Another wonderful novel from Suzanne G. Rogers, The Mannequin is the story of a young girl who is living with her aunt and her family, rather like Cinderella, working for her bed and board and tolerated at best by the family. When they pack themselves off to London for the Season, our heroine, Rosamund, finds employment as a companion, not for the local dowager Duchess, but her grandson, who has been left desperately despondent by the tragic death of his parents and sister. Rosamund’s task is to make him interested in life again. But, as ever, the course of true love never did run smooth.
The Mannequin offers perfect escapism, a plot that is unashamedly romantic with some suitably evil characters as well as plenty of conflict to keep the plot interesting and jogging along at a good pace. Rosamund is not too sweet, and she demonstrates plenty of determination and verve. She is a lovely foil to our hero, Aubrey, Duke of Swanhaven. When we meet Aubrey he is far from the strong, manly duke that usually populates this kind of fiction, and once he regains his muscles and noble swagger, he still retains a charming sense of humour and fun.
Nicely written and well executed, with high publishing quality, this novel sits seamlessly beside more well-known writers of romance and I enjoyed reading it as much as I have any offering from a New York Times best-selling author.