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Short Story Review: “Redemption for a Rouge” by Jennifer Conner

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Romance author Jennifer Conner’s latest historical short story, “Redemption for a Rouge,” is an utterly romantic, sexy and sweet tale about a handsome lord and a young widow. 

Old Lord Mitchell pushes his son John to partake in the running of the family’s mill and estate on a daily basis, but how can John run a factory successfully when he can barely read? After the death of his brother and his wife in a boating accident, John also has an orphan nephew, Graeme, to care for.

Instead of listening to his father, John stages one drunken episode after another, hoping that his old man will send him away to France or Spain once and for all. 

After three months of searching for a placement as governess to support herself and her young son Charles, young widow Vivienne Ravenhill is happy to find a position at the Mitchell estate. Her duty will be to tutor old Mitchell’s grandson, Graeme, in the old man’s words “the only hope for this family.” 

The day of her arrival, Vivienne finds young and handsome John Mitchell passed out in the living room. Needless to say, he doesn’t make the best of first impressions on her.

However, gradually she comes to know him as the noble, loyal and sensitive man he really is. Encouraged by her offer to help him, he lets her teach him how to read and write, helping him overcome his special disability.

The attraction is immediate between them and tension sparks as they spend more time together. But then old Lord Mitchell dies and John is left with full responsibility of the mill, the estate, and Graeme. Will John forever regain his confidence and get rid of the insecurity that stands in his way to happiness and success? 

Set in 1855, “Redemption for a Rouge” is a well-written historical love story full of tenderness and romance. The tale is unusual in that it tackles dyslexia. I’d never read a romance story before with a dyslexic hero, especially a historical one, so that was original.

The characters are likable and genuine and Conner makes the setting come to life. The tale moves fairly quickly and the love segments are exciting and in good taste. If you’re a fan of romantic short fiction, I recommend you give this one a try.

This short story is available on its own or as part of The Regimental Heroes Series, which also includes “The Duke and the Lost Night,” “The Reluctant Heir,” and “The Wounded Nobleman.”

Here’s a bit about each story:

“The Duke and the Lost Night”: Amelia arrives on the doorstep of her childhood friend, the Duke, in the middle of the night with an outrageous plan. If he agrees to ruin her, then she won’t be required to marry the cad she doesn’t love. Will Spencer do what she desires and go along with her idea, or does he have a very unexpected plan of his own?

“The Reluctant Heir”: Clarke, the Earl of Garrison, has returned from war with a dark secret. He holds himself responsible for the death of the younger brother of the woman he loves. Will Adeline be able to unearth the truth as romance and intrigue deepens? Is she strong enough to help Clarke come to grips with the emotional damage and nightmares which plague him?

“The Wounded Nobleman”: Ellis Garrison, the son of an Earl, once had much more to offer the beautiful, Callie Dunning. Now he’s returned from the war. The war that left him near death and forced to walk with a cane. When Callie nearly sacrifices her safety to save one of Ellis’s new carriage horses from being shot by a stable hand, Ellis sees a change in Callie. She is not the spoiled, rich girl he knew. Damage is not always external. Some is inside the soul.Will Callie and Ellis rekindle the mutual attraction they once shared and be able to work through their wounds to give love another chance?

Find out more about The Regimental Heroes Series Box Set here

Visit Jennifer Conner’s website.

Purchase “Redemption for a Rouge” from Amazon

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.