Sunday, 30 June 2013

Probilited Passion by Rae Summers

This charming novella from historical romance author Rae Summers will transport you right back to the 1920's.  That was a heady, fascinating time. The entire western world had found its feet again after having been brought to its knees by the Great War. People were leaving the past in the past, celebrating life and bean.  While in the USA, prohibition on the consumption of alcoholic beverages was enforced  because of the strong Protestant ethic, the drinking went on surreptitiously in the speakeasies and dance clubs, where jazz flourished and the social barriers of the past were breaking down.  For those who could afford it, life was a party - until the Crash of 1929 brought it all tumbling down and the following decade ushered in the most destructive war in history.

The plot revolves around Jenny March, a young widow from London, who sails to New York in search for a new life, away from the old world restrictions of London in which a young and spirited widow could surely suffocate.  On the ship, she encounters the Irish American Tom Gallagher, who is returning from his honeymoon trip, which has been a revelation.  He's discovered that he's been trapped into a marriage of convenience to give his wife's secret life a respectable cover.  Being a Catholic, divorce is not an option for Tom. Tom runs a speakeasy - a dance club.  He and Jenny are not from the same social backgrounds.  Yet they're drawn to each other.

The novel is what could, I called a sweet romance.  There are no scenes of unlacing corsets or shenanigans in the ship's boiler room as such, yet the novel is frank about the sexual attraction between the two main characters.  The story sizzles.  Moreover, Jenny is no unawakened virgin.  We are given to understand that she enjoyed a healthy sexual relationship with her late husband, although she's almost embarrassed to speak of it.

I found this novel to be beautifully evocative of early 20th century New York and the jazz age - an age, I must confess, in which I had little interest, until I started reading this fascinating little gem of a novella. I would recommend this to students of this period of history, to readers of romance, readers of historical fiction and most importantly, readers of good writing.

Get it here:  Amazon     Amazon UK