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I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this fantastic book Felicia Grossman s debut historical romance, Appetites and Vices, is everything you want and This story is filled with so many emotions, it will have you flying through the pages until you get to the extremely satisfying end Ursula Nunes and Jay Truitt are both in need of something Ursula needs a way to gain the approval of her best friend, Hugo s, parents so they will allow them to marry a tough feat for a Jewish girl with a reputation that s not exactly flawless among societies elite Jay Truitt, although born with the right status and limitless opportunities, has chosen a path filled with deadly temptation in order to escape the demons of his past He needs someone to break his heart publicly so he can escape to Europe and never return What begins as an unlikely partnership between Ursula and Jay, turns into a beautifully written story about two people who find themselves lacking, but see only the best parts of each other But the mistakes Jay is running from, and past Ursula uncovers, may be too hard for them to overcome in the end Appetites and Vices is a love story about how two people come together and unexpectedly bring out the best in each other, each using their strengths to make the other stronger It s a story that uses the strength of its characters Especially Ursula who is know one of my all time favorite heroines to show how standing up for yourself and seeking truth to save others can break down any barriers set in front of you I strongly recommend this book I can t wait to read the next book by Felicia Grossman 4.5 5I don t remember when exactly I learned about Appetites Vices, but I do remember feeling this desperate desire to read it Historical romance is one of my favorite sub genres and fake relationships is one of my favorite tropes of all times So a combo of two of my favorite things was bound to have me all pumped to read this book Luckily for me, it turned out to be an engrossing story that I couldn t put away The heart and soul of Appetites Vices are the characters I particularly grew fond of the heroine, Ursula throughout the book She was just the sort of main character that I could read on and on about with her thoughtfulness, her passion, and her cleverness Even though she came from a well to do family, she hasn t always felt welcome in Philadelphia society because of her Jewish background Urs is not the kind of person to let that get in the way of anything I loved that she was so willing to go after what she wanted She paved her own way and it was hard not to want to root for her Add to all that her adorable animals and her very relatable love for sweets, she was quite the charming personality I also really enjoyed Jay s character He was complex and so well layered There were many facets to his personality, some of which may seem unpleasant at first glance, but the you get to know him, the you realize just how much depth there was to him Like Ursula, he too had been shunned in life, which led to him being damaged and lonely It was a sad situation and it was tough watching him be so hard on himself as he battled with his demons It was through Jay s interactions with Urs that we see the flirty and sexy side of him emerge The two of them make a deal to be in a faux engagement for their own personal reasons Of course, anyone who reads romance knows exactly how such a fake relationship will end I ve read countless books with this trope and I never seem to tire of it I thought Felicia Grossman especially handled it with a lot of flairs Urs and Jay s banter and sexual chemistry were outstanding I loved watching them interact, flirt and eventually, become intimate with each other They both manage to find the worth in each other, which as a reader was something of a delight to observe I may have squealed a few times Then, there were the sex scenes which were some of the best I have ever read They managed to be steamy and moved the relationship forward The journey to their happily ever after wasn t straightforward, but it was worth it Appetites Vices had a lot going on to it than just the romantic developments This story had a surprising amount of twists to it Before I wrap up this review, I also have to mention just how much I loved Ursula s relationship with her father It was so touching and had my heart soaring Having read Appetites Vices, I am so excited that Felicia Grossman has debuted into the world of romance If this book is anything to go by, romance readers are going to blessed with some phenomenal books Make sure this 2019 debut is at the top of your TBR lists, friends What a delightful read I received an advance copy of this book, and had a great time with it This was admittedly my first romance book ever, and I m also admittedly probably not the target demographic, but hey it was fun The book has a great back and forth between an impossibly stuffy society and some particularly salacious activity happening behind the scenes The main characters are both charming and flawed, very much living up to the title Go read it, have a blast I had the privilege of reading an early draft of this book and it was such a fun, sexy, compelling read I absolutely fell in love with the characters both deeply flawed and immensely relatable. Ursula Nunes is a refreshing addition to the heroines of historical romance, starting with her inner voices, her love of pastries, and her brilliant, inquisitive mind We can continue with her Jewish heritage, her knowledge of history, her menagerie, and her bravery.And then there are her burdens, starting with that brilliant mind, the society that snubs her Jewishness yet relies on her father s financial expertise, and well, her friend, Hugo And then there is JAY and by the time you re at the scene with the spinet, the story of two people one who yearns to belong and the other who yearns to be seen will have you captivated all the way to the end.As with other historical romance authors, I hope debut author Felicia Grossman has many stories up her puffed sleeves. This has taken over a week to figure out how to write not because I didn t love the book But because there s so much to love I m not sure where to start So first I ll say, this book was SO refreshingly unique for a historical romance.Ms Grossman delivers a well crafted story with two characters so well developed and so well flawed Yes well flawed, in painful ways that blend delicately into the story so it doesn t feel weighed down, yet defines the entire arc beautifully She somehow manages to keep this a light, fun, bantery romance while underscoring everything with such depth and history that you ll end it both delighted and educated without that heavy feeling of having had a history lesson Until you come across the short one in the afterword from the author, which I loved just as much The short, nitty gritty romance review part Yum These two were sweet and fun and sizzling hot There wasn t a doubt from the moment they met that they belonged together And talk about a strong heroine Yesss Ursula was the epitome of what you see is what you get and I loved what I got And Jay was my favorite kind of book boyfriend a little cocky, a little shy, and a lot protective and kind I was lucky enough to receive this as an ARC But this review was all me my honest thoughts, and a pleasure to write I hope to read many books by this author in the future. I loved this delightful, thoughtful historical romance APPETITES VICES is the story of Ursula and Jay, as they navigate an upper class Philadelphia society that is hostile toward each of them for different reasons Ursula, because she s Jewish and outspoken like her late mother, and Jay because he has a reputation as a spoiled playboy When these two strike a deal to get what they want, sparks fly, past mistakes are confronted, and everything goes awry in the best ways.Ursula is the star of the book, in my opinion I love her for so many reasons, and here are some 1 she s strong willed, 2 she loves sweets, 3 she s passionate, 4 she has a pet monkey and other animals , 5 she tries really hard at everything, 6 she s tough but carries a bit of insecurity, 6 she has giant boobs that she s not afraid to show off, 7 she tells the truth as she knows it, in all situations, 8 she s smart but awkward socially Ms Grossman gives her such an entertaining, thoughtful voice, that the reader is pulled in as an Ursula fan from page one.Jay is my first historical book boyfriend He s handsome of course , honorable than everyone in their world seems to think, and charismatic He s also a generous, gifted lover, which makes for some steamy, sexy scenes Jay s got the Issues capital I is not a typo there , and he struggles, but he powers through the best he s able One of my favorite scenes is when he s confronted with one of the said Issues, and he actually listens to his parents and turns his own destiny around And boy, oh boy, is he into Ursula.These two don t have it easy as they find their happily ever after, but eventually, they figure out that together they make a formidable team, able to get through just about anything APPETITES VICES is a wonderful debut by Felicia Grossman, which I highly recommend. *DOWNLOAD PDF ☠ Appetites & Vices (The Truitts #1) ⇯ He S Her Ticket Into High Society Banking Heiress Ursula Nunes Has Lived Her Life On The Fringes Of Philadelphia S Upper Class Her Jewish Heritage Means She S Never Quite Been Welcomed By Society S Elite And Her Quick Temper Has Never Helped, Either A Faux Engagement To The Scion Of The Mid Atlantic S Most Storied Family Might Work To Repair Her Rumpled Reputation And Gain Her Entr E To The Life She Thinks She Wants If She Can Ignore The Way Her Betrothed Makes Her Feel Warm All Over And Stay Focused On Her Goal She S His Ticket Out Former Libertine John Thaddeus Jay Truitt Is Hardly The Man To Teach Innocent Women About Propriety Luckily, High Society Has Little To Do With Being Proper And Everything To Do With Identifying Your Foe S Temptation An Art Form Jay Mastered Long Ago A Broken Engagement Will Give Him The Perfect Excuse To Run Off To Europe And A Life Of Indulgence But When The Game Turns Too Personal, All Bets Are Off Before I got my hands on this book I hadn t read any historical romance, and I couldn t have cut my HR teeth on a better book if I d searched for ten years I m in love with Jay and Ursula I love the story, their quirks, their flaws, their banter, their everything Both Jay Urs are functionally disfunctional, unique, beautiful messes and they are perfect for each other.It s an easy read that catches you off guard with feel punches when you least expect it Mrs Grossman doesn t over describe, or try to drown the reader in details and I suuuuper appreciate that in a book I want to get in the scene, in the action, and she totally delivers that Loved this book Jay is wonderful and Urs is blunt in a way I wish I could be Did I mention that I love this book I ve given this a B at AAR, so that s 3.5 stars rounded up The author shows potential, but this has an overcomplicated plot and some writing and grammar quirks that really bugged me.Felicia Grossman s d but historical romance, Appetites Vices makes use of a setting I ve not come across before in historical romance 1840s Delaware and boasts a couple of interesting, though flawed, central characters who enter into a faux engagement in an attempt to better the social standing of the heroine so she can marry the man of her choice There are some things about the plot that didn t quite work and some odd writing tics that took me out of the story on occasion, but overall it s a solid outing and I ll be keeping an eye out for of Ms Grossman s work.Ursula Nunes is twenty one, beautiful, clever and wealthy By rights, she should have society at her feet, and she would, but for two things One, she says what she thinks and has no social skills whatsoever And two she s Jewish, which, in Delaware in 1841 puts her pretty much beyond the pale She and her dearest friend Hugo Middleton have decided that it would be preferable to marry each other than to marry strangers, but the Middletons are one of the oldest families in society and with Hugo s father intent on securing personal advancement, won t countenance Hugo s marriage to a Jew, no matter how rich she is.John Thaddeus Truitt V Jay comes from a family that is even prestigious than the Middletons, but that doesn t mean life is any easier for him The only son of a disapproving father who always believes the worst of him, Jay is well aware he s a disappointment all round and wants nothing than to take himself off to Europe and never come back When he witnesses Ursula and Hugo in intense, whispered conversation and then overhears Ursula muttering to herself about ways she could ingratiate herself with the Middletons , he finds himself fighting back laughter at the incongruity of the idea of a woman as strong and vibrant as Ursula paired with a man so clearly unsuited to her as Hugo But then inspiration strikes and he has the solution to both their problems In spite of his blackened reputation, the Truitt name still counts for something, and if he and Ursula pretend to be engaged to one another, her association with him means she ll be able to move in the exclusive social circles to which she is currently denied entrance And when she jilts him publicly,A good faux broken heart will be enough for my parents to stop trying to make me into something I m not That s the set up for the story, and the author does a really good job of exploring the prejudice Ursula encounters because of her birth and the difficulties she faces because she has so little patience with the superficiality of high society She wants so badly to belong, but she doesn t fit in anywhere, not in Hugo s world, certainly not in Jay s and not even in that of her own Jewish family.Jay is a very troubled young man who feels that nothing he ever does will be good enough and is so weighed down by guilt that all he wants to do is to escape into the drug induced haze that is the only thing he s found that will enable him to forget and lay down those burdens The truth of Jay s addiction isn t sugar coated although the author doesn t come out and directly say Jay is an opium addict instead hinting at it until some way into the book, his cravings are clearly and convincingly described.There s a lot to like about this novel, not least of which is the humour and snappy banter between the two principals, and the way the author shows the understanding that develops between them I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Jay uses the game of poker to try to teach Ursula how to read people and situations Their chemistry isn t the strongest I ve ever read, but it simmers nicely, and the love scenes are well written BUT I don t know a lot about American society of the time, but I m guessing the rules that governed male female interaction were pretty similar to those in England, so I was surprised at how often Ursula and Jay were able to sneak off to have sex in her house with family members her father and servants around there s an explanation of sorts given towards the end, but that seemed like a convenient afterthought , and please, can we stop it with the virgin heroines who can give championship blow jobs at the first attempt and deep throat the hero like a professional I get that Ursula is curious and uninhibited, but I just don t buy into that whole she knows how to do it just by instinct thing.I also found some of the plans and situations rather convoluted there were a few places where I had to stop and go back to re read and there s quite a lot of woeful introspection on the part of both protagonists that got to be a bit much The middle of the book is repetitive, and the way the secrets held by various characters are foreshadowed is quite heavy handed There are also some grammatical constructions that really bugged me and kept pulling me out of the story I won t go into huge detail, as I know not everyone is a grammar nerd like me, but one thing I will mention is the use of contractions with names Instead of Lydia would or Rachel did , we get Lydia d or Rachel d Now, sure, they re both fine on occasion, but in some places, sentences and phrases are so littered with them that they become unnatural and clumsy If read aloud, they d sound pretty odd Some of the dialogue felt off for the time period, and for some reason, Jay decides to shorten Ursula s name and calls her Urs , which is a really ugly diminutive, and sounded far too close to arse whenever I heard it in my head If you don t like your protagonist s name, then use a different one Speaking of Ursula I refuse to call her Urs , I confess that for all her spark and originality, I found her difficult to connect with, and sometimes felt her behaviour to be quite immature and she cries a lot On the other hand, I did like Jay and warmed to him easily he s damaged, witty, dangerously charming and possessed of the kind of emotional intelligence that Ursula lacks.Even with the reservations I ve expressed, I m giving Appetites Vices a recommendation, albeit a cautious one The story at its heart a woman who wants to belong and a man who wants to be seen for who he really is is a good one, Jay and Ursula are well matched, and both character and romantic development are well done.