In the second novel in Joanna Shupe's the Uptown Girl series, a ruthless casino owner bent on revenge finds his plans upended by a beautiful women who proves to be more determined than he is—and too irresistible to deny.
Powerful casino owner.
Destroyer of men.
He lives in the shadows...
As the owner of the city's most exclusive casino, Clayton Madden holds the fortunes of prominent families in the palms of his hands every night. There is one particular family he burns to ruin, however, one that has escaped his grasp... until now.
She is society's darling...
Florence Greene is no one's fool. She knows Clayton Madden is using her to ruin her prestigious family... and she's using him right back. She plans to learn all she can from the mysterious casino owner—then open a casino of her own just for women.
With revenge on his mind, Clay agrees to mentor Florence. However, she soon proves more adept—and more alluring—than Clay bargained for. When his plans are threatened, Clay must decide if he is willing to gamble his empire on love.
I love historical romance set in the latter part of the 19th century. It's not quite the glittering London scene of earlier in the 1800's and it allows a little more freedom for the characters, while still keeping it in the historical world.
Clayton is a casino owner and Phoebe wants to be one. So, what is a woman to do to get the experience to run a casino? Well, obviously, she goes to one of the most successful casino owners and asks for him to mentor her. What she doesn't count on is their attraction to one another.
They really are perfect for one another. Clayton is damaged by things that have happened to him in his past, and he functions on the outskirts of society. Pheobe is part of the New York upper crust, but wants to be out of the life and is ok with not being accepted in "polite" society.
The book is about their attraction, them figuring out what they want from one another, and them each learning to separate the things that really matter from the things that only seem to matter, or those they have convinced themselves should matter.
I am not sure I believed that all of the things that happen in the book could have happened in the time in which the book is set...but, I believed it enough to be willing to ignore the doubts about it and it didn't pull me out of the story.
I enjoyed and recommend this title.