Book Review

‘Magnate’ by Joanna Shupe

m jsSTORY: 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…

REVIEW: New York City – 1887

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Sloane, age 21, is meeting secretly with Emmett Cavanaugh, owner of East Coast Steel. A big and handsome man, he is a business acquaintance of her brother, William Sloane, owner of the Northeast Railroad Company, that he inherited from their father. Since she is a woman, William has never allowed Lizzie to get involved with the business. Lizzie is meeting with Emmett to tell him that she wants to open a stock brokerage firm and needs a partner who can back her financially and who is well-known enough to bring in clients. She shows him a ledger of her own stock trades she has made on paper over the last two years to prove her success. Impressed with her capabilities, he still turns her down. As she is so lovely and well bred, Emmett doesn’t feel she has what it takes to enter this dirty, cut-throat business. Secretly, Lizzie suspects that her family’s railroad business is not doing well and Emmett wonders the same thing. She finally convinces Emmett to back her for three weeks and promises to double his money. If she fails, she will give him some of her preferred railroad stock from her trust.

While Emmett is very wealthy, he is also considered to be socially beneath Lizzie. Growing up in a very bad part of town with no parental guidance or help, he was very poor and learned to fight for everything he could. Starting at the bottom, Emmett worked hard at the steel mill until he became injured. Using his settlement money from his injury, he invested it and within a few years had made enough money to buy the mill himself. Today, his shrewd investments have made him a multimillionaire. But few people know the accident that caused his injury was his own fault and also caused the death of two men. For this, he has never forgiven himself.

While Emmett is a hard-working, driven man, he loves and takes care of his half-brother, Brendan, a doctor, and his two half-sisters, Katie, age 13, and Claire, age 11.

In the eyes of society, Lizzie is considered to be engaged to Henry Rutlidge. However, he is just an old friend and she has no romantic feelings for him.

When Lizzie is caught by her brother having dinner with Emmett in a public restaurant, he goes into a rages and says she is ruined and that Emmett must now marry her. There is much hate between William and Emmett mostly due to their vast differences in social status. In this time period of the Gilded Age, social status is everything.

Lizzie and Emmett do marry but their marriage is fraught with many problems. Can they make a go of it? Will their ever be any harmony between the two families?

This is a magnificent story that I enjoyed it very much and would like to see it made into a mini-series.

This is Book 2 of the series The Knickerbocker Club
Book 1 is a novella called “Tycoon”
Book 3, entitled “Baron,” will be published in November 2016

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b


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