Aubrey Whittingham lost everything when his family drowned in a ferryboat accident, including the will to live. His neighbor Rosamund tries desperately to bring him back from the brink of despair, but the beastly young duke fights her every step of the way. His feelings for her deepen, and when she departs for London, he vows to regain his health and woo her properly. Unfortunately, she disappears before he has the chance.
Rosamund is admired and praised as a mannequin for an exclusive London modiste, but her life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Now, just when happiness seems within her grasp, jealous rivals conspire to ruin her dreams.
Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever achieve a fairytale ending?
Yet another book for the "marshmallows are less fluffy" shelf.
It's Kindle freebie romance time again. This is a Victorian era novel with some cute echoes of both Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Rosamund is the lovely, poor orphan living with her aunt and uncle and three young lady cousins and forced to serve them. One of her cousins is mostly kind but the other two are catty beyond belief, and her aunt and uncle are less than helpful. There's also an incredibly handsome servant, Joseph, the coachman's son, who's in love with Rosamund, though at least for now she's firmly friend-zoned him.
When her aunt's family heads to London for the Season, Rosamund, left to fend for herself, takes a job for a neighboring dowager duchess, acting as a companion to her grandson the duke, a young man in his early twenties who lost his parents and only sister in a tragic boating accident and has lost the will to live. When Rosamund meets Aubrey Whittingham, he looks like a mountain man: unwashed, scraggly beard, taciturn, and wasting away. She gradually manages to pry him out of his shell and both Aubrey and his grandmother start to make plans for her -- after all, she's the granddaughter of a viscount, even though he disinherited her mother for marrying out of her class. Complications ensue, of course, but Rosamund somehow lands on her feet in London, acting as a living mannequin for a dressmaker and invited to various high society events to show off the modiste's latest fashions. Will Aubrey still want her when he finds out she's a mannequin? Or will Joe win her heart?
People, I'm a little torn with this one. I'm by no means a stickler for absolute historical accuracy, but the plot of this novel is contrived and unlikely beyond belief. Joe the servant manages to get engaged to a high society young lady, a rakish baron agrees for no discernable reason to escort Rosamund to all the London balls and events, characters sometimes act entirely out of character just to move the plot along in a certain direction, the dialogue is at times truly eyeroll worthy, everyone seems to disregard the social rules of the time ... I could go on.
And yet. It gave me warm fuzzies and made me smile a few times. (And the grammar and spelling were unexceptionable, which is one area where shortcomings are guaranteed to make me scowl and knock off stars.)
So as literature this is probably a 2-star book, but I'm going to give it 2 1/2 romance stars, rounding up to 3, even though it's a frothy, kind of silly story. It's sweet and totally clean (other than some discussions of kept women and men who sleep around). I'd recommend this only to my romance-loving friends who want a handsome hero, a lovely sweet heroine, a few smiles and a HEA, and aren't inclined to be critical. If that's all you're looking for, this is a cute, heartwarming story.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
I’m not sure why I picked this one up. I probably was looking through a list of Historical Romances and this one popped up.
This is a wholesome book. I didn’t realize it until I was 70% into the read and there was nothing, no steam, no sex, not even a kiss, but only mild flirtation. Which is kind of odd. The only books I read with no steam or YA book and this one is not a YA book. So with that said… even though the first 50% of the book was decent, the romance was very lacking.
The first 50% of the book was really good. It was a 4-5 star read. I found the storyline very adorable. There’s the poor servant girl working for her Uncle/ Aunt, kind of has the Cinderella vibe and she is getting older and needs a paying job.
She takes a job as being a Duke’s friend. No, don’t think anything dirty. The Duke is kind of going insane after witnessing his family’s death and she is there to help him feel better.
The first part of the book is where they interact and become friends. I love this. I found it so cute and I didn’t even realize the book had no steam!
Then the second half of the book comes and the storyline falls flat and there’s so much filler you become full on all of the no-added value storyline.
Between the 50-70% mark there is no interaction between the main characters and I am wondering how this book is even considered a romance. The cover is very serious and kind of risqué, but there is nothing risqué about this novel.
I struggled with the last half and I found myself skimming the last 20% trying to get to my happy ending and when I get there, I realize there is no anti-climatic anything. Not even a kiss!
Suffice it to say this book was not for me. I was not the target audience for this one. I need romance. I need the main characters to actually interact throughout the whole book (crazy concept I know).
That was a lovely read! It's been a while since I've read a simply pleasurable book. If you like Cinderella, the Prince and the Pauper, Beauty and the Beast, and/or Great Expectations, then you should pick this up! Now here's the thing. I DESPISED Great Expectations. But this is like a touch of a much better Great Expectations. So no worries in that department!
I adore Rosamund! She is so kind, humble, and strong! I love her best when she is with Aubrey, the Duke of Swanhaven and also our love interest. *winks* The Duke's family drowned, so he basically stopped caring about life itself and began withering away. Worried, his grandmother, the Dowager Duchess called for Rosamund (indirectly) to help get him out of his phase.
So Rosamund goes to work with the Duke, whose name is Aubrey, while her family goes to London to get their three daughters married.
Fun fact: they aren't her direct family! Rosamund is an orphan, so she lives with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins. They pretty much treat her like a servant. Her cousins' names are Beulah (ew), Fanny (ew), and Vivian. Vivian is the only somewhat nice one. At first she's only nice to Rosamund because she has a crush on her friend Joe, but after that she does become one of Rosamund's biggest supporters.
There was also this whole fiasco about Rosamund being an illegitimate child and working for a modiste to pay off her expenses...etc, But she wasn't actually an illegitimate child so that was all okay!
Back to Aubrey: It takes a while, but Rosamund begins to successfully coax him out of his metaphorical shell. Actually he did stay in the same room with the blind and windows shut and everything, no showers, hardly eating or drinking (you get the idea.....gross).....so maybe that shell isnt't so metaphorical...... As his strength grows and he reenters the world of the living (metaphorically), his feeling for Rosamund also grow.
Can we talk about Rosamund's treatment of Aubrey for a second?? HORRIBLE! She was so mean! But that was the best part!!! She did it on purpose to annoy him to get a reaction. It was hilarious and it worked!!
"How appalling! Do you stay up late at night, devising new cruelties with which to torture me?"
One of my main criticisms, is that there could have been some more physical characterization for some of the characters, including Rosamund's family. Also S.G. Rogers did a fabulous job building the relationships and building up to the romance, however once that peak was reached, the romance kind of.........fell flat. Like it wasn't really romantic. I felt like they skipped a step. They went directly from friends-ish/they can't wait to get rid of each other (with obvious underlying feelings) to serious flirting. The jump was weird.
My final criticism concerns the ending. I feel that it could have been significantly embellished. It was rather abrupt. It almost stopped in the middle of the scene. Other things were progressing, but the book ended the second that Rosamund and Aubrey officially became a couple. What about the rest of the questions that were left unanswered?
However, other than those picky details, it was so cute! I flew through this. Also.......the cover bro!! It beautiful :D I would definitely recommend this book so anyone! Even if you're iffy about any romance, do not worry, because there isn't that much romance. It's really about the build-up to the romance.
P.S. I was graciously provided with a free copy of The Mannequin from InspiredKathy in exchange for an honest review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
For those that know me it is no secret that I LOVE historical romance books, and S.G. Rogers has written an amazing story with The Mannequin. This story pulls some of my favorite parts from fairy tales like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and then Rogers puts her own spin on them. Rosamund is a poor relation to the Gribbles. Granddaughter of a Viscount, who shunned his daughter for marrying below her station, Rosamund is forced to be a servant in her aunt and uncles house. There she meets and befriends the coachman's son Joe. On the eve of the Gribbles leaving for London Joe confesses his feelings go deeper than just friendship but Rosamund is not sure if she feels the same. When the Gribbles decide to take their daughters and go to London for the season her uncle takes it upon himself to ask the vicar about a job for Rosamund to help her earn her keep while they are gone for the season. To her surprise the vicar has a job for her as a companion to the Duke of Swanhaven. Rosamund is told by the vicar to guard her heart against the duke because of his beastly manner. Aubrey (the duke) has lost most of his family to a ferry accident and he is not coping well. He has completely locked himself away from light and life. To his dismay his grandmother has hired a woman to help him and he is fighting her tooth and nail. Her persistence in seeing him to good health, however, may finally be getting thru his darkness. The duchess decides that Rosamund should enjoy the season and whisks her off to London, but will the separation end whatever love may be blooming between Rosamund and Aubrey or has Rosamund figured what her heart says about Joe? What secrets will be unearthed once Rosamund meets her grandfather for the first time? Will love be able to overcome all? This story had me laughing, crying, and feeling everything in between. S.G. Rogers has once again written an amazing story with characters you fall in love with. A few loose ends so I am hoping for a sequel :D
One of my big loves is a good interpretation of a beloved fairy tale, but when two are added? It's great! The Mannequin is a brilliant historical story that weaves a breath of Cinderella with a healthy dose of Beauty and the Beast, mixing in some historical facts that I'd never heard of before and leaves the reader feeling dazed and mostly satisfied. I say "mostly satisfied" because I would have loved an epilogue or one more chapter to wrap things up more firmly.
Rosamund doesn't realize her worth or beauty, due to the fact of being raised by her aunt and uncle when her parents die. She is treated more like a servant, than a member of the family. When the family leaves for a season in London, Rosamund is left behind and gets a position as a companion to Aubrey, a man who has lost everything and needs to be brought back to life. He's beastly, grouchy, and temperamental, but Rosamund is determined to help him. Romantic feelings begin to develop, but after Rosamund goes to London herself, a family secret is revealed which causes her to abandon everything and make her own way in life.
This is the interesting discovery that I made: Rosamund becomes a mannequin for a trendy dressmaker. I always thought mannequins were those kind of creepy models in stores, used to display clothing, but it's true--back in history, a mannequin was often a young girl, who wore the clothing around and used as advertising for a modiste (or dressmaker). I was fascinated by that and by the clothing descriptions.
I wasn't sure how things were going to work out, as there was a bit of a love triangle (or two) going on, but I loved trying to figure it out. This book has great characters and the writing style is very engaging. I enjoyed it very much and will definitely be checking this author out.
Content: no language; mild violence (a fight); mild romance (kissing, implied and vague innuendo). Clean!
*I received a copy through ebooksforreview.com in exchange for an honest review*
Wow! Readers, this clean Victorian era romance was as magnifique a story on the page as that beautiful cover.
I always enjoy the borrowing from a fairytale or fable by an author and creating something fresh. I enjoyed both the “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast” like plot elements in this one. I have seen this done before in Georgian, Regency, and Victorian eras romances before, but S.G. Rogers does it better.
Her Victorian era Cinderella/Beauty and Prince (Duke)/Beast are more likeable, heroic, and believable characters than many of the others in the aforementioned prior works. Unlike those heroes in similar plot devices, Aubrey Whitingham, Duke of Swanhaven is NOT the Beast because he is a cruel, arrogant, vain, controlling, ill-tempered, or a misogynistic rake to be cured of his weak character pathologies by the love of the right Beauty. This hero instead was the Beast, because he has lost his will to live due to an incredible deadly tragedy that has a twist that would further shatter anyone’s psyche. His deep psychological dark despair has caused him to neglect himself to near death which has physically altered his appearance to a shocking level and pulled him away from human interaction. I liked that though the heroine Rosamund has had a hard life that she is still kind to others and finds it rewarding to help others just for the act of charitable service itself.
There were so many other things I liked. The romance was slow and realistic in development, which made the love between the two deep and without artifice. And yes, thank-you these two didn't suffer from what I call the “too stupid to be together syndrome”. The forces instead separating the hero and heroine in the second half of the novel were instead the problematic sociological ills and aspects of the British Victorian culture. Among them the strict endogamy of socializing and marrying within your own caste. There of course were the Cinderella like step-mother (aunt) and step-sisters (cousins) villains working against this couple as well. I enjoyed the time Rosamund spent in the occupation of being a “mannequin” and it reminded me of the contemporary equivalent of today’s stars who wear fashion given to them by designers to wear to big social events to promote advertising for these designers.
Sensuality content: Clean. A few sweet kisses.
Source: Review copy in exchange for my 100% honest opinion.
This book had elements of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, and took place in 1833 England. And there was a Duke. It felt like all my favorite things rolled up into one book!
After the death of her parents when she was 11 years old, Rosamund Ashfield went to live with her aunt and uncle and their wicked daughters who all treat her like a servant. Her friendship with the coachman's son Joe Fiddick sustains her through those hard years.
When her aunt and uncle take their daughters to London they tell Rosamund she needs to start working. And that is when she meets the Dowager Duchess of Swanhaven, who hires her as a companion for her grandson, Aubrey. Aubrey has recently lost his entire family and has inherited the Dukedom. He is becoming more and more depressed and no one can reach him. I loved how Rosamund described her work with the Duke while her cousins were attending parties in London: "Although she was doubtful her daily routine approached the excitement her cousins were experiencing in town, she was absolutely certain her life was more rewarding."
When the Duchess takes a particular interest in Rosamund and takes her with her to London to present her, her jealous relatives conspire to ruin it all for her. Forced to find work again, this time she finds work as a mannequin (which was an interesting occupation to read about in 1833 England).
Content: Clean Source: Review copy (opinion is 100% my own)
A story of a woman who shines beauty inside and out. If we all could take what we are given and unselfishly give to others as this character does the world would be a much better place. I loved this story and all its twists and turns. Love founded of healing and forgiveness is probably the strongest of all. I wish to read more novels by this author, I was very impressed by the character development and loved the story line. Definatley worth the read
This was one of the most charming historical romances I’ve read in a long time. With elements of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, it was just fun and adorable with great characters, no Big Misunderstanding and no cringe-inducing sex scenes.
I liked this so much I just bought the second one in the series.
"The Mannequin" by S.G. Rogers is a delightful Victorian romance novel for young adults, loosely based on several fairy tales. The story itself is unique.
Rosamund is an orphaned poor relation living with her maternal aunt's family. Although she is the granddaughter of a Viscount as well, she is treated as an extra member of the household staff, rather than as a family member. Rosamund is left behind on the family estate when the others leave for the London Season. Her uncle arranges with the local vicar for Rosamund to "earn her keep" while the family and all their servants are in town.
But after the family leaves, Rosamund learns from the vicar that she is wanted at the home of the dowager Duchess of Swanhaven as a companion to her son the Duke. The duke is deeply depressed after the loss of his family in a disaster at sea. Slowly, she begins to bring the Duke of Swanhaven out from the depths of his despair. The Duchess decides to take Rosamund to London for the remainder of the Season, calling in the most fashionable modiste to create a suitable wardrobe for high society functions.
However, when the Duchess takes Rosamund to call on the girl's grandfather, the Viscount refuses to acknowledge Rosamund's relationship to him. Embarrassed to no end, Rosamund leaves the Duchess's London home to make her way own her own.
After failing to find work, Rosamund reports to the fashion designer that she is unable to pay for the clothing that has been specifically designed for her, since her grandfather has refused to support her. Rosamund asks the modiste how she can settle her debt for the apparel the Duchess has ordered for her. Astonished at the cost of the clothes, Rosamund is enlisted to become a mannequin, or model, for the designer's shop.
As a mannequin, Rosamund is renamed Miss Belle, and is escorted on the town by a fashionable gentleman, who introduces her to all the finest of society and takes her to spectacular London events. Her job is to show off the beautiful styles designed expressly for her, and generate sales for the modiste. A portion of her sales go to towards paying off her debt to the woman.
But of course, she runs into her family in the city, who seek to destroy her reputation and any chance at romance.
Will Rosamund be able to find a way to support herself? Is a good marriage a possibility without the social connections needed to make a good match? All is revealed in the marvelous novel "The Mannequin" by S.G. Rogers. Enjoy!
Rosamund Ashfield lives in the country with her aunt’s family, the Gribbles, and she isn’t treated any better than the servants that run the household. She is reminded on a daily basis by her vindictive cousins how useless, ugly and simple she is. Rosamund never lets the spiteful words drag her down; she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. With the upcoming season in London coming up, she will be left on her own as the family will leave her behind to make their debut. However, her “caring” aunt and uncle have set up a meeting with the local vicar to help her earn her keep while they are away. The vicar has arranged for Rosamund to help a young man who has fallen into complete despair after the tragic accident on a fairy that left his parents and younger sister dead. The gentleman just happens to be the Duke of Swanhaven. The Duke and his grandma are unprepared to fall in love with this beautiful and sweet angel that has saved their family, and want to introduce her to their friends in London, but society has plotted against Rosamund and she is about to lose everything that she holds dear. The only way to save herself and to make a life in London is to become the newest Mannequin, wearing the most beautiful gowns for all of London to see as a walking advertisement for Madame Paget. In a new twist, the author weaves a beautiful tale that combines my favorite fairy tales: Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast. The Duke of Swavenhaven must persuade Rosamund that she is worth his love and attention, and teaches her that he cares nothing for society’s rules.
I can’t say enough good things about this story, I absolutely loved it!! I had a love/hate relationship with the characters. I loved Rosamund and the Duke and everybody that was fighting for their love. I absolutely hated the Gribbles. S.G. Rogers did such a great job giving them to life that you feel anger towards them and how they treated sweet Rosamund. I am not embarrassed to say that I have a crush on the Duke, he’s definitely swoon worthy. I’ll be putting The Mannequin in my “to be read again” pile.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A story with elements of Cinderella as well as Beauty & the Beast & would be better read/labelled as fantasy rather than historical romance.
Rosamund Ashfield lives with her Aunt's family after being orphaned but is treated more as a servant than family. She serves her aunt's family and plays companion to her 3 cousins when needed. When the family leave for London for the Season & her cousin's coming out, she is left behind to fend for herself alone in the house. Her uncle makes a request to the vicar to find her employment & Rosamund suddenly finds herself playing nursemaid/companion to the Duke of Swanhaven.
Emotionally withdrawn & grief stricken since losing his family in a tragic accident, Aubrey Whittingham has lost the will to live and has become emaciated & a recluse who takes no interest in his own well being or of his surroundings, staring into space & mute. His grandmother hires Rosamund to spend time with him hoping that her youth & vitality will spur a recovery.
The story starts off well enough & as Aubrey slowly starts to respond to Rosamund - if only to berate her & bicker as Rosamund uses the tactic of bickering with him & bullying him to spur him out of his apathy & take better care of himself. It starts to get ridiculous midway through the book when the story shifts to London.
The language becomes increasingly contemporary. Rosamund's aunt & uncle allowing their daughter to get engaged to their erstwhile coachman's son, Joe, was totally ridiculous. When Joe actually insulted Aubrey to his grandmother's face "Joe's eyes narrowed. "Does this have anything to do with His grace? If he's mistreated her, by Jove, I'll thrash him!" she takes it all in stride. I can't imagine a Dowager Duchess accepting behaviour like that from a commoner.
I found this to be quite an absurd story for a historical romance. Very light and the language is very casual. I had to suspend belief reading the book & just turn a blind eye to the absurdities & there were many.
I loved this book!! I hadn’t read anything by this author before, and now I’m ready to get every one of her books!
Rosamund Ashfield is a poor relation, living with her aunt and uncle ever since her parents died. The family has always mistreated her, and when they go to London for the season, Rosamund is left behind to care for herself.
The Duke of Swanhaven has fallen into a deep depression after losing his whole family in an accident. The Dowager Duchess, not wanting the ton to know of his condition, quietly hires Rosamund to spend time with him each day and hopefully bring him back from his grief.
With the Duke improving, the Dowager Duchess takes Rosamund to London for the remainder of the Season as her protégé. There Rosamund becomes a mannequin for a modiste. She is admired wherever she goes, but may never be able to have the one thing she wants. The Duke.
I have to say it again. I loved this book! Rosamund and the Duke are wonderful, and I felt like I knew them. I wanted them to have their happy ending! I admired Rosamund’s strength, kindness, independence and spirit. I cheered for the Duke as I watched him regain himself and saw his courage and determination. And Rosamund and the Duke together…sigh. The side characters were also very well written, and there are many I would love to know more about. The Dowager Duchess was so generous, but could sure take someone to task when needed. I loved it! If I started listing off the side characters I liked, I wouldn’t know where to stop.
The story was wonderful! The whole idea of a mannequin in this context was new to me, and very intriguing. I love fairy tales, so I really liked the nods to Beauty and the Beast and to Cinderella. The romance was sweet and well done. I just loved it all!
I would definitely recommend this book! It is one I will be rereading in the not too distant future!!
I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was just full of all the elements that make up a great story. The characters were well defined and I really felt like I knew them. The places and events were so clear in my head and I could easily imagine everything playing out like a movie in my head.
Rosamund is a sweet and gentle young lady. She has been treated poorly most of her life by her distant relatives whom she has lived with since her parents died. This part of the story has a very distinct Cinderella type feel to it with an aunt who can't stand her and cousins who treat her cruelly and spitefully. But then Rosamund has the opportunity to help a neighbor and it seems an answer to her prayers.
The next part of the story has more of a Beauty and the Beast feel to it as Rosamund tries her best to bring Aubrey back from the brink of death. Aubrey is depressed and has lost his will to live. Slowly but surely Rosamund coaxes Aubrey back into the land of the living despite his cruel words and temper tantrums. Somewhere during Aubrey's transformation, Rosamund finds herself in love with him but is sure that he will never be able to love her back for she is so far beneath his station.
I really enjoyed the growing relationship between Rosamund and Aubrey. The transformations for them- together and separately- as they both grow stronger and fight to find their way. The ending was fairy tale worthy and made all the struggle to get there worth it.
This ebook was provided in exchange of an honest review.
Rosamund lives with her aunt, uncle and 3 cousins. Her parents died when she was young and was taken in by her family who are part of the upper circle socially. Rosamund is given chores to do in the family home and isn't really treated as 'one of them'. She takes her meals with the staff in is very friendly with the coachmans son, Joe. Two of her cousins it seams are based around Cinderella's Ugly Sisters and they make her life miserable. Though Rosamund is a happy person and tries to see the best in everyone. Her remaining cousin, Vivian is kind to Rosamund and sticks up for her when her sister and parents are trying to cause trouble.
The family, minus Rosamund are set to go to London for the Season - where young well-to-do women are paraded around the inner circles in order to find them a suitable husband within the same or higher social standing. Rosamund is to be left at home, alone to fend for herself until she is invited by a Duchess to work for her in attempting to rehabilitate her grandson who has just lost his family.
Rosamund is happy to help the Duke recover from his bereavement and attends every day to read to him and play the piano. At first Aubry doesn't engage with Rosamund at all but gradually he begins to take notice of her presence and ends up treating her with contempt. He wants to be left to wallow in his misery and the overly happy and helpful Rosamund won't allow it.
The Duchess seeing her kindness, asks Rosamund to move in as she has been left all alone while her family are in London. Rosamund agrees as it means she can devote more time to helping the duke recover.
The Duke gradually improves in health and begins to realise he may be starting to feel something other than contempt for the help. Rosamund had already acknowledged her feelings for the duke and was happy when the duchess suggested taking Rosamund to the Season herself in order to introduce her to society. Rosamund then finds out that she is the illegitimate daughter of a poorpor and in order to stop the duchess' and dukes reputation being sullied, she runs away to find work and lodgings. Eventually the Duke follows on to London, finds Rosamund and lives happily ever after. Although there are some twists and turns along the way!
Im not sure how i feel about historic romances. The wording and speech i struggle with because its not what I'm used to so this took me a while to get into. I dislike prejudice of any sort so i found this annoying in parts because of the way the poor are treated - although i know this is historical and that is what happened. I found it slow to get into at first but became more interested when Aubry got better - i liked him a lot. It did ring bells of Cinderella and The Beauty and the Beast quite a lot but i had read that in another review so was expecting it. 2.5-3 stars
About four years ago, I managed to get this novel for free, and found myself quite enamored with it. I had gone into it expecting nothing great, but every time I read this story, I find it to be a very sweet and well told tale, which is saying a lot--I tend to want a lot of depth, length, and complexity, so a simple tale like this managing to be a nice read is quite the feat.
The writing is nice, evoking a certain atmosphere with its word choices to lend an air of history. I wouldn't bet that everything is point blank accurate for 1880s English, but for a common reader, it would suffice nicely to have the proper veneer.
This is loosely a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but only in the vague sense of a girl with a beautiful soul arriving at a splendid manor house to save a man from grief that has turned him into a beast--figuratively, of course. It's mostly a sweet, gentle romance with a variety of obstacles to overcome to a happily ever after.
The first few times I read it, a tear or two was even brought to my eye, which is always a positive in a book's favor. Evoking emotion is something I want from books.
I overall liked Rosamund and Aubrey's characters a lot. I rooted for their relationship and liked that their relationship was based almost entirely on them spending time together and their emotions growing as their familiarity does.
Overall, it's quite a tame book, with only a few kisses exchanged, despite Rosamund being 19 and Aubrey being 22. There's not really even strong language and the most mature topic is probably referring to sex workers and the "demimonde" women of Victorian society.
If you're in the mood for something light and sweet in the vein of historical, I give this one my recommendation. I know from the cover it doesn't seem to promise much, but it was surprisingly worthwhile. I believe it's free through the KU program; I don't know if the usual ~$3 pricetag is worth it for how short and simple it is, but if it goes on sale for 99 cents or so, it's definitely worth that.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review.
A possible heading for this review might be: Warning - this book may cause a loss of sleep! Once I began I read until my eyes forced me to stop. I was hooked.
The Mannequin has it all. Humor, tears, suspense, jealousy, redemption, friendship, and most importantly, love. It's a masterful blend of both fairy tales and great literature. I sensed a hint of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Secret Garden. I'd welcome other readers to see if there are more analogies that I missed.
I'll encourage you to read other reviewers who go into more plot detail but here's a brief summary -
Rosamund is a poor relation in her aunt's household trying to live above the insults inflicted upon her by her cousins. When they leave for the Season in London, they leave her behind. In the meantime, she is hired by the Duchess of Swanhaven to help her grandson, the Duke, recover from his grief after the death of his parents and sister. As he continues to recover, the Duchess plans to take her to London as her protege. However, when Rosamund's grandfather humiliates her and refuses to acknowledge her, she flees. Unable to pay the bill for her new wardrobe, she works for the modiste as her mannequin to pay off the debt.
The reader is left in suspense as to what will happen to Rosamund. What will happen to the Duke? Will associating with her be beneath him? Are fairy tales just silly stories after all?
I want to rave about this book, but I don't want to give anything away either. You're just going to have to trust that it's that good. I laughed, I wanted to cry, I was anxious, I was angry, I was happy. The character development is outstanding. I really felt everything that Rosamund felt.
So, what are you waiting for? Just read it and enjoy it yourself.
Romance - PG - some kisses Language - clean - nothing offensive
Several things made this book not work for me. The biggest one is that time and a character's recovery are ridiculously condensed timewise so it doesn't make sense. Rebuilding such significant weight loss would take longer than presented, especially when he's burning off so much energy. And it is unlikely he could eat and keep down the initial quantities.
The blurb in the about covers more than 50 percent of the book, which ruins too much of the story.
The character's role in the story is insufficient. She's only responsible for a fraction of the things in the second half. Much is done to her or around her with little agency or choice on her behalf.
One important plot point relating to an engagement is contradictory to the entirety of the rest of the story and makes no sense.
Finally, a trivial point but it bugs me, if you cut a rope with a knife then spend a lot of time tying and untying it, the rope unravels. A single short length also seems odd for the described situation. Either two ropes or strings are involved or a loop around a person or ring or something.
Historical Romance is not typically my favorite genre but this book was able to make my list of favorite books. The rules of society keep those in the upper class from marrying those in the lower class unless they want to risk having their title taken away. Aubrey has suffered after the drowning of his family and is wasting away to nothing. Rosamund is hired to try to help him. She definitely knows a thing or two about suffering and is able to work with him and challenge him. This book follows Aubrey and Rosamund as they learn to discover themselves and overcome challenges that are faced in their path. I love the message that status doesn't always matter. I love that the characters in the book are willing to sacrifice what they want in hopes to help others have a better life. S.G. Rogers does an excellent job telling the story and pulling you into the life of Rosamund and Aubrey and their journey to discover themselves.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book pleasantly surprised me! I have not read anything by this author before and was expecting a basic Regency-era story. And while it is certainly that setting, it dealt with some elements I had never even heard of before -- such as the position of a mannequin. Such an interesting concept! It also felt like there were elements of different fairy tales that came into play here and there throughout the story. I loved Rosamund's character and how good-hearted she was. Her circumstances throughout the story changed dramatically more than once, but it never felt overly contrived to me. Aubrey was also a strong character, although it seemed like he recovered his emotional health rather quickly considering his state at the beginning of the story (and compared to how long it took for him to regain his physical health). The secondary characters were also well done -- I especially liked the depth of Vivian and Joe and how they weren't always one-dimensional. Really enjoyed this one! I received a free e-book copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The inspiration for Author S.G. Rogers’s book The Mannequin came from a trendsetting courtesan, Catherine Walters (1839-1920), also known as “Skittles.” This brilliant story is a regency historical fiction with a bit of a Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast combination entwined within. This is a story readers will not want to put down and will not soon forget. A story written in the enchanting regency era, with delightful characters, including Aubrey, a man who has lost everything, and Rosamund a young woman whom is mistreated by her aunt and uncle, this charming and engaging story will capture the attention of readers for hours. I would recommend this story to readers that enjoy regency and historical fiction novels.
Genre: romance, historical fiction, regency; fairytale Publisher: Idunn Court Publishing Publication date: September 3, 2015 Number of pages: 221
Content Rating: PG Book Rating: 5 stars
A review copy of this book was provided by E-books for Review.
A take on Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, but different. I absolutely loved this story. It was an incredibly quick and easy read that had me laughing, tearing up, getting irritated with some characters and absolutely laughing and loving on other characters. One could say that part of this book was somewhat predictable. The girl was not socially equivalent to the boy, the boy did not care, the boy saves the girl..but then there is a wee bit of a twist! However, even though it was highly likely that there would be a happy ending the adventures and dialogue are some that I enjoyed greatly. I wish there were pictures to go with this story because the outfits from the modiste sound exquisite. Interestingly enough, my three favorite characters are actually the grandmother, the modiste, and Joe. I read this book in one setting and can't wait to check out more from this author.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Given to me for an honest review. This book has so many twists and turns that it really should be 6 stars. Rosamund is the Cinderella in this story. She has been sneaking her uncle's books to Joe to read. He works as a groom to her uncle. Her family is going to London for the season. Her aunt is looking for husbands for her daughters. Rosamund will be in house by herself. The vicar has a job for Rosamund. When she arrives at the duke's home, she finds that she is to help heal the duke. His parents and sister died in a ferry accident. The duke is in a decline so bad that he just sits in a room with the curtains closed, doesn't get dressed, and doesn't care for himself. Will Rosamund be able to help him? Who will be the prince in this story? Joe or the Duke? Her aunt's cook has the role of the fairy godmother with a secret.
A young girl went to live with her Aunt and Uncle and three cousins. She was made to do work around the house and wear hand me down clothes. When the family goes to London she has to stay home. A Duchess living nearby hires the young lady to try to rehabilitate the Duke who had given up after a tragic accident had occurred to his family. The Duchess takes her to London but events take place that causes the young lady to flee and is eventually hired by a dress maker to be her mannequin. Two of the three cousins spread malicious rumors about her but all ends exceedingly well. Of course it is not a spoiler alert if I say the Duke and the Mannequin are in love. A nice story and well told.
4.5 Stars. I don’t know if I was just in the mood for this type of book when I picked it up, but I really grew to love the story and characters as it went on. The plot isn’t completely predictable in how things play out (but you can predict a happily ever after, which I’m more than okay with). The characters’ development and actions are fresh, not stereotypical, and at times quite surprising in a good way. I really liked how the two rivals’ relationship developed toward the end; it definitely made me smile. The romance was clean and enjoyable. The book makes me want to look up the history of mannequin use and how modeling has evolved into the modern industry that it is. This one is worth the read if you like the genre! I was given a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Mannequin was a wonderful story. I loved the subtle use of the beauty and the beast theme amidst a beautiful Victorian romance. Both Rosamund and Aubrey’s characters were crafted well. Rosamund’s giving nature won me over (in fact her storyline could be lightly compared to Cinderella). Aubrey’s growth from a suffering individual to Rosamund’s hero was perfectly written. I’m huge fan of the time period, and found the introduction of a ‘mannequin’ as a bit of history delightful. After reading this novel of Rogers, I’m anxious to read more. She creates a beautiful storyline, well written characters and a book that must be consumed immediately. I’d recommend her and her books to anyone.
I have tried to write a review for this book four times. On each occasion GR has frozen and I have been forced to shut my browser down and start again. I would write a much much longer review but I have lost patience.
So, apologies to the author. Blame GR and their crappy new ‘homepage’
This is a lovely, lovely story. Just what I needed after reading about shallow self-centred women and macho men with more money than sense.
The only thing I disliked was the appalling cover which bore no resemblance to anything that happened in the story.
If you like engaging characters, decent, honest blokes and a woman who has something about her instead of being a moaning minny - I recommend you read this. Five stars for making me smile.