Monday, July 9, 2012

It's summertime and the reading is easy...and kinda sleazy

I have no problem admitting this--when the temperature reached 84 degrees inside my house, I put down the William Faulkner book I was dutifully trying to reread for the sake of my brain and reached for my latest fluff pick, Vixen by Jillian Larkin.  This book puts "historical fiction" in the camp of hot summer read!  The time is 1923, Chicago, land of flappers and mobsters, lavish parties and serious segregation, complete with flasks of whiskey in your garter and guns in your trunk.  Each chapter tells the story through alternating viewpoints of three young women; there's Gloria, the naive heiress engaged to the most sought after guy in the city, her jealous friend Lorraine, whose goal is to become the fiercest flapper around, and  "country cousin" Clara, who covers up a past more shocking than anyone could imagine.

The tale involves gangsters, forbidden romance, scandalous dresses, seedy speakeasies, cold-blooded betrayals, and simple greed.  In other words, I couldn't put it down.  The slang of the time is a riot, (including my favorites cake-eater, barney-muggin and half-cut) and though it is predictable at times, there are some shocking twists and cliffhangers that leave you begging for "More flappers, scandal, and romance, please!".  Since I don't see it dropping into the 70s in my house anytime soon, I am very grateful that Larkin has already penned the sequel, Ingenue.  Another excuse not to improve my mind!

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