My Father’s House

My Father’s House by Joseph O’Connor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My Father’s House is the place that protects refugees that are running from the terror-hungry Gestapo. A group of friends unites to help the running escapees to flee the hands of the Nazis. The dangerous task has not escaped the eyes of the authorities and the group must decide between saving their own lives or the lives of the refugees.

A powerful and heartbreaking read. Out of my WWII novels, this is one of a few that takes place in nazi-occupied Rome. This book is inspiring in so many ways, and it is based on the true story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, who has played a significant role in the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers and Jews. Great read, I would recommend this to any history lover.

Thank you, NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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Sleeping With The Enemy

Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel, Nazi Agent by Hal Vaughan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Coco Chanel is known as a fashion icon. She is respected for her vision, brilliance, and the way she changed the world of fashion. Nowadays, every woman in the world proudly owns or wishes to own a piece of the Chanel Collection. The famous CC logo is a sign of a classic style. But during the grim years of WWII, rumors were spread about her involvement with the Nazis. Was Coco “in bed with the enemy”? At last, Hal Vaughan reveals the truth.

Coco is best described as a cat. In her 87 years, she had lived an adventurous life. From a poor upbringing to building a fashion empire and making the world’s most powerful friends, Coco has faced life’s major ups and downs. She has left a grand mark in WWII history that no one talks about. Coco was a cold opportunist, and an amoral, ethically challenged survivor who had clawed her way to the top, but the world remembers and admires Coco for her exquisite fashion style.

Detailed biography that covers Chanel’s early years, but mainly focuses on her life during and after WWII. I wouldn’t say I’ve learned anything particularly new from this book, but it did bring clarity to her involvement with the Nazis including her long time german lover. Overall this book is a good look into the past.

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The Blackout Club

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To gather people together in the midst of the war and get their midst of the gruesome reality, the town’s librarian creates a book club. Within a few short months, the book club turns its attendees into a close-knit group of trustworthy, reliable, and loving friends.

The Blackout Book Club is a beautiful, heartwarming story. A group of people from different social circles bonds together over the love of reading. Although the time of the novel takes place in the middle of WWII, our characters are placed in the safety of the little town of Maine.
One of my favorite parts of the novel was the club members’ discussions of the books they have read in their club. During my reading, I wanted to be a part of their wonderful group.
If you’re in a search of a feel-good novel – this book is for you. Wonderful writing, a great fast pace plot. This book will leave you with a feeling of hope and joy.

Thank you, NetGalley for an advanced and free copy of the novel in the exchange for my honest review.

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The Girl With The Yellow Star

The Girl With the Yellow Star by Natalie Meg Evans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cornwall, England, 1943. Never in her wildest dream, Gwenna thought that she would be working alongside german POWs on her beloved family farm. But the circumstances led to the current status, and she had no choice but to accept the help. Besides the three working POWs at the far, Gwenna has another german visitor. Days prior to their arrival, a young Jewish refugee became Gwenna’s guest at the farmhouse. Gwenna is afraid of the conflict that can occur between the working german officers and the Jewish girl. But to her surprise, Lotti and Max develop a unique friendship. Living in a village that has tremendous resentment towards the German nation, the german visitors very quickly warm their way into Gwenna’s heart.

This novel takes on a different direction than all the resistance novels that I am so fond of. It came to my surprise the treatment of german POWs on the territory of England VS the opposite side. Nevertheless, it always warms my heart to read about human kindness no matter the nationality or religion. This novel shows us that love can overcome hate, new experiences would never replace memories and the world moves on.

Wonderful plot, favorable characters, and an overall uplifting novel. There are many heart-stopping situations, so naturally, the tension is palpable throughout, but it makes for a real page-turner. I recommend this novel to my fellow WWII readers as well as romance lovers. Thank you, NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the novel, and Natalie Meg Evans for a heartwarming story.

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The Lost Girl In Paris

The Lost Girl in Paris by Jina Bacarr

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Emma gets an opportunity of a lifetime – a personal invitation, by Madame De Cadieux to join her on the return trip back to Paris in the exchange for an exclusive interview.

It was Angéline’s dream one day to write the true story of her early life and her involvement in the resistance. The connection she feels with a young journalist gives her an opportunity to fulfill her dream.

But when the women sit down and begin their work, they uncover a very unique secret.

I love reading about the resistance, and the lives of the concentration camp survivors. If Emma was a real character – I would love to be her friend. Now, back to the novel. Great idea for the book, but a dull plot. I could tell from the very first pages that the two heroines are related. There was no secret it in. Tiena’s story was heartbreaking, and I do not think she fulfilled her revenge in the end. The scene that led to Angéline’s arrest was simply absurd. She gave up her mother’s bracelet, but could not give her friend’s coat away. Where’s the logic?

Am I regretting the time spent on this novel – not really. It could be better, but it is still a beautiful, light, heartwarming read. I would recommend this book to readers that begin to learn of the Nazi-occupied Paris.

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The Last Checkmate

The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a midst of WW2, Maria enters Auschwitz. During her first moments in the camp, she catches the attention of a sadistic camp deputy, Karl. After that point, her life in the camp is divided into before and after. An innocent child that has entered the camp has been reborn into a new individual, prisoner #16671. Her new goal is to survive the war and bring her enemies to justice.

The Last Checkmate is a story of a young child who enters Auschwitz, and never returns. Auschwitz has taken everything from Maria, her childhood, her hopes, her love for chess, and her family. The story has so many “what if” moments. And just like a domino effect, one unfortunate situation has brought a series of unlucky events on a young girl.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. My heart broke every time Maria had to mourn a loved family member or a friend. The last chess game with Karl brought even more pain to Maria, and it made me sad that she didn’t get to fulfill her wish. Nevertheless, this has been a great read about resistance, love, loss, and the courage to move forward.

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The Silence Before Dawn

The Silence Before Dawn by Amanda Lees

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Marianne’s resistance network has faced a betrayal. But anger and heartbreak won’t stop her and her intention to free France from the dirty and bloody hands of german soldiers. Going from one mission to another, Marianne meets people who help her accomplish her goals.

Whenever I was beginning to lose interest, the author managed to pull me back into the pages of the book with yet another thrilling twist. Great story of the resistance and their war against the Nazi occupiers. Fast pacing and intriguing WWII read. A wonderful set of characters, too many to my liking, but an author made it work. The novel left me with many unanswered questions, and hopefully, the next book of the series will have all the answers.

Thank you NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of the novel in the exchange for my honest review.

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Die Around Sundown

Die Around Sundown by Mark Pryor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A past comes to hunt Henri Lefort. Years after the ghastly affair, he is met face to face with the truth. Unfortunately, he has very little time to deal with this problem. Nazi’s occupation of his beloved Paris is in full swing and he has unsolved murder on his hands. On top of this all, Princess Marie Bonaparte decides to introduce Henri to psychological therapy, which should help our headstrong detective to improve his post-war irritable triggers.

I absolutely enjoyed every aspect of this book. And can’t choose what I loved more: Henri’s humorous sarcasm or the jaw-dropping twist at the end of the novel. From the very first pages of the novel, Henri made me chuckle out loud. His sassy attitude gives the character a distinctive appeal and reminds me a lot of Hercule Poirot. But the shocking twist of the story took me by a surprise. I had a completely different scenario playing in my head. I am a HUGE fan of Agatha Christie’s novels and their unpredictable endings, and this specific book gave me the same spine-chilling exciting feeling. I cant hardly wait for the next adventure of Henri Lefort.

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The Light We Left Behind

The Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The sudden death of Maddie’s mentor gives her an opportunity to help her country to fight an enemy. While the brave men protected their lives on the front lines, Maddie and her team worked on extracting the war secrets from their jailed enemies. Using the psychology and Dr. Baskin’s notes, she is trying to break into the mind of the Nazi captured general.

I did enjoy the psychology part of the novel, the way the British intelligence agency was able to read the minds of Germany’s most notorious generals. I was impressed by the treatment the high-rank Nazi generals received while being detained on English soil. Nevertheless, let’s get back to the story. Great plot, loved the spy act of the novel. A cute love triangle that played an essential role in the book. I would not call this novel intriguing. It’s a great, light, feel-good read, perfect for lovers of WWII history. Honestly, after reading multiple gruesome WWII books, the mind and soul demand something pleasing and hopeful, and this book was a perfect choice.

Thank you Harper Collins for a free copy of the novel.

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The Red Cross Orphans

The Red Cross Orphans by Glynis Peters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kitty follows the steps of many women during WWII who wanted to give a hand in the fight against the enemy. After a long training period, she reaches one of her many goals – a nurse pin. During this period, alongside her nursing experience, she meets lifelong friends, enemies, and… love. Unfortunately, the war has other plans and the couple is obliged to put their dream of marital life on hold.

Red cross nurse and a Canadian doctor find love on the battlefield in a midst of WWII. Cute story but lacks anticipation. Since this is the very first book of the series, I am hoping the following books will produce more suspense. The build-up of the plot was strong. I enjoyed all the characters and am eager to know what will happen to them all in the future. Also, the part about the VIP patient was intriguing, although it ended abruptly, which makes me hope the character will make an appearance in future novels.

Overall it is a good, light read. Perfect for romance lovers with a little history.

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The Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My obsession with Paris began many years ago, and I’ve read multiple stories about abandoned apartments in Paris and the storylines of their owners. This book, like all others, was unique and full of war horrors and losses of the war.

After her adopted family has been taken away by the Nazis, Estelle joins the french resistance. For months she hides her fellow allies, collects and shares info picked up during her time at the Ritz, and thru this work, she meets the mysterious and fearless Sophie. The list of events that took place after the fateful meeting, divided Estelle’s life into before and after. And seventy years later, Estelle opens a door to an apartment that was vacated during the war and discover’s her grandmother’s past.

I absolutely loved Estelle and Sophia’s timeline. Both of their stories are filled with bravery. I was once again amused by the courage of the resistance, who risked their lives in order to protect the innocent. Unfortunately, the “present” part was a bit disappointing. I wish the story was told without Aurelia and Gabriel’s romance. Their story seemed tacky in comparison to the service their relatives provided during WWII.

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Searching For My Daughter

Searching for My Daughter by Liz Trenow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story starts with Rosa. The young Jewess was abused by her wicked employer, a nazi officer. But she’s made a deal with the devil to save her beloved father, and paid a brutal price. When the opportunity arrived to escape the hell that she called life – Rosa jumped to it without further thought. Unfortunately, what she thought would be an escape to a better life placed her family into danger.

Horrific years of the war have passed, and there is peace in the world at last. Miriam is on her way to London to find her daughter. Her journey is rough, but she meets all the right people and her chances to find her daughter is very high.

A beautiful, heartwarming story of a family that has been torn apart by the war. Although I knew this book would have a happy ending, the actual finale of the story was better than I expected. I’ve enjoyed following Miriama and Rosa’s stories. After reading tens of WWII books, and revisiting each unique story, this novel gives yet another moving uplifting ending. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for an advanced copy of this lovely novel.

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