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When I started Romancing the Rumrunner by Michelle McLean, I was a little worry. I know I say that often, but I felt it was a little at the beginning. At the same time I was curious on how the story was go. I guess you can say I was sucked in. Of course, that's a good thing.
Anyway, I love the idea of the story's setting taking place in Chicago in the 1920s. I mean a lot is going on during that time. You have gangsters, prohibition, and all the other stuff that's associated with the 1920s. So, that's what really draw me to the story.
In Romancing the Rumrunner, we meet Jessica Harlan (Jessie) whose trying to keep things afloat, but it's a tad bit difficult. After all she has a thug wanting his payment, because her father took a loan. She's left with a butcher shop that's barely meeting her needs, so she decides to open a speakeasy until everything is back in the black. However, a couple problems: the feds and other club owners.
Next we meet Anthony Solomn (Tony). Now Tony use to be a detective until one incident, which caused him to get blackball. Now he's a private investigator, but he has a chance for redemption if he's able to catch the person named Phoenix, and his only lead is Jessie.
I actually enjoyed the story, because both characters don't really trust one another. Of course their trust issues stem from previous relationships. Gotta love that. I liked both characters. Both of them have good hearts. Tony lives with the guilt from the past and he figures finding the rumrunner is a good start to fix his life. Jessie trying to make ends meet and keep her head afloat. I like that she's not simpering. She has a pretty good on her shoulder. All in all Romancing the Rumrunner is a pretty good read. I like that it's takes place in the 20s, you have a little romance and danger.
I really enjoyed how Romancing the Rumrunner transported me back the 1920s Chicago. The dialogue, descriptions, prohibition feelings, everything hit the right historical note. I liked how Jessica was a strong heroine struggling to run a butcher shop after her father died and a speak easy in order to pay off a debt to a mobster. When P.I Tony gets involved to bring down the Red Phoenix thinking she's her girlfriend it all gets complicated.
Tony a former fed is enticed to go undercover and get back his reputation after a bungled sting operation ended his law enforcement career. He didn't expect to get romantically involved with Jessica but of course it happens. I really wanted to give this book 5 stars as it is an enjoyable read, but some of the actions from both Jessica and Tony didn't work for me. Tony said he was going to listen to his instincts this time and he didn't. Jessica showed him where she hid her booze, why? At times it seems hormones clouded their brains. I also thought Tony didn't do the investigating enough. Romance took up much of the story.
If you are for a fun historical read set in the prohibition era with a side of steamy romance then this is the book for you.
This is the first romance I've read in this time period (prohibition-era) and I wasn't disappointed. Michelle McLean does a great job crafting sympathetic, dynamic characters in Jessie and Tony as well as an interesting story line in an underused era to go along with them. Her writing style reads effortlessly, like a conversation between friends. All in all, an enjoyable, fast-paced love story.