Reviewed by Ami
Title: The Devil of Downtown
Author: Joanna Shupe
Series: Uptown Girls #3
Hero/Heroine: Justine & Jack
Genre: M/F Historical Romance
Length: 384 pages
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: The final novel in Joanna Shupe’s critically acclaimed Uptown Girl series about a beautiful do-gooder who must decide if she can team up with one of New York’s brashest criminals without losing something irreplaceable: her heart.
He’s built a wall around his heart…
Orphaned and abandoned on the Bowery’s mean streets, Jack Mulligan survived on strength, cunning, and ambition. Now he rules his territory better than any politician or copper ever could. He didn’t get here by being soft. But in uptown do-gooder Justine Greene―the very definition of an iron fist in a velvet glove―Jack may have met his match.
She wears hers on her sleeve…
Justine is devoted to tracking down deadbeat husbands and fighting for fair working conditions. When her mission brings her face-to-face with Jack, she’s shocked to find the man behind the criminal empire is considerably more charming and honorable than many “gentlemen” she knows.
Forming an unlikely alliance, they discover an unexpected desire. And when Justine’s past catches up with them, Jack may be her only hope of survival. Is she ready to make a deal with the devil…?
In Gilden Age, New York City, one do-gooder woman is determined to live her life in her own terms, helping others even if that takes her to make deal with the devil.
Justine Greene is the youngest of the Greene sisters – Justine thinks she’s not as beautiful or as sassy as her sisters. What she gets though is her big heart and determination. Justine has been helping others since she was thirteen, when she went to Madison Square mission to pass out bread and blankets. Now, Justine mission is to find deadbeat husbands who leave their husbands and child without money. One of the husbands she is looking for, brings her right into The Devil of Downtown’s lair: Jack Mulligan.
Jack Mulligan, the Criminal Kingpin, is curious with Justine. This woman is not scared of him; she is brave and she is beautiful. So, Jack is willing to help Justine in exchange for a favor that he will collect later. But the more they interact, the more Jack is attracted, and he is unwilling to let Justine go just yet.
Oh gosh, oh gosh, OH GOSH, I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! I already adored the older Greene sisters – more Florence than Mamie, because Florence is unwilling to bent to the rule of society (in this book, she still REFUSES to marry Clayton!) – and is curious with Justine. In the sisters’ book, Justine seems to be the shy one, not standing out. But boy, oh boy, Justine is probably the best of the sisters!
First, her heart – is as big as the ocean. While Mamie tries to help others using organization and Florence only wants to provide casino for women (it will be the richer society who can enjoy, by the way), Justine is willing to ACT. Yep, she gives her time, her sweat, her wit, her everything to help. She’s an angel…
Second, Justine is TOTALLY awesome when she’s challenging Jack. One of the most satisfying things in romance novels, for me, is when the strong heroine brought the (perceived to be) stronger hero, the bad guys, to get down on his knees. I thought Justine did it perfectly (Jack didn’t literally drop to his knees, but still *laugh*). Justine makes Jack does things that he doesn’t normally do as the king of criminal. It’s very, very delightful to read.
Third… bowling as sexual flirting moment *grin*
I loved every moments of this book – for me, it’s a perfect good girl/bad guy trope. The Devil of Downtown is strong from start to finish plus the sexy moments are sexy. The only thing that annoyed me was probably how Mamie and Florence reacted to Justine’s relationship to Jack. They are being super hypocrite. At least their father isn’t in this book (because I dislike than man immensely since he tries to push his wishes to his daughters) I was so happy when Justine snapped at them and told them so. You GO, Justine!
In conclusion, this is one of my favorite romance of the year, and a wonderful way to finish the series. Joanna Shupe definitely has become one of historical authors for me to watch.
Overall Impression: It was amazing!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*