Emperors of London, #1
If Connie loses her standing in society, she risks losing everything…except Alex.
When country widow Connstance Rattigan finds herself in a notorious London brothel instead of at the altar, only one person can save her from the auction block. Alex Vernon walked away from Connie once before, when he discovered her engagement. Now that her fiancé has betrayed her, Lord Ripley doesn’t intend to leave her again. But Connie has other ideas… She won’t marry him until her name is cleared.
Alex decides to make Connie’s wishes come true, but it’s not that easy, even with the help of his powerful relatives known as the Emperors of London.
I’m finding at the moment I’m really enjoying books set in the Georgian era. Maybe it’s because only the more adventurous authors are game to try a slightly earlier time period, which leaves the fluff writers with the more popular Regency.
I had no idea what I was going to get out of Rogue in Red Velvet. This is a new-to-me author, and honestly, I requested it for two reasons: #1 because I ran out of historical books to read and #2 because the blurb didn’t promise the kind of silly antics that drive me crazy in this genre.
Turns out I really enjoyed it. I found the exploration of all the differences of the era fascinating, and I loved the glimpses we were given of Georgian London that took us through all the social classes.
It’s a much better book than the trashy cover wants you to think.
There were some problems. I thought there were some steamy situations that were thrown in just because it’s what publishers demand rather than because they were necessary, and I thought the ending wasn’t wrapped up very tightly. Also, some of the sentences were a bit… off… with commas in odd places and run-on explanations. However, the beauty of a British author is that they can actually write in British English!
The conflict at the beginning of this book had me wondering how it could be resolved. The heroine is compromised in the worst way imaginable, and I had no idea how she could be “redeemed” in the eyes of society. I bought the way it was done, however.
I also loved that the characters were both grown-up and intelligent, and I loved that their actions weren’t all romance-novel-y and silly.
But I think my favourite thing was the exploration of Georgian London and discovering it through the heroine’s eyes. I also thought it was kind of cool the villain lived on the same square I used to live on!
The author is clearly a lover of Georgian fashion, and because I grew up with a wardrobe mistress for a mother, I really loved the detail about the clothes. Readers of Regency books might be a little turned off by some of the hair and makeup fashions of the time (they’re VERY different), but I liked the change.
Rogue in Red Velvet wasn’t a perfect book, but it’s definitely the kind of book I love to read when I pick up a historical romance.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.