Hi there! I’m sharing a review for a newly released historical M/M romance that harkens to Prohibition Era NYC and a college graduate who has a lot to learn about life. Suzey Ingold’s SPEAKEASY is a quiet, clean romance between Heath and Art in a time of flux and heady changes.
Check out my review and be sure to enter to win $25 GC to Interlude Press or one of 5 ecopies of SPEAKEASY.
About the book:
In the height of the Prohibition era, recent Yale graduate Heath Johnson falls for Art, the proprietor of a unique speakeasy tucked away beneath the streets of Manhattan where men are free to explore their sexuality.
When Art’s sanctuary is raided, Heath is forced to choose between love and the structured life his parents planned for him.
How about a tidbit?
Heath swallows, playing over an idea that had formed shakily in his head after he saw Frankie, since Art walked through that door and possibly longer without him being fully conscious of it. “Maybe it’s time I was honest. Tell them that I don’t want to marry Ginny or work with my father. Let the pieces fall where they may.”
“You would do that?”
“If it meant being with you, I would do anything.” Heath sits up and the sheets fall to pool around his waist. “I know what I want, now. And it’s you and whatever a future with you brings.”
Heath is a young man in a wealthy family just back form his graduation from Yale. His father’s pushing him toward a job in investment banking, with his own firm, but Heath’s been resistant. He’s negotiated a last summer of freedom before he chooses a job and settles down, and he’s playing chaperone to his younger sister Amelia as she decides on a husband. His parents, affectionately known as the Duke and Duchess of their social circle, are also pushing Heath to marry a girl.
Heath’s known for a long time that he’s not interested in women, and copping to a sham marriage is not something he’s willing to do. He’s a romantic at heart, and longs to fall for someone who’d love him back ardently. His best friend from college knows this, and brings Heath to a speakeasy that caters to men who favor men. I should mention here that speakeasies were illegal bars run in the period of Prohibition in the US–during the 1920s when liquor production and sale was illegal. It’s a whirlwind experience for Heath, especially as Heath’s nature is to acquiesce to his parents’ desires. Seeing men being free with their affection lights Heath in fire in a number of ways, not all of them positive. He’s fairly gobsmacked.
He does return, however, and he strikes up a friendship with Art, owner of TJ, the speakeasy that blows Heath’s mind. During the course of the summer Heath and Art become very close, Heath imagining a life spent with the man who is winning his heart, but all good things are not happening. There is constant pressure from Heath’s parents to settle on a job and a wife, and Heath’s attempts at subterfuge are not sufficient to afford him freedom. And, ever present is the possibility of discovery, not just of TJ, but of Art, and exactly what Heath wants to do with him.
I really enjoyed the period aspects of this piece. The setting is so completely Prohibition Era and the prose is an effortless, flawless read. If I have a grumble it’s wishing for some steam. The resolution is very sweet and tender, with Heath making his mark on the world in his own way, and with the support of unexpected people.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 GC to interlude Press or one of 5 ecopies of SPEAKEASY.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the author:
Suzey Ingold is a writer, linguist and coffee addict, currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought up in a household where children’s books are quoted over the dinner table, literature has always had a strong influence on her life. She enjoys traveling, scented candles and brunch. Her short story, “The Willow Weeps for Us,” was included in “Summer Love: An LGBTQ Collection,” published by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press (2015).