Review: The Socialite by J’nell Ciesielski

This cover is absolutely stunning. The red dress just draws my eye right to the book and I knew before even reading the summary that this was going to be a book that I would want to read.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, then this book is likely already on your radar but if it’s not then it should be because it was a fun read!

While this book has romance at its center, there is plenty of historical details and information for fans of historical fiction to love as well.


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? (summary from Goodreads)


While this book had plenty to love in the way of historical fiction, it was the romance that stole the show. I was very invested in Kat and Barrett’s romance and loved watching it unfold on the pages.

This book is published by Thomas Nelson which mostly publishes Christian Fiction novels, for me this book didn’t really have much in the way of Christian Fiction which was totally fine, it was a clean romance and focused more on the ‘sweet’ aspects of love and romance rather than the ‘passion’ if that makes sense. I really enjoy sweet romances and this one was very satisfying for me.

Though I really enjoyed Kat and Barrett, the sister Ellie wasn’t my favorite at all. She seemed so entitled and just downright irritating that I had a hard time liking her at all throughout the story. Though I will say that having Ellie and Kat mixed up with the Nazi’s brought a different perspective to the story that I thought brought a lot of interest to the narrative.

The author obviously did a lot of research for this novel and the time period and I thought that research transferred well into the story. I enjoyed navigating the history and felt like I was there with the characters in a very authentic way.

In the end I went with a 4 star rating for this one. I enjoyed it and would happily read more from this author but I had a hard time enjoying Ellie’s character when it came to her parts in the story.

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: April 14th 2020 by Thomas Nelson (first published April 2020)
ISBN 0785233520 (ISBN13: 9780785233527)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Thomas Nelson in partnership with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: historical fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance


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 You can also find J’nell on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 1
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 2
Review at Nurse Bookie

Friday, April 3
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Sunday, April 5
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, April 6
Review at Tar Heel Reader

Tuesday, April 7
Review at Books and Zebras

Wednesday, April 8
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Thursday, April 9
Review at Tales from the Book Dragon
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Friday, April 10
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Monday, April 13
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, April 14
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The Socialite! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on April 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Socialite

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