About the Book
Book: The Socialite
Author: J’nell Ciesielski
Genre: Historical Romance
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?
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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.
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.
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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.