. Enjoyed!

I really enjoyed this book. It was hot and steamy for sure. But not over the top. I really really enjoyed the heroine Julia, she was beautiful, smart, witty, sassy, and very daring. Nothing like learning from the best courtesan how to seduce your husband when your a virgin. LOL I liked Nick too, he was so sexy and very charming in the beginning you had to like him, so when he got a bit mean in the middle of the story you still couldn't hate him. The chemistry between these two was great. Not forced at all. It felt very real. The sex was seriously hot and steamy, and very well written.

I loved the story line and plot. It was great, and different in a good way. It flowed very nicely, the characters were well developed. There was a little mystery and villian woven in as well. It was a very easy read and follow along without getting lost.

There was lots of dialogue throughout the entire book. I love lots of dialogue, (its so much better than inner thoughts). The dialogue was very good too. This book was not full of misunderstanding, communication or the dreaded- assuming that look meant something completely opposite of what it really meant. I despise that kind of writing. So this was a real treat. Not full of angst either.

As for the narration, 3.5 stars. Carmen Rose did a much better job with this book than the last book I recently listened to by her. She was less robotic sounding in this book. Glad for that. She still needs to work on her robotic reading voice. She does do her best to make the men sound like men, she could work on that a little too. But she does try and she does give everyone their own distinct voice. She is not the best or the worst narrator. I will listen to her again since I am totally going to read/listen to the next book in this series.

This was totally worth the credit for sure. I really enjoyed this story and the listen.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • bebe
  • South Carolina
  • 05-22-18

Yummy story - lots of angst - great

Nick abandons Julia just after their forced wedding and is gone for eight years. Julia and her aunt Theo are bing treated horribly by Nick's family and are desperate. Julia decides she has to find her husband, seduce him and get pregnant in order to be able to take care of Aunt Theo and herself. She seduces him and get pregnant, but he does not believe the baby is his. Nick and Julia are extremely attracted to one another but they also hate each other because each feels betrayed.

There are people out to get both Julia and Nick, and do not want the baby to be born. Lots of good stuff going on. This book is really gripping and I could not stop listening. I was torn between wanting Julia to give Nick the punishment he deserved and also wanting them to get together. Delicious anticipation.

Narration is excellent and characters are wonderfully written by Shupe. I highly recommend as a fiery interesting and satisfying romance.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read

This was a great story, and well narrated. It also held a who done it mystery to it. I loved the charters in this series. Well worth the credit and I am off to the next book after this

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Trish R.
  • JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
  • 04-15-16

Good book. Not so good narration..


I have to admit that I really didn’t care for the first 40% of the book. That first 40% was 90% sex, and what seemed like 40 or 50 pages at a time of descriptive sex. I like sex in my books but this was a little much. I started skimming to get past where Nick and Julia/Juliet weren’t together so there would be something else to read beside the sex. (I did like the “words of wisdom” from Miss Pearl Kelly at the beginning of each chapter.)
Anyway, it finally got interesting when Julia went to Seaton Hall, fell and got hurt, and Nick hauled his butt there to make sure she was alright. But then he left again and then he came back. He was one hard headed man and there was a lot of angst in this story.

The best thing about this book was the extreme sexual tension between Nick and Julia. I can do without that much sex but the sexual tension/attraction is a must-have in a book for me. I just love when something leads up to the sex.

I did love the second half of the book the best. I also loved Aunt Theo and Fitz, and Simon and Quint and Sophie. The bad guys were both pretty insane, and got exactly what they deserved. I will definitely move on to the next book.

As to the narrator: I have no idea how this narrator got 4 and 5 star reviews since every voice sounds way too feminine to be men. When a hero is supposed to be big and masculine how can his voice sounding so much like a woman get such high marks, and Fitz was supposed to be a giant with a scared face and he sounded like a woman. And she never read with much emotion. There was not much laughing, or whispering, or yelling, crying, except occasionally, which kind of sucked. And sometimes someone would say something and I would think it was Julia talking; only to find out it was Nick or Simon or Fitz or Quint speaking. She was great with the women’s voices, they all had their own voices, but she really sucked at the men’s voices.

As I mentioned there was LOTS of sex in the first 40% of the book and the F-bomb was used 3 times.


2 of 4 people found this review helpful