The Witch Of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose…Review Blog Tour Stop

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“Passion, for better or worse.  It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve been bathed in it.  I’ve been changed by it. “



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

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there 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.


My Review:

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the first work in author M.J. Rose’s new series, The Daughters Of La Lune, and took me on a literary journey unlike anything I have ever experienced. It was magical, rich, sensual, suspenseful…truly amazing.

Sandrine Salome is set adrift and bereft with the loss of her beloved father. His loss leads her to reevaluate her life and her marriage and sends her to her grandmother’s mansion in Paris. There was an unexplained pull she felt to that mansion and now with more reasons to leave New York than to stay, she knew there was no better time to explore this deep yearning to return to the home she visiting once years earlier. 

Unfortunately the welcome Sandrine receives upon arriving was not what she had expected. Her grandmother had temporarily moved out of the opulent mansion that had been calling to her. Even more shocking was her grandmother’s warning to avoid stepping foot in that dwelling. It was cursed, her grandmother explained, by the courtesan and supposed witch who had originally owned the home. There was evil lurking and a force that should not be tampered with. But Sandrine wasn’t about to listen to such absurdities and instead, visits the home behind her grandmother’s prying eyes. It’s in those visits that Sandrine stumbles across art and painting supplies. Those supplies will turn Sandrine into an artist who will change the way women were perceived in the art world during that time. It’s also in those visits she meets a handsome young architect and begins an affair that will prove to grow into something Sandrine never expected…especially when the witch becomes involved in their relationship and tries to take over Sandrine’s very being.

Where to begin? How can I even begin to convey how much I adored this book and how consumed I was with Sandrine and the witch, La Lune? There was so much to love. First off, Ms. Rose’s writing is just exquisite. Rich with description and detail, reading her stories reminds me why I started reading for pleasure in the first place.

Sandrine is a wonderful character with a slight defiant streak that leads her to so many amazing, and sometimes scary, experiences. At first she doesn’t believe that La Lune is anything but a silly old myth, but soon realizes it truly is much more than that. She deviates from accepting to denying the witch’s hold on her. In turn, that had me fluctuating between being worried for Sandrine and wanting La Lune to get her own version of a happy ending, Of course, I wasn’t sure how that would play out and that also had me worried. Thankfully, Ms. Rose beautifully tied it all together and left me so happy with how it played out.

Julien, our charming architect, is equally enjoyable. He’s kind, smart, understanding and caring. I think he and Sandrine make a wonderful couple and, with the tests they face with La Lune and her interferences, made me appreciate their relationship even more.

Adding to the rich characters is the allure of the unknown.  With talk of seances, spirits, possession, alchemy, and sometimes even the dark arts, I was enthralled with each page I read.

Finally, I have to again mention the beautiful and rich prose in which Ms. Rose writes. Though I’ve never been to Paris, I felt as though I was there, walking though the streets with Sandrine.  I could picture in my mind’s eye all of the clothing and stunning jewels Sandrine and her grandmother wore.  I could smell all of the perfumes and scents.  I could see all of the colors Sandrine painted with.  That, is a gift to me and one a writer gives to a reader that I cherish.

Thank you, Ms. Rose, for The Witch of Painted Sorrows and for once again taking me on a wonderful journey within the pages you so masterfully have written.



Five Loves


Book Links:

 Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooks  |  IndieBound

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: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Visit her online at MJRose.com.

Praise for M.J. Rose
“Rose is an unusually skillful storyteller. Her polished prose and intricate plot will grip even the most skeptical reader. “
– Washington Post

“Provocative…a sweeping sense of romance and history.”
– Cleveland Plain Dealer on “The Book of Lost Fragrances”

“Rose seduces the reader from the very first page. Enticing…fascinating…unexpected.”

– Associated Press on “Seduction”

“A sensual mystery (readers) will truly never forget! This deserves a standing ovation.”

– Suspense Magazine on “Seduction,” Best Book of 2013

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