Welcome to my stop on the Rouge Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound. Click HERE to check out the full blog tour schedule!
by Leigh T. Moore
Release Date: November 27th 2012
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.
Transporting readers back to the 19th Century, we are exposed to a world where only the rich and white citizens will survive, while the poor, the ones with nothing, must do anything and everything to ensure their own survival. Rouge is a dark and edgy historical romance, ominous and thought-provoking, and at its core it prompts the readers to choose between love or survival.
I very much admired our main character Hale. Orphaned at a young age, she was brought up by the theatre her mother worked at and her constant companion, the person she cares about most in the world is Teeny, an orphan she picked up off the streets several years ago. Her constant selflessness, while aggravating at times-especially when it came to her own happiness- was also really admirable. Everything she does, she would first think of the consequences it would have on Teeny. They're not blood-related in any way, and she has no obligation to take care of her, but she's willing to risk her life and soul to protect the little girl. And yet, sometimes it was so frustrating that she never thought for herself or anyone else other than Teeny; the fact that she was willing to hurt multiple people just to save Teeny didn't sit well with me.
There is a love triangle in this book but it plays a major role in driving the story forward so I guess...I wasn't too annoyed by it. On one hand we have Freddie who is rich and can take care of Hale and Teeny forever. They'll never have to suffer and be forced to...well...become 'prostitutes' at the theatre when they come of age. Then we also have, Beau, the new stage hand at the theatre who Hale has fallen deeply in love with. But he's poor, and won't have the money nor the necessities to take Hale and Teeny away from the theatre. Hale must therefore choose between love and survival.
I initially loved Beau (my feelings changed slightly after he did something unforgiveable...or at least it was unforgivable to me) ; he was so kind and considerate, and so selfless when it came to protecting Hale. Their relationship may have progressed a little rapidly, but there was so much chemistry between the two. I was rooting for the two throughout the majority of the book, but every now and then, I did try to put myself in Hale's shoes and I guess...I did understand why she was so reluctant to continue seeing Beau. At times I also despised Hale for being so hostile to Beau, accusing him being penniless and lying about making promises to her when he lost his job; she was constantly saying "You can't take care of us - you have no money. Stop making promises" (something along those lines). While I understood her feelings, what came out of her mouth was really...despicable in my opinion.
I know many people who cry at the ending...it certainly was heart-breaking. But for me? Well...Beau did something that I couldn't forgive and I guess from then on, my feelings towards the two changed. I still liked them, but...I didn't care that much about them anymore. There was also too much kissing for my liking. Remember in Twilight/Eclipse when Edward and Bella would kiss like every 2 seconds, and each time, it was described almost the same way? Well...that's what it felt like here. Beau and Hale would kiss and touch at every possible moment and readers must put up with it. I don't know...it just felt really annoying and tedious after a while.