The Mannequin

S.G. Rogers
The Mannequin
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Idunn Court Publishing
Release Date
September 2015
Historical Romance

When she was a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund pulled the Duke of Swanhaven back from the brink of despair...only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?

Book Review by Victoria Lane (reviewer)
Apr 19, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
179 people found the following review helpful
Grab your tissues, THE MANNEQUIN by S.G. Rogers is an emotional read reminiscent of the Cinderella fairy tale, with important life lessons about honesty, karma, and the importance of staying true to oneself. I give it 4 stars and can recommend to all readers.

In the novel, Miss Rosamund Ashfield is an orphaned poor relation to the Gribble family. Mr. and Mrs. Gribble and two of their three daughters treat Rosamund worse than their servants, constantly criticizing and belittling her. Rosamund's only friend is the coachman's son, Joe, who has a romantic interest in Rosamund, and her middle cousin, Vivian, seems to be of a warmer and kinder sort. When the family goes to London for the youngest Gribble daughter's debut, Rosamund is left behind in their country home and found another family to serve to "earn her keep." Little do the Gribbles know that their actions have thrown Rosamund into the employ of the young newly titled Duke of Swanhaven.

Aubrey Whittingham, Duke of Swanhaven, lost his parents and sister in a ferry accident in the English Channel, and has nearly succumbed to his grief. His grandmother hires Rosamund to be his companion in hopes that she might be able to bring him out of a "very dark prison of his own making." Rosamund succeeds through her direct and honest manner, and in the process falls in love with him.

Out of gratitude, the dowager duchess takes Rosamund to London for the last part of the season, and Aubrey is set to follow after a few more weeks of rehabilitation. That's when things completely fall to pieces. Rosamund must deal with betrayals of the worst kind, and when Aubrey discovers what has happened, he hastens to London in hopes of securing her favor before it's too late.

I really enjoyed this novel. That's not to say that I didn't cry at a few points in the story. I don't know whether I was just particularly soft-hearted when I read the novel or whether S.G. Rogers is just that brilliant of a writer, but I definitely felt the emotional rollercoaster of Rosamund's life. It was easy to put myself in her shoes and to understand how precarious her position in life was and to feel her uncertainty at the coachman's son's suit and the hurt inflicted by her callous and spiteful cousins. So readers should be prepared to be drawn into the story and traverse the rollercoaster of life with Rosamund.

The other characters in this novel are just as well written. A lot of information was revealed via dialogue and so there was no over-narration that I encounter in so many novels these days. Even though the plot follows the general outline of the Cinderella fairy tale with a bit of Beauty and the Beast thrown in, it is refreshingly done and never felt mundane or contrived. There were some very interesting twists and turns, and there were no loose ends or plot holes to upset my reading enjoyment.

The novel moves at a steady pace and kept my interest throughout, and while there were a few typographical errors that caught my attention, they weren't so prevalent as to distract me from the story.

One of the best things about this novel is that it is a clean romance. There are a couple kisses, but not in graphic detail. So this novel can be enjoyed by nearly every reader. If it were a movie, it would probably be rated PG-13, and I highly recommend it as a happily ever after read!
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