By Joanna Shupe
I am an avid historical romance reader, so when I came across Joanna Shupe’s The Rogue of Fifth Avenue, I was instantly intrigued. As a New Yorker (currently living on the West Coast), I loved traveling back in time to the New York of yesterday.
I was so excited, in fact, to start this book that I had simultaneously purchased a paperback copy, the audiobook, and checked the e-book out of the library.
Mamie is a debutante from a wealthy uptown family. She has a big compassionate heart. It is clear she has great love for her sisters and respect for her family. However, she is drawn to the world of New York that she is not supposed to see – the gambling halls, the downtown tenements, the lives of the poor.
It is through this exposure to class inequality that she develops a pertinacity for pick-pocketing the wealthy to supplement the measly incomes of some families she befriends in the tenements. Her compassion is so honorable and makes her a very appealing heroine.
Frank Tripp is Mamie’s father’s high power lawyer. He is well known throughout the city for his hard work for New York’s elite. When the two cross paths, almost everyone can see their chemistry. Mamie’s father forbids her from entering in any relationship with a man besides the one he has arranged for her – as if she is another entity of his business to control.
Mamie is rebellious and likes to do things on her terms, so if she is told not to do something, her heart will want to go there even if she knows it is wrong. She cannot deny her attraction to Frank and he is not willing to give her up either.
But along the way, secrets are exposed and Mamie doesn’t know who she can trust. This was a great read, with high tension and with big stakes and people’s lives on the line.
Review by Michele W.