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The Witch of Painted Sorrows

(Daughters of La Lune #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  4,328 ratings  ·  831 reviews
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, fa
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Atria Books
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Aj the Ravenous Reader

"Love was the only reason to do anything. The only value worth living for. A goal truly worth making any sacrifice for."

1890 France, an eloquent portrayal of the so called courtesans, fine exhibition of *ahem* erotic paintings, wild and passionate display of something more than just erotic paintings *double ahem* plus *blushes*...

...a touch of mythology, a stroke of witchcraft and dark magic, sprinkled with paranormal all blended in a very exquisite art of storytelling and spellbinding writi
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*I'll be posting the review tomorrow*
David J. Montgomery
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
M.J. Rose is one of the masters (mistresses?) of romantic suspense, and THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS shows just how good she is. If you like a little erotic romance with your thrills -- and a dash of the supernatural -- you're going to love reading this.

This isn't really the kind of book I ordinarily read, but Rose knows how to tell a story, so I always enjoy her work. She creates good characters, but the best part is her intricate plots and use of beautifully-written settings. Reading THE WITCH
Sammy Loves Books
An 1800's French Romance with a twist...

My thoughts...

waste of time

I HATED the heroine. She was weak, conniving, and deserved to die from her own stupidity. She lied to, and stole from her loving grandmother who gave her refuge from her husband.


This book almost became a DNR

money back

But curiosity got the best of me. I HAD to know how this train wreck would end.


I can only be Mad at Myself for not jumping off this train two weeks ago!!


Gaaahhh, I can't believe this book has an average rating of 3.52!!!
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

3 Stars

I have mixed feelings regarding this book. I was so excited to read this book since the description held such promise. I saw that this book was set in Belle Époque Paris during the late 1800s and it just sounded wonderful. I thought that it was beautifully written with wonderful detail in many ways. I also found myself waiting for something to happen and thought the book seemed to drag in some places.

Sandrine goes to Paris to be with
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I have for a while now wanted to read an M.J. Rose book. The stories in the books have intrigued me and I love the covers for them. I was quite glad when I got the chance to read this new one.

Sandrine Salome has left her husband and fled New York to take refuge at her grandmother's house in Paris. But she discovers when she gets there that her grandmother is planning to turn the house into a museum and she also forbids Sandrine to visit the house. But she can't help feeling drawn to the house a

Arc provided by Atria Books through Netgalley

Release Date: March 17 th

DNF at 30%

I'll start with the positives: The pretty cover and the enticing title...both of them, made me click the request button.

The writing:
The story is mainly told in such a boring, fastidious way, that I cannot in full conscience give it more stars.
Who knows? Maybe the story does get better...although I doubt it, with such a simpering leading character...

I'll admit that I am not this book's intended audience, main
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1890s Paris, The Witch of Painted Sorrows is an irresistibly atmospheric, flavorful and intensely captivating gothic novel.

I was thoroughly impressed with M.J. Rose's smooth and spellbinding writing style and the amount of historical and cultural detail she included in this story. The combination of the sensual, sexually charged plot line, the gripping intrigue, the emotionally powerful and deeply intimate details of the main character's life and the breathtakingly painted historical tap
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
The setting creates an amazing ambiance – belle epoque Paris stirs the peruses attention, conjures the imagination. Rose takes full advantage and fulfills expectations with unbridled intent.

Rose manipulates language in such an enticing manner, enhancing the entire narrative, hypnotizing, sultry whatever the label it is lush. Her prose seduces the reader.

The characters offer sophistication, nimble not short of corporeal. All enchanting with their individuality and role.

With the perfect blending o
Jan 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
M.J. Rose’s new novel, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, feels more like a very long draft of a novel rather than a fleshed-and-thought out story.

Along those lines, Sorrows does not pick up until the last 100 pages or so. Up to that point, it’s a horrible slog, not just a slog like the last 100 pages.

Furthermore, the plot elements introduced at the beginning to propel the main character to Paris, where the book takes place, feels haphazard at best and the very first draft at worst. Her husband is d
This book starts off quite slowly and may be painfully slow for some readers. It's told from the point of view of Sandrine, who in 1894 left her husband in New York and traveled to Paris on her own to live with her grandmother. When she arrives at their ancestral home, she is surprised to find that her grandmother is no longer living there and that the house in under renovations. Her grandmother lives not far from the house and takes Sandrine in. Sandrine's curiosity about the house takes her ba ...more
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Darkly enchanting, M.J. Rose’s The Witch of Painted Sorrows follows a young woman’s escape from a loveless marriage to the home of her courtesan grandmother’s mansion in the dazzling and magical city of Paris in the late nineteenth century. But has she traded one danger for another? In an era where the occult flourishes, the arts are the rage and women are still banned from a venerable artist’s college, Sandrine will find her true self, true love, true passion and true terror. Are the tales of L ...more
*I gave this audiobook a B for the story and A+ for the narration at AudioGals*

If you’re looking for an audiobook that is unique, defies romance sub-genre conventions, and has a fantastic, theater like narration performance, then The Witch of Painted Sorrows may well be a great choice for your next listen. This story combines a number of my favorite romance sub-genres, including historical and paranormal romance, to produce an interesting combination that will likely appeal to lovers of either s
I can appreciate a good ghost story, and The Witch of Painted Sorrows does not disappoint. It's historical, cultural, artistic, mysterious, supernatural, suspenseful, seductive, passionate, erotic...shall I go on?

Author M.J. Rose writes with a dark and gothic tone, and I honestly didn't expect to like this novel so much but I was intrigued from the first chapter. I don't want to spoil any of the storyline because how it all plays out is part of the big reveal at the end, so I'll just say that I
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: 1894 Paris

3 1/2 Stars

After the tragic death of her father, New York Socialite Sandrine flees to her grandmothers mansion in Paris to escape the husband that was the cause of her fathers death and his abusive behavior towards her as well.
A famous courtesan, Sandrine's flamboyant grandmother, has had this mansion for a long time and it has been home for a long line of courtesans.
When Sandrine arrives and finds her grandmother doesn't live in the mansion anymore she is curious as to why,
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Paranormal Romance Set in Belle Epoque France

Sandrine Verlaine flees her New York home after her father's death leaving behind the husband whose corrupt business dealings were responsible for her father's suicide. In Paris, Sandrine is surprised to find that her grandmother, a famous courtesan, has left her lovely stone house and gone to live in a hotel. Sandrine's grandmother warns her against going to the house, but Sandrine is drawn to it. There she finds love and discovers a talent for pai
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2014
The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose was a good story. Unfortunately this story did not speak to me as the previous books that I had read by M.J. Rose. My problem probably is that i read recently Erotic Exchanges: The World of Elite Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century Paris and that's why I could not enjoy the story as I should, since I inadvertently compared the information.

But the story itself is interesting. It's not like the usual overpowering spirit stories. Sandrine Salome is a descend
Rachel McMillan
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
from blog: I was completely in the mood for this book: which is thick and dark and magical and enchanting and suited the darkest night of the year. A perfect Solstice book! It is a treatise on liberty and passion woven with a deft pen that understands the complex nature of art, but also inserts a magical tapestry of precise historical authenticity. Perfect escapist fiction, The Witch of Painted Sorrows features impeccable descriptions of artistry, witchery, magic and dark spiritualism set agains ...more
Althea Ann
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
The cover and the description of this book lured me in like a witch's spell of compulsion...

I have to admit that I'd previously read one other book by this author, and I really didn't like it very much. This one is silly and melodramatic to the extreme - but I enjoyed it.

Sandrine Salome Verlaine (the name right there tells you a lot about what this book is like) arrives in Paris, fleeing personal tragedy and a bad marriage. Arriving unexpectedly upon the doorstep of the grandmother she hasn't se
Marcee Feddersen
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was a wild ride. Set in the late 1800's in beautiful, but dark Paris, Sandrine has fled America to escape her brutal husband.

She arrives at her courtesan grandmother's house to find it closed up and her grandmother living in a lavish apartment, and not too happy to receive a runaway granddaughter. Not because she doesn't love her granddaughter, but because she is fearful for Sandrine if she is in Paris.

Sandrine disobeys her grandmother's wishes and goes to their family home, handed dow
Feb 18, 2016 marked it as couldnt-finish  ·  review of another edition
Oh, man.
What was I thinking? How'd I even get my hands on this book?
After three chapters, I knew I was very much in the wrong place.

That cover? It looks YA. I think that plus the title may have been what mislead me. It's not YA. It's also not the type of magical-realism/witchy book I enjoy. Oh, yes, I know everyone else drinks this kind of thing right up but me? Nah, it's not my cup of tea.

This tea is made of rose petals, starlight, belladonna, and some arsenic. It is served with sugar, cream, a
Alisha-Dear Constant Reader
Boring, boring, why is this book so boring?

Oh, Sandrine, you dull, dull woman. For a supposedly strong character, Sandrine is achingly weak. "I'm going to be who I was meant to be, by pretending to be other people!" Blah! The Witch of Painted Sorrows reads like a fantasy of what a weak woman thinks a strong woman must be like. That's Sandrine.

Sandrine is a terrible character, but beyond that, the plot is painfully slow. Any time things felt like they were moving along, Rose decided to toss in a
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on Peeking Between the Pages:

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the newest novel from best-selling author M.J. Rose. I really didn’t think she could top the last series I read of hers that I loved but she has and in a big way and it starts with this absolutely beautiful book cover. The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the first in a new series and it is utterly fantastic! I was swept away to 1890s Belle Époque Paris and into an enthralling gothi
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Within the pages of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose you will find Sandrine Salome a married woman with no understanding or experience of romantic love who has lived a 'passionless' married existence. In order to understand her reasons for leaving New York City to go to her grandmother's home in Paris, France, you will need to meet La Lune. I don't want to give away too much but Sandrine's journey of self-discovery will thrust her into a world of occult ridden Belle Epoque Paris. The que ...more
Angela Holtz
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is mesmerizing. I can't believe how much I enjoyed my time in this world. Sandrine is a wonderful character. She is grieving for her father and running from her husband. With little choice she ends up with her grandmother, who happens to be a courtesan. France certainly has a history of that. But her grandmother refuses to discus family history with Sandrine. A lot of trouble may have been saved if she had.

Sandrine discovers Julien, an architect with a growing career. Then she discover
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In __The Witch of Painted Sorrows__, M.J. Rose writes a tale weaving from a place, time and history in Paris with forces of naiveté, of worldliness, and perhaps a small amount of magic. One single flaw I found was the reiteration of the foreshadowing,rendering it unsubtle. It is as if the author was desperately trying to prepare us, again, for the fate of the final page.
Cheryl Kravetz
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Witch of Painted Sorrows – March 17, 2015 Atria Books
By M.J. Rose
Reviewed by Cheryl Kravetz

Travel back in time to the magically beautiful world of Belle Époque Paris, where you will meet Sandrine Salome, a young woman who is running away from an abusive husband in New York to her grandmother's mansion in Paris. Sandrine’s grandmother is a favored courtesan who entertains men at the highest level in Paris, following in the many haunted footsteps of her glamorous ancestors.

La Lune, the house name
Jo Reason
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved it, what a great character is Sandrine, strong and willful in such a masculine world, she knows what she wants, but then again is it really her???. It started a little slow, but it was important as it gave depth for the rest of the novel. I loved the art references and details, well written and descriptions of the era and place, Paris in the 1890´s. This is a love story, ghost story and historical fiction. No as dark as it could be but it was just the right amount for me.
Great title and
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Witch of Painted Sorrows was my first exposure to M. J. Rose's writing and it will not be the last. I enjoy a bit of escapist fiction from time to time and this book really fit the bill. The prose was just pleasantly purple enough to do justice to its setting in the Paris of Le Belle Epoque without being overwrought and gagworthy. Our protagonist Sandrine was a sympathetic and interesting character with a story arc that held my interest. While the plot was a little predictable at times, the ...more
Patricia Moren
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An absorbing story based around the possession of a young women by a 300 year old ancestor. Very descriptive story that makes you feel as though you are there. Lots of information about the "dark side" and alchemy which was very interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the book but thought the ending was rather abrupt, was rather left hanging without resolution.
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Play Book Tag: The Witch of Painted Sorrows - M. J. Rose - 3 Stars 2 12 Aug 05, 2020 04:35AM  
Play Book Tag: The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M. J. Rose - 3 Stars 2 16 May 10, 2016 02:13PM  
storyline 1 18 May 18, 2015 07:29AM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2015.8: The Witch of Painted Sorrows 4 47 Apr 12, 2015 12:06AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 8 Feb 14, 2015 06:43PM  

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New York Times Bestseller, 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 believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and re

Other books in the series

Daughters of La Lune (3 books)
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