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June 22, 2017

CAMPAIGN: Running With Monkeys

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Author: Diane Munier
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 367
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romantic

Product Details 

1946. The boys are home from the war. Jules is looking for a way into polite society, but it seems like the moogs that didn’t go overseas have moved so far ahead he’ll never catch up.
His luck seems to change when he goes to the movies with his buddies Bobby and Audie, the other two monkeys. They had marched across Europe together, and now they were picking up dames, drinking too much, and generally letting off steam, which translates into trouble. Jules meets Isbe at the movies. Close dancing in a smoky club leads to love. The same night, Jules hooks up with the Irish mob. Love is thawing his hard heart, the one needed for survival in his new and violent world. Isbe vows to stand by, but Jules likes it on the edge. That’s a good thing, because Isbe’s father is chief of police and it’s a tangled gray web he’s soon caught up in.

 Living comfortably in the heart of America with the people I love. I live an extroverted life, but I'm a genuine introvert. An urban kid, I spent much of my youth running in various neighborhood establishments. There I met many colorful characters and I learned to love them and be fascinated by them. My love of story comes from them. I learned to sit on a bar stool or a kitchen chair or in a pew and hear story. There is no greater honor than to hear someone's story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell...what more could I ask.

From the Author

My father is my inspiration. His era. The way love was presented in the culture and the way real people took those notions into reality. Men were distant and masculine, worried about wearing the pants, and women were the boundary makers and basically apologetic. But love was supposed to be the answer and men were knocked out by the right woman. Woman were forever fulfilled by his attention. Clothing was amazing and boldly declared what you were and who you were. Cuffed pant, wingtips, crisp white shirts, full skirts, shirt-waists, straight skirts, long hair swinging in a ponytail, high heels.
Veterans came home, and having defeated two evil regimes, the sky was the limit. Babies were booming and the frozen economic wheels were starting to turn.
I remember the feel of it, the music, the movies, magazines. I remember how crazy my mother was about my father and I remember mostly, my father's raging PTSD that he would have hotly denied and not known what to call. A real man sucked it up. Courage came in achievement, the ability to take care of your family. What you had to do to keep the bubble level was up to you. Just don't get caught.
That's what inspired me. Walking that line the way these men did, upon re-entry. Falling in love. the G. I. Bill. Signing up for the American dream. That's what I hoped to capture in this story, Running With Monkeys. You'll have to tell me if I achieved it.

Setting: 1946.  The war is over and Jules is headed home, hoping for some peace.   But he feels he's so far behind those that didn't go into the war.   Can he ever find a meeting ground?  He still had a couple of friends (monkeys) from the war, Bobby and Audie.  They had shared it all while crossing Europe during the war and now, they were home, trying to get rid of the stress that had built up while in Europe.  Drinking, carousing, all in excess and as always, that can mean trouble.   Now here comes the start of the romance. Jules meets Isbe while at the movies one night. In one night, Jules starts to love Isbe while dancing close to her in a night club but that same night, he makes a decision that may change his life. He joins in with the Irish mob.  Isbe is good for him. He's starting to find a bit of peace with her by his side, but how will he handle the cruelty and violence of the world he's come back to?  A problem, Isbe's father is chief of police and Jules has just joined in with the Irish mob.  That isn't going to go well for Jules or Isbe.   Jule's has been so used to living on the edge while being in Europe and he still loves that thrill, that fine line.  
The author gives us a story that brings three soldiers back from the war and three girls that brings fun and what we all love, romance.  The author puts forth some good history along with characters you want the best for. The detail the author gives puts you right with the characters. You're taken back in time to 1946.  The characters, not just Jules and Isbe, but the supporting characters are described so perfectly that you can picture these people at that time. The author puts you in the world of Jules and Isbe and what they are facing.  The romance is just part of the book. The author gives you fun, a web that is twisting and turning with every page turn.  You can't help but love Jules and Isbe.  We have a man and woman who have found each other and stand by each other. The author shows the reader that no matter the year or the war, the monkeys that come back have so much to face. In a way it's another war, a war of the will and mind.  It would be so easy for them to stay in the war, even though it's over.  There is a war still going on to them, only it's a new war.  You can't help but love Isbe who is the source of survival and change for Jules.  Sometimes that's what it takes is love, real love to come back from war and survive.  The author doesn't make it so simple, as a guy and girl meeting, falling in love.  The mob is introduced which means definite trouble?  Which way will Jules priorities go?  Will he choose the mob or Isbe?   Will Isbe's father have an influence on Jules since he is the chief of police?  Or will Jules face the strong hand of the law?  

I received a copy of this book from the author and PUYB and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 4 STARS.


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Dorothy Thompson
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