Release Date: May 28, 2019
Series: Uptown Girls
Heat Level: Hot/Scorching
Imprint: Avon Books
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Joanna Shupe’s The Rogue of Fifth Avenue is, if not the best, but equal to the best book she’s written thus far. I loved every single thing about it.
In this American-set historical romance, we meet Frank Tripp, a respectable lawyer working for a prestigious law firm in New York City with monied clients, one of which is the wealthy father of Marion “Mamie” Greene, our lovely heroine. We first find him doing the thing he seems to do best, following her about and watching guard over her, so to speak. That’s because she has a habit of going to places in the city young ladies like her do not and should not go. He tells himself he’s doing it because her father is his best (as in richest) client but it’s obvious from the start Frank isn’t being honest with himself.
Mamie is beautiful and privileged. She wants for nothing—well except the freedom to do with her life as she sees fit. She’s made it her mission to make life better for the less fortunate and becomes somewhat of a female Robin Hood, sometimes quite literally stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Which is why we first encounter her at a roulette table at the Bronze House. Where else is she going to get the money she needs? Too bad she keeps running into Frank Tripp every time she’s out and about trying to get money to do her good deeds. The man is a nuisance. He’s also sinfully attractive and does funny things to her insides.
Suffice it to say, these two wonderful people are meant for each other. Their obvious attraction is the foundation of their relationship. Yes, they exchanged barbs and quips as he tries to restrain her rebellious instincts but how they feel about each other is always there simmering just beneath the surface. Ms. Shupe does a masterful job of building the sexual tension between them, layer by layer. It was a joy to read and experience.
And as backstories go, I really really loved Frank’s. We learn fairly early on that he’s not exactly who he says he is. In fact, most of his life is a lie—at least what he’s told people about himself. He didn’t come from money. He didn’t go to Yale. He is in fact a fraud, but he’s made a very comfortable life for himself and he’ll do almost anything to protect that life. Of course, Mamie gets in the way of all that.
Mamie has her own problems. There’s the agreement her father has with one of his oldest friends that she will marry his son. The engagement between the two families is understood and up until now Mamie had every intention of going through with it. That is up until Frank came into her life. After Frank, everything goes somewhat topsy turvy. With him she sees how empty a marriage to Chauncey Livingston would be.
Then there’s the matter of case Frank takes on as a favor to Mamie. I had no idea how much I would love a secondary plot line of the case of a battered wife. It was weaved seamlessly into the main storyline and the court scene at the end left me with a huge smile on my face. And then there’s Frank’s estrangement with his family… Loved loved loved how that all worked out.
The Rogue of Fifth Avenue is a must-read for all historical romance readers who love their stories with beautifully fleshed-out characters, breathless sexual tension, fan yourself, hot love scenes in an unputdownable romance. I can’t recommend this book enough.
Now I’m champing at the bit to read Florence’s story (Mamie’s sister) with Clayton Madden, The Prince of Broadway, which will be out at the end of the year.