Narrator: Carmen Rose
Series: The Debutante Files #1
Published by Avon, Harper Audio on July 29, 2014
Genres: Historical, Romance
Length: 8 hours 7 minutes
When I saw A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin book come up as one of the book choices for book club, I was excited to read it. I’d already read Sophie Jordan’s YA Dystopian – Uninvited – and loved it, so I was curious to see how she did with this genre.
"New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author Sophie Jordan launches her brand new series, The Debutante Files, featuring debutantes on the hunt for Mr. Right
"The last woman on earth he would ever touch "
Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society. Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he s determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry making her the most sought-after heiress of the season.
" is about to become the only one he wants."
But Rosalie isn t about to go along with Declan s plans. Surrounded by fortune hunters, how is she supposed to find a man who truly wants her? Taking control of her fate, Rosalie dons a disguise and sneaks into Sodom, a private club host to all manner of illicit activity and frequented by her infuriatingly handsome stepbrother.
In a shadowed alcove, Dec can t resist the masked temptress that sets his blood afire any more than Rosalie can deny her longing for a man who will send her into ruin."
I was pleasantly surprised. Some authors I can only read in specific genres – but it looks like Sophie Jordan won’t be one of them. I didn’t love A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin as much as I did Uninvited, but I did really enjoy it.
For one, Sophie did a good job with historicizing her characters. As we talked about in book club, this was a world where women couldn’t do some things without men – and you really felt this. Rosalee – the main character – doesn’t want to be married off to just any man. She wants to fall in love and pick who she’ll marry – but she can’t just throw away society’s expectations.
By playing by the rules, Sophie created a much more complex character. Rosalee is strong and resourceful, but she has to figure out how to use the structures around her to get what she wants. And along the way, she makes some risqué decisions that could get her into lots of trouble – and that make the story that much more fun for us.
A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin did have a potentially oogey point – Rosalee falling in love with her step-brother Declan. So, it didn’t bother me at all. Part of me thinks that Game of Thrones has just desensitized me to this taboo – but more likely its the way Sophie paints their relationship. First of all – they’re step siblings. Secondly, though they did play together as kids, they haven’t seen each other in years. This is not a close sibling relationship. So it worked.
Although the plot was somewhat predictable, there were some unexpected twists for me. Rosalee’s mom is a definite wildcard in the story – and though I wasn’t thrilled by her role (why do parents have to suck so often?) – her involvement keeps you on your toes.
I’m really looking forward to seeing this series develop, since I suspect we’ll be getting the stories of some of the other characters – one in particular I’m already predicting her story – and I’m really curious about the identity of another woman. I’ll definitely continue listening to it, as Carmen Rose did a great job with both the female and male voices. I thought the personalities really came to life the way she voiced them and I hope she’ll continue narrating.
I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a fun historical romance with a bit of steam and a couple twists to keep you on your toes.