Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review & Giveaway: "Last Christmas in Paris" by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb


Synopsis:   August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

My Thoughts:  Last Christmas in Paris is a beautiful story of friendship and love during World War I.  It is so well-written and so seamless that you would never know there were two authors.

The story is told mostly through letters.  Evie is left at home in England while her brother, his good friend and her best friend all go to Europe to serve in the war.  The authors did a wonderful job of connecting the letters into a cohesive story.  I really enjoyed this format and felt like I got to know the characters more by reading their letters.

The portrayal of the war and the effects that it had on the soldiers and others participating in the war were heart wrenching.  It hurt my heart reading about the constant death, the PTSD and shell shock and all the illness in the trenches.  These aspects of the book seemed to be very well-researched and were integrated nicely in to the story.

The romance that grew between Evie and Tom was so sweet.  It was made even better by the short sections set in the 1960s that followed Tom on his last trip to Paris.  The story ended during this time and oh, did it make me cry.

Last Christmas in Paris was a captivating tale and I would highly recommend it.  I hope to see more from each of these author's in the future. 4 stars.

About the Authors:

 
HEATHER WEBB is the author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin’s Lover, and the anthology Fall of Poppies, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more, as well as received national starred reviews. RODIN’S LOVER was a Goodreads Top Pick in 2015. Up and coming, Last Christmas in Paris, an epistolary love story set during WWI will release October 3, 2017, and The Phantom’s Apprentice, a re-imagining of the Gothic classic Phantom of the Opera from Christine Daae’s point of view releases February 6, 2018. To date, her novels have sold in ten countries. Heather is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend.

HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel The Girl from the Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris will be published in 2017.
Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland.


I received this book from HFBVT in exchange for an honest review.

2 comments:

  1. What a fabulous review, thank you Denise! I am so glad that you enjoyed Last Christmas in Paris & I appreciate you hosting Heather & Hazel's blog tour!

    Amy
    HF Virtual Book Tours

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love your review. I have read and loved both of these Author's work. Can't wait to read The Last Christmas In Paris.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete

 
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