Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M.J. Rose creates her most provocative spellbinder to date in this gothic novel set against the lavish backdrop of Belle Époque Paris.
Indie Next Pick • Library Reads Pick • People Magazine Pick • Boston Globe Pick of the Week
Called an “elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told” by the Providence Journal, The Witch of Painted Sorrows “melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw.”
New York socialite Sandrine Salome flees an abusive husband for her grandmother’s Paris mansion, despite warnings that the lavish family home is undergoing renovation and too dangerous to enter. There Sandrine meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing architect who introduces her to the City of Lights—its art world, forbidden occult underground, nightclubs—and to her own untapped desires.
Soon Sandrine’s husband tracks her down and an insidious spirit takes hold: La Lune, a witch and a legendary sixteenth-century courtesan who exposes Sandrine to a deadly darkness.
“M.J. Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust, and raw emotion ooze off the page,” says the Associated Press. In her instantly absorbing tour de force, Rose imagines Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul” dramatically underwritten by a tragic love story and a family curse that illuminates the fine line between explosive passion and complete ruination.
New York Times bestselling author M. J. Rose grew up in New York City exploring the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum and the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, a founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
“Rose's new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris—a perfect match for the author's lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. A cliffhanger ending will leave readers hungry for the next volume. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“A haunting tale of possession.”
– Publishers Weekly
"Rose expertly builds suspense as Sandrine gives into her deepest desires and La Lune’s influence, and the twist ending sets up the next entry in this gothic trilogy."
“The New York Times bestselling author returns with what is being heralded as ‘her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet.’ It’s been a while since I dug into a can’t-put-it-down novel of thrills and chills, and this one–a gothic historical fiction set in 1890s Belle Époque Paris–promises to be just that. The tale involves a haunted Parisian mansion, the legends of a fabled sixteenth century French courtesan, a twisted love story, and witchcraft…sign me up for this wild ride!”
– Huffington Post
"An elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told....melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw."
– Providence Journal
"[MJ Rose] stirs her readers' curiosity and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual, and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Rose's unforgettable full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will long be savored."
– Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Layered with historical information is the strange and haunting story of two women. The book must be savored slowly to appreciate the skill of the author to tell a great story."
– Fredericksburg Newspaper
"Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting...will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover. A captivating supernatural read that will keep you enthralled… a ‘must-have’ novel."
– Suspense Magazine
"Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page."
– Associated Press
"An elegant writer with a fine style."
– Anne Rice
"M.J.Rose is the ultimate seductress, using matters of the heart and history to create word art that is undeniably potent and subtly intoxicating. A deeply evocative and richly woven tale of passion, power, and provocation—and the often inexorable lines that exist between the three."
– Hartford Examiner
"A haunting tale of erotic love.... M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end."
“This atmospheric tale of madness and possession in Bell Epoque Paris is trademark Rose. She skillfully recreates the historic era, combining it with a supernatural mystery and vivid characters.”
– Romantic Times Book Reviews
“This belle époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions.”
“Rose proves herself once again to be a consummate storyteller in this provocative and entertaining novel.”