Review: Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielski

After reading J’nell Ciesielski’s latest novel, The Ice Swan, I was craving more from her and I noticed that I hadn’t read one of her earlier books, Among the Poppies! So a real no-brainer here, as many of you know I am a huge Great War romance fan and this book was literally right up my alley and I couldn’t wait to read it!

It was a super fast read—-because it was good! Ciesielski is a hidden gem author for me. She writes consistently well written and researched books and the romance always feels epic and believable. While Will wasn’t as charming and dashing as some of her other heroes, he was exactly what I expected—handsome, noble, protective, and brave.

I cracked this book open while I was still in Arizona and breezed through it in a matter of days (though I could have finished it much faster if life wasn’t getting in the way!). If you haven’t read anything by Ciesielski then you are missing out—-you absolutely need to read one of her books. All of them are wonderful and to be honest it’s hard for me to pick a favorite though I think I am going to have to go with The Ice Swan is probably my favorite thus far but this one came in a close second.

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Special Feature and Excerpt: The Bookseller’s Secret by Michelle Gable

I have read and enjoyed a few of Michelle Gable’s books so when I saw that she was coming out with another book but set in England, I was eager to check it out. Gable generally writes great books and her historical detail is top shelf. This book sounds like it would be perfect for fans of Kate Quinn, so if you have read and enjoyed Quinn’s books then I think you would like this latest novel by Gable.

Today I also have an excerpt so if you are on the fence about this book or maybe just want to try it on for size and see if it sounds interesting then keep reading to check out the first chapter and of course get all the other details in this post. I read the excerpt and thought it sounded wonderful and I have added it to my TBR list for the fall/winter.

Sadly my review calendar for the summer was totally full but this one will be up on my blog a little later this year for review so be sure to watch for it. I love WWII book and even if the genre is full of great WWII historical fiction, I can never pass up just one more! I know that a lot of other fans of the genre would agree—there is no such thing as too much war time fiction!

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Review: At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis

This book was my most anticipated book of the summer! The cover, the premise, swoon! Everything sounded so incredible! I couldn’t wait to dive into this one and I can tell you right now that I read it in a matter of days. I could have finished it in one siting but I breezed through it in just 2 days. It was so addicting and if you are a fan of historical fiction then you need to read this one. It boasts a unique romance, complex characters with a rich backdrop full of history and human rawness.

I am a huge fan of WWI historical romances and this should have been right up my alley for that reason alone, but I especially loved the ‘Beauty and the Beast meets Phantom of the Opera ‘ element to the story. But all of the amazing praise I have for this book was slightly tarnished by some of the issues between the characters. While I loved this one, I also felt a little conflicted about how the story unfolded and what kind of message it was sending to readers (more on that soon).

I want to say that I think readers should absolutely read this book without question. It’s well written, interesting, and romantic. But it isn’t without some issues.

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Special Feature: The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert

Sometimes a book just grabs you with its unique mashup. When I saw that this one was a mashup between A Gentleman in Moscow and Moulin Rouge my curiosity was peaked. I haven’t read A Gentleman in Moscow but I have seen Moulin Rouge and I loved the color and flamboyant drama of the film. So needless to say I was like ‘tell me more’ when I saw this one!

Not only does this book have a flashy cover and mash up, it sounds like it’s going to have lots of things that might interest a variety of readers. Romance, espionage, queer American expat, history, war, and haute couture. I am super excited to be sharing a bit about this novel with all of you guys today. I think this one is going to have broad appeal for many readers who might not normally pick up a book like this. It sounds artistic, smart, and full of lots of different themes. I for one am really looking forward to this one!

Early reviewers have raved about this one and I am excited to see what others are saying about this one as it hits shelves this week! Author Timothy Schaffert has written a number of books and this appears to be one of his most anticipated novels yet! Keep reading for all the details and how to snag yourself a copy of this stunning book!

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Review: Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman

I have read all of Sara Ackerman’s books and I haven’t been disappointed once! I love how her books are set in WWII but they always seem to feel different than the usual WWII books that I have read. I think location really plays a part here. All of her books are set in Hawaii, not only does that add an exotic feel to the books, but it makes them feel fresh—like I am reading something totally new!

While her books might have similar themes and settings, I always feel like I am reading something different each time I pick up one of her books. I know that the author has also said a number of times that there are endless tapped into stories in Hawaii and I tend to agree with her. Almost all WWII novels are set in Europe or maybe in Japan but few are exclusively set in Hawaii.

Prior to reading Ackerman’s books, I never had any real desire to visit Hawaii or see Pearl Harbor, but after reading her books and I totally inspired to visit Hawaii and Pearl Harbor in the near future! She writes with such love and passion for the landscape, people, and the island’s history that it is infectious! I absolutely love her books and I highly recommend checking them out especially if you love WWII novels but want something truly different and new!

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