Team W is an auto buy group of authors for me! I have read all of Lauren Willig’s books and many by Beatriz Williams and Karen White and I have read all of the Team W books so far, each one is so wonderful.
These three authors are tried and true writers and I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this latest Team W read. I decided to download it on Audible rather than read the physical copy as I have had great luck with the narrators of the Team W books and I was pleased with my choice to listen instead of physically reading.
I couldn’t wait to get through my last audiobook so that I could start this one and I found myself driving around aimlessly sometimes just so I could listen to one more chapter.
The New York Times‘ best-selling authors of The Glass Ocean and The Forgotten Room return with a glorious historical adventure that moves from the dark days os two World Wars to the turbulent years of the 1960s, in which three women with bruised hearts find refuge at Paris’ legendary Ritz hotel.
THE HEIRESS. . .
THE RESISTANCE FIGHTER. . .
THE WIDOW. . .
THREE WOMEN WHOSE FATES ARE JOINED BY ONE SPLENDID HOTEL
France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family’s ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major’s aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie’s debutante days in Paris. despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz – the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences,
France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother’s Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand’s underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country – and the man – she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret. . .one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history. . .
France, 1964. For Barbara “Babs” Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that takes them to Paris and the Ritz – and to unexpected places of the heart.
One of the things I noticed right away was some reoccurring characters from The Forgotten Room as well as The Glass Ocean. This book isn’t part of a series or anything like that but fans of the Team W books will see familiar characters and hear some familiar names in this book which I thought was just so fun and a lovely little Easter egg for fans.
As with the other Team W books, there are three different story lines going on that eventually all connect together as the larger narrative comes to an end. The authors won’t reveal who writes which sections/characters, which is fine by me, it’s kind of fun trying to guess. But there always seems to be one standout character that I like over all the others and that’s still the case in this book. I personally loved Babs story the most. I love reading about the inception of a romance, where things are new and different and unknown so Babs story was the one that tugged at my heart the most, although Aurelie’s story came in a close second.
Babs at times could be wishy-washy and kind of down on herself but I enjoyed seeing how she evolved throughout the story into a formidable woman. It was a great story of learning to move through grief and of letting go of the past while being able to forgive. Comparatively, Aurelie was feisty and sometimes too fierce for her own good. But I couldn’t help admire her fire and spirit even if at times it wasn’t prudent. I loved watching the love story between Max and Aurelie unfold and the way it was left was just so tragic and sad but oddly fitting.
For me personally I didn’t care for Daisy. It had nothing to do with the fact that she was married and having an affair, I actually was relieved she finally became involved with Kit but something about their relationship felt forced to me. I never seemed to connect with Kit at all in the book. I didn’t feel like he was all that charming or dashing or romantic. Where as Max was charming and sweet and Drew was awkward but funny and just plain adorable. Kit never seemed to have any spark for me and as a result I found myself wondering why Daisy was even wasting her time with him. Daisy herself just didn’t really form a connection for me either and I don’t really know why but neither Daisy or Kit really held my attention the way Aurelie and Babs did.
In the end though this was an excellent read and as I said, I found myself making up excuses to go for a drive so I could listen to it more! I adore Team W and will gladly read anything they write, but I am secretly hoping the next Team W book will be about Precious.