Happy Saturday my friends! It feels like forever since I’ve posted a review. I’ve been busy with tons of stuff – mostly work and home life. I know a lot of people have had more time to read and chill during this Pandemic, but I have been busier than ever. Which means less time to read – BOO! But I’m still trying to read whenever and wherever I can. And hopefully things will start slowing down a little bit soon, and I can get on a more normal schedule.
I’ve been raving about The Socialite for quite some time now. I fell in love with the cover the moment I saw it. The plot intrigued me. Once I got the book in the mail, well I just couldn’t wait to dive in. Which, for the record, took way longer than I had hoped. But it was oh so worth the wait. If ever there was a historical fiction novel for you to read – This. Is. It! Even if you don’t typically like historic reads, just try this one out. Trust me!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis.
As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them–but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.
Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?
The Socialite took my breath away. It’s as simple as that. Ciesielski has managed to bring all the emotions, capture my attention, and take me into a world that I find myself not wanting to let go of. Here’s the very first thing I wrote down in my notes as I was reading –
How is it possible to have a funny, adorable meet-cute, amidst a German (Nazi) party where the enemy is everywhere? I don’t know. But it happened and it totally worked.
Honestly? Every single little detail in this entire story worked. I loathed the bad guys. They were perfectly scripted. In a scene where the ultimate enemy in the book makes the scene (don’t want to give away spoilers), I could feel his eyes burning through me. Me – the reader! Yeah, that is how much Ciesielski draws you in, and makes you not only a reader, but a participant in the story. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the pages before me, and yet I purposefully read slowly so that I could savor each and every word.
Kat and Barrett stole the show. They each had their own quest, and yet found a way to (sometimes) work together to reach the final goal. The kissing? Yeah, fans needed. The romance? Watch out husbands because you most likely will be compared to Barrett a time or two. And while this was a great romantic story, it was so much more than that. It was growth for both of them that really made the story. Kat needed to learn to think for herself, instead of doing her father’s wishes. Barrett needed to understand his worth in the world – that he was someone who was special and had things to contribute.
As if romance, character growth and great villains weren’t enough, Ciesielski brings so much history to this story that makes me want to dive in deeper. She brings to light so many things about such a dark time in our history. New perspectives, interesting facts, and characters that while they are fictional, I would bet have similar traits to individuals living in that time period. I ended up having discussions with my family about the time period as I was reading this, talking about the different historical aspects brought up in the book. It made for interesting conversation, and I can’t remember the last time I was truly excited to talk about this time period!
I could go on and on about this book, but the bottom line is that readers will not want to miss the opportunity to read this. I know for sure this will be a reread of mine in the future, and on my favorites of 2020 list. Highly recommend reading this exquisitely crafted book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the INSPY and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.
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What was the last book you read that totally blew your socks off?