Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Uptown Girls, #3
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Justine Greene is the youngest of the Greene sisters and compared to her vivacious sisters, she appears to be a little dull – but as they say – looks can be deceiving! Unlike her sisters in both looks and temperament, Justine spends her days helping the poor and forgotten of NYC. She also helps out with her brother-in-law Frank Tripp’s legal aid society – tracking down missing husbands. It is on such a case that she meets Jack Mulligan – the city’s biggest crime lord. After weeks of looking for Robert Gorcey who left his wife and five children without a word, she learns that he works for Jack and hopes to gain his help in getting Mr. Gorcey to take care of his responsibilities! Jack agrees, but wants a favor in exchange and won’t lift a finger to help unless she agrees.
Jack Mulligan was born with nothing and fought his way to the top, he is powerful and feared, but Justine Greene doesn’t appear to be impressed – which intrigues him. She grudgingly agrees to grant him a favor in the future and leaves. Jack shouldn’t give her another thought, he has problems of his own in the shape of an up-and-coming crime boss, Trevor O’Shaughnessy, a man that is testing the boundaries with Jack. But he can’t seem to get the little “do-gooder” out of his mind and has her followed. Days later he catches up with her to cash in his favor, he marvels at how much she does in the city and listens to her complain about not being able to get her police friend to help with a matter of a unfair factory owner. Jack buys her lunch and tells her that for his favor he wants to escort her to Frank’s fundraising gala – there is a man he wants to talk to that refuses to see him – Julius Hatcher – Justine agrees and demands an outrageous donation to boot – Jack agrees.
When her family learns of her interactions with Jack, they all warn her off – Mamie and Florence are sure he will hurt her and ruin her reputation, Frank and Clay are concerned for her safety – but they all underestimate Justine – she is stronger and braver than they could ever imagine and she refuses to stop seeing Jack. For his part, Jack is caught in Justine’s spell – he wants her, but more than just sexually, he likes her and enjoys her company – she is a light in his dark world and even as he knows he should let her go, he can’t seem to send her away. But when Jack gives Justine her greatest desire, she finally admits that she is changing into someone she doesn’t like and she walks away from him. Can he win her back?
This was a well written, fast paced, amazing read with very likable characters, red-hot love scenes, unexpected twists, wonderful secondary characters including cameos from Mamie, Frank, Florence, Clay and Julius Hatcher! I just loved this story, it was a wild ride from the first page until the last and is definitely my favorite in the series. This is the third book in the series and while it can be read as a stand-alone, do yourself a favor and read the books in order!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by the publisher.*