Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Review: Rouge by Leigh Talbert Moore
by Leigh Talbert Moore
Published: November 11, 2012
QUARTER FINALIST---Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, 2013
Romance, velvet, sequins, and murder...
Hale Ferrer is the rising star of the hottest cabaret in New Orleans. And her one goal is escape. Escape from the lies, from the crime, and from her growing fear that one day she'll have to earn her living in the secret back rooms, where the dancers do more than dance.
But she won't leave behind Teeny, the orphan-girl she promised to protect.
Freddie Lovel is rich, handsome, and in love with Hale, and he's ready to sweep her away with him to Paris. But her heart is captured by Beau, the poor stagehand with eyes as blue as Louisiana iris flowers.
Denying her fears, Hale is ready to choose love and a life with Beau, until a predator hidden in the wings launches a chain of events that could cost her everything--Teeny, their one hope of escape, and possibly even her life.
The first time I heard about Rouge last year, it immediately went to my TBR list. But like most books I included in that list, it was forgotten, buried and lost in the sea of titles. And now – finally! – thanks to Say It With Book’s Author Event this month, I got the opportunity to read this amazing, amazing book and I loved it! I love it and I highly recommend it. The story isn’t something I usually see or hear these days. I remember watching Moulin Rouge when I was in high school, I think. It was a really long time ago so I’m a little fuzzy on details but reading this book made me think about that movie which is a good thing because I also loved it.
I especially loved the way the book started with 17 year old Hale Ferrer, the star of the show, doing her last pose for that night’s performance while curtains fall to deafening applause. It immediately introduced me to the setting and conflict of the story. Hale was born and raised in the theater and performing was all she had ever known. It is her voice and dancing and the theater manager’s promise to her dying mother that made her safe from what really happens every night after performances. But what little safety she has does not include Teeny, the starving young girl she found and took under her care ever since. Hale promised that she would protect her but Teeny is a growing, attractive girl and with every day that passes she worries that without the talent like she has, they would find Teeny useful for the theater’s other business instead. The only way out is Hale’s wealthy suitor. Marrying him would mean freedom for both of them. It was a definite plan until she met Beau after an accident during rehearsal and the attraction is undeniable. She knows what’s at stake and that Beau is not the man who can save them from it especially when they were faced with danger head-on and has to make an impossible decision by staying with the one she loves or choosing her one and only ticket to safety. But when things turn out of hand and Hale was in the middle of it all, there is no other choice left but to flee.
I really liked the pacing and how everything transpired in the end. Hale is an excellent main character and I did not have any difficulty getting in her head. Her point of view made me understand the choices she made. And she is not only the character I admire in this book. Roland is wonderful. I love him. I love his place in Hale’s life and the part he played in the story. Of course, there is the villain. The villain who is really evil and not like the ones we swoon over today (*wink*). Not likable AT ALL. But I liked the way he was presented, THAT is what’s amazing. I think the author achieved the character she’s going for – a really dangerous and terrifying villain. There are some parts mentioned in the book though that I think wasn’t properly resolved. I don’t know if those little infos will turn into something big or just nothing to think about (which I am intrigued to know about anyway) but hey, there’s a sequel!
The dancing and singing part is enough to draw me in. But add heartbreaking romance and friendship, hate-inducing villains and a roller-coaster ride of emotions and you will surely fall in love with this book. Rouge is the first book by Leigh Talbert Moore I read and with the wonderful way she had written it, I will surely be on a lookout for her other ones. No matter how long or short you might think this review is, there is really only one sentence that could sum up my feelings after I finished reading Rouge: I am impatiently waiting for the next book to come out.