Title: The Socialite
Author: J’Nell Ciesielski
Expected Publication: April 14, 2020 by Thomas Nelson
Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Goodreads Rating: 4.06 out of 5
My Rating: ★★★
“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? ”
In terms of Historical Fiction, learning and reading about World War II is high on my lest of favorite time frames. Set in and during the occupation of France by the Nazis’ The Socialite fits right into one of my favorite genres.
Kat Whitford, with thanks to her father’s clout, has managed to get herself into Nazi occupied France. The only reason she’s there of course is to bring her sister, Ellie, back home. But Ellie isn’t about to leave her new life surrounded by glitz, glamour, and on the arm of one of the Nazis officers. It’s going to take Kat a lot more than she originally anticipated to get her sister out of France. Good thing Barrett is on her side. A bar owner, French resistant trainer, and currently employed by Kat’s father, he has been tasked with helping get Kat and her sister back to England safely. Before he can do that though, he’ll need to use the girl’s distinguished name to gather even more precious information for the allies. But when his duty turns into love, he will risk everything to see that no harm comes to Kat.
Character wise, the relationship between Kat and Barrett was the saving grace of this story for me. Ellie was a complete nightmare. I don’t enjoy reading about whiney and entitled characters and honestly Ellie was the worst. It play well within the plot of the story but I could have done with a lot less of her nonsense. Kat as well is extremely naive to the way the rest of the world is suffering through the war, and I found this to be an interesting take on the story. It also plays a lot into what I’ve learned about the Holocaust. The concentration camps, really were the best kept secret the Nazis held for most of the War.
However, the relationship between Barrett and Kat was extremely well written. The mix of their budding romance created just the right amount of tension to really give the story emotion. My only complaint between the two of them, was their dialogue generally seemed to be too modern sounding, in my opinion. They also seemed to constantly be talking about their hatred for the Nazis, while being probably standing next to them. A little more caution from their perspectives would have brought a more reality into the story.
While I definitely knew there would be a ‘happy ending’ to the book, I wasn’t really expecting the tipping point to happen the way it did and I’m not sure I actually liked it. Overall, I did enjoy this book, but it’s not my favorite World War II historical fiction book. It was a lot less about World War II and much more about recusing a girl who really didn’t care to be rescued in the first place. I’d recommend this book to folks who like a historical fiction book that is much heavier on fiction than based in reality.
This book comes out today! If you think you’d like to read this book, get your copy HERE!
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on The Socialite. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books. Huge thank you to Thomas Nelson and Netgallery for my advanced copy!
About the Author
With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, Jnell 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 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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