Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows Blog Tour: Review

Publication Date: March 17, 2015
Atria Books
Formats: Hardcover, Ebook
Pages: 384

Genre: Historical Mystery

LibaryReads March 2015 Pick

Indie Next Choice for April 2015



Possession. Power. Passion. International bestselling novelist M.J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this erotic, gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome runs away to her grandmother’s Parisian mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten – her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love and witchery.


What Did I Think About the Story?

The Witch of Painted Sorrows, like all other books by M.J. Rose I have read, is an absolute treat for the senses!   The reader is completely submerged in what the characters experience, every touch, smell, sound and feeling so perfectly presented that you feel like you are right there, experiencing the same things. Which, given the sinister undertone lacing through this story, can be quite unnerving.

The revelations that our main character Sandrine comes to realize, in regards to her family's history and the secrets her ancestral home is hiding, are slow burning, as is the insidious presence that begins to take over her life, first by unleashing her inner passions and vibrant artistic talents and finally altering her personality in frightening ways. This slow release makes the whole mystical world swirling around Sandrine chilling as she isn't even quite sure what is happening to her. The reader just has to keep turning those pages to find out what might happen next.

My favorite aspect of the novel would have to be the time Sandrine spends painting and developing her craft.  It is rare that a novel takes you within the head of an artist so that you actually get the experience of seeing what that artist sees when looking at something that, for anyone who isn't an artist, would seem ordinary and watching it transform into something amazing. I wanted to spend more time within Sandrine's head as it was fascinating getting to see the workings of such a talented mind.

My only slight complaint (and given this wonderful story it is slight) is that I found a few of the secondary characters fell somewhat flat for me, especially Sandrine's husband. He is often referenced throughout the story as a horrid man who could pose a huge threat to Sandrine, but when we finally get to meet him it is barely a glimpse and that glimpse just didn't feel necessary. For me, he really only served to get Sandrine to Paris but added nothing else to the overall story.

The Witches of Painted Sorrows brings Belle Epoque Paris to life like only M.J. Rose can do. On top of the exciting and often frightening events discussed, the reader walks the halls of the Louvre, attends class at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and takes a walk around the Eiffel Tower. I am so very excited to see where Ms. Rose takes this newest series!

What Do I Think About the Cover?

I absolutely adore it! It just might be my favorite cover of the year so far! The dark colors and mysterious woman superimposed over the city perfectly fits the dark mysteries going on within the pages.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0


Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of The Witch of Painted Sorrows in exchange for an honest review. Be sure to continue below for more information about the author, the book and the rest of the blog tour!


Praise For the Novels of M.J. Rose 

The Witch of Painted Sorrows

“Rose’s new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris—a perfect match for the author’s lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. A cliffhanger ending will leave readers hungry for the next volume. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Mixes reality and illusion, darkness and light, mystery and romance into an adult fairy tale. [Rose] stirs her readers curiosities and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Unforgettable, full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will be long savored. Library Journal (Starred Review)

“A haunting tale of possession.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Rose is an unusually skillful storyteller. Her polished prose and intricate plot will grip even the most skeptical reader. ” (The Washington Post)
The Collector of Dying Breaths
"Breathtaking…combines fascinating history, torrid romance and a compelling mystery into a marvelous package that will entice fans of Anne Rice and Diana Gabaldon.” (Associated Press)

“A page-turning, alluring concoction of fiction infused with fantastical yet actual history. Readers will be charmed by her well-drawn and memorable characters, and they will be mesmerized by her enchanting narrative, which takes them on a mystical and magical journey.” (Library Journal (starred))

“A terrific piece of entertainment.” (CT Post)

“Wondrously original… elegantly written. Rose manages to utterly suspend our disbelief in a book that leaves us, appropriately enough, breathless.” (Providence Journal)

“Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!” (Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants)


“Atmospherically romantic and perfectly toned. Classy and elegant literary seduction of the highest measure. As wondrously crafted as it is original.” (Providence Journal)

“Readers will be enchanted by M.J. Rose’s supernaturally charged novel Seduction, inspired by Victor Hugo’s self-imposed exile on the British island of Jersey in the 1850s.” (USA Today)

“Has just about everything a thriller fan could wish for.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

“Full of well-researched history, the paranormal, and modern intrigue, this atmospheric tale of suspense is fully engrossing to those willing to suspend their disbelief.” (Library Journal (starred review))

The Book of Lost Fragrances

“A compelling page turner…Once you catch a whiff, you will be enchanted.” (Associated Press)

“M.J. Rose is a bold, unflinching writer and her resolute honesty puts her in a class by herself.” (Laura Lippman)

“The Book of Lost Fragrances resonates with spirit, blending myth with reality, tragedy with triumph, pain with joy. You’ll find yourself questioning everything you believe–and wanting more.” (Steve Berry)

“Provocative…a sweeping sense of romance [and] history.” (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

Buy the Book

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About the Author


M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of
International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visit her online at

Connect with M.J. Rose on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Sign up for M.J. Rose’s newsletter and get information about new releases, free book downloads, contests, excerpts and more.

You can check out the whole HF Virtual Book Tour for The Witch of Painted Sorrows HERE.



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