Books Review

Vixen by Jillian Lark

January 23, 2012

Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

A good friend of mine had given me a copy of Vixen a while ago, and while it sounded interesting it got tossed in the pile. The other week, a co-worker asked if I had read it and said they were really enjoying it, and that they couldn’t want to talk about it with me. So, I decided to dig it back up and read it. And I’m really glad I did.

Ms. Larkin’s writing is smooth, fluid, and–given what I know about the flapper era–captures the essence of the twenties wonderfully. The dialogue reads well, the descriptions are subtle and effective, and the plot moves along at an even pace. It did take me a while to read it, but I was never bored. The chapters alternate between the main girls: Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine, so I think it just took me a bit to identify with each character. Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the transformations seen in Gloria, Clara, and the playboy Marcus. I found them to be the most interesting amongst the colorful cast.

Despite the differences in the settings and time periods, this book reminded be of Lucy Silag’s Beautiful Americans series in regards to the dramatic plots and interconnected characters. I love how well Ms. Larkin has laid out the characters and their personalities, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

All in all, Vixen is an enjoyable read that provided a nice break from my usual paranormal reads. I loved being sucked into the Roaring Twenties and all of its splendor and drama. Definitely check this one out. 🙂

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