Ingenue (The Flappers Series #2)

Ingenue (The Flappers Series #2)

4.4 61
by Jillian Larkin

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In the city that never sleeps, Lorraine Dyer is wide awake. Ever since she exposed Clara Knowles for the tramp she was—and lost her closest confidante in the process—Lorraine has spent every second scheming to make her selfish, lovesick ex-best friend pay for what she did. No one crosses Lorraine. Not even Gloria.  

True love conquers

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In the city that never sleeps, Lorraine Dyer is wide awake. Ever since she exposed Clara Knowles for the tramp she was—and lost her closest confidante in the process—Lorraine has spent every second scheming to make her selfish, lovesick ex-best friend pay for what she did. No one crosses Lorraine. Not even Gloria.  

True love conquers everything—or so Gloria Carmody crazily believed. She and Jerome Johnson can barely scrape together cash for their rent, let alone have a moment to whisper sweet nothings in the dark. And if they thought escaping Chicago meant they'd get away with murder . . . they were dead wrong.

Clara was sure that once handsome, charming Marcus Eastman discovered her shameful secret, he'd drop her like a bad habit. Instead, he swept her off her feet and whisked her away to New York. Being with Marcus is a breath of fresh air—and a chance for Clara to leave her wild flapper ways firmly in the past. Except the dazzling parties and bright lights won't stop whispering her name. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Elle Girl (online)
"Ingenue hits shelves August 9, and we are way ready for the latest glamorous chapter. Short skirts, dark and dank speakeasies, and a slew of boys are more than enough to grab our intrigue. It’s high time we strolled into our imaginary time machines back to the 1920s"

"This is a minxes-and-mayhem cross between Friends and Boardwalk Empire."

School Library Journal
"The booze, deception, scandals, and romance will keep readers looking forward to the next book in the series."
"Larkin brings the colorful 1920s alive with her vivid descriptions of the amazing fashions and jazzy music. And she doesn't back away from the dangers and dirt of the time period either, incorporating the illegal speakeasy nightclubs with their smoky atmospheres and flowing liquor bars, and the law-breaking mobsters who rule the streets. She also tackles the racism and bigotry of the time, doing so with honesty and sensitivity. Fans will be excited to know that this talented writer is offering more thrills, romance and history with book three, DIVA, coming in 2012."

Bibliophile Support Group (blog):
"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!"

Feathered Quill
"This series should definitely be on your list to buy, as these books tell what 1920’s New York was really all about - good gossip and a whole lot of fun."

Book Loving Mommy
"I love the descriptions of New York in the 1920s!  They are so real that you feel like you are watching it on TV.  The speakeasies were well-described and it is obvious that the author has done her research into this world and time...I highly recommend that you pick up this series and give it a try!"

One Page at a Time
"Fun brain candy with lots of historical insight."

Children's Literature - Maggie L. Schrock
Lorraine, Gloria, Clara, and Vera are young flappers living in Chicago during the Roaring Twenties. In book one, a run in with the mob separates the friends and, unbeknownst to each other, they all flee to New York City. In this second installment, Lorraine begins working for Carlito Macharelli, a mobster seeking revenge for the killing of one of his men; her job is to find and hire Gloria as a singer for Carlito's speakeasy. Lorraine manages to find and hire Gloria, as well as Gloria's forbidden boyfriend, Jerome. In the meantime, Vera is working hard to find Jerome and Gloria to warn them of their imminent danger. Clara is also working hard to uncover the secrets of the men; discovering Carlito's plan to kill Gloria and Jerome. Lorraine falls for Hank, an undercover FBI agent, and hires him to tend bar at Carlito's speakeasy. On opening night, Gloria and Jerome are big news and perform for a full house. Unfortunately, Hank enlists Lorraine's help to bust Carlito for multiple crimes. During the show, Carlito ends up being murdered by one of Al Capone's hired killers, and Gloria admits to murdering one of Carlito's men. Ending with a cliffhanger, Gloria trades her freedom for an undercover job for Hank. This wonderfully written novel gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of true flappers. Young ladies will enjoy the love affairs woven throughout, as well as the descriptions of the beautiful flapper attire. Young and strong female lead characters carry the story through multiple points of view, not only of whites at the time, but also African Americans. Reviewer: Maggie L. Schrock
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Picking up where Vixen (Delacorte, 2010) left off, this installment finds Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine in New York City. Gloria is on the lam and living with her African-American jazz-piano-playing boyfriend, Jerome. Their lives are very different than they were in Chicago as they struggle to make ends meet while looking for gigs. Lorraine works for Chicago gangster Carlito Macharelli at the Opera House speakeasy where her main job is to lure in Gloria and Jerome. Clara and Marcus's relationship is strained as she goes back to her old flapper ways all in the name of being a reporter for Manhattanite magazine. When Vera discovers that a hit woman is after her brother Jerome, she heads to New York City, accompanied by his best friend and trumpet player, Evan. Things come to a head when everyone ends up at the Opera House on the night that Gloria and Jerome finally perform. Racial inequity is explored as Vera, Jerome, and Evan must enter clubs through the back and are not allowed on the floor of Harlem's Cotton Club, and the lack of acceptance of interracial couples is evident through Gloria's sneaking through a white apartment building in disguise before entering the building she shares with Jerome. With a full plot, Larkin's writing falls flat. Her characters seem to have lost themselves and do not shine as brightly as they did in Vixen; however, the booze, deception, scandals, and romance will keep readers looking forward to the next book in the series.—Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Flappers Series, #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt



Fashion kills.

Crouching for long periods of time was never fun, but doing it in patent-leather T-strap heels was murder. Vera usually tried to wear more comfortable shoes when she was following someone, but there'd been no time to change. She'd been working at the Green Mill when she'd overheard Carlito Macharelli mention a meeting on the docks with Sebastian Grey.

She'd immediately called a cab.

"Follow that car!" she'd ordered the driver.

A normal cabbie would never put himself at her disposal for this sort of activity—a black girl? Telling a cabdriver to follow a wealthy white man?—but Wally was not a normal cabbie. He was that rarity: a black man with his own taxi and license. He was a family friend and happy to help her clear her brother's name. "Jerome is like the son I wish I'd never had," Wally liked to say. Most nights, he waited outside the Green Mill until she was done with her shift to take her home.

Tonight they followed the taillights of Carlito's Rolls-Royce all the way through downtown and to the docks—a place Vera usually avoided. This area was dangerous. Vera already worked in a Mob-run speakeasy; she didn't need the added threat of being around when the gangsters unloaded the hooch.

She asked Wally to let her out a block behind where Carlito parked the Rolls in the vacant lot. The hulking shadows of ships loomed to the east, but here the docks were still and silent.

Vera edged close to the Rolls, dodging from shadow to shadow until at last she found a hiding place behind a stack of tied-up crates. Already, there was Bastian Grey—she could see his smug features as he lit a butt from his silver cigarette case. He ambled out on the pier and stood smoking, staring out at the water.

She was sweltering on this warm summer night, thanks to her black, knee-length trench coat, but Bastian looked at ease in the heat, irritatingly handsome in a brown suit, his cheeks freshly shaven, his dark hair slicked back and parted. He was a looker, that much Vera couldn't deny.

"What do you want?" Carlito called out as he walked up, the lights from the pier warehouse catching his gray pinstriped suit and black fedora.

Carlito was her boss and had once employed her brother, Jerome, as the piano player at the Green Mill. But then Carlito and Tony Pachelli, one of his goons, had tried to kill Jerome. And Gloria, Bastian's high-society fiancee, had shot Tony dead. And then Gloria and Vera's brother had had to flee Chicago to save their lives.

And it was all Vera's fault.

Vera had been the one feeding Bastian information about Jerome and Gloria. Vera had been the one determined to break up their secret affair. Just because Vera hadn't known that Bastian was telling everything to Carlito didn't mean she was any less guilty.

That was why Vera was here, crouched behind a stack of crates, hoping to learn something incriminating about Carlito and Bastian—something she could use to barter for her brother's life.

"What do I want?" Bastian flipped his cigarette in a bright arc across the lot. "You're the one who told me to meet you here."

Carlito stepped backward. "No, I didn't."

"Secret notes and midnight meetings." Bastian walked a few steps away. "I'm tired of your little games, Macharelli." Only a young man as despicable as Bastian Grey could work with mobsters and show a proud distaste for them at the same time.

"This isn't a game," Carlito said, casting a quick glance over his shoulder. "And I didn't send you a note. That means someone else did."

"Don't be absurd," Bastian said, lighting another cigarette. "Why would anyone go to the trouble of dragging us out here?"

Vera was leaning forward to hear better when she felt a hand crawl over her mouth. "What are you playing at?" a woman's voice whispered.

She wanted to struggle against the stranger's hold, but she couldn't give herself away. She felt herself being turned around to face her attacker.

Vera stared into the eyes of Maude Cortineau, Carlito's moll. When Maude had been a flapper, she'd barely paid attention to anyone outside her glamorous inner circle. Since she'd gotten with Carlito, she stuck to his side and spoke only when she was spoken to.

"I'm trying to eavesdrop," Vera whispered back. If Maude had been planning to bust her, she would've done it already.

"Shut up, Vera," Maude hissed. "I was waiting in the car, and I saw you running around behind these crates like you didn't have a care in the world. If Carlito sees you, you're in deep trouble. Don't be an idiot. You don't want to end up like me."

After dropping out of her bluenose prep school, Maude had become the queen of the Chicago flapper scene. Sequins, feathers, gold lame—she wore it all. Her makeup was always flawless and her headband always settled perfectly over her blond bob.

But now her beaded red dress hung over her bony body like a burlap sack. Deep shadows lurked underneath her kohl-rimmed eyes. Carlito had sucked the life out of her: The flame that Maude had once been famous for had been snuffed out.

"Maude! Where the hell are you?" Carlito called from the other side of the crates.

"Just be smart and hide," Maude said, clacking away in her heels, back to Carlito's Rolls. Carlito was pacing by the car as Maude ambled up, smoking a cigarette. She was the perfect portrait of boredom.

Carlito banged his fist on the hood. "I told you to stay in the car!"

Maude dropped the practically new cigarette. "I wanted a ciggy," she replied in a soft, defeated voice. "I know how you don't like anyone to smoke in your car, Daddy."

"Get in," he said. "We gotta go, and fast. This is a setup."

"You're being silly, Macharelli!" Bastian shouted. "No one is after us!"

But Carlito ignored him. He slid behind the wheel, cranked the engine, and sped off with a squeal of tires.

Vera let herself relax against the crates, leaning out to check on Bastian. How could she have been so stupid as to ever trust him? Those eyes, she thought. When she'd first met Bastian, his green eyes had seemed sincere—swoony, even. Arrogant, of course, but that was to be expected from a rich white boy like him. She hadn't realized the heartless steel his irises really concealed until she'd accused him of sending a man to kill Jerome and he'd just smiled and called her "silly, stupid Vera."

And in all honesty, that was exactly what she was.

Vera opened her purse and felt the comforting, cool metal of Bastian's pistol inside. She'd carried it often since she'd found it at Gloria's feet that night. Bastian certainly didn't know it was his own gun that had killed the gangster, that his own fiancee had pulled the trigger.

Vera had never used a gun before, but if a dame like Gloria could use one, then so could she. Vera loved Jerome every bit as much as Gloria did, and would go just as far, if not further, to protect him.

She snapped the purse shut and looked back toward the docks.

Footsteps, approaching from the other side of the dockyard. The figure wore a long black overcoat and a hat with a wide brim. Vera watched the person walk down the pier.

"Sebastian Grey?" Vera was shocked to hear the voice of a woman.

Bastian turned from the water. "I don't believe I've had the pleasure—"

"Skip the formalities. I'm looking for Macharelli. And the piano player, Jerome Johnson."

"Do I look like their keeper?" Bastian breathed out a cloud of cigarette smoke, and then his face brightened. "You're too pretty a woman to be chasing after trash like Carlito. But if you must know, he took off a minute ago."

The woman made a swift movement, and Bastian raised his hands in surrender. "Where to?" she demanded. "And where's the piano player?"

"No need for guns," Bastian said, slowly backing up. "Carlito went home. And Johnson? No one knows where he disappeared to. He sent his kid sister a postcard from a post office box in New York, but that's been a dead end so far."

"Thank you," the woman said. "You've been most helpful."

Then Vera heard the unmistakable sound of a gunshot. Two.

Instinctively, she cowered, knocking her heavy purse against the crates.

The killer turned at the noise, her features hidden by shadow. All Vera could see was the silver pistol, pointed directly at her.

The third gunshot in as many minutes rang out over Lake Michigan.

The bullet slammed into a wooden crate so close to her head that Vera felt splinters hit her face. She didn't wait for another bullet. She just turned and ran.

It wasn't far to the edge of the dockyard, and the wall of crates was between Vera and the shooter. But Vera was wearing heels, and she'd never been able to run in heels.

Until now.

She waited for the crack of the gunshot and the bullet in her back as she crossed the lot, as she turned and ran the block to Wally's cab, as she banged on the window to wake him from his nap.

"What's the rumpus?" he said as she clambered into the backseat.

"Drive!" she said. "As fast as you can."

Wally didn't need to be told twice. He turned the key, gunned the engine, and took off.

When he dropped her at the club, it was already locked up for the night, but that didn't slow her down: She fumbled through her purse, found Jerome's old keys, and slipped the brass master into the lock.

Whoever the killer was, she wouldn't miss the next time.

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Ingenue (The Flappers Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Kelley Flint More than 1 year ago
I really liked the first book and can't wait to find out whay happens next. 'Vixen' leaves you hanging with a pretty intense cliffhanger with almost no lose ends tied up. i'm super excited to read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In all honesty, I read this book way after it came out and forgot almost everything. One main thing that usually hate is when books don't recap well, but this did an good job of rejogging my memory. Anyways beside that point this book capivated me from the first book and I'm still hanging on. One change in Ingenue is the introduction of Vera's( Jerome's little sisters) point of view, whom I have to say was an interesting character to add to the story. Jillian Larkin will keep you reading as her depth filled character create the story. Hope this helped
librarysusie More than 1 year ago
We start up this second book in the Flapper's series in New York City, Gloria and Jerome hiding out from the mob, Lorraine working for the mob, Clara is back in the city that almost ruined her, can she stay away from her old life or is it too much of a temptation and Vera trying to find her brother and hopefully save his life and make up for what she had done in Chicago. Relationships go through some growing pains in this one! You'll be surprised who ends up the happiest in the end. This one was a lot of fun again with some major intrigue as the stories and people converged for the climax and what a climax it was! It isn't really a cliffhanger but the end of one chapter and the next book will be a new one because parts of this story were wrapped up very well, yet with just enough mystery to keep fans reading to see what happens next. I so enjoy the atmosphere in this series, the 20's ,flappers, bootleggers, booze, gangsters and some famous people of the time play into this story! I love who Vera meets backstage at the Cotton Club and who engineers some of the bad things that happen! (No Spoilers) I think this is a great YA historical fiction series that teens and adults alike will enjoy no fantasy involved just a look at life in a different time when women were just starting to come into their own, segregation is in effect except of course that it's ok for the African Americans to entertain you but they must come in the back door and an interracial relationship will get you in trouble I think it gives a great look at a life we can only imagine and hope that we have moved far away from. I do love books that that show strong women and this one is full of them , women in 1920 leaving the notions and traditional roles their parents have laid out for them to make their way in the world on their own, scary as that is. I look forward to the next installment of this series! 4 stars
Tara Moses More than 1 year ago
The first, Vixen, was a five star hit and now number 2? We have been waiting to know what happens to Gloria and Jerome, aching to see if Clara and Marcus were meant to be, and wondering if Lorraine will really travel down that dark path. It may take place in1923 but 2011 just can not wait!
mamelotti96 More than 1 year ago
The second installment of The Flappers series did not disappoint. I left the library practically skipping on the day it arrived at my library. I was excited to travel back to the 1920s, and see what Vera, Clara, Lorraine, Marcus, Gloria, and Jerome were all up to now.  There was a LOT more involvement of the mob in the second book, which as I mentioned in my review for Vixen I wanted to see more of. In the comforts of my home, I always say how fascinating it would be to experience the mob. Then I really think about it, and realize that I could never handle it in real life. While reading Ingenue, I felt the fear that the mobsters instilled. I felt the disgust and desperation. I loved reading every second of it.  One of the main focuses of the book was to follow all the couples that formed in Vixen, and see how they were doing. SPOILER: We have Clara and Marcus, Jerome and Gloria, and Vera (Jerome's younger sister) falls for one of the band members from Jerome's old band. Lorraine flitted around. She was heavily involved with the mob, so she was focusing on doing her job correctly. Clara and Marcus' big problem was being back in New York, the place of Clara's downfall before meeting Marcus. Jerome and Gloria's big problem was how he was African American and she was white. Biracial relationships were unheard of in the 1920s, more so than today. Vera and her special beau team up together to protect the ones they care about and right the wrongs that had taken place.  Ingenue is told from alternating perspectives of Vera, Gloria, Lorraine, and Clara. You feel like you are right in the middle of the action, especially when things heat up between the main characters and the mobsters. You will find yourself on the edge of your seats, flipping through pages as fast as you can to find out what happens and who ends up with who. And yes, I have already requested the third and final book (sad face) of The Flappers series. I recommend Ingenue to all who believe they are flappers at heart, and who love a good story of betrayal, love, and loyalty. 
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I checked this out and I really enjoyed it.
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beautybabydoll More than 1 year ago
Great sequel. It was pretty slow, and I wish Clara had even more parts, but I loved that Vera now had her own chapters. It had an amazing ending that threw me off a bit. Lorraine--poor Lorraine, the complete failure of a flapper. Anyhow, AMAZING.
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MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Gloria Carmody had to leave Chicago in a hurry after killing a mobster. She hoped to find a new start in New York City with Jerome Johnson. But a white woman loving a black man is just as hard in New York as it was in Chicago. Love aside, living in New York is much harder without the Carmody money supporting her. Vera Johnson knows Gloria and her brother Jerome left Chicago for good reason. But when trouble threatens to follow them to New York will Vera be able to warn them both before it's too late? Lorraine Dyer is reader for a fresh start of her own in New York. One short summer is all that stands between her and a clean slate at Barnard. But before she can forget about her less than glamorous departure from Chicago society, Lorraine needs to mete out some justice. Gloria was supposed to be her best friend. Instead she abandoned Lorraine and let her be humiliated. In public. It's only fair that Lorraine help give Gloria what she has coming to her. Following her boyfriend Marcus Eastman to New York seemed like the perfect idea. Clara Knowles was sure it would help cement her new life leaving her flapper days far behind. But when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity draws her back to glittering world of booze and flappers, Clara isn't sure she can walk away again. A new city. A new life. Everyone is trying to get away from their past. But sometimes life won't let you forget a thing in Ingenue (2011) by Jillian Larkin. Ingenue is the second book in The Flappers series which started last year with Vixen. (The series will conclude in 2012 with Diva.) Much like the blase parties Clara observes upon her return to New York City, the latest installment in this series has lost some of its luster. While the plot moved logically here building on the events of the first book, the characters did not. A lot of their behaviors felt contrived, especially Clara who went abruptly from reading a lot to fervently wanting to a writer. And then became kind of selfish about it besides. It was also disappointing to see Lorraine once again being so sorely abused. (She is either a much abused heroine or the most sympathetic villain in the entire world--which one she is will hopefully be determined once and for all in Diva.) With none of the characters actually seeing each other until the last hundred or so pages of the novel, the alternating chapters following each heroine just feel choppy and disjointed. Combined with the numerous missed connections between Vera and Gloria the book started to feel very forced. Ingenue is a decent installment and a fine bridge to the conclusion of the trilogy. It just was not, sadly, quite as brilliant as the first book in the series. Possible Pairings: Strings Attached by Judy Blundell, Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher, Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen, The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, The Sheik by Edith Hull, Bowery Girl by Kim Taylor
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Both this book & its predecessor "Vixen" had me me anxious to turn each page. I could hardly put them down. I am excited for the next one
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