“Password?” the man grunted in a thick Scottish brogue.
“The Fall of Bellerophon,” Colt answered.
The large man stepped to the side, and we were granted entrance. Colt pushed the door open, and we entered the Cerberus Club.
It really was like walking into Lucifer’s kingdom. Immediately I wanted to shed my fur coat as the heat of bodies pressing against the dark cement walls of the speakeasy threatened to strangle me. We stood on a balcony looking out over a dance floor littered with oliver twists, swinging their hearts out to the jazz band that played on the extravagant stage directly opposite to us. Dim electric lightbulbs hung from the ceiling, shaking and trembling with the blasts of clarinets and saxes and the pounding keys of the pianist—playing like The Lion himself. A long bar ran the length of the speakeasy, packed with patrons all hanging on the edge, shouting their drink order and waving mazuma in the air for the harried bartenders.
At first glance, it looked like any other city nightclub, extravagant and bigger than most, but normal.
But then I picked up on flashes of abnormal.
A woman in a red flapper dress had dark emerald locks of hair, writhing and twisting around her shoulders. It took me a second too long to realize what they were—live serpents. A man with bull horns protruding from his temples sat on a lone barstool, nursing his sixth glass in front of him. Another man danced with a dame whose whole arms and legs were covered in bluish-green scales reflecting the yellowish electric light. The singer up on the stage crooned into his mic and swayed with the beat of his jazz ballad, feathers falling to the floor from his arms like he was a cat shedding hair.
I pressed my hands to my mouth as sweat broke out on the back of my neck.
Monsters. Here, there, everywhere.
The trumpet gave four short blasts and then the rest of the jazz band swooped in with a tune of their own design, but one the crowd had clearly heard before, because they gave a cheer and started into the Lindy Hop. Some dancers were better than others, but all were passionate—twirling and double-then-triple stepping.
Then there were the darker parts of the dance floor where couples were twisted together in a way that would make Madame Maldu throw them out on the street. One man had a woman pressed against the wall, necking her, while her eyes rolled up into her head and her mouth parted in pleasure. The man tilted his head back and his tongue flicked over his lips—they were blood-red.
Two flaming youths stumbled in front of us, both completely half-seas over. They were singing—if you could call it that—along to the melody of the band’s song. The one closest to us winked at me and reached to loop his arm around my neck. In less than a second, Colt had gripped the man’s shoulder with white knuckles. The boyo gave a shout of pain and twisted away. He seemed to sober up in that moment and stumbled down the steps, disappearing into the throng of dancers, his compatriot following.
Colt dropped his hand to mine and intertwined our fingers. “C’mon,” he said gruffly.
With the sound of the band, no one but myself would’ve been able to hear him. But I was clued into the timbre of his voice like radio towers tuned into certain frequencies.
“Remember what I told you,” Colt said as we descended the stairs into the moving, shifting dance floor, “you’re the most powerful monster in this place.”
“You’re an abomination, Eris.”
I gasped suddenly, the words cutting through my mind like a dagger driven through my skull. Were they my own thoughts or the words of someone else from years ago? Darkness consumed my eyesight and I couldn’t breathe. My mouth was hot and my arm ached like someone had just injected something into the crook of my elbow.
Then I blinked, brought back to the present by the scent of a smoking hearth. I tilted my head up, my chin brushing the fabric of Colt’s suit jacket. His body had melded against mine and we stood, embracing, in the middle of the Charleston dancers. Lightbulbs trembled above us with the steps of a hundred feet swinging. A few women at the bar, all with snake hair, sipped on cocktails and sent curling blue smoke toward the ceiling with their cigarettes.
I fisted his jacket and clung to him like he was a life preserver in the middle of the Atlantic.
He moved his head back, bringing his hands to cup my cheeks, and stared into my eyes. “What happened?” His breath was hot, but not unpleasant—it reminded me of the warmth of a fire in the dead of winter.
– THE REVIEWS ARE IN –
“This book was AWESOME! It has a really unique premise, wonderful kick butt characters, and a sizzlingly sweet romance that will make you swoon time and time again. I highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy and paranormal romances. Roaring is one of my favorite reads of 2020!”
– Book Briefs Blog
“This was a roaring good time! I absolutely loved this story! The romance, the adventure, and the action! It has so much and is told so beautifully. This was an absolute great thrilling read! It mixes mobsters with monsters and holy heck was it such a fun combination!”
– Ash in Books
“Roaring was a really fun and captivating fantasy read!”
– Lindsay C., NetGalley
“The plot was intriguing and such a refreshing difference from the norm that the YA genre has found itself in. I genuinely loved every second of this book. I look forward to reading more from Lindsey Duga!”
– Taylor N., Goodreads
“A really fun, thrilling, exciting and interesting read. I had an enjoyable time reading this and it held my attention the entire way through that I finished it within the day!”
– Amanda M., NetGalley
“Told in alternating points of view, between Eris and Colt, this story was so much fun. The idea of humans being ‘spliced’ for want of a better word, with mythological creature parts was so interesting and unique and had me captivated the whole way through. The characters were well rounded, the scene descriptions were fantastic and the story was highly entertaining.”
– Book Book Owl
“This book was everything I didn’t know I needed! I loved it so much and wish there was more!”
– Catherine H., NetGalley
“Roaring was a short and easy read. I personally enjoyed the author’s style and descriptive language. My eyes were glued to the page and I couldn’t put it down. I would definitely read it over again. I highly recommend reading while listening to Spotify’s 1920s Instrumental playlist! (Also that gorgeous cover!!!)”
– Mikyla K., NetGalley
“Lindsey Duga’s intricate rendering between the Prohibition era and fantasy/mythology and the dual perspectives of Colt and Eris was fantastic. Duga takes a common trope and spins it into a work of art.”
– Joy L., Goodreads