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.
Vixen is the second book I’ve read recently that takes place in the 1920’s. It’s an era I really enjoy reading about- something about Prohibition and speakeasies really appeals to me. Jillian Larkin does a good job setting up the time period without it feeling like you’re reading a text book- I especially like how one of the character’s has to bind her breasts in order to fit into the dresses favored by flappers.
While I enjoyed the book overall, I didn’t really connect with the characters. I found Gloria completely naive and unrealistic. Despite finding herself attracted to a boy who’s not just from across the tracks but also black (in an era where bi-racial relationships were more than frowned upon), she just seems to go blithely on her way. Gloria shuts her friends out, lies to everyone, and basically just irritates me. What saved the character for me is that I was interested in Jerome, and want to see where the future takes them… because of course there’s a sequel!
And then there’s Gloria’s best friend Lorraine. I wanted to like Lorraine. I get the whole “stuck in Gloria’s shadow and in love with a boy who is clueless to the fact that we are destined to be together” drama that is Lorraine’s life. However, Lorraine craves the spotlight and continuously makes a spectacle of herself in her efforts to be noticed. It’s hard to like someone that desperate. Plus she’s always jumping to conclusions that are just ridiculous. I do think Lorraine is redeemable, but I’m not sure I care enough to wait for her to get aboard the clue train.
The characters that I did love were Clara, Gloria’s “country cousin” and Marcus, Gloria’s best friend and Lorraine’s major crush. Clara had depth and layers, and secrets. I wish I had seen more of Marcus, but I really enjoyed his relationships with both Gloria and Clara, although I wish he’d been a little kinder to Lorraine- I know, I just said I didn’t like her but Marcus was a jerk to her.
Vixen was a fun, easy read, one I think YA fans will enjoy. There’s romance, secrets, scandal, fashion and danger. It’s the first in a series and it’s going to be released on Feb. 8th. A good way to celebrate Valentine’s Day if you’ve ever harbored a desire to slip on a cloche hat (I actually do own one) and flapper’s dress!
Vixen by Jillian Larkin gets a Midnight Book Rating of 10pm. I’ll probably continue with the series, if only for Clara, Marcus and Jerome.