Author: Alyssa Linn Palmer
Publisher: Bold Strokes Publishing
Cover Artist: Jeanine Henning
Publication Date: 12/01/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Historical, Romance, Thriller, Menage/Poly
Chicago, the Roaring Twenties. Cecilia Mills is new to town and struggling to survive. Her world is turned upside down when she falls for gangster Franky Greco’s moll Nell Prescott. Working at The Orpheus dance hall thanks to Nell, Cecilia becomes known as CeeCee and rubs elbows with gangsters and the city’s elite, and she and Nell hide their affair from Greco.
Patrick Sheridan is fresh out of prison and bent on revenge, with Greco in the crosshairs. He gets a job as CeeCee’s bodyguard, and despite her infatuation with Nell, love blossoms between CeeCee and Sheridan. When Sheridan sees his chance, thanks to a disillusioned cop seeking his own revenge, he must choose where his loyalties lie as CeeCee and Nell are caught in the middle.
See that cover and that blurb? I thought both to be so enticing and desperately wanted to read the book.
The book has a promising start and presents the setting and plot with a set of four different characters from whose alternating point of views the story is told. They are distinct and easy to differentiate while reading and had me quite excited for the first 10%.
However, I gradually noticed not only a very simplistic writing style in the way of sentence structure, but also the lack of historical setting. This book is supposed to be set in Chicago, the Roaring Twenties but actually feels like a contemporary or a book without room and time. Descriptions of places and character remain superficial and a palpable ambience is, unfortunately, nothing that can be experienced here. Scents and colours are non-existent.
Moreover, while each character has a different background and therefore is interesting on their own, there is a surprising lack of chemistry between them, especially between Nell and Cecilia, the two female protagonists. I couldn’t understand their attraction to each other, and I was utterly perplexed when they first kiss, because there had been absolutely no build-up to it. It is their first meeting and there was no tension between them. The kiss as well as their first sexual encounter—which happens the next time they see each other—left me cold, like I have never been so unmoved by either a kiss or a sex scene.
Here’s the thing, though: You should know that I just can’t bring myself to finish a book that I do not enjoy reading. I read for fun, I want to read really great books, and that is why I quit this book at 25%, because, in my opinion, it had great potential but didn’t deliver. Another reader, however, may just have finished the book and maybe even liked it. Considering the high price, I can’t really recommend finding out on your own, though…
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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