Series: Uptown Girls, #2
Published by Avon on December 30, 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance
In the second novel in Joanna Shupe's the Uptown Girl series, a ruthless casino owner bent on revenge finds his plans upended by a beautiful woman who proves to be more determined than he is—and too irresistible to deny.
Powerful casino owner.Ruthless mastermind.Destroyer of men.
He lives in the shadows...
As the owner of the city's most exclusive casino, Clayton Madden holds the fortunes of prominent families in the palms of his hands every night. There is one particular family he burns to ruin, however, one that has escaped his grasp... until now.
She is society's darling...
Florence Greene is no one's fool. She knows Clayton Madden is using her to ruin her prestigious family... and she's using him right back. She plans to learn all she can from the mysterious casino owner—then open a casino of her own just for women.
With revenge on his mind, Clay agrees to mentor Florence. However, she soon proves more adept—and more alluring—than Clay bargained for. When his plans are threatened, Clay must decide if he is willing to gamble his empire on love.
I know. It’s been forever since I published a review. I’m still here. I haven’t gotten COVID yet, nor has anyone in my immediate family. A few friends who have, though, and hearing about their experiences is terrifying and soul-crushing. But like most of you, I’m social distancing. I’ve been in my house for what feels like years, and even though I work from home, and spend most of my time here voluntarily, the mindset switch from “I don’t feel like going anywhere today” to “If I leave my house I might die or inadvertently kill someone else” has been intense. It’s horrible. I’m alternating between days of doing almost nothing but catching up on the news, and days of refusing to even acknowledge that the news exists. Seems like a happy medium would be best, but I haven’t managed to find that yet. Recently on Twitter, I was discussing with a fellow book blogger, who also works from home, the fact that our lives are just as disrupted through all of this as everyone else’s. Yes, I already had an office set up, so I didn’t have that to deal with, and no, I don’t have kids. So maybe my life is literally AS disrupted as others’. But it has absolutely been disrupted. Like everyone else, my focus is shot, my reading is down to almost nil, and really the only thing I should be writing a review of is the new Animal Crossing. (That review is probably coming).
But I really enjoyed The Prince of Broadway, so I’m going to try to write this review. And I’m going to try to write more reviews. I’m certainly not promising anything, because who can predict anything right now. But I’m going to do my best. And as Linda Holmes has been telling us on Twitter every day since this started, doing your best right now means that you’re doing great. So I’m going to trust Linda Holmes and believe that I’m doing great. And she’s right about you, too- you’re also doing great.
Florence Green dreams of opening a casino for women only. She sees no reason this shouldn’t happen – after all, men have dozens of casinos all over the city, albeit technically secret since they’re illegal. So why shouldn’t women? I sort of struggled with this basic premise. I realize that if there weren’t women like Florence, willing to flout tradition, gender roles, and the boxes society try to force women into, then today we wouldn’t have the freedoms we’ve managed to get. But I also struggled to really be convinced that a woman in the upper levels of society would manage to pull this off with no social repercussions. And while Florence may not have cared about her own social standing, she very much cared about the social standing of the rest of her family, particularly her sisters.
The other big issue I had with the book was the relationship between Florence and Clayton. He’s very forthcoming with her about the fact that he’s helping her out with her scheme with the full intention of taking her father and his fortune down. He’s going to destroy her entire family, and her reaction to this news, the news that Clayton is going to completely destroy her family, by…. shrugging? Saying “meh”? Her reaction made no sense. Then, when Clayton did, in fact, take her family down, she was shocked. She couldn’t believe that he would do this to her. Which was just silly. He told her, multiple times, from the very beginning of their relationship, that this was his plan. Her surprise when this played out made no sense.
I liked Florence overall, but she was set up as a NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS girl, which is never my favorite trope. She’s not a virgin. She plays cards. She smokes cigars. She’s ok seeing erotic paintings. She can walk the streets at night with no regard for her own safety. She’s so special because… well, because she’s special.
This book was good – I’ve enjoyed the series, and I liked this one. I’ll read the next one. But Florence will not be my favorite heroine of the three. *NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS* generally ruins a heroine for me, but that’s my own preference.