Book Review: ‘The Witch of Painted Sorrows’ by M.J. Rose

By Stacey Longo


The Witch of Painted Sorrows, the latest offering from M.J. Rose, paints a tempestuous a portrait of a woman fleeing her corrupt husband to seek refuge with her grandmother in Paris. Sandrine, who has never known love, finds passion ignited within her when she meets Julien, discovers a talent for painting she never knew she had, and begins indulging both of these desires. The question becomes whether she is simply discovering her true self, or is there another, supernatural element involved?

Sandrine’s husband is responsible for her beloved father’s suicide, and Sandrine, unable to live with him a moment longer, escapes to her grandmother’s house to hide from him and find herself. Grand-mere is nervous having her granddaughter there, and fears that exposing Sandrine to the ghosts of their ancestors will set off a chain of events that can only end in despair and death for those possessed by the past. Sandrine is unwilling to accept that her newly awakened passions might be the result of a centuries-old courtesan witch. Her struggle to find herself and learn more about her fiery ancestor results in a climax embracing the basest of emotions: lust, love, hate, and vengeance.

Rose immerses the reader in a lush, vibrant scene of late nineteenth century Paris, and the reader immediately becomes a witness to the sumptuous scenes as they unfold. Senses are heightened as characters are drawn into a complex tale of witchery, ancestry, and fate; and Rose deftly guides us to a crescendo, resulting in an unexpected yet satisfying ending. It’s impossible not to feel affected and a bit emotionally drained after reading this story. Rose has brought her unique style and captivating tone to this tale, once again hypnotizing her readers in a world of beauty and mystery.

M.J. Rose Captivates with Newest Novel, ‘The Collector of Dying Breaths’


By Stacey Longo

MJRose cover

The Collector of Dying Breaths is the latest offering from M.J. Rose, and marks the return of Jac L’Etoile, the heroine we first met in The Book of Lost Fragrances. If you haven’t read Fragrances, don’t worry: Dying Breaths is set up as a stand-alone novel, and you’ll quickly become enchanted with Jac, her brother Robbie, and her former lover, Griffin. Jac is quickly engulfed in a quest to create an elixir that will bring souls back to life using a person’s last, dying breath. Her patrons are the mysterious Greek heiress, Melinoe and Melinoe’s stepbrother, Serge, whose sibling relationship raises many questions for Jac. As Griffin assists Jac in her pursuit to recreate the elixir following notes left behind by Rene le Florentine, the two are drawn into the past life of Rene, his lover Isabeau, and the dynamic, manipulative Catherine de Medici.

The novel intertwines flashbacks to the life of Rene with the present-day difficulties that Jac must deal with, and mysteries surround both. Will the malicious Cosimo Ruggieri, advisor to Queen Catherine and dabbler in the dark arts, bring an end to Rene’s favored position with the queen? To what lengths will the eccentric Melinoe go to find the rare, ancient ingredients needed to recreate Rene’s elusive potion? And how many lives will be lost as both of these plans are carried out?

The Collector of Dying Breaths creates suspense and intrigue with every page, making it difficult to put down. Rose captivates us with a story about relationships past and present, and the basest of human emotions: love, greed, and betrayal.

The Collector of Dying Breaths will be published on April 8.