The Socialite (2020) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

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About the Book

978-0785233527_the socialiteBook:  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 purchase your copy!

About the Author

CiesielskiJ_HeadshotWith 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

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 😉

My Thoughts

The Socialite by J’nell Ciesielski has left me rather speechless. This book is an edge-of-your-seat kind of good. I think for about 89% of this story I was terrified. Ciesielski is a master storyteller adept at writing just that right level of detail that makes the reader’s imagination explode. I’ve read a ton of novels set during WWII so I know what atrocities occurred in the occupied territories across Europe, but this book takes things to a whole new level. There’s outwitting and fighting Nazi soldiers and officers, but there is also having tea and dinner with Hitler! I have never been so terrified for fictional characters in all my life. The tense action in this story is remarkable in that it NEVER seems to stop. I found it rather difficult to catch my breath while I was reading. I absolutely loved this story. The characters are excellently crafted. The plot is highly engaging and fast-paced. The romance builds perfectly. The research so clearly well done. But it’s the absolute terror and suspense that captivated me and made this book one I read well into the night.

The Socialite is rich in timely themes; there really is so much to discuss in this story. But the idea that resonated with me the most is the notion of our work here on earth. It is VERY easy to look at someone else and see their work as better than ours and then feel less than. In the New Testament, Paul often talks about the body of Christ and how we all have our part to play. He also makes it clear that there is no small part. I get that in theory, but in reality, it is sometimes hard to see what I do as something meaningful when compared to others. Kat Whitford, the heroine of The Socialite, feels the same. When there are men fighting on a battlefield against Hitler and his murderous minions, when there are spies playing deadly and severely dangerous games in the hopes of eliciting the right kind of information from their enemy, and when there are resistance fighters sacrificing their lives to bring freedom to the world, being the pampered daughter of a very wealthy British aristocrat feels pretty worthless in comparison. So Kat goes behind enemy lines in order to do what she can — attend the parties and such of the wealthy and elite Nazis to extract not just her errant sister who has fallen in love with one such Nazi but to extract as much information as she possibly can.

wp-1590365420652.pngThere is a very frank conversation between Barrett and Kat where he sets her straight. Everyone has usefulness. Just because she was born into a family with power, wealth, and connections doesn’t mean the only path for her is one of selfishness, luxury, and parties. Yes, Barrett is an operative for British intelligence. He works with resistance fighters preparing them to fight Nazis and Hitler. Yes, he can pretty much save the day. BUT Kat can do things that he cannot, and those things add up to getting all the way to the top — to Hitler himself. It takes a while for Kat to come to terms with her own value. At first she is hesitant to believe Barrett because her skills allow her into places where she can have the best clothes, food, and accommodations. To her, it’s guilt-inducing that she can eat the best of foods, yet all of France is in a shortage because of Hitler. But once Barrett’s words sink in, and Kat sees what she truly is capable of, does she understand the woman God made her to be in order to help win the war against evil. Even though it seems like a small part, there really are no small parts when fighting against the workings of a devil. This is really good for me to keep in mind when I find myself falling into the “doubt-myself” trap. We are all Esthers — here for such a time as this, and God doesn’t make mistakes.

The Socialite by J’nell Ciesielski is a novel I will not soon forget. Filled with characters that are unique and full of depth, a plot that doesn’t seem to ever let up, and themes that are timely for today’s world, I can say with 100% surety that The Socialite is a novel you do not want to miss.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


The Socialite Giveaway

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.


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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22

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Breny and Books, May 23

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)

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Remembrancy, May 28

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deb’s Book Review, May 30

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Books I’ve Read, May 31

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14 thoughts on “The Socialite (2020) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

  1. Thank you for your wonderful review on ” The Socialite” by J’nell Ciesielski and for being part of the Celebrate Lit book tour.

    Most definitely on my TBR list and I can’t wait for the opportunity to read more about the story of Barrett and Kat. Lovely cover!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw J’nell on a Facebook live party with Lindsay Harrel and ever since then, this book has intrigued me and been on my wish list! I am so looking forward to reading it. Thanks so much to CelebrateLit for a chance to win!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been reading a lot of WWII stories, too! I’m sure this will be another great point of view. It looks really intriguing. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

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