Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Review: "The Socialite" by J'nell Ciesielski

I am always up for a World War II novel, especially when it's getting great buzz. I've been hearing good things about The Socialite for a while now, and I'm so glad I finally had a chance to read it!

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?

From the moment I started reading The Socialite, I was swept into Nazi-occupied Paris. This is a different side of World War II than I've seen before, as it gives a glimpse of the lives of Nazi officers and even Hitler himself. The story centers around strong, dutiful English socialite Kat, who travels to Paris to retrieve her sister Ellie, the mistress of a Nazi officer. When British intelligence realizes the access to information the sisters can provide, Kat partners with Resistance trainer Barrett to gain information and then get Ellie out of France.

I really loved everything about this book—the characters, the danger and intrigue, the romance. I also loved that I was unsure how it would end (beyond Kat and Barrett's happily ever after, which I assumed was assured)—until the very last pages, I didn't know which characters would survive.

And let's talk about those last pages ... the ending is unexpected and perfect! I turned the final page with such a sense of satisfaction, while simultaneously wishing I could spend more time with the characters.

The Socialite is a beautifully written novel that will stick with me for some time, and I'll be on the lookout for more books from J'nell Ciesielski. 5 stars.

Buy the book. (affiliate link)

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. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Unexpected endings are my favorite!! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. Yay glad to see those bold five stars. :) I really liked J'Nell's Among the Poppies so I'm eager to read more by her, most especially this new novel!! It sounds so good.

    1. This was my first by her, and I can't wait to read more! Hope you enjoy this one, Rissi!


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