Following The Heiress Hunt, beloved author Joanna Shupe continues her new Fifth Avenue Rebels series with a scandalous romance about a good girl desperate to rebel and the rebel desperate to corrupt her.
A first-rate scoundrel.
A desperate wallflower.
Lessons in seduction.
The woman no one notices . . .
Shy heiress Alice Lusk is tired of being overlooked by every bachelor. Something has to change, else she’ll be forced to marry a man whose only desire is her fortune. She needs to become a siren, a woman who causes a man’s blood to run hot . . .and she’s just met the perfect rogue to help teach her.
He’s the life of every party . . .
Christopher “Kit” Ward plans to open a not-so-reputable supper club in New York City, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to hire the best chef in the city to guarantee its success. Even if it requires giving carnal lessons to a serious-minded spinster who has an in with the chef.
Their bedroom instruction grows passionate, and Alice is a much better pupil than Kit had ever anticipated. When the Society gentlemen start to take notice, Kit has to try to win Alice in other ways . . . but is he too late to win her heart?
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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.
From the moment I picked up it up, I didn’t want to put it down. It was such an engaging, beautiful and well-written story.
I adored Alice. Seeing her overcome her abusive mother was a journey and seeing her step into her power and take control of her life was pure satisfaction. And Kit. Dreamy Kit. Him and his broken soul. Them two together were the perfect Yin and Yang. They complimented each other so well, it was stupid.
Both have dealt with parental abuse in some way. Both have come out of that situation, dealing with it in different ways, yet the same. And it’s always great to see characters fight through their fears and limitations and they did just that and more.
I had super high expectations going into this book because so many of my friends have loved it. And it was so freaking cute! This was just a super adorable and lovable romance between Alice and Kit. Alice wants to find a husband, so she approaches Kit at a house party for lessons in seduction. Kit doesn't want anything to do with Alice, but she has something to offer him and his supper club, so he finds himself agreeing and quickly becomes intrigued with the shy, quiet girl. I loved Alice's character and how she had such a passion for cooking. Her mother was so frustrating because she wouldn't just let Alice be who she wanted to be and she was so embarrassing when it came to adhering to society's standards.
I have to say, what a time to be alive when you would spend days on end at someone's house for a party. This took place at a house party, and Alice and Kit would sneak around for their lessons at night and then stared longingly at each other across the room during the time they were in public. It was so fun! The romance was definitely very sweet and I would have like a little more angst and tension. Kit was just head over heels for Alice pretty quickly and it was clear they both wanted each other. The only thing really keeping them apart was the fact that Kit wasn't high class, so he wasn't "good enough" for Alice. There was longing, but I wanted it to be even angstier.
I am definitely intrigued by the Duke's character and really hope that he gets a book! But this book was so fun and definitely another hit from Joanna Shupe!
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! This is Shupe at her FINEST in my opinion. Filled with great characters, swoony romance, breathtaking steam, it was historical romance PERFECTION!
This story follows Kit, a well known ladies man, and Alice, who is a bit of a wallflower intent on securing a husband to give her freedom from her overbearing mother. She approaches Kit to ask for seduction lessons on how to attract and keep a man. He, at first, reluctantly agrees, but soon finds any excuse for just one more lesson. Alice loves to cook and has been secretly trained by a famous chef so her offer is one of the top chef's secret recipes in exchange for one seduction lesson with Kit. Falling in love, however, was not part of the deal.
Honestly I have nothing to critique with this, it was a complete joy to read and this slowly simmering romance was everything I ever wanted. Highly recommend this one, it is my favorite historical romance release of 2021!
*I was provided with an ARC in exchange for my honest review*
Was love a combination of such tenderness and fear? A bone-deep affection haunted with the worry it could all disappear in an instant, mixed with a desperation to never leave her side? If so, then he was drowning in love for her.
Alice Lusk wishes to marry for love but unfortunately her substantial dowry stands in the way. Tired of being timid and overlooked by eligible bachelors, she wishes to learn a thing or two about seduction that might just help her in securing a non fortune hunter husband. Enter Christopher Ward, the charming rogue who’s the life of every party and apparently the man who can turn every woman into a vixen. Alice needs seduction lessons and Kit needs recipes that only Alice can help him with. The two strike a deal and soon enough their lessons turn into something more. But while Alice was falling, Kit swears he’s not the gentleman for her. When an eligible gentleman pays court to Alice, Kit might just discover that he is the marrying type after all when it comes to sweet Alice.
The Lady Gets Lucky is the second book from Joanna Shupe’s historical romance series, The Fifth Avenue Rebels. This tells the story of Alice Lusk, a young and shy shipping heiress and Christopher “Kit” Ward who is a first rate scoundrel. This was set during the gilded age which was refreshing to me. I usually read historicals set in England but I really liked this change of location even if it wasn’t really that emphasized. This book was utterly delightful and I am so glad I read it! Now I want to read every other Shupe book that sounds interesting to me. I haven’t read book one because it doesn’t have much good reviews compared to this one but I might still go back and read it in the future. I just genuinely enjoyed this one.
I loved the heroine of the book. Alice reminded me a lot of my other favorite heroine which is Evie from Devil in Winter. Both are heiresses who are extremely shy and bullied by their family. I do not know what it is about them but these types of heroines have their way of penetrating my heart and making me adore them. At the beginning of the book, Alice is a shy girl who has insecurities that run deep because of the way her mother treated her all her life. From the very first chapter I was hooked because of the heroine and her plan of finally taking charge of her life. It might not seem much and perhaps even silly, but at that moment, I knew that I would root for her until the end and I did. I think the way she was portrayed was well done, especially her upbringing which I think is realistic for the era. I do not think she was a doormat at all. Perhaps at first she had been but I think had everyone been in her place, they’d be like her as well. Moving on, I loved her growth which the hero had been a big part of. It was absolutely satisfying to see her find her voice, know her worth and to put people in their place. There is just something about heroines who can be vulnerable that is absolutely endearing to me. Her plans were realistic as well because even if she had been in love, she did not let it deter her from her purpose. Alice’s journey from a mousy girl to a woman who finally felt valued and loved and became confident was a nice thing to watch.
I thought Kit was very charming and I really loved him! On the surface, he was the usual rakish hero that we encounter very often in the genre. Even so, I thought he was interesting. Just like the heroine, he has many insecurities that other people aren’t aware of. He thought too lowly of himself and I felt so sorry for him. Because he has rakish good looks, he was seen as nothing more than an empty headed charmer and he hated that fact. He wanted to prove something. He wanted to show everyone that he wasn’t just a pretty face. I thought it was an interesting aspect of his character. I think the reason why I love Kit is because in some way I felt connected to him and his insecurities. When people see you as someone who’s very confident or when they think you have a pleasant face, they wouldn’t stop for a second to consider that behind all that facade there is something more: that you might just be as insecure as them. There is a never-ending need of wanting to prove yourself to be more capable than other people initially thought which is why I liked that Kit wanted to do something that would make him feel good about himself. I loved Kit who on the surface was the typical charming man but beyond that was a man who was so much more than his face value. While he might have a pretty face, I thought he was also a well rounded character. I loved everything that the heroine loved about him. He was so kind, gentle and sweet, especially to the heroine. He was also overall a good person and I can’t help but be a goner for him. He can be a bit frustrating especially his reluctance to get married but other than that he was a perfectly swoon-worthy hero that I know I won’t be able to forget soon. I feel like I have so much to say about him yet no words are coming to mind. Just know that I loved Kit and my god I really do love him! Did I say I love him? Yes.
To be honest, I initially wasn’t interested in this book at all because the synopsis involved cooking and I am just not very keen on reading a romance with a sprinkle of food and cooking on top. It sounds boring. However, I have seen nothing but mostly good reviews about The Lady Gets Lucky and seeing as I have never read a Joanna Shupe book before, I thought “Why not start here?”. I am so glad I gave this one a chance because I enjoyed it very much! I’ve said this before but I am not lying when I say it has been a delightful read. From the beginning, I was hooked to say the least. I think the set up was perfect and I was just sold from the moment the hero and heroine interacted. There was so much spark and chemistry between the two of them that I just had the biggest grin on my face for the most part. Both Alice and Kit saw what was hiding beneath the facade that they presented to the world which is why their connection is so special. They made each other feel valued and appreciated. I loved reading them reach for their HEA. There was just something so special about these two that endeared them to me.
I liked the Gilded age setting. It was new to me and I wish it had been used better. It didn’t feel very historical-ish at times or at least I didn’t feel the difference between this new setting and other HRs I read where the setting was somewhere in England. The first half of the book was very engaging. The middle wasn’t as compelling as I was hoping but I think it has to do with the setting and how much the h and H interacted. I guess I liked the Chateau in Newport better than when they were back in NYC. Thankfully when they interacted with each other again, I was once again fully hooked. In my opinion, it was unputdownable. I just loved the heroine and hero individually and I loved them even better together. When I adore the characters, it is very easy for me to be invested in a book which is probably why this one worked so well for me. I don’t need very unique plots, I need riveting & loveable characters because they either make or break the book for me. Alice and Kit made the book in this case which is a good thing.
I thought Alice’s mother was a necessary character and added something to the story even if she was annoying. It helped showcase why Alice was the way she was and was somehow instrumental in seeing the heroine’s transformation from a meek girl to a woman who takes charge of her own life. I thought the character Forrest was going to be another hero in the series but sadly he isn’t. Also, Preston Clarke the hero of the next book is quite present in this and I am excited to be in the mood to read his book. I feel ashamed on the behalf of the Duke of Lockwood because he just can’t court some girl in peace it seems. Nellie is apparently his heroine so that might prove to be an interesting read in the future. I quite enjoyed the presence of the characters mentioned.
The Lady Gets Lucky is the perfect read for someone who’s looking for a sweet romance with a charming hero and an equally charming heroine. I thought the romance was well done and I can really see why these two people loved each other. In addition, the explicit parts were also well written, it was hot and I had to look around my surroundings a few times in case someone was seeing what I was reading. Joanna Shupe writes good romance with an equally well written passionate & sexy times. Overall, I really liked Joanna Shupe’s writing and I will definitely read more of her books!
His smile was soft and tender, not the practiced version he gave everyone else. No, this smile was hers and hers alone.
No, he needed Alice by his side— not just at funerals and in the kitchen, but every morning. Every night. Every moment in between. He would never tire of her or want anyone else.
“That came out wrong. It’s not that I dislike dreaming about you. It’s the waking-up part that is like a kick in the teeth.” His lids lifted and deep brown eyes stared up at her. “I miss you. Very much.”
She would never tire of this, their undeniable connection. They had an effect on the other that defied logic, that would confuse most anyone else. But not her.
“That is what makes you so special,” he said, “that you see me in such a way. No one else thinks of me in flattering terms like that.” “They would if they knew you like I do.” “Don’t you see? That is why I love you, why I need to marry you. Why I want you by my side for the rest of our lives.”
THIS WAS SO YUMMY. Delicious and pretty and so full of chemistry. The FLAVOR. You wouldn’t know from the back of the book, but Alice has a secret passion for cooking and Kit needs her recipes (and pays for them in tasty, tasty ways)! Y’all I’m just saying, sugary syrupy goodness was licked off of fingers during a ✨very✨ educational moment.
I was drawn to the lessons in seduction (and this cover, godDAMN) but I stayed for the Lobster Thermidor. I was just. so. invested. Invested in the relationship, in the plot, in the growth that Kit and Alice did individually. Every aspect of this book was just. so. strong. Kit’s drunk scene was fabulous and he had such a delicious, dirty mouth.
Kit is your average my-father’s-infidelity-runs-in-my-blood-which-means-I-fuck-good-but-commit-bad rake, while Alice has brutally low self-confidence and suffers from the he-wants-to-fuck-me-but-could-never-love-me state of mind. Those are tropes I’m not usually fond of, but when I say this book tasted different, it tasted DIFFERENT. They were two equally wonderful main characters because their backstories were solid and truly supported why they were the way they were. I was rooting for them to not only find happiness in each other, but to understand that they were both worthy of love.
Alice made Kit WORK for redemption and it was sweet sweet sweet. Seriously it was a sugar rush; I was absolutely fizzing when I realized what he was up to. I cried but the tears were happy and my heart was so full. It still is. I also just loved the running theme of each thinking to themselves that the other was adorable at the same moment. Alice is one lucky lady because Kit is ✨that✨ kind of hero. He is cake batter and I want to lick his spoon. She deserves to have such a lickable husband she’s amazing.
It’s definitely not imperative to read book one first, but maybe read the summary for that one because it sets up the beginning of this one. (I didn’t do this and was very confused.) I am also excited for Nellie and Lockwood because their kind of relationship is my kryptonite. Y’all know I love to watch a straight-laced duke come undone.
*I did think the heat could have been dialed up just a bit between these two honeybuns. It was hot, but I wanted scalding. The two just had so! much! chemistry! that begged for even more role play and exploration. I also know it’s a common trope to make her the meal on the table . . . but it’s common because it’s fucking hot and this book was practically begging for it.
P.S. Books don’t use the word “brouhaha” nearly enough.
✨Thank you so much to @avonbooks and @joannashupe for gifting me this book and writing this book, respectively. All opinions are honest and my own.✨
P.S. I’m in a Facebook group and Joanna Shupe was talking and she said she was worried this book would be too boring. And that has me asking WHY DIDN’T YOU PUT MORE SEX IN IT JOANNA WHY IF YOU WERE WORRIED
Honestly, I've been putting off writing a review for this book because I loved it so much and wanted to do it justice. But the best feedback I can think to give is this: it was my absolute favorite Historical Romance (quite possibly my favorite book overall) of 2021, and I've recommended it to so many people since it was released.
Yes, the cover is steamy, but I also teared up at least ten times while reading because the characters are so beautiful and Shupe is an incredible writer. I know I'll go back to this book again and again. I can't wait for book three!
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.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“I would like your help in learning how to seduce a man.”
Second in the Fifth Avenue Rebels series, the first half of The Lady Gets Lucky is taking place concurrently with the first in the series. I haven't read the first and that may have hampered my enjoyment with this one. Our leads Alice and Kit are put together right away when Alice comes up with a plan to have Kit teach her some seduction lessons. Alice is shy and wants to escape her emotionally abusive mother and sees marrying as a way out. Kit initially refuses but when Alice says she'll trade recipes from a chef Kit and his friend have been trying to hire for their newly constructed supper club, he decides to agree to the bargain. These two feel a connection pretty soon, they are kissing at 20% but I felt like I didn't even know them as separate beings and therefore wasn't ready or able to invest in wanting them as a couple. I don't know if there was more of an introduction to them in the first that could have helped here, it felt like I was entering a play in the second act.
Kit was certainly hard to resist— and it was becoming increasingly difficult to remember why she needed to resist him in the first place.
These two did have a commonality that had me wanting to see them grow together, Alice's mother constantly berates her and lowers her self-esteem, saying no one would want to marry her without her large dowry. We see Alice and her mother's relationship in present time while through Kit's reminiscing we learn that his father's emotional abuse consisted of him constantly telling Kit that he was dim and only a pretty face. These two really take to heart what their parents told them and their sense of worthlessness persists through the vast majority of the story, it is in fact pretty much the plot. Even though Kit likes Alice he doesn't think he is worthy of marriage and this is the only thing basically keeping them apart. When they seemed to both admit to themselves and be kissing each other in the first half, I honestly wondered where the story could go, the whole premises only had legs for about 40%.
He kissed her like he couldn’t get enough. Like air was overrated and unnecessary. Like he was starving for her.
At the half way point, the story moves from the house party where Alice and Kit were secretly meeting to exchange lessons and recipes and the two go back to New York where seemingly, they won't be able to meet anymore. Instead we get a repeat of the first half with the two secretly meeting this time at Kit's supper club as Alice has to help them with the recipes because they can't find other chefs that can make them. Kit has some friends that make appearances here and there and more scenes with Alice trying to endure her mother. There's a death that is probably supposed to be emotional but we very briefly only meet the character and even then, Kit's character doesn't spend much time on the emotional fall-out. Secondary characters are around, some that will obviously be stars in their own books but the focus is pretty much on Alice and Kit.
His voice was affectionate and soft, as if she completely baffled him. “What am I going to do with you?
I felt myself being bored even a little before the halfway mark, this really should have been a novella. Both characters spent the majority in self-loathing mode, Kit's not wanting to marry attitude felt just there, and because I couldn't connect with them individually, I never felt invested in their romance. Alice seemed to have a loving relationship with her father and I wish we could have seen the two together for some bright spots in the story. The last 20% has Kit admitting he can't have anyone else marrying Alice and we get an extremely quick, try to woo her the old-fashioned way, Alice not believing he actually wants to marry her because he loves her, and then him proving it in a way that felt benign and I'm not sure delivered on the make-your-heart-melt because of how rushed the ending felt. Overall, all the self-loathing dragged down the tone, the lack of plot, substance, and repetitiveness gave it a molasses pace, and it was just missing spark.
I don't read HR often, but when I do, I'm always reminded of how cute these stories are.
✅ I REALLY LOVE THE Gilded Age in New York so I was really excited to find an HR author that writes a lot in that setting 😊 It honestly didn't feel that different from a London setting because a large part of this took place in a countryside manor, but I appreciated mentions of the Astor family and how the fortune-hunting Duke was included (for anyone curious, this article nicely describes the dynamic between American Heiress' and British Aristocrats in the late 1800s)
✅ I THOUGHT THIS WAS going to be really cliche as I was reading the first ~20%, but then it took some unexpected directions and I was really happy with how the story evolved beyond the initial dinner party
✅ DEFINITELY VERY MANY swoon-worthy moments 🥰 Kit was honestly SOO supportive of Alice and kept pushing her to be her own woman. I loved their dynamic and the student-teacher situation was surprisingly adorable too
✅ THIS WASN'T OVERLY smutty but I actually really enjoyed it. There were a couple of scenes here and there, but I liked how each scene actually served a purpose and wasn't just thrown in for more smut
Overall, this was a cute HR and I definitely recommend it! If I'm ever in the mood for a HR again I'll definitely be checking out some of this author's other books.
This book was a sweet and sexy romance, full of feels but it was, more than anything, Alice’s story.
I couldn’t help but love shy, kind, Alice. Years of living with a cruel, disparaging, cold-hearted mother left her lonely, full of self doubt, with her self-esteem in tatters. Her vulnerability endeared her to me and I can’t remember the last time I came across a heroine who so truly deserved her HEA.
Certainly no man would ever love her for herself. Mama said this was expected, that Alice’s dowry was her only redeeming quality. The men won’t mind your plain face when they hear the size of your dowry.
“I don’t have a type of woman,” he said, “but if I did, how are you so certain you’re not it?” Because you’re perfect and I’m . . . me.
Kit was the proverbial gilded age playboy… rakish good looks, experienced, sexy and incredibly charming. What I loved most about him though was his kindness to Alice. I’m always mad for a bad boy antihero but it was Kit’s big, kind heart that did me in and made me fall in love with him. He, too, struggled with feelings of not being good enough, his awful father telling him from the time he was a child that he’d never be more than just a dim bulb and a pretty face, “shallow as a saucer.” He was always upbeat and outgoing, the life of the party, while inside his father’s voice whispered that he’d never amount to anything.
At a house party in Newport, Alice and Kit struck a bargain. He needed a top chef’s recipes for the new supper club he was opening (a chef who Alice had known since she was a child and often cooked with on the sly) and she wanted him to teach her how to be attractive to a man, how to flirt, how to be seen as more than just a dowry. Kit’s clandestine lessons were so sensual that I ended up burning right along with the two of them.
“Alice, I . . .” He dropped his gaze to her mouth. “I really, really want to kiss you right now.” He seemed perfectly serious and rational, suffering no delusions of any kind that she could tell. Nevertheless, this could not be happening. Men like Kit did not find Alice appealing. “You do?” “More than any damn thing in the world.” “Because of what I said?” “Because of who you are.”
“You don’t need to kiss me as part of the lessons.” “I am aware, and this has nothing to do with our bargain. This is because you have me tangled up in knots. I can’t explain it, but it’s like you’re this clever, fascinating puzzle and I need to dig deeper.” He exhaled and leaned closer. “Please let me show you.”
When their mouths were almost touching, she paused to linger, breathing him in. Anticipating the moment when she would learn what it felt like to be kissed. She licked her lips. “Show me, Kit. Please.” “It would be my pleasure.” He bent forward and his mouth met hers with a simple brush of his lips. Fascinated, she watched as he tilted his head and returned for another swipe. He cupped her jaw in his palm. “Close your eyes, Alice. Feel what I am telling you with my mouth—and tell me what you are feeling with yours.”
She tasted sweet and delicate, a forbidden treat he hardly deserved but would savor all the same. To prove it, he lightly sank his teeth into the velvety skin of her throat. Alice gasped and threw her head back. “Oh.” “Like that, do you?” He moved to a different spot and bit her gently once more. Her fingernails sank into his scalp. “Is this what people do? Bite each other?” “Only if you’re very lucky.” “I’m serious, Christopher.”
Alice’s character development was wonderfully crafted by the author and I simply loved seeing her slowly begin to question her low opinion of herself, to begin to recognize her self worth and develop into a confident woman who finally believed she was worthy of friendship, of love, and happiness. Watching her blossom was deeply satisfying. Kit was instrumental in encouraging her and believing in her and I loved him all the more for it. There was also Nellie, who befriended Alice (her first real friend) and shared advice and wisdom with Alice that all girls and young women should be told, the most important being: Know your worth.
In the last few weeks, it was like she’d woken up after a long sleep to find the world had rearranged itself. That nothing was the same. Only it wasn’t the world; it was her. She was no longer the same. She proved she could make friends, that she could defy her mother. She could cook. Excelled at it, even. And yes, she could attract a man. Had kissed one, too. A duke had asked her to go driving with him. While she might not be as popular as Maddie or as rebellious as Nellie, she was finally fitting into her own skin. Growing and changing. Getting stronger. Indeed, any man would be lucky to have her.
After much angst and longing, Kit realized that if he didn’t drop his “I’m not the marrying kind” attitude right quick he was going to lose the best thing that ever happened to him. Because indeed, any man would be lucky to have her.
(A note regarding pacing: The beginning pulled me right in but there were some pacing issues mid-way through the book where things got bogged down and the story started to go in circles. Once the story regained its rhythm though the pacing was perfect.)
I was intrigued by both Preston and the Duke and will be reading their stories!
A foodie historical romance with a chef heroine!!!
I decided to skip book 1 in this series because I haven’t heard the best things about it and The Lady Gets Lucky read perfectly fine as a standalone. Alice, in addition to being an heiress and wallflower, is secretly learning how to be a chef through her family’s hotel chef. Kit is your classic rake hero who plans to open up a supper club, and he wants to hire the same chef Alice is learning from. They make a deal with each other: Kit will teach Alice all the ways of seduction and in return she’ll give him her chef’s recipes.
The pining here is so good. The chemistry and banter were great and even though the whole plot with the hero teaching the heroine about sex is pretty common in historicals, I loved Joanna Shupe’s take with the food and recipes here. If you love rake and wallflower historicals, you definitely need to read this!
Shy heiress Alice Lusk is tired of being overlooked and needs to figure out how to attract a man before her overbearing mother marries her off to an odious fortune hunter. Christopher “Kit” Ward is shocked and intrigued by Alice, but she has a bargaining chip and she's not afraid to use it.
This is the second book in the Fifth Avenue Rebels series. This story can be read alone, but it begins during the house party from the previous novel. The series revolves around a group of friends, so the characters do cross over.
Kit is known as a charmer, but he's aching to prove he has substance. He and his friend plan to open a supper club in New York City and they are on the hunt for a chef. The one they are targeting is not interested, but he used to be Alice's family's chef and she's willing to teach him the recipes...for the price of seduction lessons. I love well-written stories with rakes who are tied in knots by unassuming wallflowers. Alice has spent her life being put down by her needs-a-punch-to-the-face mother but, through the course of her lessons with Kit and her friendship with a couple of other heiresses, she starts to come out of her shell and learn her worth.
The book had heat, but not quite as much as I normally expect from Shupe. It was a little bit of a tease...like cranking a Jack-in-the-box and waiting for the pop. I kept thinking it was going there, but then it was like "no, not yet." 4.5 stars rounded to 5.
Tropes: Lessons, Wallflower, Reform a Rake, Secret Job (chef)
Steam: 3 (two full scenes, but the second is on the longer side…there’s also a very short self pleasure and an incomplete scene)
* I received an copy from the publisher and this is my honest review.
3.5 stars! Toxic mother alert!!! The mother is freaking evil and makes me believe that it cannot simply be her biological mother. The romance between the hero and heroine was sweet but it wasn't enough to keep me fully interested in the whole book. Also, it's the perfect book for foodies! Made me super Hungry since our heroine loves to cook.
This is only my 2nd book by Joanna Shupe. I've been meaning to try more works by her even though I've heard mixed things. She's very much a "modern" progressive HR storyteller but not as obnoxiously OTT about it like some other authors out there. The inclusivity for one was great because America very much was a melting pot and the feminism tone was understated and shown through action verses just "telling" readers. You aren't hit over the head with it or shouted at like seen in other new HR books. I think this was my first Gilded Age Historical set in America. So some of the descriptions and slang dialogue took some getting used to, I kept reminding myself it's 1895 New York. Some things did still feel very modern and anachronistic to my ear. I'm by no means a Historian expert but phrases like "oh shit" "she ditched me" "Alice, wait up" felt a bit clumsy. The nickname "queen bee" was even used in a scene. But overall though this was descent. I felt the chemistry and angst in the second half. There were some things that could have been better to hold my interest fully.
The insta-lust for one I could have done without. Having a devil-may-care Rake who goes through women like tissue already jacking off over the shy plain wallflower heroine in Chapter 2...lemme say that again in CHAPTER TWO... is much too fast and unrealistic. When you do the Rake vs Wallflower trope you gotta build up the sexual tension gradually. Having him wank off after first meet not even 10% in just cuts the tension at the knees and ruins it for me personally. Kit and Alice are complete opposites in every way from personalities, class rank and backgrounds so yeah that scene made no sense. I want that slow awakening especially when your couple are complete opposites. The heroine is a painfully shy insecure wallflower virgin and the hero is a Rake with a capital R. I mean the sexy times were hot and steamy and the build up in the second half I believed, just wish it didn't start out so topsy turvy. Not everything needs to be rushed and I don't understand why that's the new trend in historicals. Everything now is insta-lust. Instant gratification never works for me.
The second issue I had was the mother. Omg the mother. Alice's insufferable, overbearing, cruel, awful, loud-mouthed mother who would ridicule and insult her at every turn. Does Joanna Shupe have a thing for insecure heroines who are doormats to their abusive controlling mothers? This felt way too similar to A Notorious Vow in that regard. The verbal abuse and treating her 20 year old daughter like a child who is stupid was hard to sit through. What made it worse was nobody bothered to intervene or would just awkwardly ignore it whenever it happened at the house party. Was the moment when Alice finally stood up for herself and telling her mother off in the end delicious? Absolutely. But even so, I hated how everyone -- the hero especially-- did nothing about it when this harridan would ridicule and humiliate her daughter in front of everyone. That shit bothered me. I don't need a man to come to a woman's rescue every time but defending her would be nice dear authors. 🤷🏻♀️ It's called simple decency. And that also goes for her supposed "friends" too. Which I also found that dynamic weird. Where was Maddie in all this? Maddie is the host of the house party that takes place in the first half of the book who was trying to supposedly protect Alice from the rakish hero but she's never there too busy in the background sneaking off with her man while engaged to a Duke (what little I learned of Maddie in this makes me glad I skipped Book 1. A fan of her's I was not). I know it probably wasn't the thing to do or considered proper to clap back at a mother of an heiress but it bugged me nevertheless how everyone would go mute during one of her public tirades. All we get are winces or jaw clenching for the effort. It's almost like authors don't realize how normal it is for friends to stick up for each other, even through small gestures. I don't care if it's breaking convention, go with it.
And I will say I was a little bit shocked and kinda disappointed with what happened to Kit's best friend Forrest.
Anyways, points for the beautiful sumptuous cover. 5 stars for that alone. I'm a sucker for covers with couples frolicking in a bed or a field. lol I do have Book 4 Nellie's book on my TBR already but honestly she didn't really wow me in this as I felt she was too loose around the edges and not really well defined. And how she talks felt very modern, even for a "scandalous" hellion. But I'll give it a go since I wanna see how things go with her and the starchy proper Duke of Lockwood. Hellion meets stiff upper lip is usually like catnip for me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Heiress Alice Lusk wants to become a siren to escape her fate of being married solely for fortune. She's also secretly becoming an excellent chef thanks to the tutelage of her family's hotel chef. Her connection to this master of cuisine (and her own secret prowess) land her into a sexy pact with rake and party boy Christopher “Kit” Ward, who is looking to start his own supper club. He'll exchange siren lessons for recipes, discovering along the way he's entered a bargain that will cost him his heart.
While I did not connect with The Heiress Hunt, I ate up The Lady Gets Lucky like one of Alice's babkas. Serious chemistry, painfully delicious pining, and oh so much steamy goodness, I loved it. Shupe also deftly interwove a difficult plotline involving Kit's friend's alcoholism.
CW: emotional abuse from a parent, parental manipulation, alcoholism, death of a secondary character
Another rake is taken out of the game by love😍 I loved every word!! The bigger the rake the harder the fall and Kit’s fall is delicious❤️🔥😉
Kit Ward is every mama’s worst nightmare. With a few looks, some seductive words, and his devilish smile he can make the proper ladies forget their etiquette lessons and introduce even the shyest young miss to a world of pleasure and debauchery. Having Kit at a house party full of single heiresses is like tempting a bear with honey…but, alas he has sworn to be good.
Then Kit meets Alice Lusk and it’s all over. These two play with fire during much of the story which makes for a very entertaining and sexy story. Kit’s heart comes to realize Alice is everything he has ever wanted, if he was ever going to marry, Alice would be perfect. It takes his brain a while to catch up!!
I kept seeing this book on so many "Best books of 2021" videos and I get the hype now. IT WAS SO CUTE!
There were so many amazing tropes here : ✅The Heroine finding her voice. ✅The Hero realizing his worth WHILE FALLING IN LOVE FIRST. ✅I wasn't supposed to fall in love with you. ✅It had some amazing "teach me" moments too 😏
And I didn't expect to tear up or get emotional. Joanna Shupe punched me in the chest with that shocking incident towards the end.
I really enjoyed this one. Kit is definitely one of my favorite HR heroes. He was so adorable and kind to Alice😭 AND look at that cover! It's STUNNING 😍
4.25 stars ⭐️ This was precious, and also miles better than book 1 The Heiress Hunt. The plot and emotional development of the relationship was great, but the ending fell a bit flat and I wished the conflict was resolved differently.
Kit and Alice were an amazing couple, and they sorta reminded me a teeny bit of Evie and Seb St Vincent (iykyk from Devil in Winter).
I also loved that Alice is a chef/food lover! 👩🏻🍳 These historical heroines with occupations are the best, I swear, and I can't get enough.
Alice was my kind of h! One word: adorable 😍 Though shy and afraid, she bravely puts that aside to learn how to appeal to the men. Though, desperation will do that. Alice has to get away from her horrible mother. That woman could give Joan Crawford a run for her money! Personally, I would have been slipping laudanum in her drinks to get some peace and quiet.
Kit was an interesting, flawed H. He was charming but damaged. Like Alice, he suffers from low self-esteem just in a different way. They were perfect for each other.
Problem: i couldn't completedconnect with the story.. I think the problem has to with my mood lately. High expectations certainly played a role too. On a second read, I probably will love this book
Conclusion: I liked this book, but I didn't love it! Still, I'm glad I finally read it.
Second note: 1. Alice being a chef was a nice addition to the story. 2. I really want to read Nellie's story!! She was such an interesting character.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
It’s been a while since i have read the first book of this series which wasn’t the best in Shupe’s book writing career but i remember i liked Alice and Kit in the first book.
One chapter in and i was liking Kit and Alice already. While their chemistry wasn’t the best, it was there and I liked how both of them could see the best in each other.
Alice saw Kit, not for his appearance, but his personality. He was always underplaying his kindness and actions but Alice saw through it, saw his insecurities, and fell in love with him. She was always reassuring him that she knows he was a good person and i love that about her. Slowly, he believed he was a better man than he thought he was, because of Alice’s reassurances.
Kit made Alice bolder in her actions, learning to become braver in terms of talking with men and standing up to her mother at the back. He was constantly encouraging her, supporting her in her cooking and by her side whenever she needed his support. He sees her not for her dowry but for the person she is.
She has also changed because of Kit and it was heartwarming to see that Kit fell in love with her. Both had a positive influence on one another.
I loved their sexual scenes because they’re hot and some of it, are heartwarming.
Despite how much i enjoyed the book, I had 2 issues with this book.
The first was how long it took for Alice to stand up to her mother for being mean to her. It took almost the whole book and felt a little too late for that. Her mother was too much really and Alice was really a saint for putting up with her.
The second was me being confused about Forrester. I felt his presence in his book is a little off. It didn’t really fit into the book. His death made me feel a little sad but it would have engaged more of my feelings, had Shupe spent more time in developing Forrester’s story.
2022 May: 4 stars
was wondering if i should get the physical book and decided to borrow this from my library again for a second read.
the book started off strong, with me immediately getting hooked on the interaction between kit and alice, as well as the interesting plot. i enjoyed their interactions, kit surprising the innocent alice, and him 'teaching' her things. i looked forward to their lessons because it led to some steamy things happening.
the first half of the book was great because of the large time spent together between kit and alice, which strengthened their bond building and relationship. i loved that they spent time getting to know each other without the eyes of the ton. that served as a strong foundation for their relationship.
however, the story dipped a little in the middle, after they parted ways after leaving the party. they didn't interact as much as when they were at the party. i was a tad bit bored with the details of preparations for kit's supper club. but the story picked up the pace soon after. am glad about that.
i really liked alice and kit. alice was surprisingly observant and perceptive. she could tell that kit was underplaying his talents/personality and that he was not the shallow person he always thinks/implied he was. i like that both of them tried to persuade one another that they both had worth and had so much more going for them. kit was not a scoundrel as he thought he was. he was very caring and thoughtful, towards alice. i enjoyed seeing them show their vulnerabilities to one another and how they fell for each other.
as for my issues with this story, i suppose it is the same as my previous review... how long it took for alice to stand up to her mother and forrestor's story. would have been nice if more of forrestor was shown so we can relate better.
my final decision: while the book was not perfect, i enjoyed it. hence, i will be getting the physical book, to support the author and also because i know i will definitely re-read it in the future.
First of all, before we start, I strongly recommend having a loaf of babka at the ready. Please, trust me.
A delicious true and tried trope between an alleged wallflower and an infamous rake striking a somewhat easy bargain which will of course backfire on both of them. How long before the rake reforms and the lady gets fucky?
Seemingly shy debutante Alice Lusk dares strike a deal with Christopher ‘Kit’ Ward, notorious scoundrel known to turn the shyest women into proper vixens, convinced his tutelage necessary to rope-in a love match—or a lust match—anything, really, other than some arranged marriage her mother predestinates her to enter on account of her lack of appeal but considerable dowry.
Alice will provide the famous recipes Kit requires to successfully open a supper club in exchange for his valuable lessons in seduction.
At this point of my review, may I suggest a slice of babka to nibble on?
I loved how fast the tables turned on our scoundrel during his "how to become a vixen" masterclass. Kit soon finds himself unable to resist his eager but innocent student—the crackling chemistry between them permeating the pages— and Alice can’t help but view Kit as more than he lets people see.
Now is probably a good time to go back for seconds on that babka.
Spurred by the house party time frame they’re both attending and Alice’s mother chaperoning her with a suffocating tight leash, their initial arrangement of kissing lessons for a recipe takes an illicit turn and keeps being revised as both become more invested than they dare to admit themselves, least to one another.
I loved the heroine, whose shyness and withdrawn manners were most likely part of the many shields unconciously built to protect herself from her unsufferable mother were just begging to vanish. I enjoyed seeing her wit, charm and confidence florish within her proximity and building intimacy with Kit. I adored how the hero never stopped pushing Alice to seek new experiences but was still considerate of her safety and feelings as their encounters turned heated. He was so protective of her and we love a protecting hero. I just adore witnessing a total rake get soft for his woman. WAIT. Not soft like THAT— There's actually no misunderstanding HOW HARD the hero gets for Alice, the author spares us no thoughts—especially not the dirty ones—from Kit.
The core of their attraction for each other could be they recognized kindred a soul, both sharing a toxic and abusive parenting upbringing that shaped them into who they are today; the quiet, self-effacing wallflower and the nonchalant rake.
There is not such thing as too much babka, have some more
This opposites attract romance was perfectly served with: ▪︎crackling chemistry ▪︎exquisite culinary foreplay ▪︎heady notes of push and pull ▪︎a fairly amount of humor ▪︎heaps of pining ▪︎a healthy dose of steam ▪︎and a pinch of dirty talk.
Yes, all of this. Luscious, I’m telling you. The hero would have probably qualified this as 'finger licking good' but it was already taken.
Look, you already devoured all the babka!
Unconditional support, grovel and grand gesture finish to make of this historical romance the perfect treat. (Beside babka.)
Note: This is book 2 of a series but it does not require to read the previous book to be enjoyed. I haven’t read "The Heiress Hunt" which shares a timeline with "The Lady Gets Lucky" and it didn’t hinder my reading at all.
I received an early copy from the publisher
More reviews and book talk at : You can find me here too ☞
Despite the fortune she has for a dowry, Alice Lusk is overlooked by most of society’s eligible bachelors because of crippling shyness. At this rate, she’ll be forced to marry a man who only wants her money so she needs to make a change and learn how to attract a man on her own merits, and she knows the perfect man to teach her.
Christopher “Kit” Ward is working on leveraging his natural social charm into opening a supper club in New York City with his best friend. He’s tried everything he can think of to hire the city���s top chef, without success, so when he learns that said chef is a close friend of Alice’s, he agrees to give her scandalous lessons in exchange for access to the famous recipes.
Their private lessons develop into something a bit more passionate, and Alice learns much faster than Kit could’ve expected. The rest of Society notices the changes in Alice as well, but Kit isn’t sure he can let her go.
I really loved both of these MCs and lately that has been a rarity for me so I was super excited to have both a hero and a heroine I could really root for. Kit and Alice both had depths even they weren’t aware of, so their character growth was off the charts, and I loved that they grew and learned more about themselves and each other essentially at the same time. I also enjoyed the fact that Alice helped Kit see his own self-worth and Kit helped Alice find the confidence and backbone she’d been afraid to display before thanks to her mother’s dreadful behavior. I was happy to see that lady put in her place and in fact, could’ve used more of that and been happy. This was a sizzling slow burn between Kit and Alice, and I really enjoyed that build-up, but I would’ve been truly delighted by at least one more on page intimate scene between them after their relationship was solidified and their marriage confirmed; I still loved the book, that would’ve just been the cherry on top for me. I will say this book was also quite a bit grittier than I expected and surprised me a bit, which is all I can say lest I risk spoilers, but I still very much enjoyed it. Overall, I was surprised at how much I liked Kit, especially given his rakish tendencies, but I think it was his low view of himself and the lack of confidence he hid beneath his charm that did it for me; I loved seeing Alice uncover him as much as he was uncovering her. I also think Alice worked so well as a heroine for me because she wasn’t so in-your-face feminist, was in fact quite shy, and yet she stood up for what she wanted for her life and refused to let herself be cowed or settle for less. I liked these two together, I enjoyed the supporting characters, especially Nellie and Preston, and this story worked for me far better than its predecessor. I would’ve enjoyed a bit more sexy times, but I loved this couple, this is one of my favorite covers of the year, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
If you like a reformed rake + shy woman coming out of her shell and finally taking charge of her life trope, this one is for you. Heiress/talented chef, Alice Lusk seeks out ladies man and charm-meister Kit Ward for lessons on how to catch a husband.
I liked this story, but this is the second Joanna Shupe I’ve read and I don’t know… There’s something about her writing that I’m personally not feeling. The writing isn’t bad—I can’t find fault with anything specific—but it’s missing an extra oomph for me. Maybe the low angst. Maybe not enough inner tumoil inside the characters’ heads. Sometimes the dialogue seems a little emotionless and robotic. I can’t tell! 🤷🏻♀️
i love nothing more than a "teaching" trope if you know what i mean! Alice is a wallflower..she doesn't know how to talk to men her own age and doesn't have many friends. she is often shy and doesn't let her personality show because her mother is so overbearing. she is still single and she needs to secure a husband but doesn't know how to attract men...so she needs lessons.
She asks Kit to help her become a minx and irrestible to men. it starts off very sweet...hand holding, kissing, how to flirt but progresses quickly. Alice opens up more and is more of herself with Kit's help. Of course Kit's mission is to help her find a husband but realizes...as they always do...that he wants Alice for himself.
I didn’t think I would enjoy a historical romance (after reading and being bored with The Duke & I), but this one surprised me! I loved the idea of lessons in seduction between a virgin heiress and a scoundrel who knows how to teach her all the right tricks. Their connection was authentic and their attraction to each other was obvious from the beginning.
Socially awkward aspiring chef, Alice, asks resident scoundrel Kit for lessons on how to seduce men so that she can snag a husband that wants her for more than just money. Fortunately for her ,it works. Unfortunately for him, he catches the feels .
This one is so cute i loved it this trope always eats. The jealousy *chefs kiss*
This is a historical novel that follows heiress Alice Lusk, an introvert and very insecure, sought the help of notorious rake Christopher “Kit” Ward for lessons in the art of seduction in order to attract the male species and secure a lucrative marriage within the elite society. Kit wants to open a supper club so in exchange for his help, Alice promised to connect him with a famous chef who she is closely acquainted with. Of course, things doesn’t go as planned when matters of the heart are involved.
👍 The chemistry between the two leads are insane they practically burn the pages from the start.
👍 The steam in this novel is 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶. Had I known Joanna Shupe writes steam so well I would have picked up a book of hers a long time ago.
👍 This was set in America which is something I rarely come across in the historical romance genre so this was a nice change.
👍 It’s always a plus when food and cooking are involved. 😁
👍 I really liked Alice. She started out really timid and insecure due to how she was raised and this time period but there’s just so much more to her than meets the eye. Her character development was also amazing.
👍 I’m always a sucker for an emotionally scarred hero and Kit has an interesting back story. I immediately empathized with him and found him.
👍 How Alice and Kit saw past each other’s facade was really heartwarming, and the way they fell in love with each other was so beautiful.
👍 I thought how women were treated unfairly in this period was handled well.
👍 I really hated Alice’s mother which added to my engagement of the story.
👎 Some misunderstandings which I found frustrating but this is really minor.
This was a good novel to start with if you want try Joanna Shupe’s works. I only read this because it was highly recommended by a booktuber I’m subscribed to and it did not disappoint. I liked the supporting characters in this novel so I will definitely be checking out their own stories within this series.