... bursting with tension, supplemented by complicated, emotional moments. It’s a page-turner with a fantastic heroine who is tired of living her life on other people’s terms ... Their romance leans more toward a slow burn, and it’s torturous in the best way possible as they fight their attraction at every opportunity ... Shupe shines when writing complex social and political dynamics, and she adds fascinating cultural layers to an already beautiful story. And if this first book in the Uptown Girls series is any indication, that same energy is going to be continued in the next book with Florence ... Don’t miss out on this wonderfully crafted historical romance. Shupe’s sense of place is unmatched, and she does a fine job creating heroines who exude strength in all manner of ways and heroes who know how and when to grovel.
... a potent backdrop to cast this central romance against, one that allows space for Shupe to interrogate social justice, classism, and the heartbreaking complexities of the circumstances of domestic violence victims ... a powerful parable for the limited choices available to women and how such choices are shaped by the vagaries of class. Shupe also includes a sequence of assault to further the point she’s making about how often women were (or are) subject to the whims of men – and that true happy endings come from throwing off the shackles of the limitations of class, sex, gender, and societal expectation to live a life of own’s choosing. For Mamie and Frank, their happy ending is as much about justice as it is about the electric chemistry they share – chemistry readers get to witness explode with sexy times on a billiard table and a desk. Swoon! With The Rogue of Fifth Avenue, Shupe continues to build on the sterling legacy she’s building for herself as a gifted weaver of glittering Gilded Age tales (complete with lots of nods to real historical figures), while also deepening the contemporary resonance of her themes.
... the plot threads are well-balanced and woven well together. There wasn’t a subplot that overshadowed the main romance despite the book having numerous plates in the air ... Shupe does a lovely job creating the atmosphere of late 19th century New York. The women’s suffrage movement is gaining traction and though it might be hard to explain, I just felt the tension in the city ... the internal characterization and insight has been done really well ... The biggest hurdle with this book, though, was timing in the sense of our current political climate. Unfortunately, release dates can’t really be helped and publishers can’t see the future. A majority of the conflict in The Rogue of Fifth Avenue with both main and side characters is that powerful men control women’s decisions ... While I’d definitely describe Mamie has a feminist and she has no problem standing up to the men in her life, seeing all these capable women characters be held back by all manner of forces was too real of an issue for me. I get that I’m ascribing modern sensibilities to a historically set romance, but each frustrating encounter a woman experienced in this book was a glaring reminder that while women’s rights may have advanced, the fight is still on.
A brilliantly rendered historical setting, vividly drawn and memorable characters, and plenty of smoldering sexual tension that eventually combusts in sexy love scenes add a marvelous sense of zest to the start of Shupe’s Gilded Age-set Uptown Girls series.
The lovebirds’ flirtatious and wry dialogue is entertaining, and their 19th-century propriety heightens the palpable energy between them. The winning combination of wealth, romance, secrets, and seduction makes this an enticing and scintillating series launch.
The setup promises both an exciting emotional revolution for Frank and strong sexual tension, but the romance falls flat, and the sexual scenes are so clinical that even the heroine muses, 'Hmm. When this whole business started, she’d assumed they would be consumed by passion' ... A passionless pairing dulls an otherwise interesting setting and premise.