First Lines: The woman approached me at the counter, keeping her eyes low. “A quart of maple syrup,” she said, her voice hushed. I didn’t recognize her. “What kind?”
These first lines probably have you going, “Um…what does this have to do with the story?” (Trust me, it does.) This has been sitting on my Kindle for some time now because…well, my Kindle is where books go to die a slow death as I forget about them. But for whatever reason, I remembered this book and it seemed like the perfect time to read it.
Quick note: this is a New Adult book, so it’s going to be for more *mature* audiences.
It’s 1923 and 20-year-old Tiny O’Mara would like nothing more than to move out of her father’s house. By day she takes care of her sisters and helps out with her dad’s bootlegging business. By night, Tiny wants to be part of the flapper lifestyle–until her father gets kidnapped by rival bootleggers. Tiny has a week to come up with the ten thousand dollar ransom. Enzo DiFiore, the sexy son of the mobster who kidnapped her father, is willing to help her…for a price. But their undeniable chemistry has unforeseen consequences for both of them. And Tiny’s irritating childhood friend Joey Lupo can get her the money she needs, but he has his own reasons for helping. Forced into the mob underworld, Tiny will have to outwit and outmaneuver those with more power than she has. Can she get the money and save her father before the terms change?
I’ve recently been obsessed with historical fictions, so this was a natural read for me. And really, it was pretty good.
Tiny is a pretty feisty character. Most of her other friends are working more mundane jobs, but Tiny’s job as a bootlegger always has this undercurrent of danger. When her family life blows up in front of her, she scrambles to find all the pieces again. And while she does get a lot of help in putting the pieces back together, she does a lot of the leg-work on her own.
There is a bit of a love triangle in the story, which would normally have me rolling my eyes. But this was set up differently from most love triangles I’ve read. It didn’t feel like a plot ploy to bring more drama to the story. It was more like one guy was too late about sharing his feelings and Tiny had already picked someone else.
As for the romance (keep in mind, this is for *mature* audiences), there were some moments where it felt rushed or flat. (Or a combination of the two, possibly.) Mostly, it’s good. Some of it even gets steamy. But there were just those moments where trying to deny attraction and abrupt rudeness just kind of made things…eh. Still, I didn’t really think that that rushed feeling impacted the story much.
I really enjoyed the 1920s aspect of this story. Lots of stuff about mobsters/gangsters, lots of illegal liquor, and a good bit of extortion and murder along the way. Who doesn’t like that? Also, I can’t help but find it ironic that this was the era when the government tried to exert more control by outlawing alcohol and really all it did was lose control with the rise of bootlegging and gangsters. Really, with Prohibition, it created crime.
Overall, it’s a fun historical read with quite a few yummy dudes. It’s exciting (and short), so you’ll never want to put it down!