Review: The Night Train to Berlin by Melanie Hudson

Ya’ll know how much of a sucker I am for WWII romances and historical fiction (which generally includes some kind of romantic element). I just can’t say no and that lovely cover just drew me in. Lately I’ve been reading some easy romances and a couple of solid thrillers so I haven’t really been in the mood to snag a more emotional war time novel but this one just stood out and I knew it was something that I would most likely love.

I also love the Cornish coast so any book set there is a win-win for me. Author Melanie Hudson’s debut novel, The Last Letter from Juliet, was a bestseller and secured many new fans for her work. I haven’t read her debut novel but it sounded like a bit hit! So when this one came up for review, I didn’t hesitate to review it knowing how popular her first book was even if I hadn’t read it.

This book is certainly for fans of Kate Quinn as well as Pam Jenoff, this book has so many great things, history, war, emotion, love, loss, and all the feels. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to more books from Hudson! As a relatively new voice in historical fiction, it is exciting to see how strong this novel was!

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Review: Under the Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft

I was first introduced the Jenny Ashcroft’s wonderful writing ability in her novel Meet Me in Bombay last year and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t read anything by her before. So when I saw she had another historical fiction novel coming out this year I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s now a foregone conclusion, I need all of her books. I love that she writes historical fiction novels that are set in exotic locations—Egypt, Singapore, Bombay and now Australia.

This book is set in WWII (her other books also have a war backdrop) and I think this is such a wonderful pairing because so many historical fiction novels are set in either Paris or London during WWII and the war was a WORLD WAR meaning it impacted many other areas and I love that Ashcroft takes us to some new and exciting places while theres a war on and explore what impact that war has on said area.

If the history and exotic location wasn’t enough to tempt you, then the romance should. Ashcroft write beautiful romances with memorable characters. I can still recall Meet Me in Bombay and the characters even over a year after reading it! If you want a new refreshing historical fiction novel then look no further. This is a wonderful choice!

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Review: Beneath a Starless Sky by Tessa Harris

You had me at forbidden romance with this one. I am an absolute sucker for forbidden romances and this book sounded like it had the ultimate forbidden romance—German soldier and a Jewish woman during WWII. I mean come on how could I pass on that? I was super excited to dive into this one. Author Tessa Harris has written two other historical mysteries series (which I now need to read) but this is her first stand alone historical fiction novel.

While her other novels are set in the Victorian era, this one is set during WWII and I thought she did a wonderful job with her historical research and presentation not to mention the romance which is the reason why I am so excited to read her other books! I am a sucker for a well researched historical fiction novel and this one did not disappoint.

It came in at around 350 pages which might seem short by historical fiction standards—sometimes historical fiction novels run long because the authors like to add a lot of historical detail. This one did not skimp on historical details but kept the focus on the characters and romance while keeping the historic details pointed and clear rather than for filler (if that makes sense). If you are a fan of historical fiction you should know what I mean by this. If you need a last minute gift for the historical fiction fan on your shopping list, take a look at this lovely story!

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Review: The Woman at the Front by Lecia Cornwall

A WWI battlefield nurse romance? Yes please! I saw this cover and was instantly like YES WWI nurse romances are where it’s at for me! But as I dove into this one it was about a female doctor not a nurse which added a feel of newness for me to a tried and true genre. Lecia Cornwall has written a number of other romances so I was eager to see how much of a romance this book would be.

I would say it contained a fair bit of romance but that wasn’t necessarily the focus—the focus was more about the main character, Eleanor’s, journey from fresh new doctor to battle tested doctor. It was an interesting journey and one that I rather enjoyed as I breezed through this one in a matter of one sitting! It was such a wonderful read and I simply had to know what happened next.

WWI romances are totally my jam and I loved how this one unfolded. If you haven’t read anything by Cornwall, I would certainly start here and move on to her other romances which is what I plan on doing next! This was on top of my most anticipated for fall this year so I am so thrilled that I was able to be an early reader for this one because it was just such a wonderful read!

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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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