The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz

  • 20'sGirlAuthor: June Kearns
  • Published: November 2013 by New Romantics 4
  • Category: Romance, Historical, Paranormal
  • five-stars

1924. The English Shires, after the Great War. 
When her jazzing flapper of an aunt dies, Gerardina Mary Chiledexter inherits some silver-topped scent bottles, a wardrobe of love-affair clothes, and astonishingly, a half-share in a million-acre ranch in south-west Texas. 
Haunted by a psychic cat and the ghost voice of that aunt Leonie, Gerry feels driven to travel thousands of miles to see the ranch for herself. 
Against a background of big sky, cattle barons and oil wells, she is soon engaged in a game of power, pride and ultimately, love, with the Texan who owns the other half.

Gerardina Chiledexter struggles to maintain the bookshop she inherited after her beloved aunt Leonie’s death. Leonie was beyond glamorous, free spending with a lavish lifestyle hence the mountain of debt Gerry was also left with. When an impassive American named Cooper arrives at the bookshop one day, all the way from Texas, with the news Gerry has inherited half his cattle ranch, she is at first disbelieving then incredulous. As is Cooper, having expected Gerry to be a man.

Staring at shoulder length hair and an unshaven face, browned by wind and sun, Gerry was reminded again that this was not the sort of look often seen in Lower Shepney Market. Poker straight partings and regimented haircuts were the mark of a gentleman here.

Gerry has all but made up her mind to sell her portion of the ranch to Cooper and invest the proceeds in the bookshop when she is given a letter left with her aunt’s will. Leonie wants Gerry to wait six months before deciding whether or not to sell, and in the meantime visit the ranch herself. Gerry’s decision is made with a little prompting from beyond the veil and her own desire for change and a little excitement.

Gerry packs her trunks with the wardrobe of wonderful Parisian haute couture also left to her by Leonie and sets out on her adventure. She eventually arrives at Jericho Wells, tired, dusty and without her luggage. Left waiting for hours before being delivered to the Circle O ranch, she feels less than welcome.

June Kearns has a wonderful, witty and charming writing style. Her characters are appealing, realistic and so well drawn, the settings authentic and vivid, a testament to the depth of research of period and place. From the extremes of the English village, with its surrounding damp, green countryside and distinct lack of eligible men, to the open and immense expanse of the hot, dusty Texan landscape, peopled mostly by men and longhorn cattle, the descriptions are exceptional.

I love the touch of the supernatural and how it’s threaded through the story with the drifting scent of Leonie’s favourite perfume and the guiding voice whispering in Gerry’s ear, all the way to Igor the entertaining and other worldly cat. The romance aspect is perfect, the tall, handsome and taciturn cowboy and the polite, quintessentially English lady. An amusing, captivating and very engaging read.

Again, as with The Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy, I love the wonderfully representative quotes at the beginning of each chapter, this one from Advice to Miss-All-Alone, 1924 ~ ‘Women approaching thirty may have lost all chance of inspiring affection.’

And this gem from The Bachelor Girl’s Handbook, 1924 ~ ‘Bachelor girls sometimes fall into free and easy ways. This is a mistake and may lead to serious trouble.’ 

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

About the author

JuneKearnsAs an only child, June Kearns was a terrible daydreamer,who used to spend a lot of time staring into space and making things up. At around age 7, she remembers copying out pages and pages of Enid Blyton to see how she did it!

Having left teaching to bring up her family, she won a national magazine competition for the first chapter of a historical novel. After many, many more hours watching cowboy heroes bring order west of the Pecos, this became her first published novel, ‘An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy’.

Her new novel ‘The 20’s Girl’ was inspired by the style and fashion of the 1920’s, and a time in England after the Great War, of crumbling country houses and very few men.

A co-founder of the indie publishing group,The New Romantics 4, June lives in Leicestershire with her husband and family.

Author links ~ WebsiteTwitterFacebook

41 thoughts on “The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz

  1. Another one of Cathy’s great book reviews. I have loved both of June’s books and am waiting impatiently for #3 to appear (no pressure, obvs). June writes with great consideration, weighing each word in the balance to ensure it’s the right one. All her hard work makes reading her books an effortless joy for the reader. I’ve travelled to the wide open spaces of the USA with both of her characters and I’m wondering where I’ll be journeying on her next outing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Persuasive review, Cathy, of a captivating read. Like you I loved every aspect of June’s novel, Coop and Gerry – what woman couldn’t fall in love with Coop? – the minor characters, especially Scoot, and Aunt Leone’s ghostly presence, the convincing sense of place, Texas heat, the rain-soaked English.countryside – As you saym The 20’s Girl is a great take-you-out-of-yourself, well-written novel,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Super review Cathy, I love June’s books, totally captivating and so deftly written you hardly notice the layers of historical detail and are totally ‘there’ with just the slightest nuance, all part of her genius really. I too am longing for her new novel, but will happily re-read anything she has written while I wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This story sounds like such a wonderful adventure and this is such a great review for it Cathy. I absolutely love those quotes you picked out…fabulous!! This is already on my TBR list and I’m so looking forward to getting to it.

    Liked by 2 people

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