I received this book for free from Rock Star PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Rogue Debutante by Maggie Dallen
Series: Beau Monde Chronicles #1
on January 22, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Romance, Steampunk
Purchase Links: Amazon
ADD TO GOODREADS:
A rebellion is brewing and everyone must pick a side....even pirates and debutantes.
Delia Langley has been a prisoner all her life - a prisoner to high society and its conventions. A prisoner to her wealthy father's overprotective measures. A prisoner to a fiance-to-be in an arrangement made by her father to have a royal heir. In fact, the only time in her life that Delia ever felt free was when she was captured by the much-feared pirate Blackheart and his crew, and held for months while her father negotiated her ransom.
Now nineteen, the beautiful Delia is ready to leave another prison, the manmade "city in the sky," Beau Monde, where she's been tucked away, high above London all these many years. The plan is that after her debutante ball, her marriage to Lord Thaddeus Templeton will be announced, and the wheels will be set in motion for Delia to take her place as a proper society lady. Except she has other plans. Frustrated by the greed of the rich and the plight of the poor who live in the Shadowlands, a ghetto cast in darkness by the floating city of wealth above, Delia has been masquerading as Madame X, a French pirate, who has arranged to purchase her own pirate airship from the mysterious "Professor." Then there's Nicholas Crawley, the dashing, bachelor son of the family who have opened their home to Delia for her London visit. He's ruggedly handsome - and he's impossible. She doesn't expect to fall for him, but there's no denying the electricity that surges between them. A future with him would ruin everything, but her attraction to him is only one of many surprises poised to thwart her pirating plans in this charming steampunk tale.
I’m not usually one to go for fantasy/alternate reality genre fiction. My one weakness, however, is Steampunk. Enough of the setting is usually rooted in historical accuracy that the added fantastical elements of things like dirigible airships and clockwork gadgets don’t seem as far-fetched. Author Maggie Dallen dips her toes into the murky Steampunk waters in her new release, The Rogue Debutante, the novella prologue to her new series, The Beau Monde Chronicles.
Delia Langley is an incredibly brave and intelligent young woman who has devised a clever escape from her father’s machinations and her repulsive future fiancé’s clutches. Having spent her life since she was twelve learning to pretend to be what her father and society expects, Delia has perfected the ability to hide her true self – until she meets Nicholas Crawford.
Nicholas Crawford can see through Delia’s fake smiles and forced frivolity. He is intrigued by her intelligence and compassion and captivated by her beauty. Despite his father’s instructions to not develop an attachment to Delia, as she is promised to another, Nicholas refuses to let Delia settle for a life of misery in a loveless marriage that will squelch her vibrant personality and deny her the opportunity to reach her full potential. Circumstances conspire to force Nicholas and Delia to consider what they are willing to sacrifice for love and each other’s happiness.
The concept of a city solely for the wealthy floating above London is an intriguing one and I would have liked to see the mechanics and the story of its creation given more attention and detail. How does it stay up there? Is it on the back of a Whovian-esque Space Whale? [See “The Beast Below”, Doctor Who Season 5, Episode 2.] The slums located under the large shadow cast by the isle of Beau Monde, the Shadowlands, are an area rife with poverty and resentment, a breeding ground for rebellion. Fascinating secondary characters are introduced in The Rogue Debutante who will no doubt play a key role in exploring the conflicts between the classes in later installments in the series. I look forward to reading more about the airship pirates and I’m curious about the nobles sympathizing with the oppressed. In the future, I hope the author adds more Steampunk elements beyond the dirigibles Nicholas and Delia are so fascinated with.
I look forward to more of Maggie Dallen’s interesting, well-written characters further down the road in The Beau Monde Chronicles.
Excerpt from The Rogue Debutante
The spires of London grew in the distance as Delia hurtled through the air, her petticoats and skirts flapping in the wind. Delia opened her mouth to scream but her cry was drowned out by the sound of air rushing past as she tumbled toward the earth.
A rough grip on her arm brought her to a sudden and painful stop. Her shoulder shrieked
in agony as she dangled in midair. She latched onto the rope that swung in front of her face, but whoever was holding on to her arm didn’t loosen his hold. She looked up to see who was keeping her from a grim and grotesque death.
She could only see her savior’s dark form; his face was hidden in the shadow cast by the airship hovering overhead. She felt the rope hoisting her toward the vessel and she resisted the urge to look down. When at last she reached the airship, a strong hand reached out to help her overboard, and she was finally able to see the face of her rescuer.
About Author Maggie Dallen
Maggie Dallen is a big city girl living in Montana. She writes adult and young adult romantic comedies in a range of genres. An unapologetic addict of all things romance, she loves to connect with fellow avid readers on Facebook, Twitter or at www.maggiedallen.com.