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Review of Romancing the Rumrunner by Michelle McLean w/a Rafflecopter giveaway!

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Book Title: Romancing the Rumrunner

Author: Michelle McLean

Release Date: June 9, 2014

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Synopsis:

Prohibition Era Chicago

She’s worked too hard to be run out of town…

Jessica Harlan spends her nights as The Phoenix, the owner of the most popular speakeasy in town. Her days are spent running her respectable butcher shop and dodging prohibition agents and rival club owners who all want to put her out of business.

He’s worked too hard to let his heart get in the way…

When the opportunity arises to go undercover for the Feds to catch The Phoenix, Gumshoe Anthony Solomon jumps on it. But he never suspected the notorious rumrunner would be a dame—or that he’d be so drawn to the feisty little minx.

They play a dangerous game of cat and mouse, knowing they can’t trust the other, but unable to walk away. While their hearts dodge the crossfire, the mobsters raise the stakes, and even the Phoenix may not rise again.


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I’m going to do the review a bit different today.  I’m going to list what I loved about the book and what I didn’t particularly like.  My overall impression of the book is great but there were so things that I felt like were somewhat skipped over in the end.


1.  Jessica – a girl after my own heart.  She’s a very strong heroine.  Never weak unless Tony’s around but considering her somewhat sad back story, I felt connected to her and how she got into the position of running a speakeasy.

2.  Tony – oh my Tony.  Talk about someone who was given the shaft after one mistake.  What made him different from any other “wounded, done wrong” hero, is the time period.  The way his story unfolds is brilliant and plausible.  Plus, the way he is with his mother?  *swoon*

3.  The time period – LOVE it.  I will watch anything on the History Channel, BIO, whatever when it’s about mobsters.  Plus, I’ve seen where Capone is buried in Chicago.  There is something totally sexy and uninhibited about Prohibition and yes, how wrong it really was.  Plus, Ms. McLean did her homework when it came down to the details.  (BTW…read her Blood Blade Sisters trilogy…dang that series was AWESOME)  Lastly…no one takes a chance on writing in this time period.  It’s again, sexy, glamorous and dangerous all at the same time.

4.  The Butcher Shop – yes, the shop is a character all its own.  Read the book and you will understand.  😉

5.  The flow of the book and the romance between Jessica and Tony is honest and well-developed.  My heart broke a time or two at the end but understandable.

6.  The dialogue in the story was spot on.  It made me giggle in a couple of places but it is totally appropriate for the time period.


1.  Jameson the agent – I knew that I wasn’t supposed to like him but I really felt like he could have used a comeuppance or something.  Not every agent was like him and to me, he was the villain in the book.  To me he was evil to everyone.

2.  Willie the gangster – I felt like this thread was just dropped. Yes, it wrapped up with Jessica but I sorta expected him to fall or just something…

3.  The secondary characters – what happened to Joe and Charlie in the end?  While the secondary characters were great, their place in the story just ended.  Without a “where are they now?” scene or even a sentence.

Overall, I really liked the book.  Tony and Jessica were a dream couple and the scenes at the end really tugged at my heart.  Ms. McLean is a great historical author regardless of the time period.  She gets the details, setting and even dialogue pitch perfect.  Plus, isn’t that cover gorgeous?  That is Jessica.


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Author Bio:

Michelle McLean grew up in California and has lived everywhere from the deserts of Utah to the tropical beaches of Hawaii to the gorgeous forests of the east coast. The oldest of five children, she is generally an organized mess with crazy eclectic tastes. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, an insatiable love of books, and more weird quirks than she’d like to admit.

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3 thoughts on “Review of Romancing the Rumrunner by Michelle McLean w/a Rafflecopter giveaway!

  1. I’ve always loved the Prohibition era, it’s absolutely fascinating and this book sounds like it’ll be fabulous! And that cover, wow amazing! Thanks for sharing!!

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