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Canary Club #1

The Canary Club

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From Book 1: Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Prequel
Set during the flamboyant anything-goes era of 1920's America, these three historical romance tales are filled with intriguing characters and rich imagery from the time period—with flappers, jazz music, gangsters, and lavish wealth. Escape to a different decade today with the compelling stories of the Canary Club. This novel can be read before or after The Canary Club.
Novelette 1- Gilded Cage
Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious bootlegger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father's empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family's dangerous secrets, Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making.
Novelette 2- All That Glitters
A dame with brains, moxie, and killer curves, June West isn't your average flapper. She's managed to endear herself to the son of one of the most powerful gangsters in New York, earning herself a spot in the limelight that she's always longed for. With the infamous playboy at her side, June has become accustomed to living the high life. Lavish parties, expensive clothes, sparkling jewels—nothing is beyond her reach. But when her carefully woven web of lies finally catches up with her, she must make an impossible choice… come clean about her past and risk losing everything, or find a way to bury her demons—once and for all.
Novelette 3 - Nothing Gold
Dickey has been down on his luck since the day he was born. Flat broke and sick of being looked down on, he meets young socialite Lilly Rose at a wild party. The connection is like a strike of lightning. From a wealthy New York family, this debutante is everything he's been told he can never have—and the only thing he wants. Determined to win her, he knows the only way to get her parents approval is with cold hard cash. So when a shot at the biggest score of his life comes around, he just can't refuse…

Perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams' A Certain Age or Libba Bray's The Diviners, The Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin will entice Historical Romance fans of all ages. This Gatsby-era tale filled with dazzling speakeasies, vicious shoot-outs, gritty gangsters, and iridescent ingenues has also been compared to the television series Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

Novels inThe Canary Club Series by Sherry D. Ficklin:
The Canary Club (Stand Alone) Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Prequel Additional books following secondary characters coming soon.

325 pages, Paperback

Published October 16, 2017

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About the author

Sherry D. Ficklin

44 books664 followers
Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Sherry also writes contemporary romance under the pen name SJ Noble. You can find her at her official website, www.sherryficklin.com, or stalk her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 61 reviews
Profile Image for Stacy.
1,004 reviews91 followers
April 14, 2018
I am torn about this book. For purely a fictional story, it was ok..... romance, suspense, crime, good plot, emotional connection to some of the characters, etc.... But the author took a tale out of history, with of cast of people that actually existed and changed some of what actually happened, to end up having a totally different outcome. This is the story of Dutch Shultz, the infamous mob boss. In the book, he is given a daughter named Maisie who is involved in a minor way in her father's illegal activities. In real life, Dutch's daughter was Anne Davis Flegenheimer (Dutch's true surname) and was far too small to have been involved in any of his business at the time of his real-life death. Many of his "business" associates and employees actually existed including Vincent "Mad dog" Moll, Joey Noe,
"Legs" Diamond, Dixie Davis, and Otto Berman. His son J.D. (John David Flegenheimer in real-life) also plays a big role in the book, but in reality he was Anne's little brother being just a few months old at the time of his father's death, and not a grown adult as in the book. Dutch's fictional daughter, Maisie falls for naive Benjamin "Benny" Fleisher who get innocently drawn into the racket out of desperate need for money to help support his family fallen on hard times. He is also fictional (though I have suspicions that his character is comprised of two real life mobsters Benjamin "Benny" "Bugsy" Siegal and Eddie Fleisher, but that is just a guess). The book ends with Dutch going to prison rather than being killed by his associates. The book should have a forward, telling the reader that some of these people did in fact exist, but that the author had taken literary license with the story, and written a "what if" instead. Because no thought to educating the reader to the real facts, it can be misleading-- if the reader is ignorant of the real people, then they may believe that the entire story is purely a product of the author's imagination, and if they had heard of Dutch Schultz, but not entirely aware of the story of his dealings and friends, they could be misled into thinking that it is accurate as far as bare bone facts and that the author had just fictionally filled in details. I believe if the author would include some sort of clarification, it would improve the book as a whole. I would surely given it a higher rating had it been present.
Book read for twogalsandabook.com
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amanda .
432 reviews151 followers
April 3, 2018
My review can also be found here:
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Crimson Tree Publishing. All opinions are my own.

When I recently read Bright Young Things I mentioned in my review that I didn't think there were enough gangsters in that book. Well with The Canary Club my wish was granted! When I spied a book up for request by Sherry Ficklin that was also set in the 1920's, I couldn't request it fast enough! I remembered how much I absolutely loved Queen of Someday and I was stoked to read another title by the artist in prose that is Sherry Ficklin. I can say, quite happily so, that The Canary Club met and exceeded my high expectations.

I was swept into the 1920's as I started reading. Into a world of gangsters, speakeasies and forbidden love. This is a period that I love and know quite well, but Sherry Ficklin makes it come to life and transports me in time better than any other. The book feels authentic for the time period, as it is filled with slang from the 1920's. In comparison Bright Young Things feels like a romance novel playing dress-up, it doesn't have the same authentic feel.

Now I read romance novels, or novels with a romance aspect, practically everyday. I often find myself understanding the love interest, or seeing the attraction. But this is the first time in a long time that I truly found a book romantic. This was a romance that swept me off my feet and pulled at my heartstrings. The heat radiated off of the pages.

The plot was well thought out and the pacing made it hard to put down. I found myself staying up until the sun rose so I could finish reading. I was so engrossed in the world of gangsters and speakeasies that I didn't realize the time passing until I heard birds chirping. The realism and dirty deeds of these gangsters was gruesome and horrific, exactly how gangsters are supposed to be.

I would push this book at anyone who asks me for a recommendation. Being the second novel I've read by Sherry Ficklin I can say she is an author who will bring you back, no matter what it's about I will read anything by her. I can't wait to get my hands on another of her titles.
Profile Image for Jess (BookObsessedJess).
182 reviews28 followers
August 28, 2017
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Canary Club is set in prohibition era NYC and is filled to the brim with flappers, corrupt cops, and gangsters. Are you intrigued yet? You should be.

The story picks up when "Bad Luck” Benny is released from jail. Initially he vows to "keep his head down," but he also must care for his sickly sister as well as provide for his family. Not quite an easy task considering the times. Eventually he ends up taking a position with a notorious crime boss, Dutch Schultz.

ENTER, Masie!

Masie is the daughter of said notorious crime boss. She is as strong-willed as they come, but trapped in a life she never wanted. This book held no punches in exposing how women were treated back then, and still today to some extent, unfortunately. Masie is a pawn in her father's fight for control of the city.

Star crossed lovers much?


While I wasn't over the moon in love with this book, I still enjoyed reading it. It kept me intrigued as to how it was going to play out in the end and left me satisfied enough to where I don't feel I have to pick up the next one. Not saying I won't, but I like the option.

My biggest complaint is that I really wanted a good "Mob/Mafia" story. Meaning that I was hoping for ONCE that we would get a guy from the wrong side of the tracks, make his way up into the world and really take to it. I didn't want a "let's start a revolution" book where people try to change the way things are, I have read too many of those. So, this complaint is the primary reason why it gets 3 stars from me and not a higher rating.
Abuse (both physical and emotional)
Attempted rape
Mistreatment of those with mental health by institutions
Profile Image for Anna Mcguire.
10 reviews
June 26, 2017
So first off I was giving an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are mine and mine alone no other opinions were considered while writing this.

I read the back story to each of the characters and I was enthralled and could not wait for the full book. The story is set in 1920 New York. It has all the glitz and glamour of Art Deco New York. You feel like you're walking through New York with flappers everywhere. The story is about gangster Dutch Scholtz daughter Maisie and his son J.D along with Benny, June, Dickie and Vinnie. The story covers what happens when Benny by bad luck or maybe good saves Dutchs life and becomes part of the crowd. There are little twist and turns that I don't want to spoil but each character brings something unique and amazing to the overall story. Maisie's character is much more complex then you are first lead to believe, she is loyal smart and feisty while maintaining some of the innocence of the time. She has heart and truly cares for those around her but doesn't let emotion stand in the way of fighting for what she wants.

Sherry has written the book in such a way that you won't need to read the novellas before hand however they do allow you a little more background. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.
Profile Image for Nely Cab.
Author 12 books688 followers
April 7, 2017
Just wow! Review coming soon. Add this to your TBR!
Profile Image for Moira.
234 reviews7 followers
August 29, 2017
Number of pages: 325

Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1

Rating (out of five stars): 1.5

Release Date: October 19th 2017

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.

I requested this one on a whim thinking I wouldn’t get accepted. I was genuinely interested in the premise, but I thought the setting of the 1920s wouldn’t work for me. In the end, I think everything but the setting ended up not working for me.

Let’s start with possibly the most controversial of my gripes: Masie. I have a lot of issues with her characterization, but one in particular stands out; she comes across as far too modern. The thing that put me off from the beginning was the long paragraph near the start of her first chapter where she railed against her oppression as a woman. I’m not condoning the oppression of women in any way (I quite like my rights as a Canadian female), but I see this sort of thing far too often in historical fiction books. It feels like the authors making sure readers know their opinions on the oppression of women. But here’s the thing; I’m not reading historical fiction to learn about the authors feelings on how women were treated in the past. I’m reading historical fiction to see what life was like in *insert time period here* in *insert country here*. If I wanted to know how the author feels about life as a woman in 1920s New York, I would follow her on Twitter. Yes, there would have been women in the 1920s who genuinely railed against the oppression they faced (and power to them), but people in the past did not rail against their oppression as often as is represented in YA historical fiction, and that is where the issue lies.

Then there’s Benny. In terms of historical accuracy, he appeared to be well done. My issue with him is rather that he is not a very realistic character. It feels like the author made a list of all the characteristics she would want in a partner, and Benny was made. I don’t think I can pinpoint a bad quality Benny has, and that’s an issue.

The romance between Masie and Benny is one of the most glaring cases of insta-love I have read in a long time. They basically look at each other for the first time and are infatuated.

The other problem I had with the romance is that it messes with Benny’s characterization. Benny is set up as someone who cares a lot about his family, but as soon as things heat up with Masie, he doesn’t really mention his family agian until he’s saying goodbye at the end.

The secondary characters also aren’t done very well. It is clear from the way everything is set up that if you don’t like Masie and Benny, you’re not going to find another character to connect with. The rest of the characters are completely forgettable, including Masie’s father, the reason there is any semblance of a plot.

Speaking of the plot, nothing ever really happens. The whole book is centered around the romance, but since they are infatuated at first glance, there’s not a whole lot to it. There’s no watching them fall in love with each other, as their every thought is already focused on the other.

Overall, The Canary Club features nothing to recommend it, earning it 1.5 stars out of 5.

You can read more of my reviews on my blog.
Profile Image for Kathy-Lynn Cross.
Author 16 books84 followers
June 15, 2017
As I stare at the last line, “Is it 1927 or 2017?”

I was giving an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

After reading the Canary Club stories, Gilded Cage, All that Glitters, & Nothing Gold, I couldn’t wait to see how everyone’s lives would tie together.
Masie and Benny’s story collides during the era of fast talking dames, loud jazz, and bootleg gin. Masie Scholtz is tough but classy, sassy but smart, she doesn’t take lip from no one, no one but her daddy. Dutch Scholtz is one of the main mobsters running the city, and his daughter’s life as the speakeasy’s canary. But as Masie starts to believe that she’ll never get out, her ticket to freedom comes bleeding through the front door.
Bad Luck Benny, with a new start, after severing a few months in the pen, comes home to find out his bad luck has rubbed off on the family. With his rap, honest work is hard to find, until he runs into an old friend. Dickey’s got a gig for him that might mean easy money. On his first day, true to his name, bad luck hits him with a bullet and a golden ticket to the inner circle of the notorious gangster Dutch Scholtz.
With his new position as Masie’s bodyguard, they end up spending a lot of time together and slowly friendship blossoms into something more. Mob families draw lines - cops begin to harass Benny - a trusted friend is looking for blood - and on top of daddy losing his temper, Masie realizes the Canary Club’s caged door is closing fast.
Once again, Sherry Ficklin has torn my heart out. I can’t disclose why, you’ll have to read the story. I was hoping things would change for a certain character, but he’s too far gone into the madness to be saved.
The Canary Club gets five teary-eyed stars from me. (I’m a sucker for the bad boys.)
June 19, 2017
Outstanding! Sherry Ficklin has long been a favorite author of mine since the day she hooked me with the Queen series, and then left me crying in tiny pieces. She's a master of the craft, and she can totally emerge you in any genre she chooses but my favorite is historical fiction and The Canary Club brings us into my favorite genre crafted by an amazing writer.

I adore Masie. The glimpses we got of characters and their stories in the novellas were NOT enough because Masie is exactly what I love about the 20s. A woman who is bold, brave and unafraid to challenge what society says she needs to be. She's the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the city, but she dreams of living her life on her terms. College, big city, big stages. But, until she can find the strength to break out of her family, none of that is possible.

Then we meet Benny, this kid is just wonderful. Sweet, kind, loving and always in the wrong place. He's got the nickname "bad luck" and it is so true, except one time his bad luck landed him in the perfect place, to meet the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. Love, luck, drama and some heartbreak befall benny but he keeps going.

I highly highly recommend this book. I'll be getting the paperback when it releases because this book deserves to be showcase and talked about all the time. The time period is perfect. The slang, the culture, the clothing. Ficklin nailed it and now I don't wanna be called anything but "Baby Vamp" from here on out. This book is well written, clever as heck and pulls your heartstrings. Grab a copy and join the club! You won't regret it.
Profile Image for Caitlyn.
430 reviews40 followers
October 30, 2017
This'll be a review in compendious notes:
1. I preferred Masie over Benny as she was the fatter, richer character (in the figurative sense) and her character conflict more absorbing: is she as delicate, fragile, as her father regarded her depressed mother? Does she share her father's compulsions for sin and cruel vice? How much will she sacrifice to keep her own hands—and those of her brother, friend, father, and the boy she loves—from filth?
2. TCC would have benefited from further characterization of secondary characters. Why does Masie love her father so, when he abuses and uses her? Why does she still care for her former friend Vincent, now a coldly ambitious, fiendish aspirant who starves to own the booze empire? What of Benny and Dickey's longtime friendship (oft mentioned yet not once expounded on)?
3. Plot was absent for the most part—and tangled when present.
4. Romance was at times saccharine and at others moving.
5. Finale was rushed and unrealistically neat.
Profile Image for Sherry Ficklin.
Author 44 books664 followers
May 15, 2017
This is my book, so, of course I'm quite biased. I do hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! And be sure to grab the prequel series on sale now, Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology!
Profile Image for Delia Devin.
230 reviews16 followers
October 11, 2017
Thank you to NetGalley and Crimson Tree Publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange of an honest review.

When I think about historical fiction, my mind wanders to a time before real toilets existed. It went over my head that the genre does not only include a time before both world wars but also a time like the roaring 20s.

In Canary Club, we follow "Bad Luck" Benny who emerged from the wrong side of town, fresh out of jail for a crime he didn't even commit. With the heavy desperation to feed his family, he stumbled upon a job that opened doors into a scathing world of gangsters and their corrupt businesses. It also led him into the arms of a certain canary with a golden voice, Masie Schultz, whose father just happened to be one of the leading crime bosses and also Benny's own boss.

With Sherry D. Ficklin's poetic, yet straightforward writing style, I was easily swept away to the 1920s New York with its fringe dresses, speakeasies, slang, and over the shoulder gestures. This was a melodramatic, thrilling read that made my heart accelerate with every conflict that arises. And while the story itself focuses on its romantic aspects, it does not completely abandon the grittiness of the mafia world.

I do think a trigger warning is necessary (there are some scenes that involve both physical and emotional abuse), but I would definitely recommend this book to any YA reader who's in need of a breath of fresh air from all the mainstream contemporary and fantasy plots.

My in depth review will be posted under the spoiler warning:
Profile Image for Tânia.
660 reviews91 followers
October 26, 2017
Read from October 12th to October 25th

Plot: After three months in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Benjamin “Benny” Fleisher is back on the streets of New York. He wants to stay away from trouble, but his family is going through difficult times –and to make everything worse is little sister is very sick and in need of special medical care. When no respectable business gives Benny an opportunity to earn an honest salary, Benny finds himself working for a notorious crime boss, Dutch Schultz. Quickly climbing through the ranks after saving Dutch’s life, Benjamin has to struggle to keep his integrity while losing his heart of gold to the only girl he shouldn’t, the daughter of his boss, Masie Schultz, a flapper with the voice of an angel whose only desire is to set free from her father’s bloody schemes and gang war. When the world of Benny and Masie collide nothing ever will be the same again…

Writing: Have I ever told you that the roaring 20s is one of my favourite times? All the Jazz and bright lights and flappers. Oh, and the Lost Generation! I love the Lost Generation –I’ve a soft spot for Zelda Fitzgerald who is very misunderstood. Anyway, in The Canary Club Sherry D. Ficklyn brought the 20s back to life with all the good and bad. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of New York during the prohibition time. Moreover, the use of slang from the time made the story seem ever more real. I’d like to stress that it is clear the author did a lot of research –from the language to the medical procedures for mental illness. I must confess that the ending felt a little bit rushed –the author could have taken a little bit more time to develop it since it was the big finale. But since there is going to be a sequel, I’m not going to complain much.

Characters: Benny has a golden heart. He wants to do what is right, but his bad luck always drags him to very complicated situations. One of Benny’s characteristics that I enjoyed the most was how far he would go to protect those he loved –no matter how difficult was the path he had to go through. Masie was a flapper in every sense of the world. Although a few times I found her insufferable, and a little bit entitled, I did warm up to Masie when it was revealed how much she had suffered (and still was suffering) at the hands of her father. Also, I enjoyed how she understood the world isn’t black and white and how she walked in those grey areas.

Romance: In The Canary Club the plot centers on the romance between Benny and Masie, told from their perspective. I always love a story about forbidden love. And, although I don’t mind instalove as much as I mind love triangles, I was disappointed when it happened. I wanted Benny and Masie to slowly fall in love in world of crime and mobsters. Also, I felt it was out of character for Masie to fall instantly in love with Benny because, as she pointed out, she had never loved anyone before. It would shown so much character growth if the relationship between them grew slowly.

All in all, I can't wait for the sequel of "The Canary Club" to be released. That cliffhanger!

TRIGGER WARNING! There is mention of rape as well as of physical and physiological abuse.

[I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.]

Tânia @MyLovelySecret
Profile Image for The Damsel in the Library.
433 reviews16 followers
July 28, 2019
*Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review.*

3.5 stars

Having people fear you gives you power. Having them love you gives you influence. Having both, well, that's how you build an empire.

This has got to be the most refreshing setting after all the fantasy I've been reading. And that's what sold me on this story. I'm not sure there were enough gangsters, drive-bys and illegal actions to truly capture the era but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
The romance is a focal point in this book. A couple other reviews said it's insta-love and it kinda is. They also said Masie is too modern and she probably is. Someone said their personalities didn't have enough depth and I agree. I'd also like to add that Benny is way too competent for a seventeen(?) year old. But I did like Masie's confidence and sashaying everywhere. Everything would've been a bit more plausible if they were older. That being said, I didn't mind and it didn't hinder my reading experience.
The slang tended to be a bit much, unless that's how they talked back then. (Applesauce?)
The plot could've used a bit more attention as the romance kinda dominated it and . I hope the next book strengthens Masie's and Benny's personalities and gives them some dilemmas to work over and highlight how the outer conflicts will change them.
The descriptions were good and colorful, just the way they should be. And there were several insightful comments throughout I appreciated.
Overall I sped through this book and am looking forward to the next one.

Some favorite quotes:

"You can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. It's the honest ones you have to look out for"

"Because that's what war does. It never destroys the people who need to be destroyed; it just punishes the people who get in the way."

"Only thing open after midnight are bars, legs, and morgues."
Profile Image for Stephenee.
1,476 reviews44 followers
July 23, 2017
* I received an ARC from the author, but that in no way affects my review or opinions. *

I have read the 3 novella prequels to this book and have been impatiently waiting for the full length novel since the last novella was released. I must admit that I don't usually enjoy "historical novels" but for some reason I fell in love with Author Sherry D. Ficklin and her Queen Series and that lead me to this one....and I must also admit that her writing style, her flair and her uniqueness in telling a story have all made me change my mind...at least if she is the author, I'm not sure about others...so if you have an bias towards this genre, put it away and start reading. It will make any non-fan a new fan!

So, now that I have bared my soul let me tell you this...The Canary Club is a can't miss! I can smell the smoke and alcohol, I can hear Masie singing and I can almost smell Benny standing beside me as I read the pages of this novel. The author pours her heart and soul into it and the reader can tell. There is no way that anyone reading this story won't be affected. It is a portal straight back into the roaring twenties and the author has created a direct link for us to enjoy it.

Author Sherry D. Ficklin weaves a tale about family, sacrifice, forbidden love and more importantly a tale that leaves the reader breathless as they wonder what they would have done if they were faced with the challenges of the prohibition era. The reader becomes a part of the story, they become invested in the lives of the the characters, but make no mistake, there is plenty of danger involved. This book has everything that a reader wants and doesn't even know that they need. Be prepared to spend a lot of time with this book and these characters because once you zoom through the book the first time you will want to go back and re-read it to see what you missed.

Sit back, grab your favorite drink and be prepared to fall in love...with the book, the characters and the author. You won't be satisfied with just this book, you will want to devour all of her books. Sherry Ficklin will soon be associated with your favorite everything....
Profile Image for Nic.
826 reviews18 followers
September 13, 2017
Reviewed for Netgalley

Slipping into the 1920s in this period piece was a nice change of setting from everything I’ve read lately. I immediately enjoyed the descriptions of Manhattan as Benny walked its streets after getting out of prison. The scenery came alive with author Sherry Ficklin’s descriptions of the sights and sounds, the people and places, and the lingo of those prohibition days. I liked Benny too. A guy who wouldn’t have any luck if he didn’t have bad luck is the type of underdog many readers like to root for.

On the other hand, I did not care for Masie at all. It really annoys me when a character talks about how bad she is or how dark she is, but there is no evidence to support this. So she asks her Dad's goon to beat up the guy who beat up her best friend? So, what? That does not make her a dark, twisted individual. Her need to be with Benny so he can make her a good person was not believable to me.

Unfortunately, my overall feeling about the story was that it was just so-so. Once Benny and Masie’s relationship started to heat up, my enthusiasm for the story cooled down. Plot wise, everything became a little too cookie-cutter for me. Nothing surprising happened. This felt like a story I have read a dozen times before. New background, new character names, same old story. I kept hoping something refreshing and unexpected would happen. Like, maybe Masie would kill her father and take the family business for her own (now, that would be dark and twisted) or maybe Daddy’s hired killer would carry out his plan and leave Benny with nothing but emptiness and vengeance. That also did not happen. No, the whole story dissolved into an underdeveloped plot to help the canary escape her cage. The ending was wrapped up in way too neat packaging and tied off with a tiny little bow that left me wanting a lot more.

The epilogue left things open for a sequel, but there simply wasn’t enough to The Canary Club to interest me in reading more. If you want a cut and dry love story, I think you’ll enjoy this book. If you want more, this is not the story for you.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
13 reviews
August 30, 2017
[I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.]

DNF at 56%

"I wish I could be more like the other Joes, beating the streets with wild dreams of striking it rich in the market or becoming the next Broadway darling. They flood in by the train full, with stars in their eyes and holes in their shoes. But dreams are for suckers and con artists, and this city has more than enough of both."

Let me just say this before I lay out everything that stopped me from finishing this book: I really, REALLY wanted to love Canary Club. I loved the premise, the synopsis made me excited, and I enjoy historical fiction, so I figured there was no way I could be disappointed.

I am very sorry to say that I was wrong.

There were certain aspects of the book that I did enjoy. Benny was precious, and Sherry D. Ficklin is a talented user of the English language. Her descriptions were vivid and felt very real, and the writing itself was lyrical and fun to read.

That's about where my interest in the story ended, however.

Masie got on my nerves. She felt very shallow and undeveloped as a character, a lot of her behavior felt somewhat out of context, and her POV chapters dragged.
The main conflict for the plot seemed to just conveniently appear

Obviously these are just opinions, but they are my reasons for DNFing this one.
I'm sorry for the negative review.
October 3, 2017
Read my full review at http://blackwords-whitepages1977.blog...

"When life makes you a criminal, only love can set you free." -Benny

What can I say..... I'm a bit speechless as I sit here collecting my thoughts and writing this review.....

First off, everything that I have read by this author makes me fan-girl every time she comes out with a new release. Ficklin has once again proven that she can make her magic show through any story or genre that she writes and this one is no different. She is a phenomenal storyteller.

Now on to the book....

This story was incredible. The characters who I loved throughout this story are just as awesome as when they were first introduced in the series. I loved how the author showed how each life was affected and how their paths kept crossing. I a real connection with the characters; like I was actually a part of their lives and living each and every moment with them.

The story-line was amazing. The rawrin twenties. What an awesome era in the mind of this author. I so wanted to be from this era. Shimmering dresses, speakeasies, mobs, and bootlegging just made me wish I was from that era. Sure things went wrong, but I still dreamed about being from the twenties and living within the pages of the book with these phenomenal characters. As each scene unfolded, I could see that scene in my mind as plain as day. It was as if a movie played inside of my head. I was completely surprised, yet happy at how the story ended.

I am extremely excited to have had the opportunity to fall in love with this story and the characters in it. There has been a piece of my heart left within the beautiful pages of this book and I know that I will find myself wanting to hangout with these characters again and re-read this story again and again. I highly recommend this read.
22 reviews
September 1, 2017
Read in full on my blog: https://rebeccafeleciahickman.wordpre...

Benny, recently released from prison, is forced to take a job with a notorious crime boss to support his struggling family. He finds himself being drawn further and further into the underbelly of New York and finds himself falling for Masie, the beautiful strong-willed daughter of his boss. Canary Club is a story of star crossed lovers – the Romeo and Juliet of prohibition era New York.

Canary Club is a rip-roaring ode to 1920s America. Ficklin has written a book that is full of vivid and complex characters. Benny and Masie are inherently likeable and you find yourself wanting them to be together; wanting Masie to be free from her father. The characterization in this book is truly wonderful – Masie is strong, more like her father then her mother, she is inherently modern, an unashamed flapper. I adored her. The language is colloquial – it involves you from the outset, and you feel like you’re a part of the story, a witness to their struggles and heartbreak. The story is told from the perspective of both Benny and Masie.

I read this book quickly – in twenty-four hours – it is a light read, one that you can immerse yourself in. It a beautiful fictionalized history of prohibition in New York, the vivid language brings the smells, the sounds and the places to life. This is the first time that I’ve read something by Ficklin, and I would not hesitate in picking up something else that she has written. Canary Club’s epilogue hints that there might be a sequel and I hope that there is… If you like historical fiction, flappers, gangsters, and like a bit of will they won’t they mystery then this book is for you.

Read courtesy of NetGalley and Crimson Tree Publishing
Profile Image for Tonja Drecker.
Author 3 books174 followers
October 21, 2017
The time of speakeasies, the Charleston and prohibition comes to life in this thrilling drama.

Benny is a good guy, trying to help his mother and siblings out. Masie is the daughter of a powerful gangster. When fate brings the two together, the chemistry is impossible to deny. But the world of crime, violence and manipulation not only makes it impossible for them to come together, it threatens to drag both of them under.

Opening the first page is like stepping back in time. The prohibition period reveals itself in all its sparkle, desperation and glory. The author has done her homework and masterfully lets the scenes come to life through carefully and cleverly dropped details, which never threaten to hinder the flow of the plot. The dialogue snaps with each character's personality, and these characters definitely have personality. Not only Masie and Benny pull attention to their situations and problems, but the side characters bring in their own spice and make the tale vibrant and alive.

Every page adds to the quick pace and tosses a bit more into the plot. There's never a boring moment as the layers of intrigue, secret power plans and desperation to survive breathe from every scene. This is not a subtle tale, but lets the violence and hunger for power unfold in its chilling reality.

The ending plan lacks a little clarity, but it does it's job and promises much more excitement to come. In other words, this is a read fans of gangster history, romance and crime are sure to enjoy.

I received a complimentary copy and loved diving into this world so much that I wanted to leave my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for Ainslee || Jest and Hearts.
150 reviews31 followers
September 29, 2017

I really enjoyed this book, the 1920's are one of my favourite era's, the fashion, the language the prohibition, I love it all!

the book follows two characters Benny and Maisie. Benny is from the wrong side of tow and just got out of jail, he ends up landing a gig working for a mob boss. Maisie is the daughter of them ob boss, can you guess what happens here? star-crossed lovers

I really enjoyed the relationship Benny and Maisie formed and how they seemed to work well together. I would have liked to see a bit more of the crime scene, as this was prohibition New York where there were lots of crimes taking place.

this was a fairly quick read and it did keep me intrigued throughout. if you're into 1920's New York, flapper girls, corrupt cops, crime bosses then you'll probably enjoy this book!

Be ware if you are trigger by: abuse (physical and emotional), mental health issues and rape

The story did shed light on the treatment of women during this time and how cruel it was at times. Women were supposed to act the way their husbands told them to otherwise they would face consequences (disgusting). It also included the mistreatment of people with mental health issues. It briefly talked about all the testing and cruel experiments that were taken done on these types of patients.

Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a copy for review
Profile Image for Milena.
713 reviews78 followers
August 12, 2017
Canary Club is YA historical set in the Roaring 20s. It was a quick and enjoyable read for the most part. I loved the setting and the time period complete with mobsters, flappers, speakeasies, and shady dealings. The characters were interesting if a tad one-dimensional. I wanted more character development and more complexity, especially from the villains. I have a soft spot for bad boys so I had high hopes for Vinnie but his character disappointed me the most. He had a promise of being complex and fascinating which was left unfulfilled. Also there was some disconnect between characters' ages and how they acted. Masie, Benny, June, and JD are all around 17-18 years old but they were thinking and acting more like if they were in their twenties. They didn't behave like teenagers at all.

Overall I really enjoyed some parts of Canary Club, namely the time period, and was left disappointed with other parts. There are not that many YA books set in this era and this book is more special for it.

*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Profile Image for Macy Klingerman.
255 reviews4 followers
October 18, 2017
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

The concept of this book sounded great. The 1920’s is a time period that I’ve always been fascinated with, so whenever I see a book set in that time, I’m always excited to pick it up. The historical aspects of this book were great. It was very easy to slip into this world and experience the story along with the characters. The gritty world of New York City mobsters was alluring, and was definitely the strong point of this book.

With that said, the setting was about the only strong point. The romance honestly wasn’t all that special, with some serious instalove and endless amounts of general YA love tropes. The characters themselves were average, but they felt like archetypes. Masie was your typical rough around the edges girl that wanted *more*, and that’s about all she was. Benny’s character was summed up in the synopsis, and he doesn’t really get much deeper than that.

I was disappointed by this book, as I was really hoping to like it. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Rachel.
430 reviews24 followers
September 15, 2017
Sherry Ficklin's writing practically hums with electricity. There's an energy and a sense of expectancy in her writing and her characters that makes her writing unique. Having read all three of the prequel novellas in the Canary Club series, it was so satisfying read a full-length novel with all of the characters. And... based on the ending, I'm hoping there's more to come!
Ms. Ficklin has certainly done her historical research, and has the ability to fully immerse the reader in the Prohibition Era. I love the inclusion of real life mobsters. The characters are so realistic and well-developed, and the plot never drags.
As far as content, there is one instance of rape, but it is not graphic, mostly just alluded to, and one love scene, but again, no graphic details. I recommend this to all fans of Prohibition Era fiction, fans of historical fiction and clean romance. I can't wait to see if there's more to come!
953 reviews18 followers
October 14, 2017
*** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review

When Benny is released from jail, where he was serving time for a crime he didn't commit, he struggles to find a job to help his destitute family. He gets offered a position working for a wealthy gangster family. He originally plans to make enough money to get their family back on track and allow his mom to stop working double shifts, and to pay for medical care for his ailing little sister. Instead, he finds himself falling head over heels for the boss's daughter. He has to make a lot of tough decisions in order to keep everyone he loves safe, while not compromising his values.
This was one of the best historical fiction books I have read, It kept me so captivated that I couldn't put it down until the very end. This is definitely a must-read!
Profile Image for Melissa Rothman.
224 reviews2 followers
July 12, 2017
Absolutely loved this book so much that I loved about it. I really got hooked by the cover, very pretty, not to mention I haven't read a good book about gangsters in the prohibition times and I find flappers., the music, and the mob boss era extremely fascinating. One of the best things I found about this book was the slang I loved reading and sometimes trying to guess what the slang ment I even had to Google some words. Mas and Benny are a odd but beautiful couple and one of my favorite parts of the book is when she goes to rescue her friend and goes gun crazy on the pompous ass guy. I highly recommend this book it's got action, the author does a fantastic job on showing what it was like for two separate people with completely different lives can still be entwined.
Profile Image for Entrada Book Review.
304 reviews25 followers
September 1, 2017
The Canary Club will make an impact on your that you won’t soon forget!

Masie and Benny come from two completely different worlds, but through fate and a little arm twisting, they end up friends, lovers and more.

This Gatsby-era book includes all the glitz and glamor with a completely real and believable story line and characters. The book periodically switches view points between Masie and Benny to show their background, thoughts and feelings. This is extremely well done as both are incredibly likeable although not perfect which makes them even more realistic.

This book does include explicit sexual content so skip it if that it a concern for you.

This is a piece of historical fiction that will stand the test of time. The best flapper era book since The Great Gatsby.
Profile Image for Kierstin Carnahan.
840 reviews5 followers
August 2, 2017
3.5 stars
I enjoyed this book. Anyone who likes the roaring 20s would. I thought the two main characters were likeable and I love when a book changes viewpoints between chapters. It had some good drama and intrigue and the set up for a sequel was a good ending. It moved at a good pace.

I received this from netgalley in return for an honest review.
August 7, 2017
4.5 Stars
Thanks to NetGalley for sending me a copy.
Okay, this book was so good, I don't even know what to say. I'm a sucker for prohibition era stuff, badasses, and shenanigans, and I got all of that, written wonderfully, and with good pacing. The perfect end to my summer reading stack. Bravo!
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