Sunday, March 22, 2015

#REVIEW "The Witch of Painted Sorrows" (The Daughters of La Lune) by M.J. Rose

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.

I found this book to be spellbinding! Not only this book, but all of this author's books for that matter! For those of you who know the types of books I like to read, this is way off my regular beaten path, but I love these! I cannot get enough of them, and when a new one comes out, I cannot wait to get lost in the next new story!
I read these books like the Library Journal (Starred Review) said they are, "an Adult Fairy Tale”.
I would be willing to state that readers who are new to this author might feel the beginning of this particular book may feel slow at first, but it needs to be so it can literally paint the picture for what is yet to come. Without this, we would be lost in many places throughout this story. Relax, enjoy what you’re reading, and know you’re going to read a story that you will be able to connect with and love!
I knew what to expect going into this book, and looked forward to it very much. I was anxious to see how how La Lune, the witch, was to possess Sandrine and how it would play out, and it's through the entire book! I loved it! It's about the Art, too, the paintings that La Lune painted through Sandrine as that is what this witch was known for, her painting. Sandrine was probably one of the best people La Lune had because she loved Art already.
Sit back as you are transported back to the dark, 1890’s gothic, Paris, France. As soon as Sandrine steps off the ship, you can feel that she is now in a darker, secretive, more powerful place. Sandrine is trying to escape and hide from her abusive husband who is not as gentle and kind as a husband should be, and he was tied into something with her father too. She knows she can go and live with her grandmother. Sandrine knew she could take refuge there. Grandmother used to be and still is a ‘courtesan’, but Sandrine ends up at a different home, a hotel, not the house as it is being renovated, or at least that is what grandmother tells Sandrine, but she doesn’t believe her, not for a minute! 
Sandrine is warned not go to the house, but Sandrine, you will learn, has a constitution of her own. She follows grandmother to the house one day and saw there were no renovations taking place, but people were in and out like they always had been. But why? Why would she lie? She keeps this knowledge to herself for now. 
At the house, she feels a pull to it, or something in this house wants her, and she wants it, whatever it is. Now she must know more about it. Sandrine is really drawn to the bell tower on her grandmother’s property. After grandmother left with her company, Sandrine goes into the house, but not far as she intended as she meets a man named Julien. He is an architect who is cataloging the house. They left and talked about Alchemy. Since he is an architect and had been hired to restore the house with the alchemic medallions all through it. While talking and being together with him, she could feel herself being drawn to this man. Is this what her grandmother meant? She could see herself doing private things with this man and tried to put them out of her mind.  
Later, Grandmother asks about Sandrine’s marriage and she tells her the truth, and Grandmother agrees with her that that is no marriage and she felt for her about what she went through, but she would learn more about love and sensuality while she was here now in Paris. She didn't ask how, just accepted the statement.
A little later a relative dies. While at the cemetery she sees ghouls, ghosts, and other things. She learns she has to ignore these these things and not look at them. Sandrine and others will surprise you as to who she really is now that Paris is inside of her, or is it the ghost, Le Lane, from the house, whom her grandmother is afraid will take over Sandrine’s body?
Sandrine starts to blossom! So much so, she does take Julien on as a lover, but she finds out he has a secret. She is in love with him now. 
She, or is it Le Lane, wants to become a professional painter, and not having painted before, is painting well enough to get accepted into very well known school, but only men are allowed to go here so Sandrine dresses up like a man and is accepted! When she takes off the wig and mustache, the school has issues with that as they find out Sandrine is a woman and only men have ever gone to that Art school. She does get accepted after all!
Oh, there is so much more to this story! I don’t want to tell you everything, and I have not in this little bit in the beginning (HOW anyone can think this is slow is beyond me!)
Now grandmother fools Sandrine and gets her into a church of which she cannot escape. Grandmother states Sandrine needs an exorcism, that the witch, La Lune, has possessed Sandrine. Sandrine wonders if she has changed that much? Has La Lune taken over her that much? She didn’t care. She wanted to paint, and she was going to! She fights with all she’s got!
There is so much MORE! You are glued to this book losing sleep over it, too because you can't put this down! The rest is for you to escape into! There is so much more to this story and more to come that you must read this one for yourself!
I need to warn you, though, for those of you who are used to the type of books I read, this one is very different than books you are used to me reviewing. There are parts in this book that have some sexual situations, it's very dark, and it involves spirits, the occult, witches/witchcraft, and a possession. The witchcraft that plays out is dark for anyone who tries to help them. If this is something you don't prefer to read about, I've warned you. 
There is just something about this author's books that put you under their spell as you are reading them and you can't get enough. You're not going to want to stop reading and enjoying these books, either, until you are done and you won't forget these stories, either! When I got the opportunity to read and review “The Collector of Dying Breaths” by this author, her previous book, that was it! I fell in love with that book and this author's writing! (You can read that review HERE!Remember when I reviewed the Adult version of the Buzz Books (that review is HERE.) This book was in the Adult version book with a chapter or two, and I knew I was going to LOVE this book, too! Sure enough, I did!
These books by this author can be about anything, and I’ll never be able to get enough of them! I never thought these types of books would appeal to me either, but they sure do! I enjoy escaping life completely into these stories and forgetting everything about what's going on in my own life! I do have to say, this author does have a knack for this style of writing, and it is this writing that continues to pull me back book after book! Now I can’t wait for the next book and I want it now! LOL!
I received this book for FREE from the publisher, Atria Books, and NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

ebook: $12.99
print:   $19.08

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