Cover Image: The Paris Secret

The Paris Secret

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Member Reviews

Second book by this author and just like her other book The Paris orphan it broke my heart .It give me all the feels that I was hoping for.
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Prior to the pandemic I LOVED Natasha Lester. The Paris Orphan was one of my favorite historical fiction books of 2019. Unfortunately since 2020 I've really struggled with overly emotional reads and historical fiction set in WWII. I'm hoping at some point I'll be back to loving historical fiction and can finish this one, but for now its a DNF
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DNF at 38%. It could just be the wrong time for me and historical fiction, but it was hard for me to even get this far into it.
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Thank you to Netgalley & Natasha Lester for my copy of The Paris Secret, for an honest review.. Wow, what a read!!! The Penrose sisters, 1939 England, find themselves on the brink of WWII. Skye Penrose a talented pilot will help build the women’s group of pilots to help Britain during the war. While she is training she reunites with her sister Liberty and her old friend Nicolas. Her heart aches that Nicholas is now engaged to Margaux Jourdan.. Then high fashion meets the sisters, by way of Christian Dior’s sister Catherine. The story of the sisters, flying, resistance spying and WWII is great. I love how the author also brought us to Sydney, in present day, and introduces us to Kat Jourdan. Kay’s story and connection with the ladies of England. The similarities and differences are remarkable. The author does a wonderful job of telling this story. I loved the Characters and the settings. I really enjoyed this book and gave it a 5 star rating. I have shared it on my Instagram page and shared my review on Barnes & Noble. I really hope you get a chance to read this one, you won’t be disappointed!!!!
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Heart breaking beautiful story, Women pilots and the amazing feats they acomplished. Love, fashion and so very much more. A must read if like historicals.
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The Paris Secret completely blew me away. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Natasha Lester's novel but I had had a couple of trusted bookstagram friends rave about it so I bumped it up the TBR list and, oh my word, was I ever glad I did. Lester's novel is full of history and a story you won't soon forget.

Here's the synopsis:
England, 1939: The Penrose sisters couldn't be more different. Skye is a daring and brash pilot, and Liberty the one to defy her at every turn. Even if women aren't allowed in the Royal Air Force, Skye is determined to help the war effort. She's thrilled when it reunites her with her childhood soulmate, Nicholas. She's less thrilled to learn Nicholas is now engaged to an enigmatic Frenchwoman named Margaux Jourdan.

Paris, 1947: Designer Christian Dior unveils his glamorous first collection to a world weary of war and grief. He names his debut fragrance Miss Dior in tribute to his beloved sister Catherine, who forged a friendship with Skye and Margaux through her work with the French Resistance.

Present Day: Fashion conservator Kat Jourdan discovers a priceless collection of Dior gowns in her grandmother's vacant cottage. As she delves into the mystery of their origin, Kat begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about her beloved grandmother.
The cover makes it appear as though the novel will be super glamourous. It's not. Sure, there is an absolutely fascinating aspect of the story that has to do with fashion history and searching for answers in archives (as a new-ish museum worker, albeit in fundraising, I geeked out at this part and told all my colleagues about it). And one of the most recognizable fashion designers plays a small part in the story. But, at it's heart, this is a story of war. And war is anything but glamourous. It is hard and terrible and people (men and women alike) found themselves in circumstances they never could have fathomed prior to the war. Lives were lost and spirits were broken. But the tales of bravery that came out - and are still being revealed to this day - are awe inspiring as well.

The novel was a little slow to start as there was a lot of backstory needed for Nicholas and Skye's friendship. It probably could have been cut down a little bit but we did need some of it to understand their connection and why they would have been drawn to each other when they saw each other during the war. Plus there were little hints given that helped build a case for the secrets that were revealed at the end of the novel.

Speaking of secrets - holy moly. I had no idea how things were going to end up. I thought I knew but then Lester would throw in a twist, and then another, and I'd be so confused. But a good confused. I couldn't wait to get to the end to find out how everyone was connected even though I had a feeling it was going to make me incredibly sad. (It did.) 

I had no idea Christian Dior's sister, Catherine, had been involved in resistance efforts during WWII. Not only that, she had been imprisoned at Ravensbrück, a woman-only concentration camp. I am constantly in awe of those who were able to make it out of those camps and my heart broke as I read those chapters. Because I'm all about learning more about what women did during the wars, and Lester's novel started my interest in Dior, I'm excited for a novel coming out in 2021, Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells.

The Paris Secret was the first novel I've read from Natasha Lester but it certainly won't be the last. She told such an interesting story and amongst the historical details was a romance (or two) and tales of family secrets and strength. I already can't wait for her next book.

*An egalley of this novel was provided by the publisher, Forever, via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*
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Code Name Verity, but make it fashion! What's not to love in this time-jumping World War II fashion mystery? From RAF air bases to fashion museums to Cornwall beaches to Australia to Christian Dior's Paris atelier, the female protagonists of the latest installment of historical novelist Lester's Paris series lead lives of glamour and adventure that will have you reaching for your passport and your fur coat.
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I've read three books by Natasha Lester now and while it's pretty clear that her Paris books follow a certain formula, I am 100% here for it. Her novels always have multiple eras to follow and tend to be on the heavier side, but the stories are just so moving and The Paris Secret was no exception. There are three timelines to follow. In 1939 England, we meet the incredibly different Penrose sisters. Skye is a daring pilot determined to be a part of the war effort. It allows her to reunite with her childhood friend, Nicholas, as well as meet other women joining the cause. On the other hand, her sister Liberty, seems to find every possible way to antagonize Skye. Jumping ahead to 1947 Paris, there's a side story with Christian Dior (!) post war which involves his sister Catherine who became with friends with Skye through the French Resistance. And lastly, there's the present day story about fashion conservator, Kat Jordan, whose discovery of a collection of priceless Dior gowns in grandmother's vacant cottage leads to questions about their origin and more importantly, her heritage. Skye and Kat were the two main heroines and while I was certainly the most invested in their stories, everyone in the book is fascinating on some level. It's such a dangerous time and each person we meet is fighting this fight for reasons we come to learn about and carry deep burdens on their shoulders. There's complicated families, friendships, and romances set against the consequences of this terrible war. I was so stricken by some of the details that I found myself googling to weed out the fact from fiction (note: Lester incorporates a lot of well-researched facts!). I'll admit, the book was a bit slow going at first, but these characters wormed their way into my emotions almost without me realizing until I hit the last page and found myself in tears.

Do I recommend? Absolutely! It's three for three with Natasha Lester and I can't wait to read whatever she releases next.
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WWII taught us an unforgettable lesson and divided the world's timeline into Before and After. Nothing and no one felt the same after 1945... As the cities and countries were being repaired, the horror of the past was left behind, and people began rewriting their lives starting anew. 

1939-1945... 
Nicholas, O’Farrell, Margaux, Skye, Liberty, and Catherine create a special friendship while united in a fight against the world's greatest Nazi leader. This novel introduces the reader to bravery, resistance, and survival, but also love, friendship, and betrayal.

2020...
Pleasantly surprised by the beautiful cottage that Kat's grandmother Margaux asked her to visit during Kat's trip to England, she stumbled in on an unexpected discovery - a priceless collection of Dior gowns. Upon her return to Australia, Kat receives a phone call inquiring about Margaux Jourdan's work in the French Resistance. Surprised once again, Kat questions her grandmother, but her attempts are unsuccessful, as an old woman refuses to revisit her past. With the help of an English writer, Kat digs down into history and discovers the tragic truth about her family...

Natasha Lester's new novel shades a spotlight on women's work during WWII. She introduces the very first female pilots in WWII history. I really loved that part of the story and the twist that came at the end. However the novel felt way too long, the middle part was very slow although it did contain interesting and useful facts here and there. Thank you NetGalley and Forever publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.
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This book was completely un-put-downable.  I read it in a little over 24 hours (which is a rarity for me, being a mom of 2 young children), and I literally have a book hangover after reading this.  Such a fabulous and important story, beautiful love story, important historical recountings of history and immense bravery in the face of war, and a solid 5 star read for me.  Thank you for allowing me to read and review this!
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*** I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review ***

OMG!!  Heartbreaking, Poignant, Powerful... All these words come to mind... This is a story of 2 sisters, Skye and Liberty and their childhood and experience as spies during WWII.  This is a story of love, courage, sisterhood, family, friends, and survival.  This is the first book by Natasha Lester that I have read and I loved this book- I look forward to reading more of her novels in the future.  I highly recommend this book if you're into mysteries, WWII historical fiction, and WWII romance.
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The Paris Secret is a dual timeline historical fiction.  There is Skye, a female pilot during  WWII and Kat, a fashion conservator in 2012.  There are 16 parts in the book, each are like a puzzle piece revealing a bit more of the big picture.  I was left trying to solve how the stories played out.  In this book I learned more about parts of WWII and Christian Dior.  Weaved in are stories of heartbreak, love, betrayal and hope.  These characters will remain my mind for awhile. ⁣
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Thank you @readforeverpub for a copy of this book for my honest review. ⁣
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I loved this look into the glamorous fashion world - friendship at the heart of it. Following Kat's present day search for the truth about her grandmother, the adventure takes her down a path she wasn't expecting.

I love how the author placed me back to these time periods, the story told in the 30's, 40's, and present day. 

Thank you for allowing me to read this and give my honest opinion.
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I’ve read some exceptional books this year and this was one of my favorites. Lester completely captures the plight of women during WWII.  A must read.
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When I read the synopsis for The Paris Secret I thought it sounded good. Turns out that was the biggest understatement! I cannot even put into words how much I loved this book. 

It is, at heart, a love story, but it’s also so, so much more than that too. It’s about bravery, hope, friendship, loss, and a level of trauma that I know I can’t even begin to comprehend. It is both absolutely beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking.

Skye and Nicholas are childhood best friends who haven’t seen each other since they were children. Now in the midst of The Second World War they find themselves as adults, in each other’s lives again but this time they’re both involved in the war effort and their lives, and those of their friends, are at risk. 

Fast forward to the present day and Kat has just uncovered a treasure trove of Dior gowns in a house that she didn’t even know her grandmother owned. But what’s the connection between these dresses and her grandmother? And how does her grandmother’s own story tie into that of Skye and Nicholas’s? 

Guiding us seamlessly from the past to present day and back again Natasha Lester weaves a story of romance, mystery and war that left me sobbing. This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I know I’ll be changing that very soon! 

Thank you so much to the amazing people at Forever publishing and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley and Forever Publishing for a copy so that I can provide my sassy thoughts!

If my tears could write this review your phone/tablet/monitor would be soaking wet.

This is the most beautiful story - of growing up, making hard decisions, taking a leap, serving, repairing damage, and forgiveness.

I loved how this book unfolded its mystery page by page. I loved how this book flipped between the present-day to the past.

I know this story will stick to my heart for years to come - A top 10 for me!
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Sometimes when you are loving a book you want to read as fast as you can and you cannot wait to get to the ending. Sometimes, on the other hand, you can bear the thought of finishing a story either because you do not want it to end or because you know that the book will break your heart and you are not ready for that.
The Paris Secret is under the second category. It is a heartbreakingly beautiful story about love, loss, and strength. It is the story of brave women and me who fought for their countries and their beliefs during a time of war. Since it talks about women in the air force and their crucial role, I believe it is a story that needed to be written. 
Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres and even though it is not something easy to read, I think it is a way of knowing more about what happened. Each HF book I have read has given me different pieces of history. This might be fiction in the way that some characters were not real or some events did not happen in the same way but we know is not fiction in the most relevant aspects and that is what makes it heartbreaking. I had no idea about the role of women in the air force or Ravensbrück, or even about Catherine Dior, so it was good to read about that.
I liked the love story too. Not too sugarcoated, just the amount of sweetness and reality. The ending had me sobbing for ages and even when I still do not like one of the characters (you know who) I think it was a good ending. 
Natasha has a beautiful writing style that takes you back, and she can write amazing characters (I loved Skye and Nicholas… and Kat and Elliot!) that you can easily love. Besides, the fashion component she introduces is very appealing to me. 
However, what I like the most about her books (I read The Paris Seamstress a while back) is not only the historical component or the strength and survival she always depicts in her stories but the feelings her stories can evoke. The Paris Secret is definitely on my top list and I will surely read Natasha’s upcoming books.
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The Paris Secret is a well-researched story that takes the reader into the war and shares what it was like for the heroic men and women who worked to deliver arms and supplies. A compelling story with intriguing characters, the world of Paris fashion, and a beautiful love story all set in the middle of a war. If you seek books that truly transport you, this is one not to miss.
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Full of everything I love, secret agents, multiple timelines, deep secrets and an added bonus of Dior fashion!
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I absolutely loved this book! I found the story so fascinating! We have our 1940s characters: Skye, Margaux and Liberty who are all working in special women units for the British. Skye and Margaux are my favourites! Skye is such a fierce protagonist! She is a pilot who works for the ATA and fights against the patriarchy as much as society’s limitations will allow. Margaux is our French-British special agent who is working with the French Resistance in German Occupied France.
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Kat is our present day main character with the coolest job ever! She is a fashion conservator and is in charge of a Dior exhibition in Australia. She uncovers some secrets though that sets her on a journey with a spectacular blue dress.
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We get to learn a bit about Miss Catherine Dior (sister of Christian Dior) and her role in the French Resistance.
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This is such a fast-paced historical fiction! I had absolutely no idea how it was going to end! Each time I had a theory something happened to make me change my mind lol.
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i think this is natasha lester's best book yet! it was beautiful, well written, entertaining, emotional. truly felt transported, such wonderful storytelling. interesting and complex characters, beautiful love story, fast paced. thoroughly enjoyable, definitely recommend!
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