Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Book Review: The Wicked Redhead by Beatriz Williams

Pages: 432
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: December 10, 2019
Publisher:  William Morrow
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: A Certain Age A Hundred Summers, 
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "New York City, 1998: When Ella Gilbert discovers her banker husband is cheating on her, she loses both her marriage and the life she knew. In her new apartment in an old Greenwich Village building, she's found unexpected second love with Hector, a musician who lives upstairs. And she's discovered something else, just as surprising—a connection to the mesmerizing woman scandalously posed in a vintage photograph titled Redhead Beside Herself.  Florida, 1924: Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from Appalachia, barely survived a run-in with her notorious bootlegger stepfather. She and Oliver Anson, a Prohibition agent she has inconveniently fallen in love with, take shelter in Cocoa Beach, a rum-running haven. But the turmoil she tried to leave behind won't be so easily outrun. Anson's mother, the formidable Mrs. Marshall, descends on Florida with a proposition that propels Gin back to the family's opulent New York home, and into a reluctant alliance. Then Anson disappears during an investigation, and Gin must use all her guile and courage to find him.  Two very different women, separated by decades. Yet as Ella tries to free herself from her ex, she is also hunting down the truth about the captivating, wicked Redhead in her photograph—a woman who loved and lived fearlessly. And as their link grows, she feels Gin urging her on, daring her to forge her own path, wherever it leads."


Things pick up where they left off in The Wicked City.  Oliver and Ginger are hiding out in Cocoa Beach with the Fitzwilliams and the year is 1924.  If you read Cocoa Beach, you are familiar with these characters.  Oliver and Ginger are escaping the horrible fight they had with notorious bootleggers, including her wretched stepfather, Duke Kelly.  Oliver leaves Ginger behind to go pursue some business and requests that she wait for him in Florida.  Gin isn't someone who waits around and when Oliver's mother suggests she returns to New York City with her in order to help Oliver's brother, Billy, who is recovering from the fight.  The problem is Billy still thinks that Gin is his fianc√©e, so things are starting to get a little complicated for Gin.  She feels guilty about Billy's injury as it's her stepfather who is responsible, so Gin returns to New York to help him out.  Then there's a parallel storyline featuring Ella in 1998.  If you remember from The Wicked City, her husband cheated on her and she moved out.  While at her new apartment, she met Hector, who she has hit it off with tremendously, but things aren't quite over with her ex-husband.  Conflicts ensue. Ella and Gin are linked and readers find out exactly how as the story progresses. The Wicked Redhead by Beatriz Williams is a fun sequel to The Wicked City. If you like the Prohibition era mixed in with rumrunners, romance, bootlegging, a strong heroine, and a ton of adventure, you will especially appreciate this historical tale.

Ginger is such a fun character in The Wicked Redhead. She is feisty, courageous, and a sharp-shooter both physically and verbally. I really enjoyed getting to know her more in this sequel; in fact, I liked her even more than in book one.  Her relationship with the two brothers was a bit convoluted, but readers know she has stronger feelings for Oliver and it's over with Billy. I did feel badly for Billy though as his situation isn't easy. His mother, who is extremely domineering, is in charge of his recovery and she gets Gin caught up in her plan to pull the wool over Billy's eyes in order to get him better and to give him something to live for.  In return, she will do something for Ginger.  But readers can help but wonder what Oliver will think of this when he returns from his trip.  Cue the drama.

Ella is a likable character in The Wicked Redhead. I loved her relationship with Hector and there's no doubt that they are better suited together than with her ex-husband. I don't want to give too much away, but things aren't quite over with the ex despite the fact that Ella is ready to move on. I really enjoyed her family drama and her relationships with her various family members. Readers are able to figure out the link between Ella and Gin, which made the two seemingly different narratives flesh together a bit more.  

I enjoyed all he adventure in The Wicked Redhead.  There's bootleggers, beautiful locations, romance, adventure,  rumrunners, and so much more. I was undoubtedly entertained.  In fact, I rarely like a sequel more than I like the original story, but that is the case with this novel. 

Be forewarned, the first quarter of The Wicked Redhead is slow going. It took me awhile to remember the plot in The Wicked City and reacquaint myself with all the characters, but once things got moving, I really enjoyed it. So, stick with it, because who doesn't love a good Jazz Age adventure? 


2 comments:

  1. So glad you enjoyed this! I still need to read The Wicked City, but I'm glad to know I have something to look forward to with this one.

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    Replies
    1. I think you'll like the series, especially if you are a fan of Williams. I look forward to your thoughts on it! Thanks for visiting, Michele!

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