Shupe, Joanna. The Devil of Downtown. New York: Avon Books, 2020.
ISBN-13: 9780062906854 | $7.99 USD | 384 pages | Historical Romance
“Nothing makes me happier than a new book from Joanna Shupe!”—Sarah MacLean
The final novel in Joanna Shupe’s critically acclaimed Uptown Girl series about a beauitful do-gooder who must decide if she can team up with one of New York’s brashest criminals without losing something irreplaceable: her heart.
He’s built a wall around his heart…
Orphaned and abandoned on the Bowery’s mean streets, Jack Mulligan survived on strength, cunning, and ambition. Now he rules his territory better than any politician or copper ever could. He didn’t get here by being soft. But in uptown do-gooder Justine Greene—the very definition of an iron fist in a velvet glove—Jack may have met his match.
She wears hers on her sleeve…
Justine is devoted to tracking down deadbeat husbands and fighting for fair working conditions. When her mission brings her face-to-face with Jack, she’s shocked to find the man behind the criminal empire is considerably more charming and honorable than many “gentlemen” she knows.
Forming an unlikely alliance, they discover an unexpected desire. And when Justine’s past catches up with them, Jack may be her only hope of survival. Is she ready to make a deal with the devil…?
In the series
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I’ve enjoyed the Uptown Girls series so far, so I approached book three, The Devil of Downtown, with both excitement for more of Joanna Shupe’s Gilded Age world and the Greene Sisters in particular, but some trepidation, as criminal types like Jack are the type that usually send me running far away.
And while I don’t think that Justine and Jack live up to the perfection of Florence and Clay, they work much better than I anticipated, given they are opposites personality wise. I love all the idiosyncrasies about Jack that make him the opposite of what I’ve seen before in a criminal mastermind hero, from his care with his appearance to the way he showed respect for Justine in bed, thanks to his education from his mother and the other sex workers he grew up around.
I also liked getting more insight into Justine and her work with the less fortunate, especially since she was always the least fleshed out character in the previous books. I like that while she’s sensible and compassionate, she also does have some naïveté, and it’s portrayed without her being annoying.
Speaking of her sisters, I like seeing their relationship, and I find it funny, yet not out of character that Mamie and Florence are warning Justine against doing some of the things she’s doing, a point that is brought up in-text. The Greene sisters have a great relationship with one another, and I love the small ways it has shown up not just in this book, but the others as well.
I really enjoyed this one, and can’t wait to see what Joanna Shupe does next. If you liked the series so far, or are looking for a historical romance about a “devilish” hero, I recommend this one.
Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on instead of attending classes, yet still managed to graduate with a journalism degree. She enjoyed a few years in sports and theater marketing but soon returned to romance by crafting her own racy historical novels.
In 2013 she won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. Joanna’s first Gilded Age historical novel, MAGNATE was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by Publishers Weekly, and one of 2016′s top romances by The Washington Post and Kobo.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.
Amazon (affiliate link)
Bookshop (affiliate link)
Words Bookstore (signed copies, put note in comment box that you’d like it signed)