Magnate (The Knickerbocker Club) – book review

by Joanna Shupe
Release Date:  April 26, 2016
Publisher: Zebra
Book #1 in The Knickerbocker Club series
Number of Pages: 352
Source:  Warren Public Library
Historical Romance
Ages 17 and up
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…

I have mixed feelings about this one. The chemistry between Lizzie and Emmett is explosive and everyone around them can feel the tension whenever they’re in the same room. Emmett’s hang-ups about when he could and could not offer in a relationship kept me on edge as to which version poor Lizzie would be seeing each time they were together. Both of them had a lot to unpack when it came to their upbringing and where they were currently in their lives. All of that was immensely enjoyable and kept me turning the pages.

Where I got caught up was with Lizzie and her drive to do something different than other women of her station in life. In the beginning, it seemed she had such drive and passion for what she wanted to do. But once the initial bet between Lizzie and Emmett is over, the whole purpose of her going to meet him and make the wager is almost an afterthought. I don’t mind the story not getting into the nitty gritty of the business, but it was almost skimmed over. I read this author’s Uptown Girls series first, and she wrote that one after this series. In the other series she had gotten really good at showing the strength in her women characters. While she didn’t do poorly here, I just had higher expectations.

The relationship between Emmett and the others in their Knickerbocker Club was not what I expected after reading the novella. That just made things more interesting to me. These men meet and cooperate with one another to advance their own agenda, not because they have a tight friendship. In this story, that led to some high-tension situations.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I prefer having every element of a story fall in to place perfectly, but when it doesn’t totally align with my expectations I’m glad I can still get the chemistry, warm-fuzzies, and HEA that I’m looking for.

3.5 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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1 Response to Magnate (The Knickerbocker Club) – book review

  1. Pingback: Baron (The Knickerbocker Club) – book review | All In Good Time

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