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Heroine: Tiny O’Mara – Bootlegger, Brave
Hero: Enzo DiFiore – Gangster, Dangerous
Speak Easy is an original spin on a new adult romance, set in the twenties during the Prohibition Era. Tiny O’Mara, who is twenty years old, still living with her father after her mother has passed, and she takes care of her younger sisters. She craves a different life beyond raising her sisters and bootlegging for her father. She has plans to attend nursing school and make a different life for herself. But her plans are put on hold when her father is kidnapped by mobsters for not paying to have the privilege to run his bootlegging business in their territory.
Enzo DiFiore is an incredibly charming and sexy man, yet also a very dangerous gangster. He is Angel DiFiore’s son, the head of the mafia gang who kidnapped Tiny’s father. The moment Tiny and Enzo meet, there is an attraction that sparks instant passion and desire between them. Tiny had no idea who he was when he pursued her but she eventually finds out he wanted to get the down-low on her father’s business. Pissed off that he betrayed her, she refuses to have to anything to do with Enzo besides pay him back for the money her father owes. She also refuses the ‘protection’ his father offers her and her family. She is determined to pay back the money on her own, without getting in deeper with the DiFiore family. This complicated situation forces Tiny to seduce, manipulate, and lie to get her father back.
Tiny is one tough and brave cookie. I absolutely love her bold and sassy personality. She wanted a little excitement in her life, but getting in between a turf war is not what she expected. She’s in a very dangerous situation that involves possibly getting caught by the police, illegal nightclubs, and dealing with ruthless gangsters. Not to mention the combustible chemistry she has with Enzo that is risky and wrong, but she can’t seem to resist the magnetic attraction she has towards the bad boy gangster that makes her feel too much…
“No one had ever made me feel so free and yet so restrained, so powerful and yet vulnerable, so delirious with pleasure and ache all at once. It was too much—his magnetism clouded my judgment worse than any alcohol I’d ever tasted. I had to stay away from him. I had to pay him back, and forget his existence. “ - Tiny
It doesn’t help that Enzo makes it hard for her to say no to him and wants her just as bad. But this relationship is forbidden. Enzo has been promised to another woman. He is trying to prove himself worthy to take his father’s business and, because of that, he will stop at nothing to gain the power he needs. This includes marrying the girl he doesn’t want and, at the same time, keep Tiny, who is his weakness and his enemy in his bed.
“I knew it would be this good. I told myself not to fuck you, because I’ve never been this hungry for anyone. But when I look at you, I am fucking insatiable. It’s dangerous.” - Enzo
And then there is Joey Lupo, the boy from Tiny's childhood she’s known all her life. He works for Tiny’s father and offers to help Tiny out of her bad situation. Tiny needs him to help smuggle enough booze so she can make back the money quickly. Spending time with Joey makes Tiny suddenly realize just how attractive and protective and kind he is. She starts to no longer think of him of the boy who used to irritate her when they were younger. And begins to see Joey for the sexy man he’s grown to be. Joey makes a promise to protect Tiny but, in the process, he has his own agenda. His agenda is getting involved with a rival gang that will go up against Enzo’s gang and this puts Tiny in a situation where she is forced to pick sides. Who does she choose: Joey or Enzo?
Tiny just wants her father and her life back. What is a girl to do when she is being pulled in two different directions? Who can she trust? The name of the game is power and control. The one who owns everything and everyone will be the one who survives the bootlegging gang war.
I really enjoyed this exciting and original story set during the roaring twenties, where the women wore flappers, jazz music blossomed, booze was illegally sold, and gangsters owned the cities. The plot twists, bootlegging, sexual tension, and sexy gangsters make for an engaging and captivating story. Think The Great Gatsby meets Boardwalk Empire. The dialogue and descriptions make for a very picturesque and nicely written story. I could see the twenties lifestyle bleeding through Harlow’s words. Oh, what a mighty web of sex, danger, lies, and crime Tiny has become entangled in. It will be interesting to see what happens next, especially with the way things ended between Enzo, Tiny, and Joey. I’m hooked on this story and definitely looking forward to the next book.
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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US ONLY. One grand prize swag pack which includes: Valentine Vodka Swag, JewelNinjas Agatha Bracelet, Chrome Cocktail Shaker, MAC Lipstick, Great Gatsby Soundtrack or $10 iTunes gift card, Gatsby Style Flapper Headband, Signed Copy of Speak Easy, $25 Amazon Gift Card: Total Value: $150 USD