Speak Easy by Melanie Harlow
(Speak Easy #1)
Genres: New Adult, Historical, Romance
The 1920s are roaring, and twenty-year-old Tiny O’Mara wants to be a part of it.
By day she works for her father’s small-time bootlegging operation, by night she craves the sexy roll-your-stockings-down lifestyle of a flapper—until her father is kidnapped by a mobster in Detroit’s exploding organized crime scene, and it’s Tiny who has to come up with the ten-thousand-dollar ransom… in one week.
Suddenly she’s thrust into an intoxicating underworld of greed, lust, lies, and betrayal.
Enzo DiFiore is the son of the mobster holding her father hostage, but his sexy screen idol looks and dangerous charm leave her breathless. When the forbidden spark between them refuses to burn out, she tries to use their powerful chemistry to buy more time. And irritatingly handsome childhood pal Joey Lupo has the street smarts Tiny needs to make a quick ten grand, but he’s got his own agenda where gang rivalries are concerned.
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. And anything goes.
**Due to mature material, this New Adult historical is recommended for ages 17+.**
I received a copy of ‘Speak Easy’ in a goodreads first-reads giveaway.
This was such an incredible book! I was a little wary after reading the blurb knowing that there would be some kind of love triangle, as I tend to get so emotionally attached to one couple that I am devastated if they don’t end up together, but this was such a fantastic and thrilling story with the such a brilliant writing style that I fell in love with all the characters and really wanted the best for them.
I loved both Enzo and Joey and really enjoyed reading the scenes they both had with Tiny. I loved the sweet and protective bond that Tiny had with Joey, but also loved the passionate scenes between Tiny and Enzo. Melanie Harlow did a brilliant job at making all the characters seem very real, and showing the light and dark in their personalities. Although I didn’t agree with all of their actions, I could understand their motives and behaviours, which really credits Melanie Harlow as a writer for making these characters believable and human.
The descriptions of the 1920s were brilliantly done, without them being too overwhelming or too descriptive. The details of day-to-day life and the different establishments was great to read as it all came from Tiny’s perspective and gave a great insight into how somebody who lived in that era would describe their life. Whilst now we would describe the jazz club as glittering and seductive, or the cars as vintage and impressive, we got to see these things as somebody alive in the 1920s would have done, that they were just a part of everyday life. This really helped me connect to the time and place of the novel as seeing the story through Tiny’s eyes made me feel as though I was in her shoes and not looking at the scene as an outsider from a different era.
The bootlegging storyline was fascinating and I loved seeing this common but illegal practice taking place in Tiny’s everyday life. It was a realistic story and had some brilliant historical details that have me wishing to go back in a time machine to the 1920s to see the action firsthand.
I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, and am excited to see how the relationships between Tiny and Joey, and Tiny and Enzo develop, as they are both exciting and somehow I find myself rooting for both boys, which NEVER happens to me. I am a die-hard shipper who has so many times found myself in a serious state of depression when my couple doesn’t end up together (no joke), so I adored how Melanie Harlow was able to make me invested in both relationships and in all the characters. I’d love to see Enzo’s weaknesses to show that he’s not as put-together as he tries to make others appear, and I’d love to see more from Tiny as to how grateful she is to Joey, and accepting the fact that she needs him in her life.
A stunning story which I read through in one sitting. It was mind-blowing and phenomenal and I can’t recommend it enough.
5 dazzling, shiny stars!