Blog Book Tour | “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (Book No. 2 of the Roaring Twenties novels) by Jennifer Lamont Leo Otherwise known as the debut INSPY novelist Jorie happily discovered last year!

Posted Monday, 14 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” direct from the author Jennifer Lamont Leo in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was especially wicked thrilled to have discovered Jennifer Lamont Leo:

A most enjoyable reading experience was being curled up inside this beautifully lovely debut novel, of which I hope will become the guiding light towards deepening the appreciation of Ms Corrigan’s adventures in successive installments of the series. Mind, I hope it does readily become a full-on series of novels, because the foundation laid down in the shoes & mind of Ms Corrigan are to be treasured!

You simply get swept away into this novel: from Dot’s flapper lifestyle to Ms Corrigan’s journey back to centre and the emergence of what became of Jack; you’re truly settled into the flowing narrative of how one woman chose to take the reigns of her life and do something rather incredible with her time. Especially brilliant, is through her dedicated research she was able to bring to light, the incredibly fast-paced life of working at Marshall Field’s. In of itself, those passages were some of my favourite because the author truly tapped into how working in a popular department store is both tiring and endlessly engaging in how to keep up with the customers!

There are so many wonderful passages – of where Ms Corrigan is realising who she is for the very first time and of the mistakes that come from daring to live outside your comfort zones. Ms Lamont Leo has etched out a heroine you want to rally behind and learn more about in successive volumes of a series you can only hope has first sparked to life in You’re the Cream in my Coffee.

Truly, a sweet novel for those who love Inspiring HistFic with a glimmer of a pinch of Romance set in an exciting period of history whilst coming alive with a coming-of age story that is simply not meant to be missed! Definitely my first #unputdownable read of the New Year: 2017! Such a blessing to have been on this blog tour!

As an aside, the truer blessing was having such an inspiring read on hand whilst I fought my way back into the joys of reading once again. This was a beautiful story to get lost inside and feel your spirit renew itself against the pages of drama evolving in and out of Ms Corrigan’s search for individual truth & the path she was meant to walk.

-quoted from my review of You’re the Cream in my Coffee

I didn’t enter [2017] at the best of circumstances as my head, heart and spirit were still recovering from the medical crisis of my father’s stroke from the previous November. However, when I found stories like this one – penned by Ms Lamont Leo, I found myself recovering my spirit and fortitude to move forward both in life and in my reading adventures one story at a time. It was back then when I had considered for another considerable amount of time if I were to continue to blog my reading life or even tweet my readerly joy – if you fast forward to how [2018] began, I have had new reasons to find a renewal of bookish joy just as pertinent as it was to find them in [2017].

The end of the year [2017] concluded as hard as it began, followed by a difficult start to Spring, similar to the previous one – where it was my health which was being affected not my father’s. As I start to shift forward in both my blogging life and my readerly adventures – I’m finding myself happily museful for my return to reading INSPY Lit more regularly if you caught sight of my 5th Blogoversary post and my recent Spotlight w/ Notes on behalf of the Bradford Sisters Romance series – as we start to shift into Summer, my readings of INSPY will happily continue to expand.

This year, I was delighted beyond measure finding out the sequel was going on a blog tour – truly humbled and blessed I could join it and finding myself wicked anxious to dive back into Marjorie Corrigan’s life!

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Blog Book Tour | “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (Book No. 2 of the Roaring Twenties novels) by Jennifer Lamont Leo Otherwise known as the debut INSPY novelist Jorie happily discovered last year!Ain't Misbehavin'
Subtitle: A Roaring Twenties Novel
by Jennifer Lamont Leo
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Why would a strong, upstanding man want to build a future with a shallow, good-time girl like her?

Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper with no intention of settling down. She’s used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781946016423

Also by this author: You're the Cream in my Coffee, Ain't Misbehavin' (Guest Post on Music)

Also in this series: You're the Cream in my Coffee

Published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

on 13th March, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 199

Published By: Smitten Historical Romance

an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic + #INSPY

About Jennifer Lamont Leo

Jennifer Lamont Leo

With a passion for all things historical, Jennifer Lamont Leo captures readers’ hearts through stories set in times gone by. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist. An Illinois native, she holds a deep affection for Chicago and its rich history. Today she writes from the mountains of northern Idaho, where she shares her home with her husband, two cats, and abundant wildlife.

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remembering ‘dot’ & sorting out the series:

I spent a lot of time focusing on Marjorie Corrigan in the first installment, mostly as she left the greatest impression on me – however, Dot was also quite important to the plot – as she lived a life quite opposite of Ms Corrigan. I was slightly surprised by how much Ms Corrigan’s life took a back-seat in this sequel, as I thought she was going to be the central lead character throughout the series – which is one reason I switched back to referencing this as the series name it was originally given for this review, as I was betwixt and between whether or not I liked the shift in focus from moving away from Ms Corrigan’s point-of-view and exchanging it for a rotation of different characters of whom would become focused on next in sequence. For the sake of keeping all my reviews of this series in order on my blog, I left the tag as ‘Marjorie Corrigan’ as the serial name.

However, I should mention, it was Dot who I felt allowed Ms Corrigan to find the courage to grow the most – they had a friendship and bond with each other which bespoke of their journey towards finding not just independence but security at their jobs. The interesting bit is how Dot did not always make the best choices (in life or love) but she was always standing by Ms Corrigan’s side – the two might have been polar opposites in many regards but their encouragement and support for one another shined through plenty of times revealling how they each only hoped for the best for each of them.

Before Dot and Charlie reached Veronica’s party, I can honestly say Ms Lamont Leo won me over by shifting perspectives in the series – why I misconstrued the focus initially is unknown, as I honestly don’t remember a lot of what I read in [2017] due to a variety of reasons. Just looking back at my blog it’s a wonderment what I accomplished and what I reviewed – therefore, I felt like I was re-entering this series with fresh eyes and despite my initial yearning to resume seeing Ms Corrigan front and centre – Dot simply won me over, her personality is simply effervescently addictive to be around!

my review of ain’t misbehavin:

I could honestly see Dot quite clearly – befuddled and unamused about her predictament about which outfit she should wear – she was genuinely a woman in-progress of becoming herself, therefore, to have a crisis in wardrobe felt like a fitting place to begin this novel! I was dearly surprised to have learnt straight-away how Ms Corrigan was out of sight – planning her wedding and not immediately involved in this installment. I was so hoping to catch up with her and resume where I had left her, however, her darling friend Dot is just as entertaining (if not moreso in some instances) to read which is why I was enjoying my respite tucked into her life.

Dot had a way of charming the socks off of Charlie – so much so, he easily lost his composure and all sense of logic flew straight out of his head, too! Seeing his expression as Dot opened the door was rather priceless, if you ask me! It points to his innocence and her edgy vibe as a Flapper – Dot was a true Chicagoan in this regard – she lived her life on her terms, didn’t broker being reigned in and felt it was only right she should educate Charlie a bit on the finer points of city living since he was from such a smaller hamlet of a towne! The two of them together would nearly feel as if they were oil and vinegar – such as they were apart in so many obvious ways by observation but the truth of it, you’d have to take a harder look to see just exactly why they found love in each other. Sometimes as is the case with these two, love just isn’t blind – it can be wickedly sneaky at giving two people a chance at bliss who might not have conceived it possible to find.

You have to laugh how impressionable Dot is on Charlie – he’s a stand-up bloke from a close-knit family who has humbled small towne roots – being caught up in the wiles and lights of Chicago, with Dot by his side, he invariably gets a bit out of his depth quite quickly! Such as the case when Dot insists they go to Veronica’s party where she can introduce him to her old friends – from the days when she sang in an underground speakeasy! Except, the evening wasn’t all roses for Charlie – Dot was in her element, in the cosy atmosphere of being with her old friends – the people whom had lifted her up when she hadn’t had two dimes to spare. Charlie on the other hand was feeling sorry for himself and a heap of regret for having come to a party he knew he shouldn’t attend.

Just seeing Dot comfortable by the piano, singing her heart out and in the full confidence of a singer who had not yet had her proper debut to receive an audience she deserved was a welcome turning of events for Dot. You always felt she could have made it if she had had the right person behind her – as a lot of the circumstances surrounding her life (from what I recall) in the first installment wasn’t her fault nor was it the kind of situation you’d easily find yourself able to detach from affecting your future. No, Dot was the kind of gal who had to find a hard-won solution to making her dreams a readily but sadly, it seemed Charlie was too busy worrying about himself than to notice what Dot was trying to accomplish.

As we observe Charlie slowly breaking Dot’s spirit with his noncommittal attitude at the party and the ways in which the happy couple were starting to drift apart without even realising a rift had formed between them – you felt for Dot the most. She had an ambitious soul, a soulful voice which found happiness in song and in the end, she couldn’t pursue her dream if she wanted to seek out the romance of her heart; at least, not at Veronica’s party! They were each too stubborn to even acknowledge what was putting a wedge between them! You feel infuriated they won’t break their silence but moreso, that neither one of them felt they could compromise if it meant something to the other.

I was thrilled to bits we were invited to Ms Corrigan’s wedding – I wasn’t sure if the wedding would be included in Ain’t Misbehavin’ or in the third installment – thus, imagine my happy surprise finding Dot in a lushly velvet red gown and re-considering what went wrong with Charlie; Marjorie’s brother. A lot of the time, both Dot and Charlie spend a considerable amount of headspace trying to sort through the angst in the road they arrive inside rather than confronting each other, talking things out and not keeping secrets; such as how they each secretly still have feelings even if neither of them wants to admit it.

Shortly after the wedding, I started to feel a need to protect Dot – her innocence and naivete was showing as she never truly felt the friends she trusted like family could let her down. That is of course until the police started questioning her about things she was in the dark over – proving that sometimes the choices you make in life can end your freedom. Dot was between a rock and a hard place – she had tried to make the best decisions for the life she wanted but there were certain aspects of her acquaintances and the circles she kept therein which placed her in quasi-danger!

The sad bit though is how her and Charlie are lockheads over keeping apart – they don’t see what they are losing by staying away from each other nor do they seem to understand how well they fit together – even if they are from two different kinds of backgrounds! The silliness about it all though is how despite the fact they are falling in love, they are letting petty fear and doubt to overtake their budding romance.

Concurrent to the time-line of events, are the historical facts surfacing out of Chicago, as Ms Lamont Leo makes a personal connection between Dot and the gangsters who were ruling the city. In fact, it’s quite a clever connection as it places Dot square to rights in the midst of everything without actually being involved directly! However, you had to draw a breath to keep calm as you read the pages as there was a margin of uncertainty about how this would ultimately play out and if threats which were made against Dot would come true!

What truly stays with you though is the heart-warming way in which Dot and Charlie approach their problems – they don’t necessary get it right the first time or the fifth, but what touches your heart is how they each can’t truly see a future without each other. How they have to settle their differences is part of the joy in reading this story, where you get to be entreated to the Corrigan family remaining a mainstay and how even in the 1920s life was not just an uphill climb economically, it was a hard generation to find your true love.

I love how Ms Lamont Leo has approached writing this series – she tucks you into the backdrop of an era you can nearly see pop back into life whilst holding your heart in the lives of her characters who are honestly attempting to sort out their lives one day at a time. It’s the kind of sweet romances you look forward to reading where there is an uplift of lightness in the words and in the joys of being caught inside an INSPY Romance. This is what brings me back to the series and it is the key reason why I look forward to seeing how the series will continue to become developed through future installments!

On the INSpy styling of ms lamont leo:

Ms Lamont Leo has such an ease about her narrative – she drops you straight back into her plot, giving us ample reason to feel a reason for wanting to take up residence therein and allows us the beauty of joy to re-align ourselves with her characters from one installment of her series to the next. The only regret I have is knowing the stories between the novels are still strictly only released into ebook formats, rather than being included in the forthcoming novels, released separately in print or perhaps even in audiobook. The latter is the option I am enjoying discovering lately, as was the case with Ms Becky Wade’s Bradford Sisters Romance series – where I could enjoy the prequel novella in audio ahead of reading the two novels in print. I do hope other authors might take that route as it helps those of us who are traditional readers to seek out the stories which inter-connect a series together.

I enjoyed noting Marjorie made her own wedding dress – she always had a knack for design and it’s something she enjoyed doing all along. Of course, I had forgotten how her sense of style in ready-made fashion had the tendency to make Dot cringe – laughs – but the good nature and spirit of friendship seems to settle all disputes such as those! I liked how Ms Lamont Leo continues to strengthen the background of the series by the breadth of her characters – of giving them dimension and heartache, whereas the dramatic bits are lead-ups to either redemptive sequences or new beginnings.

The series never shies away from the harder realities of both the era and of the individuals who populate the series – as this is 1929, from our perspective, we know the Crash is imminent but for people like Charlie who wanted to take a risk on their future, 1929 felt like the year their tides could not just change but become substantially better. Knowing the fuller scope of the history though, you nearly cringe awaiting the fall-out and the repercussions of what happens once everyone realises the full weight of how the stock market would affect their lives. It is a good place to hinge the series – in the 1920s, as the Twenties had such a lifeblood of American life within their decade. Not just in music and art, but in the sequencing of events which would define generations yet to come.

In the background of the series, there is an impression of INSPY living practices and of the Christian faith – not overtly so, but rather, spoken about as it relates to signature moments within Ms Lamont Leo’s characters’ lives or as takeaway conversations therein where someone is trying to sort through something rather important. It never feels forced and if anything, it shows a healthy outlook on how faith and life collide together – how sometimes you don’t see boundaries or barriers even if they exist in front of you. It also takes stock at how different people move in and out of their faith, how faith is defined for different people and of course, the other side of the spectrum entirely where faith might become soured by a bad influence.

One interesting bit of trivia is how the titles of the series relate to songs made popular during Marjorie Corrigan and Dot’s era, as this is brought full to life by how Dot is seen singing the titled songs at Veronica’s party. It is wonderful continuity but also, it is a keen way of bridging together how the series is rooted in it’s time-line of influence.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Ain't Misbehavin' blog tour via HFVBTs
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2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, book synopsis, author photo & biography of Jennifer Lamont Leo and the tour badge were all provided by HFVBTs (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna, 2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 14 May, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Dating & Humour Therein, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, the Roaring Twenties

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