Review: The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan

This is one of those books that when I saw the cover, I simply said yes without even pausing to read the summary. As many of you know I am a huge sucker for historical fiction and this cover hit all the historical fiction eye catchers it possibly could!

I love the colors and the red hat just drew me right in and I couldn’t wait to check it out and see if the story lived up to the hype of the cover.

Basically I went into this one blind since I said yes without even reading the summary and sometimes that works out for me. I didn’t know what to expect and I loved discovering this story without the inhibitions of knowing what it was going to be about.


From author Rachel McMillan comes a richly researched historical romance that takes place in post-World War II London and features a strong female lead.

Determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II’s secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world.

London, Fall 1945. Architectural historian Diana Somerville’s experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London’s churches intersect in MI6’s pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance.

Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King’s College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.

Featuring a timeless love story bolstered by flashbacks and the excavation of a priceless Roman artifact, The London Restoration is a richly atmospheric look at post-war London as two people changed by war rebuild amidst the city’s reconstruction.


Right away I loved the time period. Set in post WWII London, it was a time of healing and reconstruction in England and that setting mirrors the relationship between the two main characters, Diana and Brent. So many historical fiction novels are set in WWII but having this one set in the post war era plus adding the strained relationship between husband and wife added a lot of drama to the story for me.

Diana and Brent each had baggage in the story and it left the reader wondering how in the world they were going to make things work between them but somehow the author makes it happen and it left me feeling satisfied and happy about where they were at by the end. But the only thing that I struggled with a bit was Diana and Brent brought complexity together but independently I wanted to see a little more development on an individual basis if that makes sense. It’s a relatively minor thing and it didn’t really bother me in the overall story but there were times when I felt like they needed a little more development on their own but when they were together it wasn’t noticeable.

The secrets, lies, and espionage of the story was interesting to read about and well researched without being ‘too much’ and I thought the author did a great job balancing historical elements in the story while keeping it character driven. I loved reading about the architectural history of some of the buildings. I am normally not that into architecture but this author did a great job presenting it and explaining things that it didn’t feel boring and did not read like a textbook.

This book hit a lot of high notes for me. I loved the reconciliation process between the characters and the setting added drama and atmosphere. Overall I thought this was a good read and I am looking forward to more by this author!

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 18th 2020 by Thomas Nelson (first published August 2020)
ISBN 0785235027 (ISBN13: 9780785235026)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Thomas Nelson in partnership with HFVBT, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: historical fiction, war romance

About the Author

Rachel McMillan is the author of The Herringford and Watts mysteries, The Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries and The Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. Her next work of historical fiction, The London Restoration, releases in Summer 2020 and takes readers deep into the heart of London’s most beautiful churches. Dream, Plan, Go (May, 2020) is her first work of non-fiction. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always planning her next adventure.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 18
Review at Nursebookie
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, August 19
Review at Austenprose
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Thursday, August 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Friday, August 21
Interview at Heidi Reads
Review at Foals, Fiction, and Filligree

Saturday, August 22
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Monday, August 24
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Interview at The Green Mockingbird

Tuesday, August 25
Review at The Green Mockingbird

Wednesday, August 26
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview on Jorie Loves A Story

Thursday, August 27
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, August 28
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Saturday, August 29
Review at Books and Backroads
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, August 31
Review at Passages to the Past


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

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The London Restoration

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