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.
Published: November 11, 2012
Review Edition: Kindle
Yet another fine example of why I love Indie writers SO much! They are seriously underestimated so often that wonderful books like this often get overlooked. Well let me tell you I stand up and say no more! When I read The Truth About Faking by Leigh I couldn't believe that this wasn't a book that more people had raved about. When I was asked if I was interested in reading Rouge a NA novel I was super excited. I mean YAY!! NA (New Adult for those of you that haven't heard of this wonderful genre) is something I have really come to love and the description for this had me almost instantly in love! 1890's... Yes please!
I kind of picture Rouge like Moulin Rouge. Well the theater part and Hale. I mean she is the undeniable star and the truly desired one. The biggest difference lies in the background of Hale and why she so badly wants to escape. It's not for herself but a younger girl that she saved when she was young. Where she lives shows a professional front but has a not so professional back. Well I guess it's professional in its own way. When you hit a certain age and have the looks you are expected to pull your own. That means "working" in the back and not on the stage. Hale has a free pass but Teeny doesn't, so Hale does what is best for not herself but the welfare of the girl she helped save and continues to care for.
Hale is such a passionate and easy character to read. She loves fiercely but mostly when it comes to Teeny. She would sacrifice everything to keep her safe, even if that means giving up her own happiness. It was almost like at times she wanted to deny herself the happiness but then she would open up and let it all in. This did annoy me at times but for the most part I just found her dedication to the young girl endearing. Hale had many traits like that, things that you could love about her. Though some may not enjoy it I liked her virgin innocence. She knew what she had and knew that just one wrong move could take that away at a time not of her choosing. Hale was practical but almost unpractical at the same time. She reasoned everything out in her life as to what she had to do but almost never what she wanted.
The secondary characters were so unique and individual. It was like even the smallest character in this novel had a face and a voice. I really enjoyed this. It's not like every writer can do this. There are always secondary's and often we remember who they are but beyond that nothing. Not going to lie sometimes I find that I have to go back a little and figure out who the heck a person is. But Leigh did such a wonderful job that I didn't have to do that even once. They ranged from friends to enemies, those that loved the life to those that dreamed of more and the ones that knew more.
The romance was oh so wonderful. It was true and passionate. Though things happened a little fast it's understandable. When you have a plan and that plan involves marrying a rich man to help the young girl you have sworn to protect, falling in love with a stage hand isn't exactly smart. But the heart wants what the heart wants right? It's really hard to say who I liked more between Beau and Freddie. Everything with Beau seemed like passion, a fire burning deep within but I think at times I found him shallow. He was all "love above everyone" but with that being said Hale loved Teeny and wouldn't put herself before her. With Freddy it was gentle, caring and slow. However the problem here remains to be the lies and the fact that Hale doesn't seem to love him back. See my problem?
I can not wait for the next book in this series. Yes it is a series and I am ever so grateful for that. The ending of this one pulled at my heart and had me begging that this not be the end. I was then informed that it is a series, thank goodness. Leigh Talbert Moore is a wonderful and talented new writer that completely captivated me with this one. If you like New Adult give this one a shot and find out for yourself why this book is so amazing. I mean I told you why I loved it but there is so much more that I can't put in words.