Published by Independent on July 22nd 2013
Buy on Amazon
July, 1923. The ‘20s are roaring, and twenty-year-old Tiny O’Mara is desperate for a little anything-goes excitement. But when her father is kidnapped by a mobster in Detroit's exploding organized crime scene, she’s shocked to find herself caught up in the bootlegging wars of Prohibition—and torn between two gorgeous gangsters on opposite sides.
To save her father’s life, she’ll have to choose between them. But deciding whom to trust isn’t easy in a world where everyone wants something—be it booze, money, power, or sex—and no one cares what it takes to get it.
Temptation is everywhere.
Welcome to my stop on the SPEAK EASY Tour hosted by AToMR! Scroll down for review, tour info, about the author and a giveaway!!
I’m a total fan-girl when it comes to the Twenties! Beaded flapper girl dresses? In my closet! Boardwalk Empire DVDs? Beside the TV! Louise Brooks autobiography? On my night-stand! I cannot get enough of this era so I was utterly thrilled when I spotted Speak Easy and knew I had to review!
Tiny O’Mara works for her father as part of his Whiskey bootlegging operation. When he’s kidnapped by Italian gangsters – The DiFiore’s, her world is turned upside down. Racing against time to come up with the ransom money, Tiny is caught between her fears for her father and her attraction to Enzo, the son of her father’s kidnappers. Throw her childhood friend turned handsome devil Joey into the mix and Tiny’s got herself one helluva conundrum!
I really enjoyed this book, it was an easy read with tons of action, romance, sex, violence and gorgeous fashion. From the first page I felt like I was right there, walking down the streets with Tiny and hearing the jazz music in the illegal clubs. I found the tone and language to be spot on and the descriptions of life and culture in the Twenties were realistic.
The plot was entertaining, I adored the scenes with all the mobsters, in the clubs, transporting the boxes of whiskey in hidden compartments of hearses and the tension and pacing was balanced.
I liked Tiny’s character for the most part. I found her to be sympathetic and really felt for the position she was in. A young girl who wants to live her own life but has to raise her two younger sisters while cleaning up her father’s messes and constantly worrying about his gambling habits and the risks it brought to their lives.
The Male MC’s Enzo and Joey were interesting but I wasn’t particularly a fan of either at first. The chemistry between Tiny and each man respectively was scorching but if I had to choose teams I would probably be a fan of Joey’s. Enzo was a bit too harsh in his treatment of Tiny and used sex as a weapon in my opinion and considering his other loyalties I could never truly trust him. Joey at first seemed a bit more brawns than brains but I grew to like him as the book went on particularly how he seemed to care deeply for Tiny and her family and put his own personal safety and situations at more risk than Enzo did.
My one gripe with the book was the sex. I’m all for sexy times and while the scenes themselves were great, hot and steamy, I found their use to be jarring at times. There were scenes when Tiny should have been attending to the dangers her family faced but instead was risking everything for an orgasm and it just didn’t sit right. While I was particularly pleased that she wasn’t painted as a naive ingénue who was clueless about her own pleasure (yay for authors who acknowledge female masturbation is real!) her journey from virgin to skilled sex kitten in two days was slightly unrealistic.
Despite that one issue which I hope I can be forgiven for, I did enjoy Tiny’s story and look forward to finding out what happens next!
Speak Easy is not your usual sedate historical fiction but instead was a fun frolic back to a world of illicit pleasure, entertainment, danger and love that kept me hooked from start to finish. Definitely give this one a try!
Check out the other stops on the tour!!
About the Author
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. SPEAK EASY was inspired by her cocktail culture obsession, her affection for good gin, and the view from the end of her street. She lifts her glass to NA readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI.
Author Social Media Links: