Friday, March 11, 2022

Fascinating Story Set in WWII -- Until Leaves Fall in Paris

Until Leaves Fall in Paris is the latest novel from Sarah Sundin, who just happens to be one of the best with WWII historical fiction. Her in-depth research and resulting knowledge, along with her incredible skill at crafting captivating stories, draw you into a complex world of danger, intrigue, and romance. 

Lucie and Paul are both fascinating characters who live very dissimilar lives. The author weaves their differences -- and their similarities -- into a well-paced story that is engaging from beginning to end. Young Josie and her imagination that thrives with Lucie's encouragement bring a heart-warming element to a story filled with many examples of life's harshness. 

I highly recommend Until Leaves Fall in Paris to fans of great inspirational historical romance.

Thanks to Revell Reads for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

Paris, 1940

When the Nazis march toward Paris, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. The Germans make it difficult for her to keep Green Leaf Books afloat. And she must keep the store open if she is to continue aiding the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.

Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. But in order to carry out his mission, he must appear to support the occupation--which does not win him any sympathy when he meets Lucie in the bookstore.

In a world turned upside down, will love or duty prevail?

About the Author

Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of When Twilight Breaks and several popular WWII series, including Sunrise at Normandy, Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory. She is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award winner, and her novels have received starred reviews from BooklistLibrary Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and have appeared on Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years." Sarah lives in Northern California. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Historically Based Spy Adventure -- The Cryptographer's Dilemma

The Cryptographer's Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander is the first book in the Heroines of WWII historical fiction series. This was not the first in the series that I read, but the reading order is not important, as each is based on a different event or character(s), and each is written by a different author.

Eloise and Phillip, as well as the multiple secondary characters, are well developed and invite the reader into their lives. The author of this story did a great job of weaving together a great deal of factual information with an engaging fictional story. There is a thread of romance in the story, but that element is not front and center.

The details about the work of the cryptographers and other FBI personnel during the war and the elaborate plan carried out by the spies are fascinating. In the author's notes at the end of the book, she shares links to more online information about the investigation and the people involved.

I highly recommend The Cryptographer's Dilemma to fans of great inspirational historical fiction.

About the Book

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent series of letters about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head overseas when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of traitorous messages disguised as correspondence about dolls should be easy, but not so when the clues take Eloise and Phillip on a cross-country trek that has them both confronting past demons and an unmistakable attraction.

Eloise believes the letters refer to classified intel about U.S. warships, but can she prove it in time to catch the spy? Or, before she and Phillip are permanently separated?

About the Author

Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won't forget in a variety of genres. An award-winning, best-selling novelist, she serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts Writers Chat, and interviews other inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at and other social media sites via

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Hope in Tough Situations -- Threads of Hope

Leslie Gould's Plain Patterns series has been very enjoyable to read, and the conclusion, Threads of Hope, is no exception.

Jane Berger's Plain Patterns quilt shop is a hub of interaction among several Plain women, some of their English friends and family, and others who seem to be somewhat on the fence about where they really belong. The stories Jane shares from past generations seem to meet certain ones in the circle of ladies and resonate with the struggles they find themselves dealing with. 

In Threads of Hope, tough issues play into the story, both in the present day setting and Jane's stories from the past. Decisions concerning war and physical and emotional repercussions from those situations are front and center in both time periods. Tally and Danielle form what might be an unexpected closeness as they each deal with important challenges in their lives, including a lot of uncertainties Tally initially has about Danielle. The experiences they have, together and individually, help them both learn to put fears and problems behind and grow into better versions of who they want to be. There are so many well-developed characters who move this story along and keep the split timeline very engaging.

I highly recommend Threads of Hope to fans of great Amish fiction. Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

Can they find a way to stitch their suffering into hope and embrace an uncertain future?

Tally Smucker's quiet life of reading and quilting hides her sorrow over her mother's declining health and the lack of a fulfilling future for herself. When her daily life is shaken by her free-spirited neighbor Danielle--who grew up Plain but joined the Army at eighteen--Tally's instinct is to distance herself.

Yet she finds she can't turn away when Danielle's brother, Kenan, specifically asks for her help. She invites Danielle to visit Plain Patterns quilt shop with her, where the story of the plight of a WWI soldier and the girl he left behind resonates with both Tally and Danielle, but for different reasons.

When Tally's mother suffers a setback at the same time Danielle's PTSD becomes unmanageable, it seems Tally's efforts to aid them only make things worse. Can the soldier's story, along with the care of Kenan, help Tally accept the hope that waits just around the corner?

From the talented pen of Leslie Gould comes a moving tale of restoration and renewed hope within the Amish community.

About the Author

Leslie Gould ( is a Christy Award-winning and #1 bestselling author of over 35 novels, including four Lancaster County Amish series. She holds an MFA in creative writing and enjoys studying church history, research trips, and hiking in the Pacific Northwest. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon, and are the parents of four adult children.