Review: The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman

I have adored Sara Ackerman’s books over the years. She writes such interesting novels about WWII that are set in Hawaii. Her passion for the island and its history really shine under her pen plus there is always a little bit of romance to entertain readers. I really enjoyed reading all of her books and find that each has been between a 4 and 5 star rating for me.

When I saw this one was coming up, I made room on my review calendar for it. I hadn’t actually planned on reading it as soon as I did but I knew I would read it before the summer was out. I had an excerpt on my blog and once I read the excerpt I found that I simply needed to just read the rest of the book so I picked it up much earlier than I anticipated.

Ackerman’s book offer readers escapism and untold stories. If you love WWII novels but find the genre saturated with similar stories over and over again, Ackerman’s books are a fantastic option! This book itself offers a bit about female codebreakers during the war (a top topic in WWII era historical fiction) but in this book, the codebreaker isn’t in some London bunker trying to break German codes, she is on an exotic island trying to break Japanese codes while trying to grieve the loss of her brother.

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Review: The Forgotten Cottage by Courtney Ellis

I read Courtney Ellis’s debut novel last summer, At Summer’s End, and good lord was it ever good! I devoured it and it was one of my favorite reads last year. So naturally when I saw this one coming up for review I was thrilled! This one has a great dual timeline aspect which I know is often overdone in historical fiction, but for me it never gets old! I love readling dual timeline books!

This book promises long buried family secrets and complex characters rich in historical detail. And it certainly had all of those things! Ellis write beautiful historical fiction with lots of historical details and heart and this second book was not a disappointment in that regard. I know that fans of the historical fiction genre will not have missed Ellis’s first novel (not with that stunning cover that’s for sure!) but this book doesn’t quite have the ‘curb appeal’ that the first book did. The cover was more simple and not nearly as eye catching as her first book but it was still a wonderful read so don’t let the basic cover fool you!

If you are a fan of historical fiction this book and author should be on your TBR list. Ellis is clearly one to watch in the genre and I for one am going to be eagerly awaiting the next book she writes! This book had a lot to recommend itself based on my expectations from the first book, but at first I did have my doubts that I would love this book though that was quickly dispelled.

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Special Feature/Excerpt: The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman

I have never wanted to visit Hawaii so much! Whenever I read one of Sara Ackerman’s books set in Hawaii, I simply want to go there instantly! I have never been to Hawaii but I feel like I have simply by reading her books! Her love of Hawaii resonates in every book she writes and I always come away from one of her books feeling like I just took a vacation. Not only is her love for the island evident, her history is interesting and the stories and characters always well done.

It’s been a while since I read one of her books and I am actually currently reading this one so be watching for a review coming soon! Hint—it’s great so far! Today I have an excerpt from the book which I am sure you will all enjoy as much as I have! If you love WWII stories, but are tired of the same old same old locations, then take an adventure to Hawaii and escape into the rich world of spies, espionage, and love that haven’t been explored before!

As I mentioned, I couldn’t resist reading this book. I originally planned on reading it later in the fall but Hawaii was calling my name and that cover made it nearly impossible to resist. I love how Ackerman explores Hawaii’s unique history particularly wartime history. Each of her books feature a bit of romance but for me the setting and history of Hawaii really shine in her books. So checkout the excerpt today and be sure to pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed! And be watching for my review soon!

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Review: The School for German Brides by Aimee K. Runyan

I have only read one of Aimee Runyan’s books but I adored it! I have had the others are on my TBR list and she is always one that I keep an eye on when I see new historical fiction coming out. When I saw this book I was instantly intrigued! A school to make the perfect German bride?! What in the world? I knew it was one that I couldn’t pass up as it would no doubt explore a plotline and history that I never even imagined before!

One of the things that always stands out about Runyan’s books is the attention to historical detail. Historical fiction writers often walk a delicate line between adding lots of interesting (or interesting to them) historical detail that will give the story teeth and context but at the same time, not adding so much historical detail that it bores readers. Runyan always does a great job at striking a good balance of both historical detail and facts but not so many that it becomes bogged down with details and slows the story.

I loved that this book really looks at the behind the scenes life of the German people under Nazi rule—-especially the female perspective. I was so intrigued by this one before I even received my copy in the mail! I saved it for my trip to Arizona so I could have plenty of time to savor it and enjoy all the details without feeling like I had to rush through it, seriously vacation reading is the best for books like this! I had plenty of time to read it and savor it but at the same time I did read it quickly because it was an engaging story!

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Review: The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan

Over the years I have read and enjoyed many or Rachel McMillan’s books! I especially loved her book The London Restoration that I read in 2020. It was a standalone novel with lots of historical detail and some romance. While I enjoyed her historical mysteries, it was the standalone novel that really made me love her writing!

When I saw that she was coming out with a new standalone piece of historical fiction, I was eager to get my hands on it. I love books about espionage and spies especially when they are women spies! I have read a lot of historical fiction with female spies in WWII and while that might be the hot ticket right now, I never get tired of reading books like that!

McMillan is a wonderful writer and I know how much detail she puts in her books not only with her characters but with her historical facts as well. If you enjoy historical fiction by Kate Quinn or espionage mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal, then you will no doubt enjoy this latest novel from McMillan! I waited and waited and waited for my copy to arrive and when it finally did, I had COVID. While I planned to read it during my quarantine, I ended up having a hard time focusing on reading so I saved it for my flight to Arizona. I quickly read this one in a matter of days once I started it on the plane—it was an excellent choice that’s for sure!

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