Read the courtesan duchess by Joanna Shupe Online

the-courtesan-duchess

Can a bold-faced lie lead to everlasting love? One by one, the impetuous heroines in the Wicked Deceptions series intend to find out, each in her unique way. . .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 yourseCan a bold-faced lie lead to everlasting love? One by one, the impetuous heroines in the Wicked Deceptions series intend to find out, each in her unique way. . .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 sixteen. 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?The books in the Wicked Deceptions series:1.  The Courtesan Duchess2.  The Harlot Countess3.  The Lady Hellion...

Title : the courtesan duchess
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 25252918
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 353 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the courtesan duchess Reviews

  • Feminista
    2019-04-26 02:46

    What a disgusting plot.This is definitely one of the worst books I have ever read.The hero marries the heroine and then leaves her and sleeps with countless other women. The heroine being a good girl, remains faithful and a virgin and decides to beget an heir from her husband because while her husband is around gallivanting, she will do the right thing and not sleep with another man. Then the hero finds out that the courtesan he sleeps with is really his wife. He gets angry because he thinks that she was not a virgin when she came to him and that she is carrying another man's baby. He tells her that she won't give the bastard that she is carrying his name. So what, his wife is supposed to die a virgin? Not be with any other man, but remain faithful to him until the end of her days, while he is out sleeping with god knows how many women and doing god knows what.What was really disgusting was that after a little sex, the heroine fell in love with him. I am not kidding. A little sex and everything is all love and sunshine and puppies. Forget about the way he treated her and their wedding vows. Oh, no everything is forgiven because he only left to teach his father a lesson. He HAD A REASON, everyone. Who cares that he left behind his wife, an innocent who married him and whose life he ruined by leaving, because a wife during those historical times had little power, she would not be able to marry another man and hell he called her a whore because he thought she slept with another man. So what was she supposed to do with the rest of her life? Knit (not that I have anything against knitting) and aimlessly wander through life waiting for her husband to come back. If it was up to him, he would have selfishly ruined a woman's life in his quest for revenge. But hey, love forgives everything.

  • Daniella
    2019-05-26 08:01

    Reading is a risky game. There is always that chance of you investing too much in a story, only to get yourself burned in the end. I took a risk with The Courtesan Duchess.And I got burned. So badly in fact that I had to watch cat videos to calm myself down.Before I rant, I'd have to applaud Ms. Joanna Shupe for her writing prowess. It's not everyday that I'm this impressed by new writers, since normally, their inexperience shows in their inept grasp of the technicalities. There is usually that great flaw in the plot structuring, the pacing, or the planning that screams "fledging writer"--pardon the term--but I didn't find that in this book. In fact, it actually seemed as though Ms. Shupe has been writing novels for years, with the masterful way she wrote the story. But a good grasp of the writing technicalities is not enough to produce a good book. If it has no soul, if there is no connection with the characters, if the story is not believable, then everything is all for naught.I have two main issues with this story.The biggest problem with this book is that I could not stomach the hero, Nick. Reading about him was a big test on my endurance. For one, his way of thinking, his logic, was ridiculous! The author's justification or excuse for his actions was a flimsy one, and downright illogical.Okay, let's talk facts: During his wedding, Nick's impression of his wife was that she seemed like an innocent girl.What he did: Nick abandoned her after the wedding, justifying himself with the excuse that she was his father's pawn. Whenever his wife was mentioned, he got angry.My thoughts: If Nick believed that she was innocent, why would he assume the worst about her? What right did he have to get angry at his innocent wife? And if he planned on abandoning his ducal responsibilities, why get married in the first place? Why did he have to get married BEFORE going abroad? Why not go abroad BEFORE the unwanted marriage?????Another thing: Simon ("Winchester" as he was called), Nick's best friend, has told him repeatedly over the years that his wife was suffering. Nick knew his family was cruel. Nick met Julia, who was pretending to be a courtesan. He wooed her. He got to know her. Then, he found out that Julia was actually his wife. His reaction:That whore.It had all been a game. The rumors, the flirting, the kissing. She’d merely wanted him to chase her, to fall at her feet. And he had, goddamn nitwit that he was. It was some sort of revenge for ignoring her for eight years. God, and the things he’d told her. Nick had revealed parts of himself to her that he hadn’t shown anyone, ever.And she and Winchester had been laughing at him the whole time.My thoughts: How could he assume the worst of Simon, his best friend? Shouldn't the NORMAL reaction would be to give his best friend the benefit of the doubt? Given their extensive history together, you would have thought that Nick would know that Simon wouldn't stoop so low. Also, given that he actually got to know Julia over the days they spent they spent together, I expected him to give her the benefit of the doubt as well. ESPECIALLY since Simon has hinted so many times that she was suffering. Why didn't he even think, for once, that Julia could be experiencing hell with his family???? I'm sorry, but Nick was not justified at all. He was so NARROW-MINDED, so consumed by angst, that I wanted nothing more than to punch him in the face. CAN YOU TRY TO BE LESS SELFISH, NICK? PLEASE FOR FUCK'S SAKE THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND YOU!!!!!!After that fuckery, there was no redemption for him. I was killing him in my head with every page. The other problem with this story was that the justification for the story itself was not convincing. A virgin pretending to be a courtesan without the man knowing it? Umm right. I'm not buying it. While the writer gave a valiant effort at justifying the story, I'm not convinced. I think I would have been more forgiving if Nick wasn't such a fucking asshole.Sorry, but yeah, I blame Nick for this 1 star rating. He was awful. Just fucking awful. I have ZERO tolerance for disrespectful, immoral and hypocritical MOTHERFUCKERS like him. He can burn in hell for all I care.

  • Pepa
    2019-05-13 08:05

    No se puede decir que el argumento no sea original, aunque más que nada la primera mitad de la historia, luego ya se ve venir por dónde van los tiros. Aunque admito que al final la autora todavía guarda un par de giros. Es una historia que me ha gustado, sobre todo ella y su determinación y valor. Yo hubiera sido más mala persona al final, pero es una historia de amor jajaja. Él no me ha caído muy bien, sí es simpático y guapetón y luego pasa a engrosar las filas de los típicos libertinos –no digo más- . Le faltan unas cuantas collejas bien dadas. Hay buenos secundarios que son los protagonistas de la ¿trilogía?Un estilo sencillo pero bastante cuidado, con algunas frases «raras» creo que fruto de la traducción. Ritmo ágil y con buenos giros.Reseña completa: http://masromance.blogspot.com.es/201...

  • Cristina
    2019-04-27 07:39

    The blurb says it all. The H is one cheating bastard that leaves his young wife behind for eight years. The h is left with no choice but to pretend to be a courtesan to get herself pregnant by the H so she can have use the baby as leverage to get some money, The funny thing is once the H knew the truth, he was mad she'd tricked him. Give me a break. The girl was 16 when he left her with no money, no word if she was alright. It was just wasn't my kind of book...

  • Stacey is Sassy
    2019-05-15 07:50

    DNF at 35% no rating as I did not finish.Well, my first attempt using my new Romance Package from Audible was unfortunately not to my liking. I checked out a few reviews and saw that I wasn't alone. Now, unlike others, I kind of knew that I'd be meeting a douchewaffle hero who has no respect for his wedding vows. Where I differ, is that it wasn't my biggest problem (it was a problem, just not my biggest problem). Unfortunately, the narration, mixed with the storyline didn't work. Now, I actually liked the narrator's voice and think she did an OK job, but her reading the sex scenes made my skin crawl.Now, talking about the sex scenes...it was described as "sweet" on Audible. Bloody Hell!! If that's sweet, I'd love to see what steamy was like. The hero was smarmy and lecherous and not at all what I'm used to in my Historical Romance reads. I don't mind sexy and dirty talk but this did not get my heart pumping or turn me on at all. I suppose the justification was that he thought he was talking to a courtesan?!?Can't say I'm a fan of the hero and I don't think the rest of the story was long enough to be able to convince me that he could change his spots. I'll pass on The Courtesan Duchess and go searching for something else.Quite a few positive reviews so don't judge this story on my review alone. Also, keep in mind that I was listening not reading. It may have been a better experience if I didn't have to "hear" him.

  • Inés Izal
    2019-05-01 04:02

    -3.5-Me ha encantado la idea tan original que tiene la autora para poder juntar a los protagonistas. Es algo muy novedoso en novela de época, lo que conduce ha escenas muy divertidas.Peeero siempre tiene que haber un pero, y en este caso sería la actitud del Nicholas cuando descubre el pastel. Entiendo su enfado pero nunca es justificable menospreciar tanto a una persona cuando tú llevas ocho años huyendo como un cobarde.Julia es todo lo que pido en un personaje: valiente, fuerte, decidida y muy sensata.Pero es muy blanda, yo le habría hecho de sufrir mil horrores antes de condecerle el perdón. (Soy muy rencorosa).Quizá algo que me ha parecido flojo ha sido el misterio del "malo", pues con las pistas que daba, lo vi claro cien páginas antes de terminar.Me quedo con una buena sensación y esperando por su continuación. Tengo muchas ganas de conocer la historia de Simon.

  • Caz
    2019-05-25 03:47

    I've given this a B at AAR, so 4 stars.I have to confess that when I read the opening scene of this, Joanna Shupe’s début novel, I almost closed the book and picked up something else. In it, the heroine watches her long-estranged husband pleasuring (though not shagging!) another woman in the middle of a game of cards at a very debauched party – which isn’t really the sort of thing I expect to read right at the beginning of a romantic novel! But I reasoned that I was probably supposed to think “eew”, and kept reading – and I’m glad I did, because The Courtesan Duchess turned out to be an engrossing, angsty story which, while not without flaws, was very readable.Eight years before the book begins, Nicholas Seaton, heir to the Duke of Colton, was blackmailed by his unpleasant, dictatorial father into marrying a sixteen-year-old heiress for her money. Still reeling from the impact of the death of his beloved older brother, and knowing his father quite capable of carrying out his threats, Nick had no alternative but to agree to the scheme. But that was as far as he was prepared to go, and he left the country immediately following the ceremony, leaving his young bride untouched and dependent upon his cold, uncaring parents.In the years of his absence, Nick has inherited the dukedom and has had no contact with his wife or his family, and wants none. He ignores what his friends tell him of his wife’s difficulties, and continues his hedonistic lifestyle with no thought or care for what is going on back in England, where Julia is facing penury. She doesn’t want her husband back; she doesn’t even know him other than by his reputation as the ‘Depraved Duke’, but his mother refuses to allow her to live in any of the ducal properties, his cousin is embezzling money from the estate and has drastically reduced her income in an attempt to force her to his bed – and in desperation, she comes up with a last-ditch plan to force the family to provide for her financially...You can read the rest of this review at All About RomanceShe travels to Venice, where she disguises herself and pretends to be an infamous courtesan, determined to seduce Nick, and get herself pregnant. She reasons that if she is carrying his heir, his miserly mother will be forced to at the very least provide her with an income. I’m not a big fan of the “oops – I shagged you and had no idea of your true identity” type of plotline, but this one is rendered plausible by the fact that the couple didn’t know each other before the wedding, Nick was drunk for most of it and Julia was little more than a girl at the time and her appearance has changed somewhat over the years. The bit I found hardest to swallow was the idea that she’d had “lessons” in how to act like a courtesan from London’s finest ladybird, one Pearl Kelly, whose words of wisdom can be found at the beginning of each chapter.Everything goes according to plan, and Julia and Nick spend an idyllic week together, actually getting to know each other out of bed as well as in it. The love scenes are nice and steamy, and the author writes the more tender, romantic scenes very well, showing Julia discovering that her gorgeous husband is not at all the hardened reprobate his nickname would suggest. He’s generous, considerate, and quite sweet upon occasion, and before the week is out, she is horrified to discover that she’s fallen for him.When Nick discovers the truth, he is naturally furious, and immediately suspects Julia of having seduced him in order to foist another man’s child upon him. The infamous double standard that allows a man to put it about as much as he likes and be patted on the back for it, while a woman who does the same is reviled rears its head – Nick refuses to believe Julia when she tells him the child she is carrying is his and calls her a whore. He sends her away to his estate in the country to await the birth, fully expecting the baby to arrive “early”.During their time apart, however, Nick is brought to see the truth of Julia’s situation and to realise that he has behaved very badly towards her. He still can’t forgive her for her deception, but he can’t forget her either – and he’s furious with himself for the fact that he still wants her, in spite of everything.It’s always difficult to like a man who jumps so easily to the worst of conclusions and who is ready to fling horrible insults at a woman who has done nothing that he hasn’t done himself. But then, this is an historical romance, and it’s a sad fact that women were held to a much higher standard in this regard than men were at the time this story is set. Julia, however, refuses to take Nick’s crap, and makes it clear that whatever he believes, she is his duchess and that she deserves his financial support if nothing else – and that once he’s sorted all that out, he can bugger off back to Italy with her blessing. But just as Nick discovers the reasons behind Julia’s desperation, so does she come to learn more about the circumstances that caused Nick to behave as he did.The bulk of the story is concerned with how these two emotionally bruised people find their way back to each other, and in spite of Nick’s being a git for a large part of it, I did want them to work everything out. As often happens in stories like this, the hero probably doesn’t grovel enough. But Julia is no pushover, and struggles between wanting to forgive Nick and wanting to (metaphorically) kick his arse.The book is well-written and the two principals and major secondary characters are strongly drawn, but the secondary plotline in which someone is out to do mischief to one or both of the Coltons feels like overkill. Nick and Julia have enough to contend with without external threats and the final showdown is rushed and rather too melodramatic for my taste. I also found myself shaking my head at the rather “girly” dialogue occasionally given to the male characters, such as this conversation between Nick’s friends Winchester and Quint –“he fell for her, Quint. I saw it happen. Colton and Julia fell in love in Venice. They were mad for each other – until the guilt overcame her. She didn’t want to hurt him so she left. And it’s only a matter of time before they realise how perfect they are for one another.”I just can’t hear a man talking like that!With those few reservations in mind, I’m going to recommend the The Courtesan Duchess to anyone looking for a new author to try. It’s been a while since I’ve read a début historical romance that I’ve rated above average, and while this one does have a few flaws, I’m definitely interested in reading more by Ms. Shupe.

  • Grecia Robles
    2019-04-27 02:52

    4 STARS Me gustó mucho y se me hizo muy diferente a otros libros de histórica que he leído sobre todo por la protagonista que ya estamos acostumbrados a que sean recatadas tímidas inocentes y sobre todo en la intimidad, pero Julia no lo es al menos tuvo que dejar de serlo para poder seducir a su marido que en cuanto se casó con ella la abandonó por 8 años y ella está desesperada y quiere lo único que el puede darle un hijo que garantice su estabilidad económica; lo hace con ayuda de su amigo Simon haciéndose pasar por una Cortesana.Tuve muchas ganas de pegarle a Nick por todas las bobadas y tonterías que dijo e hizo cuando se enteró que su querida Juliet era nada más y menos que su esposa, se me hizo egoísta que sólo pensaba en el mismo, pero yo tengo esa vena masoquista y a la vez sádica me gusta cuando ellos se portan como unos patanes pero cuando se dan cuenta de su error se tiene que arrastrar por el perdón, me hubiera gustado un poco más de sufrimiento pero bueee…También tuvo sus parte de misterio y villanos medio psycho como la cuñada que mira que tengo ojo y siempre sospeche de ella.Espero pronto leer el siguiente libro y que pronto publiquen el libro de Quint y la amiga de Julia.

  • Sozie
    2019-05-15 09:44

    I love it I LOVE IT SOOO MUCH .. you may predict some of the events still the Author will blow your mind by other super unexpected things .Nick & Julia were adorable .. more so were her funny aunt Theo & the incredible Hulk : fitzJulia's and Nick's best friend Simon was something else i must know his secret so see you in next book Si ;)

  • Valerie Bowman
    2019-05-21 07:51

    One of the best debuts I've read in years. Joanna Shupe's The Courtesan Duchess is fast-paced, compelling, and super sexy. You won't be able to put it down.

  • Julie
    2019-04-30 06:55

    Check out my other reviews at Little Miss Bookmark!OOH!! This is a good one! Okay ... The Courtesan Duchess. So very good! First, for those of you that don't know what a courtesan is ... it's basically a prostitute for rich fellas back in the day. It was no secret that dudes went outside of the marriage for ... things that they didn't want the mother of their children to do and/or basically to just be a dog. And it was okay back then, women didn't talk about it, courtesans were just a part of their lives. Well, not that I know for SURE that is how it was done ... that is how it is done in the hundreds of historical romance novels that I have read. Anywho ... this is about a woman named Julia who was basically abandoned by her husband after she said "I do" to him. She just deals with this abandonment for eight very long years. Then she comes up with a plan ... she is going to seduce her husband. She gets all of these tips from a lady of the night on how to seduce him and after she disguises herself, she sets the plan into motion. That's it. And what happens is nothing short of a fabulous read!I just adored this book from the very first page. I don't know what it was ... the writing style, the characters, the whole premise ... it was just awesome. I loved the sassy gumption that the main character had, it knocked the story up a few pegs. If the characters aren't interesting or if they are just ... normal ... it's not interesting to me. I really didn't have to worry about that with this one. Joanna Shupe did an amazing job of introducing you to the characters but not bogging you down with too much background info on them and just let the reader find out for themselves what really makes each character tick. The way that the story played out, you were really lead to hate Nick (the husband) and I LOATHED this fictional man with everything I had. I really wanted Julia to make him suffer. I won't say whether she did or not because it's something that you have to experience when you crack the spine on this one. The premise was amazing, the execution was amazing ... the whole damn thing was amazing. I've never read anything by this author but I know that she has quickly become a staple in my life and I'm excited to see what the other two novels in the series are like. If they are anything like this one, I know I'm in for a wild ride!

  • Aly is so frigging bored
    2019-05-19 06:43

    3.5*It was an enjoyable read, I can't say that I was blown away though. I liked both characters, they had flaws and made mistakes and they felt human. That being said, the hero was a complete asshole for at least 50% of the book. Many people know that I liked assholes, but this guy... he couldn't even admit he was mistaken and apologies, that made me rate the book less. All in all, I enjoyed myself and I'm definitely reading the next one. I'm hoping the author will write the story of the courtesan that Julia studied under, she seemed fascinating.

  • Jill
    2019-05-10 08:44

    ARC courtesy of Kensington via NetGalley

  • Kiltsandswords
    2019-05-17 04:04

    This book is so steamy! The premise is that Julia will impersonate a famous courtesan, travel to Italy, seduce her wayward husband and return to England carrying his heir. It’s the seduction part that is really well developed. The chase and dance that Nick and Julia (or Juliet as she introduces herself) was just SO MUCH FUN! Julia was a revelation! She taunted and teased Nick and played the seductress to perfection.If you love a book where there is INSANE foreplay followed by some of the best love scenes written, then this is the book for you! The innuendos and dialogue between Nick and Julia as she is wooing him was amazing. This passage is just one of many:“I find myself curious about you, Juliet. I’ve never seen Winchester so bewitched by a woman, at least not before I left London. And the stories circulating about you are wildly fantastic, almost as if they’re fabricated. Then I meet you, and there’s an air of innocence about you that is incredibly alluring.”Julia’s eyes widened, but before she could respond, he continued. “I feel a…pull toward you that I’ve never experienced before with a woman. I’m intrigued.”Heavens, her husband could be charming. She fought to keep the mood light, despite the fact that her tongue felt thick with desire. “Intrigued? And here I had hoped for interested. Or better yet, infatuated.”“Oh, I am all of those things as well.” He brushed his knuckles against her cheek in a tender gesture.It’s just so rich that he is infatuated with his own wife – a virgin no less! The teasing doesn’t last long as Nick isn’t one to be put off. I was so curious to see how a virgin bride would handle a worldly man like Nick, while pretending to be a famous courtesan. If the flirting was hot, the time between the sheets (and everywhere else) was incendiary. These two have some amazing chemistry.Of course it doesn’t always go to plan. Julia is in serious danger of falling in love with Nick. She runs back to England where the rest of the story takes place. Her partner in crime, Simon, left Nick a note telling him who Juliet/Julia was. Hell hath no fury like a Duke wronged. The Nick we encounter in London is very different from the lazy, indolent lover in Venice. He storms around London like a rampaging demon. He finds the motivations behind Julia’s impetuous, yet well planned visit to Venice. While he despises what she has done, he solves the problems he left behind for Julia to face.There is so much more going on with this story that just flirting and sex. Nick is a really complex character. For a Duke, he has despised his position and the reasons why are the kind of things that can haunt a person their whole lives. Nick has crazy demons, but the author doesn’t let him off the hook for being an ass to Julia.Julia has endured a lot in the past eight years since she married Nick. She has had to deal with banishment, being preyed upon and sexual harassment. Julia is one of the strongest characters I have read in a while. She manages to find a way through things and has incredible determination.While they are back in London, one thing that hasn’t changed is the attraction they feel for each other. Julia and Nick feel that lurid clawing passion that makes you do crazy things. Such as ignore each other or be cruel because you are hurting. I wanted them to hurry up and reconcile, but what would be the fun in that?This was a fantastic book. I stayed up until 4 AM reading it. I’m amazed I’m even coherent to write this today. All I know is that I had a wonderful time spending time with these characters. I loved the plot, the sexiness and the twists and turns. This is a great story and I highly recommend reading it!Reviewed for www.kiltsandswords.comThis book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  • Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks
    2019-04-28 10:00

    "I wonder if you truly possess the skill to back up your arrogance."His eyes heated to liquid silver. "If you find a private alcove, I'll happily demonstrate my abilities before the end of the performance. After all, it's only fair to know what you're getting" ______________________________Before I begin my review of Joanna Shupe's debut novel THE COURTESAN DUCHESS, I need to first say that this book is one of the best debuts of the year and I am not saying that lightly. Joanna Shupe is eloquent and entertaining and her voice is relevant. I cannot wait for more from her.Having been tossed aside soon after her marriage at the tender age of sixteen by her equally immature husband, Julia, the Duchess of Colton isn't going to take it anymore, and with good reason. Julia is in need of conceiving an heir to the Colton dynasty and quickly, for she has her estranged husband's cousin is in hot pursuit of his title. In an effort to thwart Templeton's actions, Julia sells her jewelry and hires premiere courtesan Pearl Kelly to assist her in seducing said husband. Julia transforms herself from the quiet and forgotten Duchess of Colton into Mrs. Juliet Leighton, temptress extraordinaire who follows Nicholas Francis Seaton, the seventh Duke of Colton to Italy where he has been entertaining himself as of late.When Nick sees the seductress he has no idea she is the wife he abandoned eight years prior. He is however fascinated by the creature and determined to have her. Colton was never destined to become Duke, but when his brother died suddenly after a scandal involving Nick, his father attempted to bring Nicholas in line and part of that control was having him marry Julia. The Depraved Duke as Nick is known by the ton, wants nothing to do with England or his wife. He would rather her find other distractions while he finds his own. Colt begins his chase to have Juliet, for the obvious desire they share for one another will not be dashed. At first, Julia/Juliet is clearly out of her element, even with the lessons she has prepared herself with, but soon she catches on. She must remember that Colton is a means to an end, preferably an end with her living out her existence in peace as a mother. That means to an end could be so much more if the Duchess and the Duke just take a good look at one another inside. THE COURTESAN DUCHESS by Joanna Shupe is not to be missed. A wonderful story with so many twists and turns, it is clearly for the discerning reader. Watching the progression Julia and Nicholas go through to become the couple they were meant to be is a glorious challenge so brilliantly brought to light by Ms. Shupe. Having become so thoroughly captivated by THE COURTESAN DUCHESS, I am eager to dive in to the next book in the series THE HARLOT COUNTESS.

  • Carolina
    2019-05-06 08:57

    3.5

  • Cee (The Mistress Case)
    2019-05-20 07:43

    A memorable and stunning debut by Joanna Shupe!Cue standing ovation for The Courtesan Duchess for bringing on the heat.It’s crucial to have a sympathetic protagonist. Not a pitiful one. Sympathetic. There’s a huge difference. Which is why it was effortless to support Julia’s cause. Can you imagine? Pretending to be a courtesan and having your husband desire you as a woman, not as a wife? A husband who hardly cares about what’s happening to you in England while he’s abroad having endless dalliances with loose women? It’s the equivalence of a bitch slap from life. This is the case for the Duchess of Colton, whose husband left her eight years ago shortly after they had married. Julia must produce an heir to secure her future— or end up in debtor’s prison. Either that or propositioned herself. It’s not as bad as it sounds. The child part, that is. Even with the duke out of the picture, even if she doesn’t conceive a son, she will love her baby wholeheartedly and give love enough for two parents. For the time being, all she is require to worry about is putting her seduction to the test while guarding her anger and keeping her heart far from the clutches of her own husband. Sounds complicated?The Depraving Duke is the bodily form of the Seven Sins— Pride, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, you name it all. He’s also the synonym of stupidity. Eight years ago, Nick, or Nicholas, shed his responsibilities to the dukedom and to his wife without a backward glance. He has no wishes of returning to England. Despite his jackassery his excuses for his actions, there’s no denying Nick is absolutely delicious. That’s right. Delicious. The absolutely lick-me-and-don’t-stop-delicious kind. It’s no wonder Julia lusts after him and starts to care for him.As much as the sensual scenes made me squirmed in delight, they also managed to make me wince . . . in a good way . . . Why? I can’t look passed the plain facts: She’s inexperienced. She altered her appearance (dying her hair to red is among those altercations). She goes by her courtesan persona, Mrs. Juliet Leighton.Knowing all of this, it’s transparent her husband isn’t making love to Julia; he’s making love to Juliet.And that’s truly heartbreaking.At least Nick eventually learns what he’s been missing.During the first time they made love, obviously Julia must deceive him into thinking she isn’t a virgin and so it’s difficult not to grimace when she acts like she’s enjoying some parts of their lovemaking. Not that she isn’t enjoying it. Her passion boldly levels with Nick. Mercifully to my relief, she puts on quite a performance and succeeds.The vital question: Did she succeed in carrying the duke’s baby? You’ll just have to read and find out (;This book captivated me from beginning to end. Yes, Nick is probably the worst hero in the world and a major arse. Yes, Julia is outrageously cunning (and for good reasons). They’re both stubborn and prideful human beings. But above all the flaws and shallow behavior, they are meant for each other. They belong together and had me rooting for them to the very end. Meanwhile, I wanted to strangle Nick throughout the entire book. Seriously, the entire book. He’s a coward, a moron, and every other vile insult I can think of. I like Julia. After all the years of being mistreated by Nick’s family and mocked by society, astoundingly, she still has a big heart and a soft side. Although desperate, she doesn’t succumb to pressure and harden into a self-centered, bitter imbecile.The only issue I have with this book is I’m still not sure how old most of the characters are. Nick, Theo, and Fitz, for example. Other than that, I enjoyed Pearl’s lessons and tips at the beginning of every chapter. They’re riveting secrets, hushed warnings, wise words, funny jabs at men. Why wouldn’t it be entertaining? Oh, did I mention the story takes place in Venice? Venice as in Italy? It’s merely a bonus to the romantic and sexy excitement.I’m certainly buying The Courtesan Duchess when it is released :D It’s the type of book that makes reading and reviewing fun. Without a doubt, The Courtesan Duchess is one of my favorite historical romance books of 2015! Most original too.Now I can't wait to get my hands on the second book The Harlot Countess. I need me some Simon :3Five Exploding Stars!**ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**Update: Here's my review of The Harlot Countess .

  • Alba Turunen
    2019-05-08 02:39

    Una lectura bastante amena y entretenida. El libro se divide en dos partes muy diferenciadas, una primera muy original y sensual, que empieza en Venecia, y una segunda parte que ocurre en Inglaterra, donde los protagonistas entran en continuas confrontaciones.Como dice la sinopsis, Julia se encuentra en una situación muy difícil, y necesita al esposo que la abandonó nada más casarse. Para ello urde un engaño con Simon, el mejor amigo de Nick, para sacarla de dicha situación. Lo que menos esperaba era enamorarse en el intento. De ahí que después haya mucho resentimiento, rencor y malentendidos cuando se descubra el pastel. El libro goza también de una pequeña parte de intriga, debida a los "accidentes" que sufren los protagonistas.He disfrutado mucho éste libro y seguiré leyendo a Joanna Shupe, pero quien más me ha llamado la atención es Quint, espero ansiosa su libro.

  • Aspasia
    2019-05-13 03:44

    Le he puesto cuatro estrellas porque me ha gustado mucho.En "La duquesa cortesana" enocntramos algunos "tópicos" de la novela romántica pero de la manera que los trata la autora resulta algo novedoso.Julia, nuestra protagonista y Duquesa, decide seducir a su marido. Pero no siendo una esposa si no una famosa y experimentada cortesana. Los motivos que la empujan a tomar semejante decisión, no os los descubriré naturalmente, pero si que nos hacen ver cómo Julia es una mujer valiente y hecha a sí misma; Una superviviente que después de ocho años abandonada por su marido decide garantizarse un futuro con más estabilidad de la que ha tenido hasta ahora.Por su parte Nick, el marido y Duque, tamién tiene sus motivos para haber "desatendido" a su mujer y las responsabilidades de su título. Aunque en parte las de Nick respondan más a ciertos tópicos románticos: una desastrosa relación con sus padres, años y años de culpa, falta de confianza en sí mismo, etc Esto si que lo explico porque explica el caracter de Nick y muchas de sus reacciones respecto a Julia.Es original que sea la heroína quien busque a su marido cuando en la mayoría de las novelas románticas las esposas "abandonadas" han encontrado cierta libertad en su situación. Es el héroe quien necesita un heredero. Nick no lo sólo no quiere si no que además lucha contra ello. Como es de esperar dos protagonistas con personalidades fuertes y definidas chocaran tanto como se atraeran. Las posiciones iniciales de Julia y de Nick iran evolucionando no sólo por la seducción mútua que experimentaran si no porque poco a poco el ir conociéndose iran entendiendo la posición del otro. Nick será quien empiece a dar señales que entiende las razones del porque Julia actuó como lo hizo, en cambio, los silencios de Nick hacen que Julia tarde más en hacerse cargo del peso de culpa con el que carga Nick.Silencios a parte, tenemos un matrimonio ducal muy cabezota y orgulloso. Unido a las interferencias de la familia de Nick (leed la novela y lo entendereis mejor) supondran las pruebas a las que Nick y Julia deberan superar, no sin esfuerzo, para conseguir ser dueños en solitario de su matrimonio.La novela cuenta además con uns secundarios que ayudan a dar equilibrio tanto a Julia, su tía Theo sobretodo, y a Nick sus amigos Simon y Quint; Aunque el que es de verdad su gran apoyo es Fritz.Para acabar os animo a leer esta novela de Joanna Shupe que os gustará tanto como os hará pasar un buen rato disfrutando de la lectura.

  • Yelania Nightwalker
    2019-04-26 06:47

    Venía de intentar leer una novela histórica que no me había gustado nada y tuve que abandonarla, así que ya pueden imaginar cómo me sentía por iniciar una novela de una autora desconocida.Ahora bien, tenemos una novela con una Duquesa que está casi en la indigencia, con un pariente de su marido solicitando favores sexuales a cambio de recibir la pensión que de todas formas le corresponde y un marido ausente que no tiene el más mínimo interés de estar con ella. Eso fue suficiente para decidirme a seguir leyendo. Julia, la Duquesa de Colton, se vio en la necesidad de contratar a una cortesana para que le enseñara la manera en que debía comportarse y poder hacerse pasar por una, frente a su marido. Después de ello, se embarcó rumbo a Venecia con su tía y un amigo de la infancia. El plan era sencillo: seducir a su marido, concebir al heredero, asegurar su futuro. El amor no estaba en la ecuación.Como es lógico, en cuanto el Duque la ve, cae prendado de ella y la quiere en su cama. Conforme la va tratando, se da cuenta que no sólo es una mujer de muchos recursos amatorios, como los rumores lo dicen, sino que se trata de una mujer muy inteligente, culta y divertida. Los días van pasando, ellos están juntos por bastante tiempo y entonces, sucede lo que Julia necesitaba. Pero, no sólo eso, también descubre que contra todo pronóstico, se ha enamorado de su marido. Asustada, decide regresar a Inglaterra. Desafortunadamente el Duque Depravado no está muy feliz con el engaño y va tras ella.Si bien esa “primera parte” por decirlo de algún modo, es bastante sensual y ellos se ponen a lo suyo como es debido, el romance que va surgiendo lo sentí un poco precipitado, sobre todo porque ella estaba molesta por todo el tiempo de abandono de él. La segunda parte, no obstante, la disfruté mucho más dado que tenemos a un Duque enojado y a una Duquesa que intenta congraciarse con su marido hasta que finalmente se aburre. Tengo que reconocer que no es una novela cien por ciento original, pero tiene muchos toques que la hacen divertida, sensual, y con un toque de misterio que aunque es obvio quién es el malo del cuento, la autora no deja de sacarte cosas que le van dando un giro que consigue sorprenderte. Además, dentro de lo que cabe, el romance es muy lindo, algo le faltó pero consiguió su cometido. La resolución de la novela me gustó, pero no logro definir exactamente porqué no me encantó. Hay algo que no terminó de gustarme y sin embargo, no consigo explicarlo del todo. De cualquier manera estoy deseando leer otras novelas de esta autora, tiene un potencial enorme.This review was originally posted on Book's Minion

  • Sylvia
    2019-05-05 07:45

    Nicholas Francis Seaton, the seventh Duke of Colton known as the Depraved Duke married Lady Julia Seaton because of his father wishes. He does not want anything to do with his estates or his wife. Without the Duke's direction, Julia is desperate. Julia has to take matters in her own hands and comes up with a plan to seduce her husband to get a heir. Lady Julia seeks advise and guidance from a known courtesan and pretends to be Mrs. Juliet Leighton, another known courtesan. Nick's friend, Damien Beecham, Viscount Quint knows Lady Julia's situation and willing to help her with her plan. Will Lady Julia make her husband fall in love with her? I love this story. I love to discover new authors. It was a wonderful story. This book was heartfelt and exciting. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher thru NetGalley for an honest review.

  • Geo Marcovici
    2019-05-24 02:57

    Doar ce am terminat azi-noapte cartea...ce pot spune? Nu am putut sa o las din mana . Autoarea mi-a placut mult cum a combinat stilul erotic cu cel historical si suspans... Ce mai, o carte de nota 10 ! O recomand celor ce nu au citit-o inca! Umorul, este la el acasa in aceasta carte, fiind stropul special care leagă tot!

  • Teresa
    2019-05-06 03:40

    This is one of those love it or hate it book. Just hearing the series name and the word deceptions, you can guess some people behave badly. It has elements to it that a lot of readers don't like, and I think the variety of ratings and reactions reflect that. I had no issues, because I thought it was real and raw and angsty and frustrating and all the things. I like to go through those feelings when I read, so this one worked for me. And it was well written. The only issue that I had was some of the cartoonish nature of the villains and the way it played out at the end. Otherwise, loved it and looking forward to reading the other two.

  • Belinda
    2019-05-08 09:51

    This book had everything that I enjoy reading. I thought the author did a wonderful job in writing her characters, the locale in which the story took place (Venice) and lots of deception. Julia, the Duchess of Colton, was married as a young girl, and left alone at her husband's estate after he fled the marriage ceremony. She was told to marry but never was she happy at her new home. Julia was not treated as a member of the family. She was treated like dirt and now after 8 years without her husband Nick, she finally takes action. I liked her a lot in the interaction of the story. Julia now has the opportunity with the help of a courtesan to instruct her in ways of seducing her husband. Nick is a handsome rogue without regret or emotions. He has made his own life while gambling, drinking and whoring his way though many countries. He has lived in Venice a while and likes it because it's not England. He meets a beautiful woman one day and finds himself wanting her. He finds that she is a high priced courtesan who takes her pick of the men she wants as a lover. But there is one thing that makes her different. She is a virgin and also the Duchess of Colton which she hides from her husband. She makes plans to get him to bed her and get her with child. Then Julia can live her life on her own terms without having a uninterested husband hanging about.These two have to comes to terms or battle out their most sincere desires in which love is the only ending that fate will allow. I appreciated Net Galley for the ARC title and gave an honest review.

  • Kimberley
    2019-05-15 07:46

    Copy graciously provided by Kensington Books through Net Galley.5 Beautiful and Swoony STARS!!!! Just finished this and I'm smiling.....This is my first novel by Joanna Shupe and I am so glad I clicked it. The cover is stunning and vibrant and immediately caught my attention, and it epitomizes exactly what the story is.... stunning and vibrant!!! When we click a Historical romance we are searching for intense passionate relationships, and Joanna Shupe did not disappoint in any aspect. She captured the Exquisite, Passionate, Heart-breaking, Intense, Swoon-worthy relationship between the Dashing Delicious Depraved Duke, Nick Colton, who will set your heart a flutter with his intensity and vulnerability and Julia's Sensual Heart-warming Seduction. And the seduction, intimacy between the Hero and Heroine was heart-pounding.....seriously HOT!!!! I was hooked from Page 1 and didn't put it down until I finished it!!!!! I really enjoyed the secondary characters, Aunt Theo, Simon, Fitz, the maids and house staff, everyone was perfect in their roles. They were strong, dependable friends that provided humour and compassion in this Journey.Every good Historical Romance usually includes a vile villain.....or two, and the author kept your interest glued to the pages, sometimes causing me to hold my breath, with the anticipation of the next dastardly deed to occur!!!!!! Beautiful story!!!! There were tears through smiles. And I have the next one, The Harlot Countess, which I can't wait to read!!!!!

  • Sombra
    2019-05-03 03:44

    La primera parte ha sido muy original, me ha gustado mucho que sea ella la que lleva la voz cantante. Luego la historia se ha vuelto un poco predeci le pero aun así es un libro que engancha bastante la ambientación es muy buena y los personajes están muy bien definidos también. Lastima que Nicholas no se ha arrastrado lo suficiente después de esos años de olvido y luego cuando se entera de todo....Pero definitivamente leeré el segundo de la serie, me he quedado con ganas de saber que le depara la autora a sus dos amigos.

  • Lorka
    2019-05-10 05:56

    The first half of the book was a 5-star for me, I couldn't put it down until I passed out at 3am. This is my first book by this author and she writes a good steamy story! I didn't find it to be over-the-top raunchy, or looking for shock value points... but definitely a very good steamy. She does an awesome job describing emotions in her writing, from lust to anger. It was all very believable. The last half of the book, about the point where the are back in England... it fell a bit for me. It was a little too much of him being too pissed, but once he would start to forgive her, then she would be too pissed at him. Back and forth a bit too much and took forever for them to trust each other. Overall a great story though, I never lost interest and was not tempted to skim ahead and cheat :)

  • Layla
    2019-05-14 03:59

    My rating: 1/5 stars*ARC provided by Kensington via Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewI’m going to start this review by saying that The Courtesan Duchess was indeed one of my most expected books this year. A duchess learning the art of seduction from a courtesan? Love it! Planning to deceive her ignorant husband and seduce him to conceive an heir? How intriguing! Adopting a whole new persona – the charming Mrs. Juliet Leighton – to fool him? This heroine sounds amazing! …So yes, these are the factors that drew me in and made me so excited about the book. Julia, Duchess of Colton is in deep, deep trouble. She is all but penniless – thanks to her greedy and idiotic in- laws, and after turning down a most charitable offer of giving her body to the disgusting Mr. Templeton (the estate’s manager), she decides that she has no other choice than to somehow manage to seduce her philandering husband (Nicholas aka Nick aka The Depraved Duke) and conceive an heir - otherwise her new home will be the debtors` prison. She hires Miss Pearl Kelly – London’s most renowned courtesan – to teach her all about desire and seduction and, along the way, she becomes quite skilled. As such, she takes her good friend with her (Simon Winchester) and travels to Venice to seek out her husband. From their very first meeting sparks fly between them and it doesn’t take long for them to fall into bed (just as she wanted). What she didn’t intend to happen was to fall in love with her not-as-bad-as-she-thought husband. Too bad Nick finds out the truth and seeks to punish Julia for her betrayal.What I wanted from the book was a subtle, intriguing charade under the disguise of a game of cat and mouse. I wanted witty banter and clashing personalities and passionate arguments and slow built seduction, I wanted Julia to put Nick so thoroughly under her beguiling spell that he would regret leaving her behind. I wanted her to get her revenge by completely duping him and not feel a thing during the process. I wanted Julia to be badass, so to speak. But no, that did not happen. I did like Julia though, she was a very sensible woman but I wanted more for her. I wanted Nick to be more than his persona of The Depraved Duke – more layers and hidden depths (which the author intended to do with his background story of an emotionally abused child but managed to ruin his character because of his tendency to give up so EASILY all the freaking time). I wanted Nick to own to his wicked ways akin to Loretta Chase’s Sebastian Dain from Lord of Scoundrels or Lisa Kleypas’ Sebastian St.Vincent from Devil in Winter or Kresley Cole’s Ethan MacCarrick from If You Deceive – they are also sinful heroes completely dedicated to their lifestyle. Main difference is, they are bad to the bone and they couldn’t care less. While I enjoyed Nick in the first part of the novel – he seemed very sure of himself and his wishes (I was almost sure this was the basis to a likable hero) I actually wanted him to show some resistance to Juliet. When one is such a famed rake isn’t it de rigueur to be surrounded by beautiful women? Why then, does he fall in lust from the very second he saw Juliet? Then, in the third part of the novel (after the birth), why is he such a coward and why does he give up so easily trying to get Julia to forgive him? I get that, in his mind, he thought he was doing the noble (easy) thing by letting her go – but really, that’s the woman he loved and his daughter – how do you give up fighting so soon? This completely annoyed me – not to mention that Julia was the one that was practically begging him to stay with her. This was so unfair to Julia, honestly. She deserved to be wooed and courted and everything else. She was worth the effort of groveling. But no, it’s too hard for Nick to do that. He’s too much of a tormented soul. He was intended to sound as if he was this well structured character but in fact, he comes across as superficial. As such, Nick is neither a complete rake nor a good husband. He’s just something in between.While I enjoyed the sex scenes, they were very tastefully written, I wanted to read about more than just the physical act – even in their last sexual scene, there was not even a hint of emotional love during the encounter. It was all about satisfying their lustful needs and not about their soul- deep need of proving how much they love each other. For me to believe two characters are in love, I need them to be utterly awestruck with how right it feels to be with one another (I don’t know, I think it’s my romantic nature talking), a joining of hearts - not just bodies. This book had such an unbelievable potential and it was sad for me watch it go from intriguing to annoying. But I’m hoping the next book prove itself to be great. It was actually the blurb for The Harlot Countess which peeked my interest in this series. Simon was an enjoyable character in this book and Maggie sounds delightfully wicked and mischievous.

  • Susanna Herrero
    2019-05-03 07:51

    3,5. Me ha gustado. Entretenido para una tarde de domingo sin grandes pretensiones.

  • Acey Lagora
    2019-05-26 07:43

    3.5 stars "It's your typical historical romance, the reason why you pick this book in the first place :)"Genre: 8/10Cover: 6/10Writing: 7/10Heroine: 7/10Hero: 6/10Humour: 5/10Romance: 6/10The plot line is predictable, but it's still a delightful read. It can be compared to Julia Quinn's The Duke and I. Kudos to Joanna Shupe for a successful debut. I like this book, probably because I'm fond of historical romance but what makes this one enjoyable is it's loose, easy to read, and conventional."To catch his eye, be both temptress and maiden. An innocent harlot is what most men desire at the end of the day." —Miss Pearl Kelly to the Duchess of ColtonTypical storyline: one of them has an unpleasant past, the other tries to help, they fall in love, one gets scared and pushes the other, then realizes too late that they can't live with each other, then still lives happily ever after. But not everything is that simple though. Well, when was it ever simple?"Allow him the upper hand, if necessary—but only for a short time. To control him is to control your destiny." —Miss Pearl Kelly to the Duchess of ColtonThe only flaw of this book is its ironic plot. You know, when you read something and then you realize that the conflict in the story isn't really much of a problem, it's a bit silly when you think about it, and then you just want to pull your hair and say "Just get together, for sweetness sake". In this book I'm pulling my hair and saying "The two of you are married, so what's wrong when you're in love and sleeping together"? Well, we shouldn't make a fuss of it. It's a novel, and we won't have anymore of a plot line if we complain a lot. Anyhow, it's a good read. "Tis a rare—and lucky—woman who experiences the gift of true love."—Miss Pearl Kelly to the Duchess of ColtonP.S "Please write a novel of Ms. Pearl Kelly. She kinda reminds me of Lady Whistledown."