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Ain't Misbehavin' (Roaring Twenties Series Book 2) Kindle Edition
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"Beneath a Scarlet Sky" by Mark Sullivan
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Overall, Ain’t Misbehavin’ is wonderful read, every bit as good as its predecessor. If you enjoy historical Christian romance, you’ll definitely want to read this book.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Admittedly, I initially agreed with some of the other reviewers who felt that the characters' struggle was repetitive at times and that the ending wrapped up somewhat quickly; however, I also think that such internal struggle is often repetitive, which is what makes them hard to overcome without time. The time the characters needed only seemed quick to the reader because the resolution includes a few jumps in time as it occurred over several months (at the start of the Great Depression).
After I put the book down and let the story settle, I realized that it is a satisfying, thoughtful story from start to finish. You're the Cream in My Coffee may be my favorite so far, but Ain't Misbehavin' is still the bee's knees.
I give A’int Misbehavin’ four stars and I am adding the first of the series, You’re the Cream in My Coffee, to my wish list.
Dot is the daughter of Reverend Oliver Barker, a faith healer who was more of a charlatan, bringing in dishonest money with his family paying the price. Whether it was living the lie or abandoning their faith, he didn’t see himself as the cause of anyone’s dis-ease. When he kicked Dot out of the house, she went to Chicago to find a place to work, sing, live. Singing something she loved to do. She was mentored by Louie, a gangster who had a cabaret where Dot sang and dreamed that he loved her. When he went to jail, she spent less time with the gang and more time with roommate Marjorie. She met Charlie, Marjorie’s brother, and they have been going out. Charlie’s family live in Kerryville, owning and running Corrigan’s Dry Goods. He was safe, and a Christian, but definitely without glamor or excitement.
Charlie plans to propose to Dot on New Year’s Eve, has reservations at a quiet place for dinner. She has other plans, wanting to go to a party at one of her friend’s. They compromise by stopping by the party, intending only a quick stop. Until they asked her to sing. Dot lost all track of time. Charlie sees he can’t fit in with the gang, and didn’t really want to. They had a disagreement, he walked out, and she could see that what her father said was true. She was selfish and no decent man would ever want her. She had to cut ties now. She was doing well until going to Kerryville for Marjorie’s wedding.
Charlie and Dot appeal to this reader, as I have empathy for each. Charlie is introverted, preferring small groups of people, and has injuries sustained in the Great War while Dot, an extrovert, is energized by singing and being in a crowd of her friends, even if there is booze or smoke in the room. Charlie is a Christian who knows God’s love and mercy. Dot has a warped view of the Lord because of her father’s schemes. They have many good qualities, and each has a heart for the other, but people in their lives try to convince them that they don’t belong together. Especially the critical voice of the Reverend in Dot’s head. The characters drive this novel, vibrant, appealing, and very well-defined.
Plot twists come out of the blue in this well-written novel. The author expertly captures the music, hairstyles and clothing, and differences between small town and big city life. The question is raised many times over, whether one can change from being a “speakeasy floozy” to someone suitable for Charlie. Whether religion is just what a mean-spirited preacher says, or what the Bible says. Even though she has long worked a respectable job at Marshall Fields, Dot still sees herself as the leopard who can’t change her spots. This is an amazing novel of discovery, pain, faith, and hope for a future different than the past – even when the past drags one to the DA’s office. I highly recommend this to those who enjoy well-written, faith-filled novels of the late 1920’s era of American history.
From a grateful heart: I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher and was not required to provide a review.