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.