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The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose

My rating: 4.5 of 5

ebook, 384 pages
Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Gothic Romance
Published March 17th 2015 by Atria Books
Available on: Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover, MP3 CD

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What they say:

“Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page.” The New York Times

“This belle époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions.” People Magazine

“A haunting tale of erotic love…. M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end.” Examiner.com

What I have to say:

I chose to read this book because of the author, the book cover, the title and the description. It was an all in one for me.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose book cover

I previously read another book by MJ Rose and fell in love not only with the story but with the way she told the story. When I saw The Witch of Painted Sorrows, I knew I had to read it because I was eager to read more of her work. Also, I absolutely fell in love with the book cover, which IMHO is a gorgeous cover. It has all the elements I love in book covers. This is a mesmerizing cover for me. I love how they blended the feminine image and the image of Paris at night, and how it tells the story of the book. The color palette had me at hello! And the title of this book screamed mystery, passion, adventure and magic to me. I. HAD. TO. READ. THIS. BOOK.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the story of Sandrine Salomé, a woman who decides to escape her unhappy marriage in New York to find shelter at her grandmother’s house in Paris. Her grandmother is a famous Parisian courtesan, who has accumulated innumerable treasures in her house. When Sandrine arrives, she finds herself homeless, as her grandmother had moved out of the house in hopes of turning it into a museum. Her grandmother doesn’t want Sandrine near the house. There is something about the house, Sandrine can’t let go of it, she manages to inhabit the house and along with Julien Duplessi, the architect in charge of the museum project, she embarks in a life changing journey of discovery, not only of the dark mysteries of her family’s past hidden inside the house but also a journey that will lead her to discover her passion for art and her own sensuality.

My favorite character was La Lune. I know I didn’t mention it in the synopsis, and this is because you have to read this book to discover who or what she is. La Lune is a fascinating character whose presence you can feel throughout the story from the beginning until the end. You can even see and feel her in the cover…at least I do. La Lune is the character that mesmerizes and captivates the reader and keeps you turning the pages. I know that I fell under the spell of La Lune from the get go.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a delight for the senses. The setting is described in such a way that it is impossible not to feel like you are right there, inside that house, exploring the hidden room, mixing the pigments, creating the paintings, walking through the Parisian streets, or living the lush life in Paris in 1890. Just like in her other books, the author’s knowledge about perfumes makes you even smell the fragrances described in the book.

…her perfume, were part of her signature. Dabbing at my eyes, I smelled that amazing fragrance that no one wore but my grandmother: roses and lily of the valley with a hint of vanilla and spicy pepper and some magical ingredient that smoothed it out and ignited it.

And the provocative romance, it is impossible not to feel seduced by it. It is I must say a book for adults. I wouldn’t recommend it for YA nor the advanced YA readers. Not that kids today aren’t reading about sex, but I wouldn’t want to give kids the idea that adultery is enchanting. The sensual content in this book is more likely to be enjoyed by adults.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a story that gets sexier and darker with every page you read. Reading it feels like touching velvet. It is a bewitching story. I couldn’t put this book down. I was so into the story that when I finished it, it left me hungry for more. I wanted to keep reading; I wanted to stay in that magical world for a while longer. And this abrupt ending is the main reason it didn’t get 5 stars in my rating.

Nevertheless, this book confirmed that I am a fan of MJ Rose. I can’t wait to read more of her work. If you’re looking for a book with an exquisite blend of history, romance, eroticism, magic, witchcraft, paranormal, mystery, and art, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book that will make you travel back in time to the bohemian life of the Belle Époque in Paris, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a hypnotic story filled with passion, mystique and drama, this is the book for you.


NewWords Button by Bloggeretterized

  • Fearmongering. verb. The use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others toward some specific end.
  • Ilk. noun. Family, class, or kind.
  • Eschewing. verb. To abstain or keep away from; shun; avoid.
  • Lech. noun. A man given to excessive sexual indulgence; a lascivious or licentious man.
  • Dalliance. noun. Amorous toying; flirting.
  • Accoutrement. noun. Additional items of dress or equipment, or other items carried or worn by a person or used for a particular activity.
  • Soupçon. noun. A slight trace, as of a particular taste or flavor.
Words have different meanings. Those presented here are as used in the book read. All definitions from Dictionary.com


Lessons Learnt Button by Bloggeretterized

Passion is what moves everything. What do you think?

The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love.


Good advice. I’d rather have wrinkles from smiling. 🙂

Never give in to sorrow. It doesn’t do your heart or your complexion any good.


True. Can’t argue with these:

Exercise, she told me, kept the body strong and the mind clear.


It was always more seductive to speak with the lips or the eyes than with words.


Look deeply at everyone and everything if you want to find the magic and mystique of life…


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I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links as stated in my disclosure policy.