Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Socialite by J'nell Ciesielski {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

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?

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.

We all know that we are not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I must admit it was the cover that first drew me to this story... it was absolutely breathtaking. Upon reading the description and seeing who the publisher was, I knew that I had to add it to my to read list.

I must admit, The Socialite was not quite what I was expecting! Coming from Thomas Nelson, I expected it to be Christian fiction as is their normal. I really didn't see any Christian content at all in the story. That's not a bad thing, but if you pick up the book with that in mind, it's certainly something to remember. Despite that, it is still a fairly clean read... though perhaps not squeaky clean. There is talk of an affair, a visit to a brothel, and some pretty passionate kissing--- though nothing goes into great detail. There are also a few unsavory terms used towards the end as well. Again, I would still personally consider it clean... but certainly not what one might expect from this publisher, and therefor worth noting.

All that said, I still very much enjoyed this story. It had a great mix of drama, romance and action all in one. The action wasn't always the high paced action... but it was in those slower moments when you never knew quite what to expect that it kept me in it's grasp. I couldn't put it down, wanting to see what would happen to these sisters in the end. I always love a story that really allows me to picture exactly what is going on, and I felt like the descriptions in this one very much put me right in that time and place.

Overall, a really intriguing read and one that fans of historical romance--- and particularly those set during WWII--- are certainly going to want to add to their reading list.


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