Guest Review: Night and Day by Rowan Speedwell

Nate Pederowski is about as far down as he can go when he’s tipped to a job as a singer in a speakeasy. Dishonorably discharged for being queer, broke and homeless during the Great Depression, Nate is embittered and lonely. The club’s handsome owner, Rick Bellevue, and his sister Corinna are wowed by Nate’s voice and offer him the job.

But the Starlight Lounge is much more than an ordinary supper club, and Rick and his sister much more than just the owners. It’s not ’til Nate gets caught up in a gangster’s plot that he discovers just what secrets they’re hiding. Nate’s life is going to change in ways he can scarcely imagine, let alone believe.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010, in the Myths and Magic: Legends of Love anthology

Guest Reviewer: Fantasy Living

This was surprising. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I just read.

Historical fiction isn’t usually my thing. I mean I like it sometimes, but mostly I get bored of the language, and tend to distract myself with shiny things instead.

This story, even though it was short, has been absorbed into my brain. Completely. And what is most surprising is that I was completely thrown by the Second Person present tense, but it worked, and now I can’t think of reading it any other way.

This is my first Second Person fictional piece. Maybe Ever! So I’m really pleased that the story was good, ensuring my experience wasn’t traumatic.

I thought the character development was very thorough. For a short story, this was very detailed. It flowed really well, and I liked all the characters that were presented to me. I felt Nate’s emotional wounds, and they felt like mine, even though I’ve never been to war.

The plot was really interesting, and I’m not going to give one single piece away. This is something a reader should experience for the first time, without any spoilers. Okay, one spoiler, there is no on-page sex, but there is a mysticism in this story that is compelling, so it makes that okay for a smut-slut like me.

Romance - oh yes, it is romantic. And clever. Very clever. I’m disappointed it wasn’t longer.

The worldbuilding was great. The end of Prohibition is imminent, in a speakeasy club for exclusive clientele who may not be what their outer package shows, this is the warning Nate gets, but who cares because Rick! Rick is all sunshine and light, and his sister is all mysterious and vague. It’s a lovely combination, and their dynamics were very clear, even if I didn’t quite understand them. That was the fun part. The mysterious nature of the story. Very cloak and dagger, hidden in the shadows, hushed whispers, and ambiguous statements. I know I’m rambling now, but it truly was great.

The way the writer wrote Nate’s singing….. Brilliant descriptions!! I was completely drawn into that, and wished there was more. I think that was my favourite part of it all.
“The intro comes out like a Gregorian chant, mystical and religious, and when you swing into the first chorus it’s like bells chiming on Christmas. The song is smooth and rich as wine, and thick with hopeless longing.”
Some historical references that went over my head; being from a different country, and a different time, but otherwise this story was easy to follow, and had some great little twists.

Don’t be put off by the Second Person point of view. Seriously, it only took me two pages to get used to it and then I couldn’t stop reading until I finished.

The story felt much longer than the state page count, but not in a bad way. This story was rich, and full of descriptive text that carried the story, without the need for excess dialogue.

The author has definitely piqued my interest in her writing, and I’m off to check out the rest of her work.

Recommended for everyone who enjoys MM Romance.

For more information on:

Dreamspinner Press

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