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Madam of My Heart: A Novel of Love, Loss and Redemption (The American Madams Book 1)
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Madam of My Heart: A Novel of Love, Loss and Redemption (The American Madams Book 1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Baltimore, 1849. During a scandalous crisis, the young Irish Brianna Baird flees her home at Fells Point. With little cash and only a seamstress's trade, she braves the hypnotic streets of New Orleans. The tantalizing Madam DeSalle lures her to her brothel, then sells her to the dashing but questionable gambler, Edward Spina, who falls in love with her. In a tawdry allianc ...more
Kindle Edition, 476 pages
Published February 6th 2017
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I usually don't read romance books, but this book intrigued me with its gorgeous cover and fascinating blurb. I was interested in the prospect of getting a romance book set in the middle of the 19-century, among brothels, madams, and scoundrels, with social injustice and evil man. And that book has it all.

Brianna Baird is a young woman taking advantage off by a man and is left pregnant and then is cast out on the street of Baltimore by her drunken father. Thanks to help from her sister and the l
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not one for romance novels, to be honest. They’re not my favorites but when I heard the premise of this book, I was interested. Having just finished watching Harlots, I thought it could be an interesting read. Well, my dears…I wasn’t wrong. The author has a gift with prose; it is rich and lush; descriptive and inviting. You’re instantly drawn into the main character, Brianna’s story. From beginnings with an alcoholic father to her years in Baltimore before finally making it to New Orleans i ...more
I don't think I've read a book like this before. The premise was fascinating; it was really interesting to see a story that told the truth about what kinds of options (if you would call them that) that women had if they stepped outside the acceptable path. It was definitely a page-turner!

Brianna was such a vivacious character. She came from a complicated family but still had a head full of dreams and big plans for her future. I loved seeing her goals of being a successful seamstress even though
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every now and then you come across a new author who was born to write historical romantic fiction. Her talents include exquisite prose, exceptional historical research, and marvelous storytelling. I was immediately pulled into Brianna Baird's character, her father's alcoholic abuse and her life in Baltimore, Maryland in 1849, and subsequently in New Orleans in early 1850. If you ever wondered what life was like in this historical period, Gini details every interaction and observation so acutely ...more
Dorothy Rice
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Captivating and readable! I don't read much historical fiction, but thoroughly enjoyed Madam of My Heart. It's fast paced, with plenty of tension and intrigue, and, my favorite part, a compelling love story at its heart. The settings - Baltimore, New Orleans and San Francisco - are carefully and lovingly depicted. This is a skillfully researched and executed novel - a good story, with prose that shines and a heroine to root for.
Christie Sitterly
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was extraordinary! Grossenbacher provides the reader with the knowledge of the hearts and souls of leading couple Brianna Baird and Edward Spina. Even though the two engage in unwholesome occupations, the reader cannot help but fall in love with their love story. I put it right on par with Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara’s story in Gone With the Wind!
Naomi Finley
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Madam of My Heart is a beautifully written piece of art. There is no denying the author has a way with words and this novel captivates you in the magic. The research Gini did for this novel was extensive, and it shows. Madam of My Heart is rich in the description which I love, but in this story, it became the one negative for me. At times I found myself skipping over the description to get the action and dialogue. Too much description sometimes made the story feel drawn out and boring,

When I saw that this was a book set in a brothel, I had to read it, but it was so rambling and unrealistic at times that I almost put it down. What kept me reading was the vivid picture of the streets and cities, New Orleans especially; I could tell that the author did her research. Some of the early brothel scenes were quite well written, too, but I got tired and annoyed at the protagonist. Despite the lack of education or simply a good example in her life, she could do no wrong; the problem of
Carole Rae
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Isn’t that cover lovely? I adore it!!

Now, the story follows Brianna on her journey through a crazy few years. Things happen and she is forced to flee her home. For some reasons, he heads to New Orleans. There she is sold to Edward who is a notorious, but charming gambler. They fall in love, of course, and they embark on a crazy journey!

It took me a little bit to really get into the story. Not that it started slow, but I found myself struggling to connect. After a while, I got hooked and finishe
J.D. DeHart
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Madam of My Heart is a wonderful entry for those who enjoy historical fiction. In fact, I have just such a person in my life who I will pass this book on to soon. The book is as rich and detailed as its ornate cover, and carries this sense of a professionally published text.

Author Gini Grossenbacher succeeds in giving a real sense of place, time, and character in this book, and she has a narrative voice that captures the details we need to come away with these impressions. At well over 400 pages
Martina D'Angelo
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Madam of my Heart is beautifully written with engaging, original style. The story of a pre-civil war era woman whose life takes a sharp turn away from her idealistic dreams when her smooth talking violinist lover leaves her pregnant and alone.

Vivid imagery really takes you to old Baltimore, San Francisco, and New Orleans as the lovely Brianna Baird navigates through her ordeals.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review to come - Monday, April 23rd! In the meantime, FANTASTIC HISTORICAL READ!
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction with romance and some thrilling elements. Can't wait to read her next book!
Cat Fithian
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good story, colorful characters and setting, could almost smell the places.
Millie Brown
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Prostitution and romance the middle of the 1800's New Orleans and Baltimore, this historical novel delivers.
Virginia Simpson
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Madam of My Heart is a novel to be savored. Gini Grossenbacher delights the reader with her delicious, exquisite prose which is so vivid that this non-visual reader could experience everything the character saw, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled. Thanks to Grossenbacher’s extensive research and impeccable skills as a writer, the reader is transported to the worlds of mid-1800s Baltimore, New Orleans, and San Francisco, and the life of an innocent young woman who becomes one of San Francisco’s most ...more
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Jenny Q
Apr 18, 2018 marked it as to-check-out
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Lysander Hansen
Grossenbacher does an incredible job of exploring a side of history that goes largely unspoken, as the story finds its footing in the potent and magnetic atmosphere that New Orleans provides. She is an author that is excellent at portraying a time long past and giving it new life. Brianna comes from innocence and grows into power, subverting sexuality to take the power back into her own hands.

The scenery is lively and full, Grossenbacher easily carrying the reader through the 19th century underb
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Angela Gann
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting novel based on facts. This is not a topic in which I've been known to have much interest but the author's descriptions kept inviting me in and so now I'm looking forward to Gini's next novel already in progress. Great work and thanks for sharing with all of us!
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