*Received from Around the World ARC Tours for review**
**Spoilers of the first book, Vixen**
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Bobbed hair. Short skirts. Cool jazz. Dark speakeasy. Anything goes. Meet the flappers, Gloria, Clara, Lorraine . . . and the rich young boys who love and loathe them.
My Thoughts: I really love the 1920s and the Flappers so this book was right up my alley. Of course, I loved the first book, Vixen, so I wasn't too worried about this one.
Ingenue picks up where Vixen ended. Jerome and Gloria are now in New York trying to survive. Between running from the mob, trying to get gigs and trying to keep their relationship and living together a secret, that hasn't been easy. They have had to resort to stealing food just to eat and they have to use false names at gigs so the mob won't find them. This puts so much strain on their relationship, especially after Gloria finds a gig and is going to be supporting Jerome. They are both wondering how their relationship can possibly stand up to all this.
Lorraine Dyer has graduated high school and is in New York, waiting to go to college. Her parents think that she is taking early classes but she's really the manager at a new speakeasy that is run by the mobster that is after Jerome and Gloria. Carlito has promised Lorraine revenge on Gloria if she can find the couple and bring them to his club. He promises Lorraine he won't hurt them but what good is a mobster's promise? Lorraine thinks she has a great relationship with her new neighbor and is trying to keep her mob boss happy.
Clara is also in New York. She has come to New York to be with Marcus. When she meets up with some of her old friends and is recognized by the editor of an elite magazine she is surprised when he asks her to write some articles for him. However, the articles require her to head back into the wild and crazy parties that she has sworn off. So, which is more important...her promise to Marcus or her independence and becoming a journalist?
I love how this book is divided into chapters from different characters POVs. It starts out with Vera, Jerome's sister and then goes between her, Clara, Gloria and Lorraine. For me, this keeps the book interesting. Gloria is so strong and independent yet she is still vulnerable and has her doubts over what she has done. It makes her very real to me. Jerome is madly in love with Gloria but he also has his insecurities. How is a black man going to marry a white woman? And how is he going to let her be the breadwinner? With all this going on, you could still feel the passion between the two and the heartache that the insecurities and doubt cause.
Lorraine is as mean as ever...at least, at first. She is set on revenge since she feels that Gloria ruined her life. She comes across as very cold and unfeeling but then you get to see her doubts as well and her fear for her life. After all, if she doesn't do everything to Carlito's liking, she's dead. Toward the end, I almost liked her again.
Clara is my favorite character. She really wants to be a journalist but is held back at first by her promise to Marcus to end her partying ways. When she gets the chance to write about all the crazy antics of the party goers, she is hesitant but eventually gets back into it for the sake of her job...or is it? Does Clara get pulled back in to the party all night, sleep all day ways of before or can she handle it? Of course, she lies to Marcus and deceives him but you can feel her guilt in the book.
I love the descriptions of New York in the 1920s! They are so real that you feel like you are watching it on TV. The speakeasies were well-described and it is obvious that the author has done her research into this world and time.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the history in it and the characters are very well developed and everyone is very different from the other. I highly recommend that you pick up this series and give it a try!