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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Hear Them Roar is a historical, coming-of-age romance drama. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and features moderate sexual references but nothing graphic. Penned by Anastacia Hawkins and inspired by the memories of her father’s life as a Chicago entertainer during the 1920s, this charming tale explores the lives of four individuals who are coming up hot in the dance and cabaret scene of the Windy City. From whirlwind romances to temptations, trials, and triumphs, each of our four heroes has something to prove in this riotously good coming-of-age story.
Anastacia Hawkins perfectly captures the spirit of the roaring twenties in this charming tale that is filled with spills, thrills, and all the glitz and glam you’d expect from Chicago in its music hall heyday. The four central characters are beautifully realized with in-depth narration and description, from the humble beginnings of Alfred’s rise to fame to the dangerous liaisons that Mavis and Lillian both find themselves drawn to for very different reasons. I especially enjoyed the subplot involving Haakon and his struggles with manipulation, which I felt were really brilliantly portrayed, subtle, accurate, and ultimately devastating after the slow-building story took off. All these different emotional dynamics are set against a gorgeous backdrop of atmospheric Chicago glam that comes to life beautifully in Hawkin’s wordplay but also always leaves a little room in the shadows for suspense to lurk. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Hear Them Roar as a superb read for fans of the era and a well-penned romantic drama.