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I don’t usually read romance but I love historical fiction so I put my name in for a chance to win this book from Goodreads. It is definitely an adult book. There are three rather explicit sex scenes, one at the beginning, middle, and end.
It was fairly light on the historical part. Although I was hoping for more insight into vaudeville, Nicola Italia did adequately frame the story in place and time. It begins on the Mississippi plantation, leads to a boarding school in Connecticut, then to New York, and finally to London, England. I wanted more detail on these places as I love feeling as though I’m there.
The story is about Ruby Mae Sutton, a determined and gutsy girl, but also very naïve and far too trusting. Since Ruby wants to marry Ford herself, she commits a shameful act at her sister’s engagement party. This results in the end of the engagement and Ruby being sent to boarding school. She is 15 years old and takes advantage of the environment to develop her singing voice. Her new goal becomes singing in vaudeville.
When she arrives alone in New York, everything falls into place without the least effort. She finds friends, a boarding house, and even a vaudeville group ready to embrace her. This is where I found the story frustrating and somewhat boring. No matter what risks Ruby took, nothing bad ever happened to her. After a while, the reader realizes, nothing ever will.
William Parker, a rich and influential man, decides to back her vaudeville show and tells her they will marry and she will quit her job. Ruby wants none of this and her reconnection with Ford makes her rejection of Parker even firmer. She soon realizes that Ford is a violent drunk who gets whatever he wants using any method no matter the consequences. Unfortunately, just when it seemed Ruby’s safety was at risk, the problem was solved easily and quickly.
If you’re looking for a simple, sweet romance with a plucky girl who gets her man, you’ll enjoy this. If you’re looking for something with the least bit of suspense, this will let you down. It’s the kind of book you read when you want a complete break from work or the kids or the election.. It is an entertaining, light, simple and sweet romance.