I think Nicola Italia has become my new favorite romance writer. This time in The Vaudeville Star, we are introduced to Ruby Mae Sutton, a southern belle from Mississippi who is sent off to finishing school in Connecticut when she is 15.
Ruby has been madly in love all her life with Ford Rutledge, who is engaged to her sister. Ruby doesn’t want Ford to marry her sister. She thinks her cold-hearted sister is very wrong for Ford. So she decides to convince him, putting him in a compromising position, hence sending Ruby to finishing school.
While at the finishing school, Ruby discovers her singing voice and decides she wants to be a vaudeville singer. Ruby builds fans including the King of New York who becomes obsessed with Ruby. This is also where Ruby meets Ford again and finds her love for him still exists.
The characters are well developed and their personalities came through strong. As I was reading, I felt invested in the characters’ lives and was cheering for them. At almost 300 pages, I thought there was more to tell. I wanted more of Ruby, Ford, Bessie and the other Vaudeville performers. This book was well worth my time and it will be well worth your time. Pick it up today.
On a Mississippi Plantation, Ruby Mae Sutton throws herself into the arms of the only man she has ever loved, Ford Rutledge. At fifteen years old, she has given her heart away and is not ashamed to brazenly declare her love to the twenty-five-year-old man, who is also the fiancé of her sister.
But Ford has no intention of taking advantage of the blond beauty, even though her reckless behavior causes his engagement to be broken. Ruby is sent off in disgrace to a boarding school in Connecticut, where she remains for the next three years.
Once in Connecticut, Ruby discovers her singing voice and decides to leave after graduation for the bright lights of New York and the vaudeville stage. Ford also decides to make his home in New York and suddenly finds himself face-to-face with Ruby Sutton, the very grown and very beautiful rising star of the vaudeville stage.
As Ruby’s star ascends, she makes a huge conquest with the King of Manhattan: William Parker. King Parker begins to take an interest in Ruby’s career, and more importantly Ruby herself, as Ford finally realizes he is in love with her.
King finances a tour to Europe as his interest in Ruby takes a turn toward the more obsessive. Ruby finds herself torn between her true love for Ford and the obligation she owes King. She must tread carefully between the two men, and the brutal murder of someone they all know causes everyone to wonder who had the motive.
Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat