Ingénue is the second novel in the YA Flappers series by Jillian Larkin.
If you haven’t read Vixen, the first novel in this series, you are looking at some major, inevitable spoilers in this review of Ingénue if you persist in reading it! I strongly recommend that you don’t – enjoy the series in order and go pick up a copy of Vixen!
For those of you who have read Vixen, we’ll begin the synopsis now…
Last we left our main characters we were in 1923 Chicago. Lorraine Dyer had recently exposed the innocent-appearing Clara Knowles as phony with a scandalous past – only to lose her lifelong best friend Gloria Carmody in the process.
Gloria, in the meantime, had begun to live a secret, speakeasy life as a nightclub singer – and fell for the handsome black pianist Jerome Johnson. Her taboo love affair caused ripple effects that sent the two of them running from the ever-present mob.
Then there was Clara Knowles, the revealed former flapper queen, who feared her relationship with the charming, gorgeous Marcus Eastman would be immediately over once he found out the truth about her. She was happily surprised to be wrong.
But now some time has passed – where have our gals gone?
All three are in New York, though not to each other’s knowledge.
Lorraine is working hard before going to school in the fall – and one of her main pursuits is a little friendly revenge. Gloria can’t get away with what she did to Lorraine. The only thing to distract from her goal is a very attractive bartender… is it too much to hope that Lorraine might finally find true love?
Gloria and Jerome are barely surviving – having a hard time trying to find work, as well as keep their relationship hidden since almost nobody would understand or appreciate it. Their dreams of marriage are hampered by impossibility and a continued fear of being found.
Clara is continuing in her progress of leaving her partying life behind her – but now that she’s back in New York she finds the glitz and glamour of old friends and locales harder to resist than she thought they’d be. Is Marcus enough to keep her going in the right direction?
Ooooh boy! Ingénue is just one of those books that are too much fun to deny!
Immediately you’re presented with 20s garb, slang, and diversion. We’ve got murder, gangsters, and liars, forbidden love on the run, payback, gossip, and speakeasy’s! I am so there.
When I read Vixen last year, I was torn. I had wanted more from it – maybe a bit more depth or investment in the characters. But this time around, with Ingénue, I found it be flawless just the way it is. The characters are really coming into their own, and there is just something comforting and gratifying about sitting back and reading something as dishy, glittery, starry-eyed, cinematic, and twisty as Ingénue.
I actually did find myself more invested in Clara, Lorraine, Gloria, Jerome, and Vera (Jerome’s sister) than the first time around, too. But primarily, the whip-fast, swiftly paced dialogue and switching viewpoints kept me in its Roaring Twenties grips!
The cliffhanger end was pitch-perfect, and I am very much looking forward to the third book – Diva – when it comes out. I can’t help hoping that this is not the final book in what is turning out to be a lively, wild, romantic, opulent series!
Want to sit back, relax, and be flat-out entertained? Grab Ingénue! That is, after reading Vixen! :)