Skip to main content

Blog Tour: The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose: A Book Review

02_The Witch of Painted Sorrows Cover

Publication Date: March 17, 2015 Atria Books 
Formats: Hardcover, Ebook 
Pages: 384 
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
  Add to GR Button   READ AN EXCERPT

Synopsis: 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.

     My Review: Trapped in a loveless marriage, Sandrine runs away from her husband. She chooses to go to Paris instead of Chicago, where her maternal relatives are, thinking that her husband will not find her. She finds her paternal grandmother and is surprised that she is living in an apartment and not in her beautiful mansion. With her grandmother in an apartment, Sandrine asks her grandmother if she can move in the mansion, but her grandmother dances around the subject. Sandrine becomes suspicious that her grandmother is hiding something from her and grows more curious about the mansion. One day her curiosity gets the best of her and she goes there. There she finds not only the mansion is being renovated as a museum, but she becomes mesmerized by the architect, Julien. However, going into the house has changed her life because she unleashes a sixteenth-century ghost called La Lune and under the ghost’s spell, Sandrine immerses herself in the art world of painting and falling in love with Julien.

     The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a very beautiful book. I had fallen under the author’s spell at the first page. The setting was dark and atmospheric when it described a Parisian night. At other times, it was light and humorous. I found it fun being in her art world, where she takes art classes under the guidance of Moreau. I also found the book to be very romantic for I loved the tension between Sandrine and Julien. This book was a thrill ride, and I loved going through the dark underground of the Paris night.

     Sandrine is an emotionally-damaged woman. She is in grief over her father’s death and yearns to get away from her husband. Because of this, she wants to live in her grandmother’s mansion and live in peace. She is very curious and is willing to know the truth about what is going on. Because she is emotionally-damaged, it is easy for her to be manipulated by the ghost, La Lune.

     La Lune is the most interesting character in the book. She is a powerful spirit, and is not afraid to do evil actions in order for Sandrine to get her way. She is willing to make Sandrine a well-respected artist, and gives Sandrine the gift of painting that she never before possessed. She also  helps Sandrine by getting Julien to fall in love with her. Yet, while she is trying to make Sandrine happy, the reader wonders about La Lune’s true motive. This is the mystery in this novel. What is La Lune’s true plan? Yet, even though La Lune is a powerful ghost, when she is mentioned, there is an aura of sorrow. The reader grows curious about La Lune’s story and soon we feel sorry for her.

     Overall, the story is about love, family, choices, loss, and redemption. The course of the novel is about a woman searching for her true self. The characters are likable, and it has a beautiful setting. This novel has a bit of everything, romance, fantasy, mystery, paranormal and a thriller. Art lovers and history lovers will love this book. This book is a must-read for everyone because it will feel like a well deserved treat that anyone can enjoy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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

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

Barnes & Noble 

About the Author

03_M.J. Rose 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.


Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Iceberg by Jennifer A. Nielsen: A Book Review

  Iceberg Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen Genre: Children, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adventure Publisher: Scholastic Release Date: March 7, 2023 Pages: 317 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis : As disaster looms on the horizon, a young stowaway onboard the Titanic will need all her courage and wits to stay alive. A thrilling tale from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen!     Hazel Rothbury is traveling all alone from her home in England aboard the celebrated ship Titanic . Following the untimely death of her father, Hazel’s mother is sending her to the US to work in a factory, so that she might send money back home to help her family make ends meet.     But Hazel harbors a secret dream: She wants to be a journalist, and she just knows that if she can write and sell a story about the Titanic ’s maiden voyage, she could earn enough money to support her family and not have to go to a sweatshop. When Hazel discovers that mother didn’t send her with enough money for

The War Queens by Rebecca Hazell: A Book Review

The War Queens Author: Rebecca Hazell Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Tellwell Talent Release Date: 2023 Pages: 496 Source: This book was given to me by the publicist in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: By the sixth century, the Roman Empire is already lost to tribal invasions, brutal Merovingian Franks have seized Gaul from the civilized Romanized Visigoths, and a dark age has descended across Europe. Now a deadly rivalry arises between two Merovingian queens. Brunhilda and Fredegunda are equals in beauty and intelligence, but opposite in vision and temperament. When the Franks demand a royal bride, Visigoth Brunhilda marries into a world that despises women. Suddenly thrust into power and repeatedly facing loss and grief, she seeks to revive a new Rome based on justice and prosperity. Her implacable foe, Fredegunda, is a former slave concubine who lives only for personal power. Insanely jealous of high-born Brunhilda, she uses seduction, assassination, war, and even witc