THE ROGUE OF FIFTH AVENUE
by Joanna Shupe
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Reviewed by Hellie
Reviewed by Hellie
Mamie Green is an uptown heiress who is passionate about her work helping those who did not have her privileged upbringing. With her sisters, Mamie makes it her secret mission to “steal from the rich and give to the poor”, but her efforts are thwarted by the watchdog her father has sent to keep an eye on her, Frank Tripp, a lawyer who has secret roots in the very neighborhoods Mamie does her work.
He can solve any problem . . .
In serving the wealthy power brokers of New York society, Frank Tripp has finally gained the respectability and security his own upbringing lacked. There’s no issue he cannot fix . . . except for one: the beautiful and reckless daughter of an important client who doesn’t seem to understand the word danger.
She’s not looking for a hero . . .
Excitement lies just below Forty-Second Street and Mamie Greene is determined to explore all of it—while playing a modern-day Robin Hood along the way. What she doesn’t need is her father’s lawyer dogging her every step and threatening her efforts to help struggling families in the tenements.
However, she doesn’t count on Frank’s persistence . . . or the sparks that fly between them. When fate upends all her plans, Mamie must decide if she’s willing to risk it all on a rogue . . .
Mamie is bold and audacious without feeling anachronistic for her place in time. She’s a new woman of the era, seeking more women’s rights as well as seeking fairer wages and laws to protect all people in society, not just the rich. Frank Tripp is swoony--he just is. He reminds me of the lawyer in the musical Can-Can, who was, well, Frank Sinatra: well-dressed, carefully articulate, and very much in love with the heroine. The subplot that brings them together: the case against Mrs. Porter for murdering her husband keeps things busy and suspenseful as you wonder how can he possibly save this poor widow who confessed? There were interesting historical details and historic pieces that definitely made the setting for this story. Police corruption as well as normal vice (gambling dens, etc) were active players in this story. The author has an engaging writing style and voice, but also clearly does her due diligence for making the story fit the time period (story feels organic and authentic to the time period rather than being “wallpaper” or forced.) It was a joy to read.
I appreciated the emotional journeys of Frank who needs to make peace with his past--and also even the one I felt Mamie’s father had in that he was convinced Mamie needed to marry a childhood friend, no compromise. There was a scene that I thought could have gone the “easy” route and made the father a bad guy, but in the end, he did the right thing for his daughter. It was lovely to see. I look forward to reading the stories of the other two sisters--I imagine they will be as much a hoot as Mamie. And the sexual tension was off the charts--very sexy, but also very believable for the time and characters. I can’t wait to see what’s next!