Book Review – Ramble and Roar

SUMMARY

Eliza Belcourt has everything money can buy, except the love and approval of her parents. After they force her into an unwanted engagement to save her father’s business, Eliza flees to New York City to pursue her dream of being a famous singer.

Hugh Whitmore has loved Eliza for years. When Eliza rejects him, he heads to New York to expand his father’s business. He is also determined to prove to Eliza that they are perfect for each other.

Warren Moore is a dangerous and mysterious man. Only twenty three, he has risen in the ranks of New York’s Irish mafia by doing whatever was necessary. It’s a world where trust doesn’t exist and loyalty is everything. When Warren’s past catches up with him, it is his loyalty that becomes suspect.

Three people looking for approval. Eliza, Hugh and Warren find their lives slowly intermingling in New York. But they may be surprised by just how much they have in common.

MY THOUGHTS

In recent years, I’ve been finding more novels set in the Roaring Twenties/Jazz Age. I’m so happy this era has been receiving more attention as it is such a fascinating time in history. So, I was excited to read Ramble and Roar, especially when it received some great reviews from people I trust.

I have to say however, that I didn’t love Ramble and Roar like I thought I would. Maybe, I just let all the hype get my expectations too high. That’s not to say this isn’t a good book. It is clear that the author has done her research. Her writing immerses the reader in the lingo, style, music and attitudes of the decade.

I had a difficult time connecting emotionally with this story and it’s characters. Warren has charisma that leaps off the page. But I just couldn’t seem to make myself care about Hugh and Eliza. Eliza comes across as incredibly naïve as she chases her dream. Leaving behind a life of comfort and wealth, she is completely blind to the challenges and danger of living on her own in New York. It also never dawns on her that her new friends may not be on the right side of the law, despite witnessing conversations and behavior that is highly questionable.

Hugh is a little less naïve, but just comes across rather bland. He’s so used to everything coming easy to him that he can’t wrap his mind around Eliza’s rejection. Though, he’s a caring, polite man, he’s also a bit self-absorbed in his quest to convince Eliza that she belongs with him. Their experiences in New York are the first time either one runs into real challenges.

Aside from one surprising twist that I didn’t see coming, the plot was a bit predictable and the characters slightly cliché. Warren’s background and motivations were the only thing that really held any mystery for me. I found some of the supporting characters more intriguing than the main ones.

You might think that I didn’t like this novel. But I did, I just didn’t love it. I did enjoy the author’s writing style and attention to detail. And I’m curious enough about the characters to be interested in the sequel. If you enjoy books set in the Twenties, then you should like this one.

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