Sunday, January 12, 2020

Blog Tour: Excerpt of The Prince of Broadway by Joanna Shupe

Author: Joanna Shupe
Series Uptown Girls
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date December 30, 2019

Powerful casino owner.  Ruthless mastermind.  Destroyer of men.  He lives in the shadows . . .

As the owner of the city’s most exclusive casino, Clayton Madden holds the fortunes of prominent families in the palms of his hands every night. There is one particular family he burns to ruin, however, one that has escaped his grasp . . . until now.

She is society’s darling . . .

Florence Greene is no one’s fool. She knows Clayton Madden is using her to ruin her prestigious family . . . and she’s using him right back. She plans to learn all she can from the mysterious casino owner—then open a casino of her own just for women.

With revenge on his mind, Clay agrees to mentor Florence. However, she soon proves more adept—and more alluring—than Clay bargained for. When his plans are threatened, Clay must decide if he is willing to gamble his empire on love.

Enjoy this excerpt:

She lifted her chin. “I presume you are Mr. Madden.”
“Have a seat.” Now behind his desk, he indicated one of the armchairs.
“Not until you answer my question.”
He paused and stared at her just long enough to make her uncomfortable. His eyes were dark and unfathomable, no hint to his thoughts whatsoever. “Was there a question, Miss Greene? Because I didn’t hear one.”
“Are you Mr. Madden?”
“I am, which means this is my casino. And you are trespassing.” He lowered himself into his large leather chair without waiting for her to be seated.
“No one has asked me to leave.”
“You are aware that women are forbidden from crossing our threshold. Yet you’ve flouted that rule. Many times. Care to tell me why?”
“I assumed your policies had changed.” A lie. Her first visit she’d entered through the kitchens, sneaking into the main casino. On subsequent visits, she’d flashed a smile and pressed a large bill into the hand of the man at the door. The staff recognized her now, though she knew Madden’s benevolence was the reason for her continued admittance.
“Let’s do away with the pretense. My curiosity is the only reason you’ve gained access to the Bronze House. I’m requesting you satisfy that curiosity now.”
Though he spoke politely, it somehow sounded like a threat. “Or?”
“Most people are smart enough not to refuse my requests.”
“You won’t hurt me.” It came out with more confidence than she felt. Inside, doubt twisted her stomach into knots.
One dark brow shot up. “Won’t I?”
“I don’t intimidate easily, Mr. Madden.”
A flash of something passed over his face, a glimpse of appreciation, perhaps. Had her answer pleased him?
“I’m beginning to see that. After all, someone nearly drugged your sister here and yet you return.”
Florence waived her hand. Mamie hadn’t been fooled. The man’s clumsy attempt at pouring an unknown liquid into her champagne had been as obvious as the heat in Hades. Besides, Florence felt eyes on her every time she visited the Bronze House, a protective presence that wouldn’t dare allow anything terrible to befall her within these walls.
Had it been Madden looking out for her? Watching her?
She wasn’t certain if the idea excited or frightened her.
“I’m perfectly safe inside your casino.”
He didn’t bother to confirm or deny it. Instead, he said, “You show a remarkable skill at the tables. How did an uptown debutante learn such things?”
She lifted a shoulder. “Practice.”
He threw his head back and laughed. The sound was rough and genuine, the mirth transforming his face into something . . . lighter. Younger. She hadn’t realized. He couldn’t be more than thirty or thirty-one years old. Tingles coursed through her, as if she’d been dealt an ace and a king while playing Twenty-One.
Goodness. Was she attracted to him?
She recognized the feeling. There had been various young men in her life over the years. Florence liked kissing and touching and all the things that went with it. She hadn’t ever considered saving herself for marriage, not when a whole wide world awaited her. She was a modern woman in charge of her own destiny—and her future did not include being under the thumb of a husband. She wanted an equal, not a jailer.
But an attraction to Clayton Madden would complicate things.
Madden collected himself, shaking his head as if to clear it. “I can see you’re no novice. You’ve walked out a winner each time you’ve visited. Yet, your presence here is disruptive. My patrons are unaccustomed to seeing a woman in their midst. You are . . . distracting.”
It would seem a compliment if not for his frown. “That is not my fault. Admit more women and they won’t notice me.”
“Impossible. No man would miss you, even in a crowd.”
Her throat dried out. That was most definitely a compliment. However, she didn’t think he was flirting with her, merely being honest. Clayton Madden didn’t seem like a man who flirted. “Your policy is antiquated. You should allow women to gamble.”
“Not a chance. If men are watching the women then they aren’t losing money to me.”
She bit back a smile. His attitude served her plans perfectly. Let him ignore half the population of New York, the women who were bored and looking for entertainment. Florence would soon take their pin money in her female-only casino. Still, she couldn’t resist adding, “So women must suffer for the stupidity of men. Again.”
He blinked, his expression full of both confusion and admiration. “I see you are a woman who speaks her mind. That’s a quality I appreciate. So let’s answer this once and for all. Why do you continue to visit the Bronze House? What are you after?”
It’s now or never, Florence. “I’m here for lessons. I wish for you to teach me how to operate a casino.”

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About the 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 and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. In 2013, she won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband. To connect with Joanna, visit

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