cover image Magnate


Joanna Shupe. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (338p) ISBN 978-1-4201-3984-6

This original and captivating historical romance splendidly portrays two protagonists with complex and layered personalities. Steel magnate Emmett Cavanaugh is one of the most powerful and feared men in business, but by the standards of the glittering Gilded Age, he’s nouveau riche and can’t hope to be welcomed into the circles of New York City’s powerful Knickerbocker families. Former debutante Elizabeth Sloane knows that having dinner with Emmett is scandalous enough to ruin her reputation, but she bucks tradition to use her brains and change her life. Lizzie chafes at the strict rules that say she is just ornamental, and she talks Emmett into backing her own investment brokerage firm. Emmett learned to be ruthless when he was growing up in the slums, but the all-consuming passion and gentle tenderness he feels for Lizzie terrifies him. He’s entranced by Lizzie’s beauty, ambition, and determination, but is convinced she would never stay with him, while Lizzie tries to protect herself from getting hurt. The ensuing battle of wills is engrossing as Emmett and Lizzie work through past hurts, pride, and mistrust to have a future together. The poor boy turned millionaire marrying the princess is typical romance fare, but Lizzie and Emmett’s marvelous portrayals add fresh life to a familiar story. (May)