Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: "The Witch of Painted Sorrows" by MJ Rose

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 insits 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 Thoughts:  Once again, M.J. Rose has proven that she is an amazing storyteller.  The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a beautifully written story that combines art, romance and the paranormal to create a very unique tale.

What I loved most about this book were the descriptions of everything.  The whole setting was absolutely beautiful.  The way she described Paris, the artwork, the architecture and La Lune's house gave life to the story.  She used just enough detail to create a stunning visual for the reader but not so much that I was bored. 

I liked the character of Sandrine and enjoyed watching her grow and change throughout the story.  That being said, I found her grandmother to be so intriguing.  Throughout the story, the reader was given bits and pieces of information about her life but she was still quite the enigma and I think that was why I was drawn to her.  She was a wealthy and powerful woman in her own right and despite her career path, I admired her greatly.

There was a lot of action in this book and it was quite the page turner.  Sandrine's possession was fascinating and creepy at the same time and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.  That being said, I was a tad disappointed in the ending.  It felt so rushed and I was left with a lot of unanswered questions.  It wasn't a bad ending, I just wanted something more from it.  Despite the ending, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for an unusual and well-written story.  3 1/2 stars.

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.

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I received this book from HFBVT in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Gah! This looks and sounds so wonderful! I'm am SO OBESSED with anything set in Belle Epoque Paris! I'm glad you liked this book for the most part, but now I will be prepared for a not so stellar ending. Maybe that will make me enjoy it just a little bit more since my expectations will not be so high. Thanks for the great review!

  2. I just finished reading this and really enjoyed it. And while the ending did definitely take me by surprise, I do think it actually fit the book and as much as I don't want to admit it, I kind of liked it.


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