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review 2020-05-26 05:30
The Socialite Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book: The Socialite

Author: J’nell Ciesielski

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: April 14, 2020

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?



Click HERE to get your copy!
 

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 Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.
 

More from J’Nell

 

I blame Pinterest. Too many hours are spent chasing rabbit holes of glorious pictures of fashion from eras gone by, Highlanders in kilts, WWI ambulances, and fairytale castles. One day I was browsing something super important (or possibly escaping from the actual work I was supposed to be doing, er, we’ll never know) and stumbled across a black and white picture of six beautiful girls. Who are these lovely ladies? I wondered. A quick search brought up the Mitford sisters. Six gorgeous daughters born into an aristocratic English family, each girl with a different passion: Diana the fascist, Jessica the communist, Unity the Hitler lover, Nancy the novelist, Deborah the duchess, and Pamela the poultry connoisseur. Whoa. You know dinner time around their family table was interesting. How could such different personalities belong in the same family? What would you do if your sister got moon-eyed over Hitler??

Bam. An idea was born.

In the beginning, my little rebel Ellie was going to be a full-fledged Nazi ideology lover, but she quickly informed me that it wasn’t so much the Nazis or their crazy ideas she loved, but one man in particular. One twisted Nazi who had fallen completely under her spell, and she under his. The ideas of love can often be more difficult to break as Kat finds out when she tries to rescue her naïve sister. Luckily, she has a hunky Sottish bartender to help her while providing a few romantic intentions of his own. With everyone hiding past hurts and true identities, how will they ever hope to find the love they each long for when war rages under the bright lights of Paris? Guess you’ll have to read to find out.
 

My Review

 

Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. One of the time periods that I tend to gravitate toward is WWII, and I’ve read fairly extensively within that category. As such, there aren’t many storylines that I haven’t encountered. This book, however, brings some interesting twists that make it distinguishable, and I have a feeling that it’s one read I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Also, since the author is new to me, I am delighted to be able to add to my list of must-read Christian authors.

As an introvert, the title “The Socialite” honestly makes me a bit nervous, and the obvious opulence displayed by the forward—facing woman on the cover is also polar-opposite to my nature. Looks can be deceiving, though, and that could function as a tagline for this story. With a diverse panoply of characters, author J’nell Ciesielski takes readers into Nazi-occupied France in 1941, as the Fuhrer is continuing to establish his control throughout Europe. Where the novel becomes unique is in its focus, exploring the lives of two sisters whose paths have diverged. Ellie is more of a free spirit, no longer wanting to be tied down by her demanding parents, whereas Kat has always been the model older sister, obedient and yielding. Thus it falls on her to retrieve Ellie from the very heart of the Nazi regime in Paris, where Ellie is living with and romancing a Nazi officer named Eric von Schlegel. Of course, that is very much easier said than done, and a bar owner and important member of the Resistance, training fighters underground, arrives on the scene.

Needless to say, “The Socialite” is brim-full of action and adventure, as well as romance and the whole gamut of human emotions. An exhilarating read, I love how it engages the reader by taking situations that were plausible for the time and not only allowing readers to feel that they are experiencing events right along with the characters, but also to witness the characters’ thoughts. By doing so, readers realize that courage is not always strong and mighty, but more often a determination to succeed against the odds with the Lord’s help, by the grace of God. Another point that this book reinforces is that there can be some good in even the seemingly most evil people and events, and that sometimes we hide inside our ivory towers to try to escape what is happening when in fact God is calling us to suit up and march into battle.  

Fans of Kate Breslin’s “For Such a Time”, especially, and any Christian historical fiction and historical romance books will want to meet and read “The Socialite.” There is still much that we can learn from history, starting with the reminder that God goes before us and behind us, protecting and guiding us through every obstacle.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

Emily Yager, May 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22

Back Porch Reads, May 22

Inklings and notions, May 23

Breny and Books, May 23

Stories By Gina , May 23

For Him and My Family, May 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 24

Connect in Fiction, May 24

Simple Harvest Reads, May 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Life, Love, Writing, May 25

Livin’ Lit, May 26

Robin’s Nest, May 26

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 26

For the Love of Literature, May 26

Betti Mace, May 27

Maureen’s Musings, May 27

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 27

Genesis 5020, May 28

Book of Ruth Ann, May 28

Remembrancy, May 28

Read Review Rejoice, May 29

Quiet Workings, May 29

Mia Reads, May 29

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 30

Rebecca Tews, May 30

deb’s Book Review, May 30

Older & Smarter?, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, May 31

Books I’ve Read, May 31

Batya’s Bits, June 1

Blossoms and Blessings, June 1

Splashes of Joy, June 1

Through the Fire Blogs, June 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Moments, June 2

Pause for Tales, June 3

Andrea Carmen, June 3

Just Your Average reviews, June 3

To Everything There Is A Season, June 3

Fiction Aficionado, June 4

Lis Loves Reading, June 4

Hallie Reads, June 4

 
 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a book and a book sleeve!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 

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text 2020-05-13 14:05
The Road to Liberation: Trials and Triumphs of WWII

I'm excited to participate in another great blog tour! Today, we get a sneak peek at The Road to Liberation, a collection of stories exploring the trials and triumphs of World War II. Marion Kummero, one of the authors included in this anthology, is on my blog to talk about the inspiration for this book.

 

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review 2020-03-04 14:53
We Germans
We Germans - Alexander Starritt

by Alexander Staritt

 

A young British man asks his German grandfather about his experiences in the war and gets no clear answers, but after the grandfather's death, a long letter is found addressed to his grandson which tells him the answers to his questions.

 

The grandfather was an ordinary foot soldier on the Eastern front, suffering not only the horrors of war but of decisions made by higher ups. He carries guilt for some things he had to do under orders and details out all the unpleasantness of what his life had become.

 

This is fiction and I have no way of knowing how close to factual experiences of German soldiers in WW2 it is or isn't, but it reads with plausibility and I was definitely gripped by the story. I generally avoid WW2 stories, but this was different because of the inside perspective of the side that lost, unlike the usual British and American films that glorify a horrendous state of affairs.

 

Most interesting was the very human side of the story as a group of soldiers get separated from their unit with no officer and have to make decisions for their own survival as well as considering accountability for their role in the war when eventually they get home, if they do.

 

Foraging for food, encountering others involved in the war on both their own side and the Russians brings a series of adventures. Near the end it gets rather intense with action, but there is also philosophising of an ordinary man who happened to be born at a time and place that would require he fight for the Nazi army and see his side lose, when all he really wanted was to go home and raise a family.

 

Very well written.

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review 2020-02-29 23:13
INDESTRUCTIBLE by Jack H. Lucas
Indestructible: The Unforgettable Story of a Marine Hero at the Battle of Iwo Jima - Jack H. Lucas,D.K. Drum
Interesting story of how a 14-year-old did all the wrong things to get himself into battle against Japan culminating in the battle of Iwo Jima where he fell on two grenades saving three friends from death.  He is badly wounded and evacuated.  He is awarded the Medal of Honor and tells of his life after battle.
 
This is a simply told tale.  He does not leave out much that he did and he was flawed but proud of being a Marine.  He also never left the Marines behind.  They were more his family than his family.  He also is proud of his Medal of Honor and tells of get togethers with other medal winners.  He led a colorful life until he died.
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review 2020-02-23 04:25
“She simply had to find the blessings, even in the bleakest conditions.”
The Land Beneath Us - Sarah Sundin

Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and over the years I’ve read many books set during WWII. As with any subject, having a familiarity with this period leads to recognizing plots and events and being able to predict what will follow. Generally speaking, stories don’t catch me off guard. However, with “The Land Beneath Us,” Sarah Sundin manages to do just that, so that I felt as if I were reading a suspenseful thriller and could not turn the pages quickly enough. I have not read the previous books in this series, but that did not at all impede my enjoyment of this one.

With “The Land Beneath Us”, Sarah Sundin delivers a breathtaking novel that is both beautiful and tragic. She deals with disquieting issues not often found in Christian historical fiction, yet she does so with grace. While the events themselves are disturbing, they are not described in detail and do not leave readers feeling sullied. Instead, through the faith of her characters and the ways in which the Lord works in their lives, these ordeals become inspiring testimonies. Leah Jones, in particular, spoke to my heart and is now among my list of favorite heroines. Her love of books and libraries resonated with me, and I felt a kinship with her because I am petite also. Despite her small stature, she manages to make a powerful impact; as Clay Paxton remarks, “For such a young and tiny thing, she had strength at her core.” Despite growing up as an orphan and dealing with abandonment her entire life, her heart has not become hardened and she has an effusive zest for life and remarkable resilience. Her own statement reveals her disposition: “There are even more blessings I can’t yet see. But I will. I only have to watch.” She is not, however, perfect, and I am thankful that Sundin shows how Leah does make mistakes like the rest of us but comes through them because she has the Holy Spirit within her to guide her.  

Faith, hope, and love do indeed shine through in this novel. There are allusions to the Biblical stories of Leah and the prodigal son, and forgiveness is one of the main themes. Sundin expresses so well the corroding effect that unforgiveness has on our lives, and she also addresses the issue of trust. Her characters are wonderful witnesses and complements to one another, teaching by example in a beautiful demonstration of the body of Christ. The promise of Jesus echoes throughout “The Land Beneath Us”, assuring us that “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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