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High society reprobate.
An unconventional heiress.
Childhood friends.

Is it too late...

Knickerbocker scoundrel Harrison Archer returns to New York to discover that his deceased father has bankrupted his estranged family. To save them from ruin, he’s forced to quickly find and marry an heiress. For a matchmaker, Harrison turns to the one woman he wishes he could marry: his childhood friend and true love, Maddie, who once broke his heart and is now engaged to a duke.

  For true love? 

When her best friend Harrison left for Paris without a word, Maddie Webster took refuge in her infatuation with tennis. Now Harrison is back and needs her help in finding a bride. Begrudgingly, Maddie arranges a house party in Newport with a guest list of eligible heiresses. But watching Harrison flirt with potential brides is more than she can bear.

 When Harrison and Maddie reunite, the passion between them ignites. But with their marriages to others looming, time is running out. Is their fate inescapable . . .or can love set them free?

384 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published March 9, 2021

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About the author

Joanna Shupe

29 books1,975 followers
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USA Today bestselling author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. Since 2015, her books have appeared on numerous yearly “best of” lists, including Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Kobo, and BookPage.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and opinionated husband.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 512 reviews
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,042 reviews47.6k followers
June 3, 2021
what started out as a promising second chance childhood friends to lovers romance devolved quickly into a "sex solves all problems" story

which is incredibly disappointing because joanna shupe's writing is fun and accessible. i just couldn't be bothered to care for either maddie or harrison in any meaningful way.

the story is about harrison who returns to new york after an extended stay in paris. he initially left nyc after he overheard his childhood best friend and long time crush, maddie, say that she would only ever think of harrison as a friend. so he decides to bang broads abroad while also making time for wealth building since he's been disowned by his entire shitty family. maddie meanwhile is chillin and playing tennis & trying to bag a duke.

harrison comes back to nyc and attempts to seduce maddie. and then the second half of the book... kind of a trainwreck but i'm determined not to spoil it for those who are looking to pick this up. let's just say the story completely changed directions at 50% and any attempt at tension between maddie and harrison left the building. that, coupled with the "harrison tries to get revenge," story line kind of made this unsalvageable for me.

there's more i could say about the complete lack of character development or overly controlling hero but i'm bored just thinking about it.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,901 reviews1,505 followers
April 19, 2021
So the blurb for this is atrocious. Harrison doesn't need to marry an heiress to save his family from ruin. Indeed, he comes back from Paris with the express mission to ruin his family. The only reason he falls in with his mother's suggestion to marry an heiress (correction, she suggests that he "compromise" one so that she has to marry him. She's a real peach) is because he learns that his childhood crush, Maddie, is still an unmarried heiress and that gives him cover to press a suit with her. Rumor says she's all but committed to some duke but he just knows that she is meant for him.

And to even get that far, I had to give the book it's premise that Harrison went off to Paris in a huff of sexual frustration romantic disappointment, cut ties with Maddie entirely, and hung out with strumpets and reprobates while amassing a giant fortune in just three years. And I had a hard time with that although I can usually give a book its premise. And that should have clued me in. Because I eventually figured out that the thing I actually had a hard time with is Harrison, himself. And it's all there in that first paragraph. He's on a revenge quest. He's bitter and entitled and his pursuit of Maddie is possessive and limned in jealousy. He expects to be important enough to her that she'll throw over an actual duke despite having engaged a complete communication blackout for three years, leaving without a word and with no explanation.

And yeah, she isn't that into the duke and is mainly interested in him because he's the top prize on the market at the moment. And she's competitive, apparently. And frankly, I had a really hard time with that, too. I mean, she is rich and indulged and settling for a title just seemed tacked-on. Like, she isn't even able to articulate why this is an important goal, just that it means "she wins". And since that hadn't really changed by the time of the duke's proposal, it kind of broke me when she accepted.

So I'm bowing out because I don't like Harrison and Maddie doesn't work for me. I just didn't care and having him strump about throwing off emotional energy in petulant waves isn't attractive or engaging. So yeah, one star. Which makes me unaccountably sad...
Profile Image for abthebooknerd.
261 reviews141 followers
January 9, 2021
I really don't know where to begin...

I'll try to be as constructive with this review as I can, but this book was just not for me, guys. The love interest was immature and petty, and Maddie was as flighty as a bird. Her emotions changed with the wind, as did their feelings for each other. So much happens in this book, and I felt wind-whipped by the end of it. And like I had been cheated in some way.

Everything about the building of the story to the characters just fell flat and didn't feel fleshed out fully. I wanted to learn more about the world of the Gilded Age and how women functioned in America at this time, especially with Maddie being a tennis player, but I didn't get any of that. And that last half!!!! I have never face-palmed so hard because of a book in my life.

I wanted to like it, but I didn't 🤷‍♀️

Big thank you to Avon & Harper Vopyager + Netgalley for sending me an ARC copy of this book!
Profile Image for Morgan & Many Books.
128 reviews51 followers
March 11, 2021
2 Stars of "I Wish it Were Possible to Slap Sense Into a Book. I Mean…I Guess, Technically, I Could Slap a Book and See if it Makes Me Feel Better. But I Am Listening on My iPad. I Can't Slap My iPad Can I?"

This story left me feeling indescribably sad. Not because it was emotionally developed or evocative. Not because I felt let down. But because it was a toxic tale wrapped in feminist packaging.

I agree with a lot of the criticisms of Joanna Shupe's new release that all the ingredients simply did not fit. That said, I think the “relentless pursuit” aspect of Harrison's obsessive, long-time love for Maddie was actually great. I'm not saying, "Yes, heroes should totally press and manipulate and lie to get what they want," but I welcome these major misteps. People who have been emotionally abused and neglected often learn to manipulate those around them, so it made sense. There was redemption and personal growth potential here as Harrison was very Harry Rutledge circa Tempt Me at Twilight. And actually... I am, rather shockingly, #TeamHarrison. He could have been more contrite, but *Shrugs*.

As for the rest, I had many Gripes: The childhood friendship component was never there. Because there is an incredible intimacy that comes with being best friends since childhood, no? I’m not crazy? Add in the unrequited love and I feel like this dynamic would feel even more emotionally heightened. Instead, if it weren't for the fact that their "history" was endlessly mentioned I would never have known it was a factor. That was the level of disconnect from the intention and the execution of this trope.

ALSO Harrison is getting alot of heat (some of it warranted)... but what about Maddie as a human being? She is said to be the belle of the ball, super popular/lovable? Yeah, she was mean, not a good friend (to her men or womenfolk)... and she was shockingly, horrifyingly fickle. I do not throw mercuriality around lightly, especially regarding women. But amplify whatever you feel “emotional immaturity” means by a thousandfold and that was Maddie Webster.

Thank god, though, Harrison was consistent. The progression of his feelings and actions were logical: "I am controlling. I am obsessed with Maddie. Maddie is the only thing that matters, except destroying my family. Actually... what I did was wrong, I need to let Maddie go." Very easy to follow. He was, therefore, my Guide Post while Maddie was being all: "Older Harrison is sexy. I am indifferent to Harrison. Harrison is my best NOT friend. I want to marry a Duke because #DuchessLife. Harrison is jealous of the Duke? Yes! He should be. Everything is Harrison's fault because I have no control over my life. Cunnilingus Harrison is great. Do Better, Harrison (yes, she really does say that). Marrying Harrison feels SO RIGHT. But I don't think I love him? I want to stab Harrison's last mistress (yes, she really does think that too) Harrison is a dictator. Oh WAIT, no, I want to be married to Harrison. I love him. Everyone is imperfect, but Harrison? Just remember to do better." That is just a sampler, but suffice to say this woman does not love Harrison and sh*ts on him until the last.

There was no true candidness between them and no empathy , this last most noticeably lacking from Maddie. I can understand the 500 Days of Summer lesson in Harrison's actions and genuinely think he learned it. But I felt there was something even more sinister and toxic about how Maddie acts than Harrison's forcing his devotion on her. Because for all Harrison’s sins, I was left feeling like Maddie was a self-righteous narcissist who was set on breaking Harrison down, pigeon-holing him into what she expected, rather than engaging in the mutual partnership she purportedly wants. And most frustrating of all, this is exactly what she accuses Harrison of doing, when in reality that was never going to be the result of Harrison’s pursuit of her. But then learning self-reflection and empathy is all a part of the emotional maturity thing isn’t it?

I know I am being incredibly harsh but this felt like a caricature of a complex female character. Shupe tends to write wonderfully imperfect, dynamic, progressively-minded heroines who have an arc, so this shocked me. At the end of the day Maddie, in essence, has everything—with or without Harrison: wealth, popularity, freedom, a supportive family, a community that only encourages her in her dreams. For a damaged, flawed man who does (I think) try (albeit clumsily) to adjust his behaviour, and just desperately wants to be loved... I found it all oddly devastating.

ANYwaaayyys. I am excited about Forrest's story because I feel like Shupe could do an alcoholic's story immense justice. If she went all in circa The Rake I would probably die, it would be so good. Nellie...? Now that is a complex female character. I can’t wait for Nellie’s book. In fact, I am excited about all the secondary character's stories so long as Shupe doesn't do/take whatever approach she did with The Heiress Hunt. While I wait for the next book, I shall intentionally scrub this one from my memory, with steel wool if need be.

Oh also, yes I listened to the Audio. Justine Eyre was great as always. Blorp.
Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,802 reviews2,159 followers
June 22, 2021
If I could give the writing style 5 stars I would, but unfortunately, everything else in this book was completely lackluster. The romance, the characters, the story. I was hooked for the first 100 pages or so and then it somehow got incredibly boring and dragged out. This book would have been a great short story, imo.
Profile Image for Renaissance Kate.
235 reviews123 followers
April 28, 2021

I fell in love with Joanna Shupe’s writing after reading her Uptown Girls series, and once I saw the steamy cover for The Heiress Hunt I was SO excited for the start of this new series.
While Shupe’s writing was a pleasure, as always, I unfortunately didn’t connect with the characters or the story as much as I hoped.

Our hero, Harrison Archer, was too persistent and never listened to the thoughts and concerns of our heroine, Maddie Webster; rather, he steamrolled over her and everyone else to get what he wanted. Maddie, on the other hand, had her likable moments, but I had a difficult time sympathizing with her when her internal conflict came down to deciding whether she wanted to marry a super wealthy, nice English duke or her super rich childhood best friend.

Harrison and Maddie’s chemistry in the first half of the book was amazing—Joanna Shupe’s sexy scenes never disappoint—but when the stakes and conflict changed in the second half, some of that spark was lost. While these changes made for a unique, unexpected turn at the halfway point, they became melodramatic and, eventually, predictable. I wish I could’ve learned more about the history around Maddie as a professional tennis player in the Gilded Age, and I found myself becoming more interested in the side characters instead. Along with Kit and Alice’s forthcoming book, I predict Katherine and Preston will have a book of their own, and I’m hoping for a story for Forrest and Nellie because Nellie definitely deserves her own book, too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

I would recommend this book if you’re looking for an easy historical romance that, hopefully, will be the first building block in another great series from Joanna Shupe. Based on its wonderful side characters, I have a feeling this will be the case for the remaining Fifth Avenue Rebels books!

Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,067 reviews899 followers
January 1, 2021
So I think I read this in a not great mood. It was hard to get lost in a world of the rich, especially after falling so in love with Shupe's previous series which had a thread of social justice woven into the stories. Here, we have a rich heiress tennis player who must marry her childhood friend or be ruined (and ruining her engagement to a British Duke). Harrison Archer, our scoundrel, has been pining for Maddie forever, but after hearing her say something that devastated him at her coming out ball, he left to cat it up in Europe, but has now returned determined to make her his wife. Oh, and to ruin his family along the way.

Harrison reminded me a bit of Jay Gatsby, and not in a great way. There were a lot of loose threads and plot points, including a mystery about who is trying to throw Maddie off her tennis game, and ultimately this book read more soapy than romantic to me. The characters get married quite quickly in the early parts of the novel and the story swerves to focus on the revenge plot, and lies, to move forward.

That said when Harrison and Maddie are exploring their attraction to each and are on page falling in love, those scenes sent me. And the scenes were he's trying to seduce her. Wowser meowser.

Uneven, but I still devoured the whole thing because I'm an avowed Shupe fangirl.

Thank you to Avon for the ARC
Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,033 reviews13.7k followers
July 13, 2022
Ooh, this delicious book y’all.. I go bananas over a hero that is head over feet for his best friend for years and the heroine is clueless. I also love a dirty talking scoundrel. This book delivered in spades. At times the heroine would irk me, but that’s just because she was so daft. Get a clue Mads!!! I absolutely loved this story though!!
Profile Image for Morgan.
324 reviews141 followers
March 4, 2021
Harrison has been in love with Maddie since he was 12. He was going to tell her one night after she had her debut, but he overheard her saying he was like a brother to her and that she could never marry him. This hurt him, so he left for Paris. Three years later, he is back in New York and his family’s company is broke. They want him to marry an heiress to help with their money problems. He refuses until he hears that Maddie is a possibility.

Maddie is about to be engaged to a duke, but Harrison comes up with a plan to spend as much time with her as possible. He asks her to be his matchmaker and help him find a wife. Maddie organizes a five day house party and invites all of her single friends. It is clear to everyone there that Harrison is in love with Maddie, and some girls even offer to help him win her. This part was adorable, and I loved it so much!

What made me not love this book as much was the third act conflict that Joanna Shupe often does. Harrison had promised not to lie to Maddie, but gets caught in a lie. Maddie is so upset by this that she wants to separate. This conflict just seemed unnecessary.

3.5 stars
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Crystal's Bookish Life.
758 reviews1,287 followers
February 7, 2021
Harrison and Maddie were best friends as children, with lots of history, secrets, and mischief shared between them. When Maddie comes of age Harrison is ready to make his move in her first season out. When he overhears her refer to having feelings for him akin to a brother he leaves, heartbroken, abd heads to Paris to live a life of debauchery and make his fortune.

When Hartison's family lands on hard times it is up to him to save the family by marrying a wealthy heiress. He returns to Maddie to seek her help in finding a bride while secretly planning to win her heart for himself.

This book initially drew me in really quickly. Joanna is excellent at building quick paced plots, intriguing characters, and the threat of scandal that could ruin them at any moment.

I loved the first half of this book, but halfway through things started to fall apart for me.

The love between the couple felt like it was already established, like we walked in on them already being in love but no build up or showing us how that happened.

The hero was so lovestruck, and had pined for Maddie for sooooo long, but he forced his choices on her over and over again. Taking her agency and never learning TO STOP doing that.

The ending was wrapped up way too quickly and it seemed to be the heroine giving in to what the hero wanted too quickly.

The side characters in this were fabulous however and I can't wait to get to their books.

This was overall a decent read, but a bit forgettable and slightly disappointing.

Arc provided by Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
1,173 reviews42 followers
November 15, 2020
I need like a million more romances set in Rhode Island during the Gilded Age. I have been absolutely obsessed with the time period and location since I first went to Rhode Island as a seven year old and toured the mansions… I mean cottages. I know there are going to be people who write off the series entirely because it isn’t in England and isn’t Regency, and they are missing out on a great book and what will become a great series.

Friends to lovers is not one of my favorite tropes but when it’s done well I absolutely love it. I especially like it when it’s the hero who has been in love with the heroine since day one and not the other way around. I shouldn’t have to say this but I want it to be clear, Harrison is in no way a bitter incel who is mad about being friend-zoned his whole live. Joanna Shupe makes that very very clear.

Both Harrison and Maddie are very strong, fully formed characters. Maddie is a professional tennis player in addition to an heiress. Harrison was born into privilege, lost it, and literally worked to claw his way back into wealth. Bonus points for Harrison being named Harrison, which meant that I pictured a young Harrison Ford every time his name was mentioned.

I loved house party in Newport and all the games they played. It was just absurd enough to be delightful… and probably very accurate for the time period. Seriously, the prize for winning the egg hunt was a Tiffany necklace and bracelet set. I absolutely adore when rich people get bonkers competitive while playing croquet. Also, I need more books where they play sardines because it is the perfect excuse for the main couple to touch each other.

Mild spoiler ahead: One thing I absolutely adore about Joanna’s books are the epilogues. So many authors rely on the “babylogue” in order to show that their characters are still together and very much in love. Joanna doesn’t do that. She sticks to what would be realistic for her characters. She did it in The Prince of Broadway and she does it again here.

I am very excited for the rest of this series. I hope we get books involving Nellie, Kit, and Preston, as well as something for Lockwood.

Thank you to Avon and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for kris.
936 reviews181 followers
Shelved as 'gave-it-a-shot'
May 22, 2021
I checked this out from the library, made it about 15-20% of the way into this thing, saw which way the wind was blowing, and backed the fuck out.

Revenge plot + childhood friends-to-lovers + hunter/hunted-style courtship + agonizing characters = Not Interested.
Profile Image for ChasingLeslie.
341 reviews48 followers
February 19, 2021
Disowned society second-son Harrison Archer returns to New York from Paris to scoop up the family company, which his deceased father bankrupted. His family thinks they can save everything if Harrison will just marry an heiress and turn over the money like a "good son." Harrison has his own plans. He asks his childhood friend and first love, Maddie Webster, to arrange a house party and play matchmaker...but the only match Harrison wants is with Maddie. Harrison's reappearance is not what Maddie needs right now - she's practicing for a national tennis championship and is nearly engaged to an English Duke - but that doesn't stop old feelings from getting in the way.

This is the first book in The Fifth Avenue Rebels series. I love Shupe's easy writing style and read this book in one night. I liked it, but I wanted to LOVE it and didn't. Shupe writes in the acknowledgements that "Some books come out fully formed and some take a village. This book took a metropolis." I feel like that says a lot about the process this book probably went through and that maybe the plot gave her issues. I certainly felt like I didn't understand the characters motivations and some of the decisions they made throughout the story. I think there was too much going on and it just didn't feel as cohesive as her books usually are. I was quite frustrated by the end, too.

I did really like Harrison's and Maddie's friends Kit and Nellie though, so I'm excited to see them get their own stories.

Tropes: Childhood Friends, First Love, Second Chance Romance, Revenge, Matchmaking, "Working" Heroine (Athlete)

Eggplant Rating: 3

* I received an ARC from Avon and this is my honest review.
Profile Image for Dani.
555 reviews159 followers
December 27, 2021
2.5 stars ⭐️
Oof this was a miss after I immensely enjoyed her Uptown Girls trilogy.

This wasn't entirely bad mainly due to the audiobook (thank goodness to Justin Eyre), the tennis-playing heroine (historical sports romance? Yes please!) and of course, I always love Joanna Shupe's writing style.

Both main characters were unlikeable (dare I say their relationship was borderline toxic) and I just wanted to slap some sense into them. The story itself wasn't great, the conflicts were ridiculous, and I didn't like any character in this except for Kit, Alice (I can't wait to get to their book!!!) and Harrison's group of gentlemen friends.

I just hope JS's next releases are better because I know she's got a lot more to give.
*ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Andrea.
332 reviews421 followers
March 11, 2022
After reading The Lady Gets Lucky, I was like “yeah sure I’ll give the first book a shot” and after what happened in the last half?? Did I hallucinate??

I’m sorry, this is another nail in the coffin for my dislike of friends to lovers 😵‍💫
Profile Image for book bruin.
1,085 reviews282 followers
February 23, 2021
Audiobook Review
Overall 3 stars
Performance 4.5 stars
Story 2.5-3 stars

The Heiress Hunt had all the elements I usually love in a novel, but it never quite hit the mark for me. The novel started off wonderfully and I couldn't wait to see how things would unfold, but slowly the story started to unravel and I found myself not really liking either of the main characters. The reason for the separation grated on me and it was hard to believe that Maddie would be so oblivious to Harrison's feelings. I loved the shared history between them and am a huge friends to lovers trope fan, but I just wasn't convinced of their love and devotion to each other. The writing was enjoyable, but the plot was fairly predictable. The final drama and push away only painted both characters in an even worse light because of their rash decision making skills and inability to speak openly with each other. These two are supposed to know each other better than anyone else, but they never bothered to actually tell the other the truth when it really mattered. Harrison's decision to head to Paris for a debauchery filled future was especially problematic to me and the mention of Esmee made my blood boil. I liked that the story came full circle, but the ending itself felt a bit rushed.

The narration by Justine Eyre kept me listening and I really enjoyed her performance. She voiced all the characters very well and her male voices were quite convincing. She really was the perfect Maddie. Even though The Heiress Hunt didn't quite work for me, I enjoyed Joanna Shupe's writing and look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

*I voluntarily read and listened to an advance review copy of this book*
Profile Image for Annie .
2,428 reviews809 followers
February 23, 2021
Read this review on Fresh Fiction

Joanna Shupe has returned to readers with a brand new series called the Fifth Avenue Rebels. This is my first time reading Shupe's books and I was most intrigued by the premise of this series. Set in New York, this series already differentiates itself from the other Regency or Highlander historical romances that I usually read.

Firstly, the hero of this novel, Harrison Archer, doesn’t have a sparkling personality like most heroes. He’s a bit of a scoundrel whose family despises him. But then they land themselves in some financial problems, they rely on Archer to save them. The problem is, Archer wants nothing to do with them and actually wishes to exact revenge on them for treating him badly as a child.

I liked Archer, but I don’t think I totally fell in love with his character until a bit later on in this book. That being said, I think this book takes a bit of warming up to in the beginning, but because of the premise and the other characters, I kept on reading. As this is my first read by Shupe, I was looking for a new author to read more historical books from, and after reading THE HEIRESS HUNT, I’m happy to say that I will be looking forward to more of her books.
Profile Image for Tracey.
372 reviews22 followers
October 14, 2021
This is an entertaining, well written, steamy, historical romance. It is a friends to lovers romance with great settings, tennis, family drama, and a happily ever after ending. I am looking forward to reading Kit's story with great anticipation.
Profile Image for Jaime.
1,578 reviews290 followers
March 17, 2022
A tumultuous romance between two childhood best friends. Harrison has loved Maddie since he was 15 years old, Maddie considered Harrison more of a brotherly friend. A situation parts them for 3 years and now Harrison is back and determined to make Maddie his once and for all. Their journey to HEA is full of twists and turns and I LOVED Harrison’s devotion to Maddie. He loved her. The End. He wants her happy. Even if it’s not with him…😉

4 Stars ⭐️| 4 Flames 🔥
Profile Image for Jacque.
546 reviews180 followers
March 16, 2021
ooof, I really wish this book had worked for me🤦🏼‍♀️ I typically love Joanna's hijinks and enjoy her writing, but I just couldn't stand the hero in this book at allllll. PSA- this review is meandering and spoilery, but if you wanna know why I didnt like this, read on.

While I found the first 40% of this book really compelling, I felt like all of the tension just ~released~ after the forced marriage, and I became more interested in the side characters than in either of the protagonists. By the end, I found the hero insufferable & honestly unforgivable. My love of the first part of the book, Joanna's writing, and the side characters is the only thing keeping the from a 2⭐️ or lower

This book reminded me a lot of the movie Sabrina (gender swapped in this case) and Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean. Like in Sabrina, it centers on a character who was desperately in love with someone from childhood, left for Paris to forget said person, and then returns to win the affections of this childhood love. But unlike Sabrina, I didn't find Harrison at all charming- rather than setting out to woo the object of his affections (his childhood friend rather than his employer's kid, and tbh I kind of missed the class differences? Would've made things more interesting) he acts entitled to Maddie's affections, and is still kind of unhappy w/ her bc several years ago he eavesdropped on her & overheard that she saw him as a brother (which is the reason he stormed off to Paris without a word, never speaking to her again until his return)

And upon his return, he decides woo/to trick her into marriage...for no apparent reason? Like he could've just been honest & like "I've loved you forever, please let me earn you affection, dearest friend!!!" There's a thread about his family asking him to marry & save them bc they're broke, but since they disowned him years ago he's only PRETENDING to acquiesce, but IRL he's gonna marry and then ruin them. I just didn't see how he needed to lie to Maddie, other than to make it more complicated, and in the end it just made me dislike Harrison.

Re: similarities to Day of The Duchess— the whole "asking the woman he loves to host a house party & invite marriageable women that he will pretend to woo while he's ~actually~ wooing the heroine" didn't work NEARLY as well as it doesn't in MacLean's take. Malcom in DotD is DESPERATELY in love with his wife, and spends the entire book lavishing his wife with affection & trying to earn back her love. Harrison, meanwhile, is hiding SO MUCH from Maddie, isn't honest about his intentions, and continually disregards her wants/desires in favor of his own.

Things progress as one would expect—he pretends to woo other people, finds out she's already engaged (but continues to pursue her) they're caught kissing & forced to marry, and this is where everything fell apart. Harrison deserved SO MUCH COLD STORAGE!!!!! He doesn't treat Maddie right, lying to her, withholding from her, and gets ~super~ controlling. And yet, she takes him back with nary a grovel, no apology, and SHE chases HIM down. Oooof, the more I think about it the more annoyed I get.

I know other people have mentioned it, but I still gotta say this was lowkey disappointed after the last series from Shupe. We went from a series with commentary on social justice & discussions of class differences to A Jay Gatspy style hero who felt very preoccupied with revenge & possessing his friend/crush.
Profile Image for Daughter of Paper and Stone.
417 reviews43 followers
July 4, 2022
I will close my eyes and pray to the goddess Athena so that she can wipe out from my memory whatever I just read.

What was that hero? (SORRY, I meant to say villain). I didn’t buy for one second he loved the heroine. He was bitter, mean, manipulative and worse of all- A PETTY LIAR. (Or just a liar in general).

The girl you allegedly “love” only sees you as a brother? What do you do?

A) talk to her and confess your feelings.
B) Maybe see if she is willing to let you convince her otherwise.
C) go to Paris and screw everything with legs without ever explaining why you are mad.

Guess which one the hero went with? 🤦🏼‍♀️ I have not nor will ever think that this guy loved her. Plus, the flirting with other women while trying to indirectly flirt with the heroine to win her heart? Ha! Any self respecting woman would have laughed in his face…

The heroine had little of that. In fact, she lacked a spine too! I cannot believe she allowed that level of disrespect over and over from the hero. She should have told him to jump off a cliff or swim back to Paris using heavy metal chains as a life jacket.

A happy ending would have been something along these lines.

(I was not going to read the other books BUT the reviews look good. Maybe one day I will get to them, but rn I need a break).

1 star ⭐️
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tracey.
372 reviews22 followers
July 12, 2021
This is an entertaining, well written, steamy, historical romance. It is a friends to lovers romance with great settings, tennis, family drama, and a happily ever after ending. I am looking forward to reading Kit's story with great anticipation.
Profile Image for sof ♡.
383 reviews92 followers
July 6, 2022
2.5/5 stars

This book made me so angry because it started out so good then after it hit the 50% mark everything started to go downhill.

As much as I was glued to the book, I was also feeling quite frustrated with the romance between Maddie and Harrison. ESTRANGED CHILDHOOD BEST FRIENDS without a decent amount of angst simply don’t work. There was a nice build up that was completely destroyed once it started to be good and lead somewhere. What and utter waste! He basically did whatever he wanted, pushed her constantly and honestly what made angry was the fact that she was mad for about five seconds when she should have been pissed at him for more than half a chapter since she forgave him very easily. Then once he got what he wanted he didn’t even manage to listen to her when she explicitly told him not to lie and withhold informations and what he does? Like a true dumbass he does just that.

I think the way they got together was all wrong, it made no sense and like it cheapened their relationship in my opinion. She should have made him work for it from the start but alas she didn’t really.
Also his way of fixing problems is just to take off and runaway and she had to chase him down when he should have been the one doing the begging.
Profile Image for Amanda.
110 reviews
November 13, 2022
Uhm, no thanks. The plot of this book is the hero being insufferable, the heroine being rightfully angry, and then the hero ignoring what the heroine is clearly saying and doing whatever he wants. Rinse and repeat.

Honestly, I just could not stand Harrison! He’s entitled, condescending, smug, and so sure that what he wants is what Maddie wants, despite her repeatedly telling him otherwise. He doesn't ever listen and he errodes her agency at every turn. Harrison truly believes he knows what's best for Maddie, more than everyone else, even herself. Anyone who’s met one of these people in real life knows that they’re the absolute worst!

Beyond that, the love story is juvenile, superficial and suffers from the sex-will-solve-our-problems plot device. “Let’s go upstairs” is not the answer after you’ve lied about almost everything. Do better.

Truly one of those rare romances where I think they'd be better off not together and I’m cheering for Maddie to dump his ass on the curb where he belongs.
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books695 followers
February 23, 2021
2.5 stars
I have read and enjoyed several books from this author in the past, but I’ve got to tell you, this one really missed the mark for me. The first and second halves felt like different stories entirely, and I didn’t particularly care for either one.

Let’s start with the first half. Harrison has returned to the states after spending the past three years in Paris. He had run away because the girl he was in love with only thought of him as a friend. Then, adding insult to injury, he was disowned by his father because he caught dad taking advantage of a maid and turned him into police. He was never appreciated by his family, blah, blah, blah. Now he wants revenge on his mother and brother and plans to engage in a hostile takeover of the family company. This is the reason he comes back to New York. Not Maddie. Revenge.

OK, so his family is now in dire financial straits and his mother wants him to marry an heiress to bail them out. She has no idea he is independently wealthy and he had no plans to marry, until he sees Maddie‘s name on the list. Then, he decides with 100% certainty that he will marry her. I repeat. He wasn't even thinking about Maddie until he saw her name on his mother's list and decided he had to have her.

He has no reason to believe it will work any better than it would have when he ran away. It makes no sense. but go with it, because that’s the plot. Maddie's upset, having no idea why Harrison ran away in the first place, but when he approaches her, saying he needs her help to find a wife, she agrees to host a party for all of her friends to find him a match.

The first half of the book is spent with him trying to woo her. She has no idea he’s been in love with her. She is, in fact, engaged to a Duke.

Let me digress for a moment to say how this Duke element detracted from the US Gilded Age setting. One of the things I generally like about Joanna Shupe's books are that they feel so different from other historical romances because of their settings. The Duke… dashed that for me. Anyway, Harrison just kind of clumps around trying to ruin things for the Duke and the only reason he ends up with Maddie is because they get caught after kissing.

Hard pivot to them getting married. Then the entire second half of the book is about him keeping secrets from her, and as a reader, watching him make an incredibly boneheaded decision which you know will blow everything up.

He loves her, yet he grants her no agency. And she allegedly knows him and cares about him, but cuts him no slack at all. They are both so incredibly immature and frustrating, it is a wonder that they made it to an HEA at all.

Maddie plays competitive tennis, by the way, which is kind of cool. But that could not save this mess. I was bored at times. I was frustrated at times. I felt like the big revenge thing with Harrison's family was underdeveloped and unsatisfying. And I felt nothing for the main characters or their relationship.

I’ll read from this author again, but this book will not be on my re-read shelf.

*ARC provided by publisher
Profile Image for belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo).
1,624 reviews133 followers
January 13, 2022
when he suddenly departed for paris, harrison's best friend, maddie, was bewildered. harrison left new york under bad circumstances years ago to only recently return when his disgusting father passed away and the archer family facing bankrupt. now that he's back, he's determined to win maddie's heart and her hand even though she's going to be engaged to a duke soon.

under the premise that harrison needs to find an heiress to save his family name, maddie arranged a house party with eligible ladies. during the few days, harrison came up with multiple ways to allude maddie of his feelings towards her. though harrison had been in love with maddie since he was 15 year old, maddie didn't had the same sentiments. regardless, harrison's charming and humorous personality ignited something in maddie. i enjoyed maddie and harrison's romance but i just wished they would communicate more.

while i understand his protectiveness over maddie, i think it was evident that she wouldn't want to be hidden from anything that concerns harrison. however, like nellie (maddie's friend), i felt that maddie jumped into conclusion too quickly. even throughout the book, nellie's the voice of reason and the person who doesn't care about society and its rules.

books in the series:
1. the heiress hunt: ✰✰✰
2. the lady gets lucky: ✰✰✰✰
3. the bride goes rogue
Profile Image for Natalia Parker Cahill.
167 reviews37 followers
January 11, 2022
1.5 boring stars

Maddie was on the boat


H literally leaves and was already in the boat to Paris and h goes after him 🙄.

I was hyped for this book since last year and I got nothing . Their romance felt bland and I felt the H didn’t love the h a lot.

Ow / OM

Om - h is supposed to marry someone but then H comes and she catches feelings.

Ow - so he went to Paris for ( 3 years I think ) and he became a man hoe . It’s mentioned how he had mistresses . And he even said how he went there to find himself and grow up . ( what , you found yourself by sleeping with all those women ) so there is this mistress (Esmee) he was with her 2 years . And when h and H separate he literally says how he was going back to her when he went back to Paris . ( keep in mind this happens in the end which h and H already had sex and declared their love . )

h was a virgin . H kinda man hoe .

I felt the H was too insecure .

.05 for the story and 1 Star for that gorgeous cover . It’s so beautiful. And high quality

Edit - forgot to mention that H is looking for a wife . And h makes a party for H to look for one . And H like flirts and h gets jealous .
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mina.
420 reviews16 followers
October 16, 2022
I started reading “The Duke Gets Even” and realized that I hadn't read the first book in the series (they take place in the same time-space) and since I am a mood reader with issues, decided to read The Heiress Hunt first.

The blurb was promising, I love childhood friends that are reunited as adults to become a couple. Although, was Harrison really pining for Maddie? I can’t get over how he spent 2 years in Paris kicking it back with Esmé and dividing his time between bordellos, parties and work. So anyhow, he returns to New York with the plan to destroy his family (they were not good people, and was excited to see how he was going to play them) and get Maddie to marry him. The only issue is that he doesn’t let Maddie in his plan and does everything behind her back. Maddie is a society lady free of scandal and is one of the best tennis players in the USA. First time seeing that in HR, so go Joanna Shupe for introducing us to amazing forward-thinking ladies with amazing qualities. Anyways, she has moved on and is engaged to the Duke of Lockwood (I like him, he is stuffy). But as I said before, Harrison makes plans and ruins the engagement with Lockwood by compromising Maddie. The third act is Harrison not communicating with Maddie and doing anything he deems as “protecting” her all the while infuriating her.

It was overall good, but I had some questions for Harrison. Beyond that, I was happy to see the other characters and meet them for the first time in the series - they later get their HEA in the following books which I enjoyed.
Profile Image for Jewels Tate.
79 reviews
December 8, 2020
This books was a arc given to me from netgalley in exchange for a honest review. Thank you netgalley for giving me this opportunity.

3.5 stars rounded to 4.

Trope is friends to lovers & second chance at romance/love.

Let me start off by saying Joanna Shupe is a wonderful writer and she does a amazing job with this book. This book is a gem, and is unique. It's a historical romance but a American one set in Rhode Island which is different, and definitely fun. Different vibes, different settings but has all the great same feelings that comes from a historical romance book.

Within minutes of starting this book, I instantly developed a strong dislike for Harrison's awful family. I felt anger, hurt, betrayal and great deep sadness for him. His family treated him badly as a child that continued well into the present in the book. They intentionally disinherited-exiled him, cut him off completely. Then when things take a turn for the worse, and they hang on by a thread.... all of sudden they see him as their saving grace, and demands for him to come on home to rescue them. Honestly 100% of the time it will always trigger me when there is a mother in a book who chooses to loves one child over the other. I just don't understand some mothers and fathers. I know this is fiction but I also know it happens in reality so it gets to me. I mean how can a mother pick and choose which child to love more? Anyways enough rant, let me get straight to the point. The author was able to elicite all these emotions from within me in a matter of a few pages which only proves she's a excellent, talented and skillful writer.

The Heiress Hunt is about Harrison and Madeline. Harrison witnesses his father violating-raping a maid, also overhears Maddie saying her feelings for him are brother like & goes no further. Being cut off financially and hurt he flees to paris to begin his own success, and 3 years later he returns. His return is mainly to plot a revenge against his family. When he comes back to his family, he intentionally dresses up like a poor person. Unbeknownst to them he has become very rich, successful, and plans to buy them out from under within a months time. He also plans on marrying Maddie. His awful family lays down their law and they require him to marry a Heiress asap to save them from financial ruins and he plays along. He is determined to get everything he has ever wanted.

On the day of Maddie's debut she is heartbroken because Harrison leaves unexpectedly with no goodbyes. No words at all, he just ups and leaves. During their separation she becomes a professional athlete and is the belle of the ball.

Upon seeing her for the first time in 3 years, Harrison ask for her assistant in helping him find a heiress but in truth he wants her and no other. He makes her believe it's to gain back his good Grace's with his family. She decides to help and throws him a huge house party but Seeing him flirt with other woman brings out her true feelings. This is where it gets a little messy. Harrison wants Maddie. He is willing to work through this, if she will have him. She is now torn in a love triangle between two men, her english duke and Harrison.

There HEA was well worked for, and it didn't come easily, and I am so happy for them. I also wanted to add that I loved the other characters within this book. I'm hoping and look forward to read their stories too. And yes I recommend this book.
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