The Mannequin

tmA Victorian Romance #1

Suzanne G. Rogers

Idunn Court Publishing, 2015

Kindle ed, 226 pages, also in paperback

Genre(s) Historical Romance

Source Author’s rep

Other books in this series: Grace Unmasked #2

Synopsis:

When she was a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund saved the Duke of Swanhaven from the brink of despair…only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?

About the Author:

Originally a California native, Suzanne G. Rogers now lives with her husband and son in romantic Savannah, Georgia, on an island populated by deer, exotic birds, turtles, and the occasional gator. She’s owned by two Sphynx cats, Houdini and Nikita. Movies, books, and writing blush-free young adult fiction are her passions.

For her historical romance blog, go to http://suzannegrogers.com/

For her fantasy blog, go to https://childofyden.wordpress.com/

My Disclaimer:

I was provided a free copy of this book by the author’s representative. I am providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review: ✭✭✭

This is supposed to be another fairy tale re-tale. This time of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty is a young woman named Rosamund Ashfield, who has been so kindly taken in by her Aunt Lucretia’s family…and don’t you forget it, girl! The beast is by default, Aubrey Whittingham, Duke of Swanhaven, a man who has lost his parents and beloved sister and withdrawn from life to the point of ill health.

Rosamund is ever so helpful to everyone. She doesn’t see bad in anyone unless it’s forced on her. For all her efforts, she gets the short end of the stick more often than not. Her cousins use her as the butt of their jokes. Her aunt holds her in contempt and can’t seem to say anything nice about her at all. Very few people know her circumstances, and there is no one to look out for her.

Things change some for Rosamund once she befriends the Duchess, Aubrey’s grandmother. The Duchess asks Rosamund to help with her grandson. Initially, he absolutely can’t stand having her around and yells at her to go away and leave him alone. She’s been living with her cousins and Aunt Lucretia, so no sick little Duke is going to intimidate her! And she tells him so. Instead of polite conversation, they have arguments and trade insults back and forth. Their conversations are quite amusing at times as they go at it, attempting to insult each other. Invariably, of course, the worst wounding is done when it isn’t meant. Rosamund actually has some very tender feelings and Aubrey is always wounding her with his careless comments.

Eventually, they reach a sort of teasing equilibrium in their relationship. And then they are off to London, the Duchess and Rosamund, at least. But not before Aubrey says a few things that put a sparkle into Rosamund’s eyes and heat into her cheeks. But she has to face her grandfather before she sees the Duke again. And her grandfather wants nothing to do with her. He disowned her mother when she married beneath her and had her baby. He’s in no mood to be forgiving to the next generation.

Enough storytelling! What you want to know is whether the story is worth reading. Well, yes. I wouldn’t rush right out and buy it, but, yes, it is worth reading. Though it is a bit skimpy. Seems more like a play than a book to me. Aubrey and Rosamund are always walking out of the room or storming off on each other or leaving a note and disappearing. Exit stage left.

I thoroughly enjoyed the early conversations and verbal dueling between Aubrey and Rosamund. These were really well written and revealed so much about the two characters. The Duchess was rather delightful, too. She set her plan in motion and then sat back and let it work, no micromanaging. When major plan changes were called for, she didn’t hesitate to implement them. Aunt Lucretia and her two daughters were just as awful as possible and still be accepted into a drawing room. And I haven’t mentioned a thing about a mannequin. And I’m not going to. I leave that for you to discover when you read the book.

I have the second book, so I’m going to fit it into my reading time and see how the next one goes. Ms. Rogers has twelve books listed on Amazon with beautiful covers and very good ratings. Perhaps I need to read more of her work to really see her worth. Try this one, which is definitely worth reading and see if you add a new author to your list.

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