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The Socialite

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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?

368 pages, Paperback

First published April 14, 2020

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About the author

J'nell Ciesielski

10 books732 followers
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. Bestselling author of The Socialite, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

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5 stars
410 (27%)
4 stars
579 (38%)
3 stars
376 (24%)
2 stars
121 (7%)
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31 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 327 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,125 reviews30.2k followers
April 6, 2020
Oh, this was intriguing. Kat is the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, which means she has a life filled with “musts.” Her sister, Ellie, flees their position to live in Nazi-occupied Paris, and Kat follows.

Ellie has a Nazi boyfriend and is living a free, comfortable life, and Kat intends to bring her home and away from this dangerous man capable of vile actions.

It’s a long story, but Barrett Anderson, a bit rough around the edges, is assigned to keep an eye on Kat and Ellie. A romance builds between Kat and Barrett.

The Socialite is a historical romance  with charming and witty dialogue. The setting is well drawn and I loved the characters. The author did an amazing job with building intrigue and suspense throughout.

Overall, I enjoyed The Socialite amid its backdrop of Nazi-occupied France. It’s a story with glitz, espionage, and the darkness and terror of a horrific war.

I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Melissa Tagg.
Author 36 books1,452 followers
December 19, 2019
Oh my goodness, why can I not give this book more than five stars? Holy. Moly. I pretty much adored everything about it—the beautiful writing, the witty dialogue, the romance (😍😍😍), the way I was instantly plunged into the time period and setting...I could NOT stop reading. The plot moved along perfectly—lots of action, but also moments when things slowed down enough for us to get a deeper glimpse of Kat and Barrett's hearts and minds, backstories and fears. I truly loved everything about this book and now I'm ready to gobble up anything and everything else by J'nell Ciesielski!
2,907 reviews1,727 followers
April 27, 2020
I'm always amazed at the different approaches various authors bring to one topic. I'm a huge fan of World War II fiction and I don't think I've ever come across a novel with this unique approach -- the war, in occupied France no less, from the perspective of the upper class. Displaced English socialites who get an up close and personal look at life among the Nazi elite in Paris. Fascinating and chilling.

There's such a disconnect -- especially for Ellie who is so self-centered that she's willing to look the other way while living out her fantasies with her Nazi lover. Have to say, I'm not a fan. I just wanted to smack her upside the head...a lot. :-) (And, if I was her sister, I'd have left her there and hightailed it back to England when the going was good.)

So, Ellie is the catalyst that sets a series of events in motion and brings Kat running to the rescue -- only little sis doesn't want to be rescued. Spoiled brat! Gah, but that girl had me fussing and fuming! (Can you tell? I've talked more about her than the main characters! Taking a deep breath and focusing cohesive reviewer thoughts.)

This is Kat and Barrett's (squeeaaalll -- we'll get to him in a sec.) story. She's the eldest daughter of nobility. She always does what is expected, tamps down her individuality in order to abide by her father's dictates. And then she meets Barrett in the middle of occupied France and he challenges her to start thinking for herself. To open her eyes and see what is happening around her. Their relationship is volatile. Charged with passion and clashing wills and blocked by a chasm of class distinction. An emotionally sucker-punch kind of romance.

And now we come to Barrett (giddy, fan-girling sigh.) A rakish Celt with a Scottish burr? Yes please! Kat might be the one of noble birth but Barrett is the noble one. He's overcome a lot in his life and now he's charged with extracting two spoiled rich girls out of Paris. What starts out as a mission turns into something so much more complicated. And makes for a compelling read.

This is another Thomas Nelson (Christian publisher) that doesn't have any faith content. I would definitely not categorize it as Christian Fiction. It is clean, though there are some pretty steamy kissing scenes and some graphic violence.
Profile Image for Carrie Turansky.
Author 31 books1,288 followers
June 25, 2020
With dramatic intrigue and inspiring romance, The Socialite, will delight readers looking for the next World War Two novel. The unique characters, riveting plot, and sparkling prose bring 1940s Paris to life. Well done and highly recommended.
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
2,049 reviews316 followers
April 2, 2020
Reading about Paris in the 1940’s in the midst of the second World War is one of my favorite timelines in a historical fiction read. In this story, our protagonist and a British socialite is Katherine ‘Kat’ Whitford who is determined to bring her sister Ellie safely back home to England. Their father’s influential role is critical to Nazi’s gaining intelligence, and Ellie is a pawn, who is dating a Nazi officer. Helping Kat in this mission is Barrett Anderson who owns a local club, but is also part of the Resistance, and unbeknownst to Kat was hired by his father to bring both sisters back home.

Ciesielski’s writing is beautiful. Through the suspenseful atmosphere, she is able to envelop the characters in dramatic intrigue and a bit of romance too. I enjoyed the dialogue, and the quick pacing of the storyline. I recommend this book for an intriguing WWII historical fiction novel.

Profile Image for linda hole.
261 reviews22 followers
March 1, 2020
I am a big fan of historical fiction. But this book was Just ok for me and a Quick Read. I liked that it made me think of all The sacrifices people gave to protect their country. What they did to survive. I liked that The book remind us how Much horrific things a man and hisfollowers can do. We must never forget this Black era. and we must not let it happen again. what I did not like about this book. I did not like the romance in this book. IT was too Much cliche. But i am thankful to netgalley and the Publisher for letting me Read this book in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Rachel McMillan.
Author 25 books1,058 followers
December 16, 2019
In the tradition of Ariel Lawton and Kate Quinn, The Socialite immerses readers in the glamour and destruction of Nazi Occupied Paris. Featuring two sisters whose travails and triumphs recall the cinematic real life story of the Mitford family, the book is a portal into a world at times opulent and deadly as two people bound by conscience navigate the grey waters of the City of Light in its bleakest hour of darkness. A picture perfect portrait of early 1940s Paris, this impeccably researched love story stands out in a sea of WWII era fiction with its distinctive crystalline voice and unforgettable hero and heroine.
Profile Image for Kate Breslin.
Author 12 books1,042 followers
May 15, 2020
Once again author J’nell Ciesielski delivers an edge-of-your-seat romantic adventure! She hooked me from page one when her main character British debutante Miss Kathleen Whitford stepped through the doors into a French ballroom full of Nazis to try and rescue her reckless younger sister, Ellie, and take her home. But in German-occupied Paris during WWII there was intrigue, betrayal, and death at every turn, and while Kat determines to pull her sister from the clutches of her Nazi lover, she has no idea of the danger she’s going up against. Secrets abound, not only with Ellie’s treacherous blond German officer who's high up in Hitler’s favor, but Paris bartender, Barrett Anderson, has a mission of his own as he tracks Kat and Ellie’s every move. The Socialite is jam-packed with action, suspense, romance, and more than a few surprises and kept me reading well into the night. I thoroughly enjoyed J’nell's latest novel and I'm sure it will appeal to readers of both historical war-time fiction and romance!
Profile Image for Renee.
1,030 reviews172 followers
September 6, 2020
Enjoyable & immersive! A bubbly story of society folks who oppose the Nazis for personal reasons & manage to best them while wearing beautiful clothing, frequenting clubs, swilling champagne, and, of course, falling in love. As I listened on Audible, this story reminded me of some of my favorite, melodramatic old movies, and the narrator was excellent. A fun storytelling experience!

(Though this is published by Thomas Nelson, I would not consider it Christian fiction. However, this did not affect my rating or enjoyment of the story.)
Profile Image for Amy Bruno.
364 reviews482 followers
April 1, 2020
Set in Paris in the 1940s, The Socialite by J'nell Ciesielski is a unique historical that gives readers a new perspective of WWII.

Kat Whitford has been sent to Paris by her father to bring her wayward sister, Ellie, home to England. At this time, France is occupied with Nazis and since Ellie has run away she is now dating a Nazi officer and working as a social secretary for them. Kat is disgusted with Nazis and aware of the danger her sister is in but has to hide that while she tries to persuade her sister to leave with her. What Kat doesn't know is that her father hired someone else to get her sister home. Barrett Anderson owns a local club but is actually working for the British government and training resistance fighters. Kat and Barrett join forces to get her sister out of Eric's grasp and back home safely. Their father moves in important political circles and the Nazis could use Ellie for intelligence or blackmail.

This is my first read from J'nell and I absolutely loved her writing style. Kat and Barrett were a lot of fun and had great chemistry. Plus, he's Scottish, so....swooooon!!! I also enjoyed the sisterly relationship between Kat and Ellie, who are as different as night and day. There was danger, romance, and action. I loved it all and can't wait to pick up J'nell's other books.

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Chanel.
221 reviews58 followers
December 28, 2022
The Socialite was a captivating novel filled with glamour, espionage and scandal in WWII Paris. The story was centered on Kat and Barrett as they try to romantically disentangle Kat's sister, Ellie, from a Nazi officer, and simultaneously gather useful information for the Resistance inside the elite Nazi circle. The subsequent cat-and-mouse game between the leads and the Nazis successfully amped up the tension and danger into a thrilling climax that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Additionally, I loved the scenery and vivid prose; the author did a wonderful job illustrating the opulence granted to the Nazis in stark contrast to the harsh living conditions of the oppressed civilians. I also loved the historical details and the gorgeous book cover.

Unfortunately, I struggled to connect with the main characters. Although I thought they were likeable, I didn't particularly care for the push-pull nature of their romance or how they confronted each other about their emotions in certain scenes, which seemed to fluctuate from romantic to forceful. I also disliked Ellie and her willful ignorance to her surroundings - consequently, I struggled to fully sympathize with Kat's devotion towards her.

Nonetheless, this book was a compelling read with great action and insight into WWII.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Cara Putman.
Author 63 books1,625 followers
March 13, 2020
Be swept into dangerous Paris on the arms of a pair of British socialites: one of whom is involved with a Nazi officer and the other who is trying to get her sister out of Paris. Throw in a Scotsman who is there to make sure neither of them gets killed and it's a twist on occupied France. The romance sizzled. The action took the trio all over Europe as the Nazi flag hung from occupied countries. An engrossing read for those who love WWII novels.
Profile Image for Asheley T..
1,309 reviews118 followers
June 11, 2020
Kat has come to Nazi-occupied Paris to rescue her sister Ellie, who is in a relationship with a Nazi. Ellie has a glamorous life in Paris, with fine clothing and parties with like-minded friends. She really doesn’t think about what all of that glitz and fun means for her family and to other people. Kat is afraid for her sister, who has always been a bit of a wild card and does not like being told what to do. Ellie does not want to go back home. Kat ends up getting help from a local bar owner named Barrett Anderson who secretly works as part of the Resistance. Unbeknownst to either sister, Barrett has been keeping an eye on them both.

My favorite part of this story is the sister relationship. Kat and Ellie are so different, but they are family. Their relationship reminds me of my own with my sisters, except for the whole Nazi part. The writing is lovely and it was easy to be transported to Paris in 1941. I enjoyed the relationships in the story, particularly that of Kat and Barrett, which develops into a romantic relationship. I felt a ton of suspense with Kat working for the Resistance. There was so much danger involved. And I do not blame Kat one bit for risking her life in trying to save her sister.

The Socialite is suspenseful and dangerous with a great romance and wonderful sisterly bond.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you, Thomas Nelson!

Find this review and more like it on my blog, Into the Hall of Books!
Profile Image for Jypsy .
1,524 reviews61 followers
April 9, 2020
Thank you HFVBT for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Socialite
By: J'nell Ciesielski

Paris. 1940's. WWII. It was a time of great destruction and atrocities, and it was also a time of glitz and glamour. Into this scene enter two sisters, Ellie and Kat, who are English debutantes and raised to behave within a strict set of standards. Ellie is in Nazi occupied Paris with her Nazi boyfriend, and Kat has been sent by their father to fetch Ellie home. Unfortunately, Ellie has had this taste of freedom plus a lavish boyfriend, so she has no intention of going home and back to the rules. Events progress and Kat and Ellie end up under the watch of a man named Barrett because he is being paid by their father. Kat and Barrett possibly have feelings for each other, but it's hard to trust anyone with Nazis everywhere. The Socialite is rich with historical detail that transported me, a compelling storyline and characters I cared about, so needless to say, I was riveted from the first page. The whole thing felt dangerous, and I was stressed out! Anyone who reads fiction from this time period will enjoy the story. I highly recommend picking up a copy because you will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Joleen.
2,045 reviews1,210 followers
January 11, 2021
The writing...impeccable. The story...amazing.

The socialite was Kathleen “Kat” Whitford who was sent by her powerful father to retrieve her sister, a mistress to the Nazi, Eric von Schlegel, Minister of Culture and Social Movement in France. Getting to France from England was difficult enough for Kat, but convincing Ellie to leave the opulent lifestyle lavished upon her and return to the strict and proper life expected of their society seemed utterly impossible. But failure was not an option.

Unbeknownst to Kat, undercover Paris bar owner Barrett Anderson was tasked by Kat's father to retrieve both of them. Failure was also not an option as his freedom and income to start fresh was at risk.

Danger, and plenty of it was a constant.

Things of note:
Nazi heartlessness
Near rape
Mistress to a married man
Jews sent to death camp
Trained fighters

It all sounds pretty bad in a list, but in this book it was part of the WWII experience in France, which Ms. Ciesielski captured with matchless form.

Also of note: not Christian fiction as far as I could tell so I reviewed it as secular.

This was a page turner, one I could barely put it down. Kept me up to wee hours of the morning. Good book.
Profile Image for Olivia.
677 reviews106 followers
April 12, 2020
*I read this book in exchange for an honest review*

AHH let's just soak in that cover for awhile. Seriously, it's amazing! Now I now, this is a low rating. Honestly, the story was captivating and I found the plotline intriguing and kept me reading. I cringed when Hitler was introduced and the reality of the evil of his time as ruler was evident. Nazism is not worth a moments consideration.

Barrett and Kay fascinated me when they were introduced. They were vibrant on their own, but the back and forth of their passion did not win me over. Honestly, it just felt trite. It was supposed to be deep and yet their unwillingness to really have a real relationship before kissing and strong desire, made it frustrating to read through. I'm really sorry because I truly wanted to root for them.

While this is a low rating, I still would recommend for those who enjoy a romantic historical fiction read. Especially World War 2 readers ☺️

Happy reading!
Profile Image for Toni Shiloh.
Author 51 books1,095 followers
April 7, 2020
I’m going to be honest, I picked up The Socialite for two reasons: the cover and the author. The Socialite’s cover is simply stunning. The title, the scenery, makes you wonder what the books about.

The Socialite has such a unique premise, imo, when it comes to WWII books that it quickly engages you and makes you wonder what will happen. Will Ellie see her boyfriend’s true colors? Will Kat succeed in her mission?

Throw in the charming Scot, Barrett Anderson, and I was in for the ride this story was sure to take me on. And it did! There were scenes that had me nervous, holding my breath, and scenes that were breathtakingly beautiful.

All in all, I enjoyed this unique look into WWII.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review is not required nor influenced.
Profile Image for MicheleReader.
709 reviews126 followers
April 12, 2020
The Socialite is a worthwhile historical fiction WWII novel filled with intrigue and romance. It’s 1941 and socialite Ellie Whitford has escaped the confines of her upper crust British upbringing and is living the life of luxury in German occupied Paris madly in love with a Nazi, Major Eric von Schlegal. Dependable and straight-laced Katherine “Kat” heads to Paris determined to rescue her sister who she finds enjoying the life of luxury and her independence from their family. Kat enlists the aid of Barrett Anderson, a Scottish bar owner. She is unaware that Barrett has been hired by her father to bring both sisters home safely. Barrett is a colorful character whose Paris bar is a front for the Resistance. What transpires is an interesting story about how Kat and Barrett become immersed in the world of the Nazis to try and break Ellie away from her new life and also help British Intelligence. We are taken behind the scenes of the war as the Nazis plot their efforts.

The love stories are the core of the book. Kat and Barrett develop a strong bond – could a romance be possible? And the relationship between Ellie and Eric starts to change as the realities of the Nazi’s plans start to unfold.

If you seek WWII era historical fiction novels, this one is fast-paced and gives an interesting perspective in Nazi Occupied Paris.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Thomas Nelson Fiction and the author for a complimentary copy of this book in advance of its April 14, 2020 release. Opinions expressed here are completely my own.

Review posted at MicheleReader.com
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,967 reviews243 followers
April 17, 2020
This is the first book I've read by this author and I am really excited to be able to add her to my list of historical fiction authors to follow! I am a fan of historical fiction and this one was so engaging and interesting to me. The 1940's setting in Paris during WWII was the perfect backdrop for this book.

All three of the main characters (Kat, Barrett and Ellie) in this book were so interesting. It was a pleasure getting to know them and understand their fears and dreams and see how those motivated their actions. They were all layered and human, making mistakes, making sacrifices and showing courage. Trust didn't come easily for any of them yet they all desired it. Trust and love. Which leads me to the growing romance between Kat and Barrett. Mmmm, yum. I loved it. The attraction, the chemistry, the kissing. Yup, it was nicely done.

Once I got into this book I had a hard time putting it down. It had an excellent balance of intense situations and emotional moments. The plot moved forward at a good pace and I was fully invested in it. I was surprised a few times with the twists the plot took which is always a good thing! I loved this story!

Content: violence, peril, kissing, mention of affairs and mistresses (with no details)

- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Joanne | wellreadcoffeeaddict.
283 reviews65 followers
April 8, 2022
3.5 stars ✨

Well, I finally picked this one up. It's been sitting on my shelves for way too long, and now I'm wondering what took me so long?

This is exactly the kind of World War 2 fiction I love reading. It starts off slow and builds up slowly, until you are neck-deep in danger and the next move could cost the entire mission, and you don't even realize it. Full of intrigue, danger, suspense, and enough tension to keep your heart rate up, I'm positive you won't want to put The Socialite down before you've finished!

My star deduction is for content. So, I suppose Thomas Nelson is publishing books without a christian element to it but I never realized that; I thought they were a christian publishing house. I always miss the faith element when it isn't present, and I did so with Kat's story. What a beautiful redemption arc she and Barrett could've had otherwise.

And on the romance side, this book is definitely intended for mature audiences. . In addition to certain characters being lovers and talks of those sorts of details, the romantic tension between our main characters is high. This will delight most readers but was a bit much and out-of-place for me. (It kept drawing me out of the story and slowing down the pace.) Which makes all the more sense to me knowing this book isn't actually marketed as CF. One last detail:

Otherwise, I really enjoyed this story of an English socialite who ran headfirst off the cliff into Nazi-occupied Paris. J'Nell poked fun at stereotypes in this story, and I loved seeing it. Especially the 'stiff upper lip' Brit meets the pub-owning hot-headed Scotsman. Or so you think ;)
Profile Image for MJSH.
1,032 reviews42 followers
May 26, 2020
"A real man sees the treasure before him, and will fight tooth and nail to be worthy of the claim. No matter how long it takes him."

This is the first book by J'nell Ciesielski that I have read and I'm wondering why I haven't read her books sooner. The author takes a fascinating look at the underground French Resistance in 1941 Paris with two English socialites, Ellie and Kat, and a Scottish/French bar owner, Barrett, as main characters. The plot held me captive as Barrett was thwarted at every turn in his attempt to get the sisters back home safely; the twists and turns in the plot definitely provided a tense undercurrent of espionage that made the story quite exciting. The dialogue between Kat and Barrett is incredibly clever and witty. Though complete opposites, Kat and Barrett were equally lovable with Kat being the upper crust lady who travels within black and white boundaries of decorum and social duty and Barrett being the self-made working class man who relies solely on his wits and strength. By getting to know each other, Kat starts to break away from what is expected and Barrett begins to understand that his worth is more than what was allotted at birth.

If you enjoy well-written historical romance, you will definitely enjoy this one. Even through the horrors and atrocities of WWII, something beautiful can come forth. I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Profile Image for Dana Michael.
1,156 reviews93 followers
April 24, 2020
The Socialite is written by a new to me author. This story takes place during WWII and is set mostly in German occupied France. A wayward sister runs away to Paris and becomes a mistress to a nazi. Her sister with the help of a handsome Scot is on mission to bring her home to England. I enjoyed it, and I especially liked the happy ending.
*I was given a copy by Thomas Nelson Publishing and this is my honest opinion.
3.5 stars
351 reviews17 followers
October 22, 2020
Love love and love this story!! One of the hardest lessons to learn in life is that we can't fix other people, no matter how badly we want to do so. Only God can change someone's heart and mind, we simply have to pray and trust that God knows what He's doing. He is always in control no matter what the other person may be doing, nothing escapes Him and we can be assured that our friends and family members are always in His hands. He hears our prayers and is always in the miracle business.
Profile Image for Jeanie.
1,192 reviews1 follower
May 21, 2020
This intense novel based in occupied France during WWII was a stunning read. We see a brief sampling of atrocities committed, especially as seen through the eyes of two young women who had been unaware of the true scope of the propaganda and its effects throughout Europe. The characters are very well-defined throughout by their conversations and actions. While not a specifically Christian read, it is a clean read, and a healthy reminder of how our true battle is not against people, but against the unseen forces of evil.

Ellie is the younger daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford in England. She is the dreamer, the one who refuses to follow the rules, the one who left about a year earlier to find her happiness. Her older sister, Kat, has always been the responsible rule-follower. Kat and Ellie had been very close, and the betrayal of Ellie leaving without even a goodbye cut deep.

Sir Alfred has always been very overprotective of his daughters, laying out strict rules that most could not live up to. When Ellie was located in Paris, he was going to go haul her home. Knowing Ellie would run away as fast as she could when seeing their father, Kat battled with him to go herself. It is 1941, and France is occupied by the Germans. Sir Alfred works together with his friends in England’s Secret Intelligence Service to get her in safely. Getting both of them out could be a different matter.

Ellie is living the high life, at least much higher than most in Paris. She is mistress to a German major, Eric. He helped her get a coveted position as Social Secretary of Paris. She spouts the party lines easily when a horrified Kat arrives to see – and hear – what Ellie is up to. She is smart enough to know how to work with Ellie to not drive her further to Eric’s arms.

Barrett is a Scottish pub owner in Paris. His pub is a front for an underground French resistance training cell. Unbeknownst to her, Sir Alfred had hired him to make sure Kat and Ellie get out of France safely. He didn’t plan on the growing attraction between them, and fears what will happen when she learns he took the job to make enough money to start over in America. Ellie frequently uses his club to entertain for functions of the Germans. Kat planned to never rely on, or care about, another man, but those plans begin to change. Especially when he lays down his life to save the sisters.

I have appreciated earlier books by the author, set in WWI and WWII, and this continues in the same excellence in historical novels. This fabulous novel is intense when describing the depth of the starvation, murder, and hatred. Even so, this is a compelling read. Family secrets abound. Whether they are faced and dealt with while on the run effects the outcome of the mission. The character of Barrett and the sisters grows throughout. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who appreciates WWII novels that include surviving in occupied countries, family drama, and romance.

From a thankful heart: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Celebrate Lit, and this is my honest review.
Profile Image for The Lit Bitch.
1,248 reviews390 followers
April 19, 2020
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.

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.

See my full review here
Profile Image for Caitlyn Santi.
Author 4 books76 followers
June 2, 2020
Wow, just wow! Such an amazing read! This book is written by a new-to-me-author, I actually own all of her other books and have been wanting to read one of her books for over a year now, but just hadn't gotten around to it! The Socialite is my first of her books, but it most definitely will not be the last! This book is so rich in historical detail that I felt like I had been transported to WWII Nazi occupied Paris!
I love historical romance and this book is full of so many things I love about the genre, including a thread of danger and suspense that leads up to a nail biting last several chapters!
I immediately liked Kat, I admired her bravery and spunkiness, and her willingness to do whatever it took to save her sister! Barrett was such a fun character, and oh so swoon-worthy, I loved him so much and couldn't help smiling every time he was in a scene! The banter between Kat and Barrett was fabulous and had me cracking up more than a few times!
I truly did love this book so much!
The Socialite is a delightful read and definitely one for the keeper shelf! I highly recommend this stunning, gorgeously written book!
I am super excited to dive into J'nell Ciesielski's backlist, and am eagerly anticipating her next book! I'm hoping Ellie will get a book of her own!
(5 Stars!)

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!
Profile Image for Laurel.
Author 1 book318 followers
August 7, 2020
I was enchanted by Ciesielski's story of two diverse sisters struggling during the Nazi occupation of Paris during WWII. Readers will enjoy her descriptive prose and attention to historical detail.
Profile Image for Loraine.
2,956 reviews
April 16, 2020
World War II is in full swing, and Katharine "Kat" Whitford, daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, is headed to Paris where the Nazis are in full control, to find her younger sister, Ellie. Little does Kat know that her father has contacted a resistance fighter, Barrett Anderson, and offered him money to help get Kat and Ellie back to England.

Filled with dramatic intrigue and 2 romances, Ciesielski once again brought beautiful prose to this story. Her descriptions of Paris and some of the surrounding areas made it easy to picture just what it looked like during this wartime period. Katherine was a determined, young woman who wasn't going to leave Paris without her younger sister, Ellie. But Ellie thought herself in love with a Nazi officer as he showered her with gifts, clothes, party nights etc. It wasn't til an incident with a Jewish man when Eric shot the man that Ellie began to realize that her romance wasn't all roses and sequins. It was nice to see how both girls came into their own through their adventures with Barrett and their escape from France. I absolutely loved the ending as it was definitely a surprise.

Another enjoyable read from this author. Recommended for those who like World War 2 historical fiction combined with romance.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

Profile Image for Katie Robbert.
24 reviews3 followers
January 28, 2020
This book was an exceptional read. Any lover of historical fiction will truly love this book! From page one you’re sucked into the time period, the storyline and the characters themselves. With a good dash of romance and the turmoil of 1940s/WW2 Paris, this story has it all and then some. I rank this book as one of my top reads for 2020 already and don’t see many other being able to compete.
Profile Image for Hannah Elisabeth .
166 reviews18 followers
October 17, 2021
I have to say, this book pleasantly surprised me. I didn’t go in to it expecting I wouldn’t like it; I never buy a book if it doesn’t sound like it would interest me. But I am always nervous to try a new author.

One thing that grabbed my attention right away was the writing. After the first page I was already hooked by the writing.

I enjoyed the story line and the setting. I found it to be quite interesting and there was quite a bit of action that I wasn’t expecting and (by the second half of the book) I stayed on the edge of my seat. I will say the first half did seem kind of slow, but I guess it was just building up and getting the base of the story down.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. I felt like they were lacking something. They weren’t the worst characters ever, but they also seemed kind of flat to me. There were things about them that seemed to come out of left field. Such as Kats interest in art. Am I the only one who found that kind of random? Maybe I just hadn’t payed enough attention until that first museum scene?

Finally I want to say that while this is marketed as Christian fiction, I have to disagree. While it is relatively clean, (and by that I mean no bedroom scenes or anything like that because there was kissing) there wasn’t any talk of God or faith. There were two flippant mentions; one about Kats hair having so many pins it wouldn’t move even for the Second Coming, and then someone said to someone else they didn’t like something about “I pray to God that doesn’t happen” or some such like that. 🚨MAYBE MILD SPOILER🚨 add in the fact that Kats sister Ellie is the mistress of a German soldier and Kat does not agree with that lifestyle and wants her sister out if it, she does not ever say anything about it being Biblically wrong. 🚨END OF POSSIBLE SPOILER🚨 also there was obviously a lot of talk of drinking and alcohol as Barrett owns a bar which again I did not like.

Overall, I did enjoy this story and will read the authors other books.
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