Author: Leigh Talbort Moore
Genre: Mature New Adult/Upper YA, light historical/ theater romance
Released: November 11, 2012
I'd like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review.
Favorite Line/Passage: Hours passed as I lay in the darkness listening to Teeny breathe. Desperation had me by the throat, making it impossible to sleep. I couldn't stop thinking of how we might escape until finally I gave up and slipped out of bed.
Description: Trapped in the underground theater world of 1890s New Orleans, Hale Ferrer has only one goal: escape. But not without Teeny, the orphan-girl she rescued from the streets and promised to protect.
Freddie Lovel, Hale's wealthy Parisian suitor, seems to be the easy solution. If only his touch could arouse her interest like Beau's, the penniless stagehand who captures her heart.
Denying her fears, Hale is poised to choose love until an evil lurking in their cabaret-home launches a chain of events that could cost her everything.
COVETED!! MUST HAVE!
My Splats: an unlikely setting of theater and hidden brothel brought to life by romance, self-sacrifice, and the basic human instinct of survival.
Nineteenth century flare is captured beautifully in both the world created and the prose, tugging the reader along Hale's unsure path. Driven to seek a better life for herself and the young tween she cares for, Hale is willing to do almost anything to escape this world of old, where woman are seen more as objects and sought after for pleasure or expected to have a husband to survive. This is an interesting subject and definitely more mature; Upper YA/New Adult is a good definition.
I thoroughly enjoyed Hale's character. She's smart, talented, and caring amid a backdrop of self-seekers and dangers she knows are just around the corner as she nears next birthday. Mature for her ripe age of newly eighteen, she can easily be an inspiration to today's teenage girl. Hale is proactive, unwilling to sit back and let life happen to her.
Dialog is always a clincher for me, and there was no disappointment in that as characters exchanged words. Vocal emotions, opinions, warnings, and directions all sparked with delight and spunk. Living words, I like to call them.
Sweet romance softens Hale's hard world with forbidden longing and passion through a love triangle that tugs at every heartstring. The dynamics of a guy of lesser means who is totally unexpected and the affluent gentleman who's nice and polite is moving. And when crossed with Hale's living conditions and guardianship to the younger tween, there's plenty of conflict and strife for all.
Hale needs a way out and she's found a sure thing in Freddie, the gentleman who's totally fallen for her and her amazing singing voice. But her heart pulls her in another direction - toward Beau. She's faced with the gut-wrenching decision of whether to follow her head or her heart.
As the story moves toward the climax, so much threatens her well-being that her choices seem to be erased. I found myself unable to stop reading, my heart ready to leap from my chest, which swam in an ocean of emotions. At one point, I cried, mainly because of the unique friendship Hale has with one of the male characters in the theater. This relationship added much depth to both character and story. Lastly....
...OMGosh, the ending!!
I would recommend this read to any older teen reader and adults alike, romance lover, and even a theater buff. Moore really captures the backstage of the theater well.
As an added surprise for all you precious Alleywalkers, ROUGE is offered for the special holiday price of only $0.99 through Christmas Day. Plus, it's free December 19th & 20th, available as an Amazon Kindle Select!!
So tell me: have you ever read a story with the theater as the setting? Another interesting setting?