Cover Image: The Last Tiara

The Last Tiara

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Member Reviews

This captivated me from the moment I read the summary and this book didn’t disappoint. The dual story kept me engaged and eager to find out more. The characters were well developed and I absolutely loved this book!
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The concept was interesting, the characters not so much, especially Isobelle.  Understandably the author had to have a jumping off point to set the story in motion.  However, for me reading about Russia and the tiara in 1917 and going forward, was much more to my liking. I definitely could have done without Isobelle's background when it came to her brief "affair" with her boss.  I could have done without her constant questions...to be honest I could have done without her.  The historical plot of this novel is what I found so much more interesting.  I have enjoyed reading M.J. Rose's novels in the past, I usually like her writing style.  This one was mediocre if only because of Isobelle's portion of the story.  My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Thank you Netgalley for this book. The story is intriguing. It alternates between two time periods. One set in 1915 Russia and another during the 1940s.The world build up was quite interesting.However, I did not find the two main characters to be that much strong. Overall it was a good story especially for historical fiction readers.
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A start so slow that I almost gave up reading, but I am glad I powered through! An interesting mystery about Russian jewels, love, betrayal, feminism, and history. 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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A Historical fiction romance starting with The Russian Revolution and continue after WWII about mother and daughter and a Tiara.
Great drama, mystery intrigue,suspense,and romance.
Good read.
Voluntarily reviewed.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 
The story takes the reader through the Russian revolution, with Sophia, and then across the ocean to New York after WWII, with Isobelle. The author captures these eras very well 
I loved the alternating timelines between Sophia and her daughter, Isobelle. The mystery of the tiara, and why it is so valuable is secondary to the love story of Sophia and Carpathian, my favorite part of the book.
While the ending seemed a bit forced, I found this a very satisfying read.
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I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book.  It sounded really interesting and I was eager and invested in the beginning of this story.  However, it began to get repetitive, there was no real progress in the mystery until the end, and I was bored and skimming by the end.  I so wish there was more character development in the beginning.  I wasn't able to connect enough to the characters to care about the outcome of the book.  The unnecessary details to random thoughts or objects were distracting and insignificant.  I wanted to enjoy this book, but I guess it just wasn't for me.
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Looking for a great story with a little history, mystery, romance, and great characters? The Last Tiara by M.J. Rose has it all. 

Thank you Netgalley, Blue Box Press, and M.J. Rose for the ARC.
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"The Last Tiara" by M.J. Rose is a beautifully written Historical Fiction novel!

In 1915 Russia, Sofiya Petrovitch and best friend Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, volunteer to help wounded soldiers at the makeshift hospital at the St. Petersburg Winter Palace. It is here that Sofiya meets a wounded soldier, the attraction between them is magnetic and they soon fall in love. Through the years, although their love remains strong, their relationship is plagued by a country in turmoil that tragically separates them time after time.

In 1922, Sofiya's father, knowing she is pregnant and fearing for her future in Russia, is able to arrange for her safe travel to America. As Sofiya departs, she leaves with few possessions. Her most precious is a sapphire and diamond tiara given to her by her dear friend Grand Duchess Olga shortly before the Tsar's fall from power and the disappearance of the Romanov family. Once in America, Sofiya changes her name to Sofia Moon, only speaks English never Russian, does not date or marry. She refuses to respond to her daughter's questions concerning her life in Russia or answer the constant curiosities she has about the father she never knew.

In 1948, Isobelle Moon is an architect living in New York City in the apartment she always shared with her mother, Sophia. After her mother's death, Isobelle starts renovating the apartment beginning with her mother's bedroom, when she discovers a blue leather box hidden in the wall. Inside the box is a silver tiara, all stones are missing, along with two receipts, dated 1930, from Alford Reed, a jeweler in New York City. Why did her mother have this tiara and where did it come from? Isobelle knows little about her mother. Always denied any entry to her mother's past, often telling Isobelle, "America is our present and our future. The past needs to stay there."

The chapters alternating between mother and daughter, reveal Sofiya's life in Russia from 1915 through 1922, and in 1948, Isobelle's describes her journey of discovery linking the tiara to her mother's past. Their lives together are complicated by Sofia's intentional secrets. Isobelle only knows denial when attempting to learn about her family in Russia. The outcome for Isobelle is overwhelming insecurities about herself, her relationships and her hopes for the future.

My favorite genre is Historical Fiction and when it's mixed with Romance and Mystery, it becomes that 'over-the-top' read for me! The historical aspects in this book are well researched and transport me instantly to the various locations in this story. The romance is written with tenderness and passion. The mystery held my interest and kept me guessing, but not knowing, until the end! I also learned a few historical facts, and that's always a good thing! I highly recommend this book!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Blue Box Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I love historical fiction.  This author does a great job of weaving two love stories, one of a mother and one of her daughter, with the story of the Romanov family and the end of their reign.  Great read, to which you will be glad you gave your time.
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Excellent Book. MJ Rose ia a stellar story teller. All of her books are jewels in the literary world. The Last Tiara dose not disappoint. A story within a story. A mother's perspective from life in Russia in 1917 through 1922 until she goes to the United States. The story is picked up years later in New York by her daughter. The stories alternate between the two women.
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Another great book from M.J. Rose! Set in Russia and then New York, during WW1 and after the Second World War, the book starts with Isobelle Moon, daughter of a Russian immigrant and one of the few female architects in her time, is redoing the apartment in which she grew up with her mom when she finds something hidden in the wall.  Her mother Sophia has always been reluctant to talk about her life before moving to New York, and when she dies any hope Isobelle has for learning about her mothers past seems to disappear.  Finding a tiara in the wall  makes her determined to learn more, and takes her on a twisted arcane path through art  and antiquities dealers among others to learn the truth. 

In 1915, Sophia is best friends with Grand Duchess Olga, is working as a nurse treating soldiers when she meets a dashing young soldier she calls Carpathian. They fall in love but war is fickle and their life is hardly smooth.  It’s here that the tiara begins its strange journey. 

The Last Tiara is an unstoppable read...you won’t want to put it down.  I absolutely loved it!
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There is so much Isobelle Moon doesn't know about her mother Sophie's life in Russia. Now with her dead, she believes she will never know much about her mother and about the father she never knew. While searching through her mother's belongings, Isobelle finds a tiara with the stones missing. Intrigued by this she seeks out a jeweler to tell her if it is valuable and tries to determine how her mother managed to have it in her possessions. The plot follows a storyline with Sophie's tales of living in Tsarist Russia during World War I and Isobelle's
life in New York during the 1940s. Much of her mother's story takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and as I have visited there, it brought the novel alive to me. I look forward to other books by this author.
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MJ Rose has written a fabulous  historical novel alternately set in 1917-20 Russia, exploring  life in the Soviet Union during the Bolshevik Revolution and 1948 New York.  The main character, Sofiya,  best friend of the duchesses of Czar Nicholas II is given a tiara which becomes the basis of the mystery.  The story is filled with intrigue, as her daughter Isobelle sets out  to find out about the life her mother has always kept hidden and the real significance of the “last tiara”.  Research is excellent, characters are vivid, a real page turner.  I give the author 5 stars for this endeavor.
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I just love it when I really connect with an ARC!  This book is wonderful.  A love story, a mystery, a history lesson, all woven together into a story you won't be able to put down.  The writing is beautiful and the main character Isobelle is very real and relatable.  I struggled for a little while with her relationship with Jules, but they grew on me.  Sofiya's point of view seems very well researched and was well developed.  I loved the twist at the end and definitely did not see it coming!  Will be looking for more from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC of this book - all opinions are my own.
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This was a fascinating timeslip novel about a mother and daughter, more alike than they realized. Each was talented and driven to be the best at her craft. Each was a loner, fearful of the cost of love, yet desparately wanting fulfillment and paying a high price for it.

The book revolves around a beautiful tiara, given to Sofia by a close friend, a daughter of the Russian tsar. The diamonds from this tiara fund her new start when she flees to America with her unborn baby. That child is Isobelle, who longs to understand her mother's past and her father's identity. Those secrets are hidden as well as the tiara itself - found in the wall of her mother's bedroom a year after her death.

I love the tender and sacrificial care these women receive from their lovers. Though both pairs experience the heights of  intimacy and the depths of disappointment, they finally know they have given their hearts wisely. Just as importantly, mother and daughter achieve the closeness after parting that they missed in life.

That being said, their were several things that kept this book from being a 5-star read for me. The tale begins and ends with a monologue from the dead Sofiya; this doesn't fit my Biblical theology. There are several graphic sexual trysts; I think they could have been implied rather than described. And there are some unnecessary four-letter words that seem to cheapen the person's who utter them. Still, it's a stunning story spanning several continents and generations, glittering with details from the art world I never knew.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley and was not required to post a review.
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M.J. Rose has written a book that has everything a person could ask for in a novel.  There's a great mystery, several in fact, with twists and turns throughout.  There's a romantic involvement, in fact two, that one can root for, and ache for, and cry for.  And there's history abounding, for those like me, who love historical novels,
This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
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I really enjoyed The Last Tiara. M. J. Rose has written a novel of historical fiction that includes mystery and the story of a mother and daughter. Her attention to detail about the Romanovs and information about the jewelry trade really help to make it come alive. Well written and transporting.
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I am a sucker for almost anything Romanov related, last of the czars, Russian history, etc, so I was excited to get this e-arc.  It's a nice, dual-timeline story set in Russia just prior to and after the Bolsheviks overthrew the czar, and 1940's New York City.  Sofiya, art restorer at the Hermitage and friend to the daughters of the czar, winds up fleeing to New York to provide a safe life for her unborn child.  Years later, upon her death, her daughter finds a tiara with the stones missing.  This book is alternately Sofiya's story of Russia during that time, and her daughter's search for the provenance of the tiara, and the history her mother refused to divulge.  Although it was rather predictable at times, and a tad far fetched at others, I still enjoyed it.  Many thanks to Netgalley and Blue Box Press for the e-arc!  A solid 3-3.5 stars because I would have preferred more depth.  Rounded up because , you know,  Russia, Romanov Grand Duchesses, art, jewels,  etc :).
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