Book Review: Ladies Night (Fight Card) by Jill Tunney
|5 stars, 1 review|
Authors: Jill Tunney, Jack Tunney
Publisher: Fight Card Books
Nerve-racking tension, thrilling action, and an engaging love storyMove over gentlemen, a new contender steps into the boxing ring of the male dominated Fight Card Series created by Paul Bishop and Mel Odom. Each boxer in the series is connected to St. Vincent's Asylum for Boys, an orphanage in Chicago. Jill Tunney, a pseudonym for Carol Malone pens a combination of nerve-racking tension, thrilling action, and an engaging love story that kept me up until the wee hours. Additionally, the characters are all very strong and exhibit character development throughout the book. Carol Malone has crafted delightful characters whose charm made the hours pass swiftly by. Jimmy Doherty: Lost his father in the battle of Iwo Jima and his mother from mental illness. Pops Dominic: Takes in young boxer Jimmy and saves him from his anger against God as well as providing a nurturing family environment, and Lindy: A 19 year old that works at her father's gym and then matures into a warm, caring, and strong adult. These people are not flawless by any means, but aren't afraid to show their humanity in the way they relate to each other and to the people in their pasts.
While I found this book absolutely enthralling, I was surprised it was aimed at an audience from young adults to mature readers. Carol Malone writes a cross generational book by adding a few lines from classics such as Casablanca and Don Quixote. Once cross generational example is during a boxing scene when a less experienced competitor is described as, "throwing more rabbit punches than Bugs Bunny." Moreover, many readers will be pleased with the less than PG-13 rating for language, violence, and sex. With that being said, this book does not portend a level of prudence but has a secret that will be discovered very early in the novel.
The main theme of Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night is perseverance. It is not only the fight inside the ring but the grace and choices that one makes outside. This is coupled with love of family. Carol Malone challenges readers to examine the definition of family compared to the need for belonging and attachment. The author then skillfully weaves the character dilemma of Lindy when she states, "I know you do. I love you, too. This has nothing to do with our love for each other. I need to learn who I am and what my purpose is. Am I only Pops' daughter, the boys' sister and your wife? Or do I have a mission to fulfill."
The intensity of the action was engaging and suspenseful, but the age of the characters and the simplicity of the prose were aimed at an average reading audience. Carol Malone is able to describe a scene without over complicating or confusing the reader. A good example of how the author expresses the mood, setting, and emotion can be found in the quote: "The dark tomb-like chapel reeked of dying roses, drooping lilies, and the hot stench of candle wax. When Father Donovan walked from the pulpit, the old organ ground out a melancholy sound, strangling Jimmy's heart, making him clench and unclench his hands in his lap, wishing he had something to punch." Interestingly, this book was written in third person narrative. The author was not only consistent but I found no editing issues while reading. Overall, I was highly impressed with Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night by Jill Tunney. In my honest opinion, it is a five star knockout! [by Ginger Dawn Harman]
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