Welcome to Day 10! Have you found a fiery hot read to warm you up, yet? I know that many of you are suffering through snow storm after snow storm...I just have lots of rain and gray skies here in Oregon, perfect for reading. I have more exciting stops and giveaways for you today:
Cambria Hebert@CambriaHebert: Airicka Phoenix
Jenn@Indie Supporter: Lizzy Ford
Beth@ Beth Ann Masarik: Harriet Schultz
Head over and check out these bloggers great giveaways!
Let's see what do I have in store for you today? How about a trip to the theatre in the late 1800's. I am pleased to welcome Leigh Talbert Moore author of Rouge (Volume 1)
Here is Leigh's bio:
Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a freelance editor when time permits, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of any great love story, a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps.
Leigh wanted to share with you all a fiery kissing scene from Rouge (Volume 1):
Fire to Ice Kisses
By Leigh Talbert Moore
I love reading stories that have unexpected twists and turns.
In my latest book, Rouge (Volume 1), I threw in some surprises, both with the suspense and with the romance, and feedback from readers is they love it, too! J
Main character Hale has three great guys in her life. The first is her best friend Roland, who she grew up with and who was her first kiss.
One of my favorite scenes in the book is their one, fire-to-ice kissing scene. I’ve had readers say they fell in love with Roland because of this scene—in spite of it all. And their friendship is one of readers’ favorite parts of the book.
Roland might not be Hale’s primary love interest, but he’s a huge part of the story and her life. And! The good news is he will continue being a big part of the story.
So for your reading pleasure, here’s the short excerpt that’s Hale and Roland’s first kiss~
“Look at me, Hale,” Roland said. My eyes flickered to his, and in the dim blue light, his pale skin and white teeth seemed to glow. “That was a terrible kiss.”
“Oh!” I jerked my chin away.
He laughed and caught me. “And I was going to say we can’t have our leading lady not knowing how to give a proper kiss.”
I stopped struggling and faced him. “You mean…?”
“I mean let me show you how.”
Nervous excitement filled my stomach. He slowly leaned forward, and I looked directly into his black eyes, anticipation flushing my cheeks.
“When you kiss someone,” he whispered, “it should be soft. Like you’re taking the slightest taste of something very sweet.”
With his thumb, he gently pulled my lower lip down and covered my mouth with his. His lips were warm and his breath whispered across my cheek. Everything seemed to stop except my heart, which beat painfully hard.
Then he lifted his head slightly. His eyes held mine as our noses lightly touched. I couldn’t breathe.
“This is the French way,” he said. He slid his hand to my cheek and pushed my lips apart with his. His tongue entered my mouth, and I tasted the cool mints he always chewed to hide the cigarettes. His tongue moved softly against mine, and my knees melted.
I carefully stepped back.
“Well?” he smiled, stepping toward me. “Did you like it?”
I could barely breathe as I nodded yes.
“Now you try,” he said, crossing his arms and turning to the side. “I’ll be an unsuspecting suitor dying of love for you. Now go.”
My heart pounded, but I stepped forward and slipped my hands up to his cheeks. I gently pulled his face to mine, and our eyes locked. A thrill raced all the way to my toes. I closed my eyes and pressed my lips to his, urging his apart and tentatively sliding my tongue across the space.
He embraced me and kissed me back in a way that scorched my mouth. Heat filled my stomach, and for a split second, I thought I might faint.
Then he released me and smiled. “Perfect. That’ll keep the boys coming back for more.”
Thanks for having me here today, Heidi! I hope readers love Rouge!
Wow! Thanks Leigh! Of course, I am sure you are wanting to know about the giveaway, right? Well, Leigh wanted to make sure that everyone could participate today so she is offering a signed copy to one lucky U.S. Resident and for all your International followers and ebook copy of Rouge (Volume 1). Fill out the Rafflecopter and read the Contest Policies. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Rouge (Volume 1) by Leigh T. Moore
Escape from the lies and manipulations, from the nonstop work and constant hunger, 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 go without Teeny, the orphan-girl she rescued from the streets and promised to protect.Freddie Lovel, Hale's wealthy Parisian suitor, is the perfect solution. He says he loves her, he knows nothing of her impoverished background, and he has the potential to sweep her and Teeny far away from their bleak existence in south Louisiana. If only his touch could arouse her interest like Beau's, the poor stagehand who captures her heart. Beau, who makes her laugh and feel safe, who rescues her from more than one close call, and whose blue eyes are like Louisiana iris flowers.Denying her fears, Hale is ready to choose love and a life with Beau, until a predator lurking in their theater-home launches a chain of events that could cost her everything--Teeny, their one hope of escape, and possibly even her life.Kindle Edition, 302 pagesPublished November 10th 2012
Three and a half stars: Visit the cabaret and learn the dark secrets behind the velvet curtains.
Hale hurries to her dressing room after another electrifying performance. She is anxious to remove her heavy headdress. As soon as the showy costume is stripped away, a hesitant knock sounds at her door. She opens the door to find a lavish bouquet of roses. Her wealthy suitor, Freddie, beams behind the flowers. For Hale, the showering of expensive gifts is something foreign to her as she is a poor orphan, forced to live in the theatre. Freddie is unaware of her history, and he is head over heels in love with the show girl. Hale's heart doesn't quicken at the thought of Freddie, but she has a plan to let him woo her and marry her so she can escape the theatre with Teeny, the twelve year old orphan in her care. Life is tough for a penniless orphan and Hale refuses to accept the harsh realities that await a girl of her position. She will find away to prevent Teeny or herself from becoming the hidden ladies of the theatre. The theatre has another show hidden behind the curtains, a dark show of desire and lust. Hale doesn't know that there is something even worse than the illicit activities at night, there is a hideous man, lurking, waiting to get whatever he wants....Can Hale save herself and Teeny from the darkness of the theatre?
What I Liked:
- Rouge is somewhat reminiscent of Moulin Rouge. There is a poor talented girl who performs nightly in the theatre, hoping that a wealthy man will come along and save her from a dire fate, but what she doesn't expect is to lose her heart to a man who lacks wealth. It is a dangerous dance of desire and desperation as Hale attempts to find a way out of her plight, even if that means going against her heart's desires. There are even some throwbacks to the movie sprinkled into the story.
- I enjoyed the setting of the theatre. This book takes place in the 1890's, a time when the Southern States are still reeling from the War and Reconstruction. It is a desperate time, especially for women left orphaned and penniless. Without a man, family or wealth, opportunities are bleak. Many are forced into the dark dance of prostitution to make ends meet. The theatre hides the lust and desperation of these women.
- I enjoyed the romance, even though it didn't play out to my heart's desire. It is a forbidden romance, a girl forced to choose between what is right for her future and her heart's deepest desire. Will Hale pick the suitor who can offer a safe and comfortable life, despite the fact that he doesn't set her heart afire, or will she choose the handsome stage hand, who risked his left to save her and eventually earned her heart? It does sound like a love triangle... but in reality it isn't one because Hale only really has feelings for one man. It is certainly a difficult choice. What would you do? Marry for love or security?
- I admired Hale. She is a young lady who has many heavy burdens, but she doesn't shirk them, instead she fights to secure a better future for Teeny. She is particularly selfless when it comes to protecting the young orphan, even going so far as to put herself into some danger situations to ensure Teeny's safety. Time and time again, she puts Teeny's needs ahead of her own. I liked how tenacious she was and determined to save Teeny from an ill fate.
- Roland was probably my favorite character. He is Hale's long time friend, and he has his own secrets. I loved the way he protected and looked out for the girls in the theatre, trying to keep them safe from the darkness. I was especially sad when I learned of his past and my heart went out to him.
And The Not So Much:
- For me, the sticking point of this story was that I did not like Teeny. Hale is willing to sacrifice everything for this twelve year old orphan and I just didn't feel like Teeny was worth it, as terrible as that sounds. Teeny is a precocious twelve year old going on thirteen who has some fanciful notions of love. Due to her impetuous nature and day dreaming ideas, she ends up putting herself in harms way. Part of the blame falls on Hale for letting her remain so naive. At thirteen, she should have been clued into the ways of the world and privy to the dark secrets of the theatre, instead of being allowed to run amuck. Hale sacrifices so much for Teeny, even pawning off her prized possessions to purchase shoes for Teeny, but at no time does Teeny even acknowledge Hale's efforts, I don't even think she says thank you. I guess I was expecting her to be more endearing, and she just wasn't for me, and I had a hard time accepting Hale's decision to save Teeny.
- Hale's mother died while Hale was young and she knows nothing of her African American father. Throughout the book, there are hints and details that indicate some sort of sordid past that involved Hale's parents. I was expecting more revelation on this angle, but is just doesn't happen. What happened with Hale's parents? What kind of man was Hale's father? Why did he leave?
- Guy, the villain, is indeed a despicable character but he lacked development. I wanted to know more about him and his past. I needed details as to the type of life he lived and how he managed to keep his brother under his thumb and continue with his despicable behavior.
Whisk away to the cabaret...enjoy the glitter and glamour but steer clear of the darkened rooms after the shows. Can the star of the show find a way to secure her future and follow her heart's desire, or will she be forced to give up on love? Pick up Rouge and find out!
"You're a survivor. You did what you had to do to protect yourself and the ones you love from a monster. A predator."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
See you back tomorrow for The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff