Title: Speak Easy
Author: Melanie Harlow
Release date: July 22, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
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
Have you ever wanted to step into a time in history just to experience what and how it felt to be there? I have imagined it many times, so when I come across Melanie Harlow’s novel Speak Easy I was excited to read where it might take me.
It begins in the O’Mara family store 1923, the age of prohibition, gangsters, and nightclubs. Frances O’Mara (aka Tiny) helps her father run the store along with his bootlegging operation. A mysterious guy drops off an envelope for Tiny’s father leaving her smitten and curious. Suddenly, her days spent taking care of her sisters, running deliveries, and spending Saturday night with her best friend come to a disruptive halt when a local gangster kidnaps her father, insisting they should accept his protection. Tiny frantically begins selling liquor to earn her fathers freedom with the help of Joey Lupo, who feels obligated to her father and annoys her to no end.
Tiny gathers the first payment and delivers it to the gangster at his nightclub, coming face to face with her mystery man, Enzo DiFiore, who happens to be the son of the gangster holding her father. I felt completely swept up in the scenes of flirty words and stolen kisses steaming off the page between Tiny and Enzo. How could this addiction to each other play out?
However, I couldn’t help being smitten by Joey’s protective stance and smirky one-liners. An impromptu kiss to deter inspectors leads Tiny to think of Joey’s positive attributes (and who could blame her?).
Speak Easy was a page-turner. Every chapter built momentum through the funny interchanges between characters to tense confrontations as Tiny tried the rescue her father from the gangsters. Her growing desire for Enzo catapults with back office touches and sultry kisses. The dangerous gangster atmosphere mixed with climbing social changes of the 1920’s merge expertly by the author. Tiny O’Mara wants more out of life than raising her sisters, helping her father and housekeeping. The author effectively characterizes an emerging strength in women parallel to the changing climate of the 1920’s, which captivated my interest.
I loved this amazing, thrilling, and sexy adventure into the this historical novel and can not wait for more from Author Melanie Harlow. A must-read!
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars *****
Wine recommendation: I would recommend a sultry dry & spicy red merlot with this thrilling read!
WHERE TO GET SPEAK EASY: Speak Easy
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.
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