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Review: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Vixen (The Flappers #1) by Jillian Larkin
Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Hardcover $17.99 (432 pages, DELACORTE)
Ebook $10.99
Audiobook $44.00

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. . . .
From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes

Author Site: unavailable

The Flappers is the Bee's Knees (4 stars)

In 1920's Chicago three young women take on the underworld of jazz and booze in this introduction to The Flappers from debut author Jillian Larkin.

Engaged to the most eligible and desirable bachelor in town, Gloria Carmody has grown restless for a taste of trouble. There's glamor and excitement in the life of a flapper, a lifestyle she won't be able to taste now that she's as good as married to the morally upright Sebastian Grey.

In town just to make sure Gloria's nuptials go on without a hitch, Clara Knowles is a goody-two-shoes with some secrets of her own. As Gloria's cousin she's expected to keep her out of trouble but when her own past begins to haunt her steps it's her own future she'll have to worry about.

Meanwhile, Gloria's best friend, has embraced the flapper lifestyle ready to step out of her shadow for once. Lorraine Dyer has all the amibition and style a flapper can get but stepping out from the shadow cast by Gloria may prove harder than she thought. Lorraine might crumble under the pressure and hurt the people she cares about most...

If there was ever an era in American history more suitable to some exciting historical fiction for young adults I don't know what it could possibly be. The Roaring Twenties got the name for a reason. Afterall, isn't the flapper the ultimate example of young women rebelling? I've always been interested in the era and finally an author has given it a really nice fictional treatment.

Larkin manages to write in a style similar to Anna Godbersen without feeling like a clone. I read one of Godbersen's Luxe series books and enjoyed the style greatly but didn't care for the era. Apparently she's got a 1920's set series that started shortly before this one but honestly I haven't read it. If you enjoy her writing I do suggest checking Vixen out.

The three girls Vixen centers on are each quite different and enjoyable in their differences. I was especially happy that Larkin took on interracial relationships so candidly. There's lots of sneaking around, secrets kept and spilled, danger, mobsters, drunkeness and dancing. Sure, some of it does feel a little overglossed and silly, maybe a little historically questionable but this is fiction and it was darned entertaining. I quite honestly liked it and look forward to reading the second Flappers book, Ingenue, in Fall 2011.

Other Reviews:
Dirty Sexy Books
Moonlight Book Reviews

Notes: Received ARC via Amazon Vine.

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