Today's the last day of Alicia Dean's RUINED blog tour. I've followed along and enjoyed getting to know Alicia better. As well as being my editor for my first romantic suspense One Red Shoe, Alicia is a good friend. She organized the group I often talk about, Authors Helping Authors. Through her, I've met many talented authors and have enjoyed their books. Alicia writes in many genres: vampire romances, 1950's short stories, gothic romance, gritty suspense, and more. Ruined is her first book set in the 1920's.
I debated where to put my review and finally decided you needed to see how much I liked this book.
Review of Ruined - 5 Stars
I read this page-turner as soon as it came out. It's a fascinating story about love and redemption. I'm sure this
situation was one many young, female immigrants found themselves in when
they came to America. I kept thinking "don't believe him" when the very
clever villain offered her a too-good-to-be-true job. As she realizes
the extent of what he deems "appropriate" her fear then self-loathing
made my heart ache. I loved the way Alicia Dean incorporates
expressions from the 1920s to give added flavor. The characterizations
are very convincing.
Now without further ado, here's the 411 (I just watched The Parent Trap) on Alicia Dean's latest book.
Ruined (Martini Club 4 - The 1920's)
by Alicia DeanAmazon
| Barnes & Noble
| Kobo Books
Genre: Vintage Historical Romance
Release Date: February 26, 2015
Length: 120 Pages
She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans...
the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza
Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But
the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she
finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.
Taggart’s childhood friend disappears, he heads to New York in search
of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation.
Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away,
especially when he learns Eliza may be the key to finding his missing
Excerpt from RUINED
Eliza sat on a
barstool at Club 501, her legs
crossed, sipping a White Lady. The joint was wall to wall people. There
weren’t many places as nice as Club 501 that sold liquor. Most were
seedy, dangerous. Club 501 had opened a few days ago. The two level
speakeasy was as luxurious as a palace with its rich gold and mauve
tones, velvet upholstery, and long oak bar.
Meggie was on stage singing “Crazy Blues.” She wore a one-shoulder
peach calf-length gown with a scalloped hemline trimmed in shimmery
silver braid. Her eyes were half closed, blonde curls glistening beneath
Eliza closed her eyes and let the loveliness of Meggie’s voice soothe
her. Uncanny how she could sing without the hint of an accent.
In the worst of times, Eliza used a mind trick where she traveled to
another place and removed herself from whatever was happening. She’d
had to use the trick many times as a scullery maid, and when Lord
Renwald had trapped her in the barn, but the night he’d nearly raped
her, that had been something altogether different. Rather than using a
mind trick, she’d fully escaped. Meggie’s voice brought her that kind of
escape. She was transported to another place.
The song ended, and Eliza opened her eyes, clapping more loudly than
anyone else in the place. Meggie winked and curtsied, then went into her
next number. Some day, she was going to make it big, Eliza just knew
anything else?” Charli appeared at her shoulder, holding a tray full of
empty glasses at shoulder level. She wore the Club 501 uniform—a mauve
dress that came to mid-thigh with sheer voile that fell to her ankles.
She’d acquired a position as cocktail waitress a few days after Meggie
had been hired as a singer.
“No, thank you. Last night was a late one. I ought to take it slowly.”
Charli wrinkled her pert nose. “What a sweet deal you landed, while I’m stuck in this dive slinging booze.”
Eliza pursed her lips. “Now, Charli, this is hardly a dive. Serving
drinks here might not be the wealthy lifestyle you’re accustomed to, but
things could be worse—much worse.”
Sympathy shone in Charli’s brown eyes. “I know, luv. Selfish of me. I
know what you’ve been through, how awful things were for you before we
found you on the docks, then again when you arrived and had to take a
position at that ghastly old factory.” She let out a sigh. “It’s just
that I had such high hopes. I wanted so much to start a great life doing
what I love most.”
Eliza squeezed her friend’s hand. “You’ll get your bakery, I know you
will. You keep schmoozing Mrs. Carter, and you’re a shoo in.” Mrs.
Carter was a successful businesswoman who owned a string of department
stores. Charli all but panted after the woman.
Charli giggled and playfully slapped Eliza’s knee. “I do not
schmooze her. I just find her interesting.” She glanced over her
shoulder. “Sorry, gotta run. These blokes might perish if I don’t keep
the hooch flowing.” She cocked an impish grin. “See ya, luv.”
Eliza scanned the crowd. Jess was supposed to come in, but so far,
Eliza hadn’t seen her. She was feeling slightly abandoned. At least
Oscar wasn’t present. Now that he was her employer, she could barely
relax when he was at Club 501. She always felt she was on the clock.
Her gaze bounced over a man, then zeroed back. The bloke was looking
directly at her. She caught her breath. He was leaning on the bar a few
stools down, talking to Charli. He had this…magnetism, some kind of
forceful presence that made it impossible to look away.
He was broad, muscular and dressed like a dock worker with brown
suspenders over a yellow shirt and a newsboy cap over his dark blond
hair, but what caught her attention right off was his smile. His white
teeth flashed, and a dimple creased the right side of his face.
Charli moved away, and the man looked up and caught Eliza staring at
him. His grin widened. His eyes were so blue—so electrifying, that
Eliza could feel their allure even in the dimly lit, smoky bar.
He winked and gave her a finger salute off the brim of his cap.
A tingle ran from her toes, all the way through her body, making her head swim. My, but he was a fresh one.
superhuman effort, she dragged her attention away, but it didn’t keep
her heart from racing faster than a thoroughbred at Churchill Downs.
She swallowed and took a deep breath, fingering the pendant at her
neck, trying to slow her heart rate. What on earth was wrong with her?
She met plenty of handsome men—men more pleasing to the eye than he with
his workmen clothing and slightly crooked nose. But never had any man
sent her blood rushing through her veins like this.
She gulped from her glass. Get ahold of yourself.
She was not the kind of girl to pick up strange men in bars—even if they did have a devil of a smile and eyes like an angel.
About the Author
Award-winning, multi-published author Alicia Dean began writing stories
as a child. At age 11, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a
hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who happened to share the
name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me
she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore,
Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a
huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly
contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other
genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor
in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.
than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she
usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and
watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified,
Sons of Anarchy, Haven, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even
though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her
favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa
Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and
Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
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