Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rouge by Leigh Talbert Moore



From Goodreads:

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.

I must say, I went into this book with some unfair expectations. I mean, Leigh is a friend of mine, and I know she's a talented writer, but let's just say a historical romance about a cabaret singer is not the type of novel I generally pick up, or would want to be seen reading by my co-workers.

But I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, there's plenty of kissing and deep sighing, but there is also intrigue, violence, corruption, and even murder.

Moore's portrayal of Reconstruction Era New Orleans is vibrant and detailed, and you can feel the city teeming with life and culture, even as Rouge's characters flee from it. Then there's the theater, the actors, the dancers, the singers, and yes - the stagehands. I've never lived in a theater the way Hale and her companions do, but I did used to be a stagehand in a former life, and the way Leigh portrays the camaraderie of life in the theater, and how well she understands the magic of the show must go on is clearly evident in this tale.

Anyway, I don't want to give too much away, but I will just briefly add that what really sold me on this novel was the ending. It was bittersweet, certainly, but it was honest, and I loved that the author had the courage not to take the easy way out.

I look forward to reading more from Leigh Talbert Moore, and would recommend this book to anyone, but especially any reader interested in the nefarious ways of the denizens of a historical Big Easy.

35 comments:

  1. Deep sighing - nice way to put it!
    Sometimes books outside our genre surprise us.

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  2. It was a great book! I read it before it was published. Has is changed much since then, do you know?

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    1. I don't, Jess! But we can certainly ask Leigh.

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  3. Great review, Matt!!! I have the book but haven't read it yet. Now I know I'll have to.

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  4. Nice! I LOVE Leigh's books and I'm sure I would like this one too, even before I read your review. Just not enough time in the day!!

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  5. Aww... and YAY! I'm so happy you liked it! That book was such a labor of love for me. It makes me so happy when people read it and get it. Thanks, Matt! *deep sigh*~ (LOL!) :D <3

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  6. I loved ROUGE! It was so different from what I normally read, but had that historical aspect I thirst for.

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  7. Oh man, I have this downloaded and started it and loved it, and then had to set it aside to take care of some important things, and still haven't been able to finish it. But making it a priority. The vibrant setting alone sucked me in. Looking forward to finishing it. Great review!

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    1. You'll be in for some enjoyment, because the story just gets better and better as it builds.

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  8. Wow, great review, Matt! I tend to read outside my genre for my friends and family only, but occasionally a stellar Afterglow review prods me to shake things up, too. The description here is very compelling. Thanks for sharing the recommendation!

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    1. You're welcome! And I'm the same. I rarely read stuff that's not right up my alley, but I do it if I know the writer, and want to see how they crafted their story.

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  9. Nice review Matthew (kissing and sighing--HA). I already have this on my Kindle to read sometime soon.

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  10. I hadn't heard of this one! Glad you enjoyed it even though it was a "kissing books." :-)

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  11. Your review 'sold me'. This is not a normal read for me, but your descriptions have me intrigued.

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  12. This isn't something I would normally read, but it sounds interesting, so I might have to give it a shot!

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    1. That was exactly how I felt, but I really liked it.

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  13. I think that a novel featuring a cabaret singer would be really out of my element. Maybe I should read it.

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    1. It was out of my element, for sure, but in a good way.

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  14. Terrific review, Matt.


    I do have this book on my TBR list, so I look forward to reading it.

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  15. That's the key, then. Having enough of the other for you to be willing to read something you don't want others to know you read. =D

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    1. Well, I read it on Kindle, so there was that. :)

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  16. I'm also not much for romance novels, but i have to say, the sound of this one has me intrigued

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  17. I turn my nose up at certain genres, mostly ones I read a lot of in the past and have had enough of. But I try to stay open to books in any genre which offer something fresh and honest or break through genre barriers.
    Beyond Acadia
    Jan at website

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  18. You've certainly made the book sound intriguing, Matthew!

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  19. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, too. Shame on me, I haven't put a review up on Amazon yet, but I will. But I must say, I wasn't happy with the ending. It left me wanting more, and you KNOW there's a lot more of the story to tell. (Can't wait until the sequel is launched.)

    Nice review, Matt. And good for you for stepping outside your comfort zone to read a book outside the genres you usually read. Good writing is good writing.

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