Oh, that I would be as bold in the face of evil.

There are books that make us feel satisfied with the ending and the overall feeling of the story. Warm, fuzzy emotions flood us as the characters evolve with the events around them. Sadly, we never think about the story again once we leave the raving review. It made us feel good, but it didn’t impact us.

That cannot be said of The Socialite.

Let me try to unpack this for you without giving anything away because I think there are things we need to stop and look at.

Those of us who have siblings know all to well how they can drive each other crazy. Each person has their own personality and it is bound to irritate the other(s). J’Nell does a marvelous job portraying the differences and complexities of the Whitford sisters. Their individual quirks and habits annoy the other sister but neither of them can imagine life without the other in it. Their love and dedication are as reliable as their frustrations. When they work together, they are force to reckoned with. They look at challenges differently but face them head on and together.

Barrett, oh wow! He is complex and raw and rugged. His mannerisms might be a turn off at first, but once you get to know him, you will understand why. I liked this guy. A man’s man but only because he doesn’t know how to be transparent. His history pulled at my heart stings while at times I wanted to slap some sense into his think scull. The fact that he is willing to do what ever it takes to get these two women home safely is commendable, but the heart of the hero is a little battered.

Kat is a young women who has no idea how valued she really is. In a world that still viewed women as show pieces, she felt like she was the first draft of a masterpiece. Despite her feelings about herself, she does the unthinkable and sneaks into Nazi occupied Paris to pull her sister from the party’s clutches. I loved her boldness as she starred into the eyes of “the devil himself” and wouldn’t let his scare tactics shake her, until later. She may have said she didn’t need a man to rescue her, but I would say that she appreciated his help. Kat and Barrett kept each other grounded as they moved about in the glittering hell.

Now, to the part that sapped all warm and fuzzy for me, and not in an entirely bad way.

The Nazi’s were evil incarnate and J’Nell displayed it thoroughly. The history, the visual descriptions, the hate—it all just oozed from the pages. There were moments that I cried because I know how real this was. J’Nell did such a wonderful job that even I wanted to reach through the pages and do something unthinkable to Eric or Hitler.

I could not put this story down. There wasn’t a meal to cook or a show to watch that was more important than binge reading this story. This book held me captive and I have no regret. Thank goodness it was Mother’s Day weekend. It would be well worth the investment to have a copy of your own, maybe a paperback so you can share it. There were some amazing things to think about, but I don’t want to give it all away. Lol. Just pick up a copy, you’ll see why.

**I was given a copy of this book from the publisher through CelebrateLit Publicity so that I can give my honest opinion. A raving review was not required.

About the Book

Book:  The Socialite

Author: J’nell Ciesielski

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: April 14, 2020

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?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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 Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’Nell

I blame Pinterest. Too many hours are spent chasing rabbit holes of glorious pictures of fashion from eras gone by, Highlanders in kilts, WWI ambulances, and fairytale castles. One day I was browsing something super important (or possibly escaping from the actual work I was supposed to be doing, er, we’ll never know) and stumbled across a black and white picture of six beautiful girls. Who are these lovely ladies? I wondered. A quick search brought up the Mitford sisters. Six gorgeous daughters born into an aristocratic English family, each girl with a different passion: Diana the fascist, Jessica the communist, Unity the Hitler lover, Nancy the novelist, Deborah the duchess, and Pamela the poultry connoisseur. Whoa. You know dinner time around their family table was interesting. How could such different personalities belong in the same family? What would you do if your sister got moon-eyed over Hitler??

Bam. An idea was born.

In the beginning, my little rebel Ellie was going to be a full-fledged Nazi ideology lover, but she quickly informed me that it wasn’t so much the Nazis or their crazy ideas she loved, but one man in particular. One twisted Nazi who had fallen completely under her spell, and she under his. The ideas of love can often be more difficult to break as Kat finds out when she tries to rescue her naïve sister. Luckily, she has a hunky Sottish bartender to help her while providing a few romantic intentions of his own. With everyone hiding past hurts and true identities, how will they ever hope to find the love they each long for when war rages under the bright lights of Paris? Guess you’ll have to read to find out 😉

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22

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Inklings and notions, May 23

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Stories By Gina , May 23

For Him and My Family, May 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 24

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Simple Harvest Reads, May 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

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Robin’s Nest, May 26

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 26

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Remembrancy, May 28

Read Review Rejoice, May 29

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deb’s Book Review, May 30

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Books I’ve Read, May 31

Batya’s Bits, June 1

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Through the Fire Blogs, June 2

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Moments, June 2

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Andrea Carmen, June 3

Just Your Average reviews, June 3

To Everything There Is A Season, June 3

Fiction Aficionado, June 4

Lis Loves Reading, June 4

Hallie Reads, June 4


To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a book and a book sleeve!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



  1. Janice

    Great review. Sounds like a great book.

  2. J'nell Ciesielski

    First draft of a masterpiece?! Holy cow, I might have to steal that line 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed Socialite and that it gave you more than a feel good in the moment tingly feeling.

  3. Melanie B

    Sounds like an incredible story, I enjoy reading a good historical romance, especially if it’s from the WW2 era; thanks for the wonderful review!