Rouge (Cheveux Roux #1)
by Leigh Talbert Moore
Published November 11th 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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
My initial reaction after finishing the book:
F@*# NO! You can’t end it that way!!!!!!!!!! I am going to be angry about this until the next book comes out to change my mind! Seriously. I keep hoping for an epilogue, flipping through the acknowledgements, and about the author. Maybe there’s another page tucked in at the back somehow?? Please??? I might cry myself to sleep tonight…
I may not have cried myself to sleep over it, but the feeling of unease has lingered in me for days since finishing it. I am so. not. happy. This is my sad face ——-> 🙁
Believe it or not, my discontentment is a good thing. It means that I cared enough about the characters to actually give a damn what happened to them. I was invested. 100% The leading lady is Hale Ferrer. Gorgeous, kind, and unfailingly loyal. And it doesn’t hurt that she can sing. Being a singer is what keeps Hale safe from living on the streets of New Orleans. It is also what lures Freddie to her. He is generous and handsome, and unbelievably rich. His affection (and money) can carry Hale far away from her life, where she is often hungry and afraid. But when Beau steps into the picture, her plans don’t seem so settled.
Right now you’re probably rolling your eyes. *sigh* Another love triangle? But no. This is not your typical triangle, and I respect it for what it is. A reluctant agreement. Will Hale choose love or freedom? Because she isn’t sure she can have both.
Which brings me to Teeny. Hale is insistent that no matter where she goes, she’s taking Christina, Teeny, with her. Hale found this six year old girl, starving, and begged to keep her. Now that she’s 12, she needs to start earning her keep. Teeny is an awkward character to me. She isn’t quite observant enough to see how hard everyone is working to keep her safe. She doesn’t see how expensive it is to keep her fed and clothed. She seems too excited for a new pair of shoes at the cost of Hale’s beloved family heirlooms. Just not appreciative enough. But then again, she’s 12. Maybe she’s just your typical pre-teen, wrapped up in her own little egocentric world.
This book has a distinct Moulin Rouge feel to it. The costumes, singing and dancing up on the stage. Sequins and frills and corsets. Oh my! And while we aren’t given an exact year for the setting, we are given some distinct historical references. It’s not an over used setting, which I loved. It’s unique, gritty and fierce. The writing gives us just enough detail to use with our imagination, without being overly graphic.
Overall, I loved it. Except the ending. I hate the ending… in an awesome way.
Dammit, I need the next book.
A copy of this book was provided by Netgalley.