Magnate, by Joanna Shupe

Title: Magnate
Author: Joanna Shupe
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: April 26, 2016
The Breakfast Octopus’ rating: Did not Finish

Blurb:

New York City’s Gilded Age shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power. The men of the Knickerbocker Club know this more than anyone else. But for one millionaire, the business of love is not what he expected…

Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city’s “high society” types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that.

Elizabeth Sloane’s mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York’s most accomplished brokers–but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they’ll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…

Thoughts:

The premise of Joanna Shupe’s Magnate intrigued me, but I felt the execution was poor. I became so frustrated  that I couldn’t finish reading the book.  My top complaints, in no particular order:

  • The hero tells the heroine “Recklessnes is never a bad thing”. That sounds like a pretty alpha-ish kind of thing to say, so I could let that pass, except that he said this immediately after telling the heroine about how people died and he was injured because of a reckless act he’d committed.  What?! And the heroine tries to figure out if he’s flirting with her, rather than telling him he’s an idiot and running away.
  • Clunky storytelling. The first time that someone calls Emmett by his nickname, “Bishop”, he spends a paragraph musing on how he got the nickname and how he wouldn’t let anyone else call him that, etc. etc. How often do you think about the origin of a nickname in the middle of a conversation? I think it was supposed to be a little mysterious, but it threw me out of the story instead.
  • The heroine is incredibly naive and has a bad case of “not like the other girls”. Lizzie Sloane is beautiful and cultured and so smart, not like aaaanyone the hero has ever met. I get that it’s an old money meets new money story, but I got fed up with both of them. They were fascinated with each other and their differences, but I just didn’t care.

If you want to see if your opinion differs from mine, check out Magnate, out now from Zebra.

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