The Black Swan of Paris
A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected. Paris, 1944Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long-lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross-currents of Occupied France undetected—and in time to save Lillian’s life.

The Black Swan of Paris Details

TitleThe Black Swan of Paris
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 30th, 2020
PublisherMIRA
ISBN-139781488055331
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Cultural, France, War, World War II

The Black Swan of Paris Review

  • Karren Sandercock
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley, Hachette Australia and Karen Robards for my copy of The Black Swan of Paris.Paris 1944, Genevieve Dumont is a beautiful cabaret singer and most of her audience is made up of German soldiers and one of her admirers is the nasty general Claus Von Wagner, she puts on quite a performance on and off the stage. Like most Parisians she hates the Germans, due to her fame, her chauffeur can drive her home at night without being stopped and her car being searched. While the civilian p Thanks to NetGalley, Hachette Australia and Karen Robards for my copy of The Black Swan of Paris.Paris 1944, Genevieve Dumont is a beautiful cabaret singer and most of her audience is made up of German soldiers and one of her admirers is the nasty general Claus Von Wagner, she puts on quite a performance on and off the stage. Like most Parisians she hates the Germans, due to her fame, her chauffeur can drive her home at night without being stopped and her car being searched. While the civilian population starves, the German soldiers eat, drink and are having a great time in Paris. The handsome Max Bonet is her manager; despite the obvious attraction between them they keep their relationship strictly professional. Both she and Max have secrets, they keep their true identities hidden from each other as it’s hard to know who you can trust at such a dangerous time and in a city controlled by the enemy.Genevieve is French, she had a fall out with her family years before, she has changed her name and she has no idea what her parents or sister Emmanuelle is doing? Her parents are both involved in the resistance, her mother Lillian the Baroness de Rocheford has been captured by the Germans, she is being kept alive until she can talk and once the Germans have no use for her she faces being executed. Everyone had code names, they limited how much information each operative knew, because if caught the less they knew the less they could tell the Germans while being subjected to awful forms of torture they used. This is very hard to read about, but it did happen and it helps you understand how dangerous it was to be a member of a resistance cell or to be a secret agent during WW II in France.Towards the end of the war, the Germans wanted to take down as many members of the resistance as they could and they also shot innocent civilians. They knew the Allies planned to launch an invasion somewhere along the French coast and any information they could obtain about the date, time or place the Germans were desperate to discover. Claus Von Wagner is sure Lillian de Rocheford knows where the Allies will land and will Genevieve share her past and real name with Max so he and others in his resistance network can help her save her mother?The Black Swan of Paris is a story about secrets, espionage, danger, loyalty, family, love and war. Perfect for readers who enjoy a long book and are interested in life in Paris during WW II and the planning that went into organizing code name Utah Beach one of the five sectors used in the invasion of Normandy.I loved the book, five stars from me I have shared my review on Goodreads, NetGalley, Edelweiss, Twitter, Australian Amazon, Kobo and my blog. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    I have read many books by Karen Robards, but this historical fiction story was totally unexpected in a very good way. It is 1944 and the war is nearing its end. The Germans are worried about the Allied attack and where it will occur. Genevieve Dumont is a famous songstress who often performs for the German troops in Paris. She is known as the Black Swan, named after one of her costumes she performs in. What she doesn't know is that her manager, Max, her parents and sister are all working for the I have read many books by Karen Robards, but this historical fiction story was totally unexpected in a very good way. It is 1944 and the war is nearing its end. The Germans are worried about the Allied attack and where it will occur. Genevieve Dumont is a famous songstress who often performs for the German troops in Paris. She is known as the Black Swan, named after one of her costumes she performs in. What she doesn't know is that her manager, Max, her parents and sister are all working for the resistance. When she finds out that her father is dead and her mother is in danger, she begs Max for his help. This is a fast paced story dealing with the resistance, spying, with a bit of romance and family drama.Genevieve Dumond is actually Genevra de Rocheford who had a falling out with her family years ago. She ended up in America performing and eventually came back to Europe and began performing. She does not like the germans anymore than the other French and when the opportunity arises to work with the resistance, she jumps at the chance. She is a very feeling woman, but is also strong and independent. There is a past timeline dealt with flashbacks from Genevieve/Genevra where we learn about her past and the falling out with her family. The second protagonist is Max, a Brit and spy who is in the role of Genevieve's manager. There is some tension between the two that increases once Max tells her about his role in the resistance. Overall, this is a story about secrets, espionage, danger, loyalty, family, love and war. This story had me quickly listening and reading to find out what was going to happen, especially once Emmy (Emmanuelle), Genevieve's sister, shows up in the story. This was a well written and plotted story, with well developed characters. Karen Robards uses historical information to make this story realistic and enjoyable for those who enjoy historical fiction especially WWII stories. I did a read/listen with this story. Narrator, Nancy Peterson, performs this story with emotion. She gives an individual voice to Genevieve, Max, and the other characters in the story. The accents were well done and made this book feel like I was listening to multiple narrators. I will definitely look for more books narrated by this talented voice. I definitely recommend this audiobook to those who enjoy audio versions of stories. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
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  • Robin Loves Reading
    January 1, 1970
    I have read countless historical fiction books over the last couple of years, and I would say this book by Karen Robards is by far one of the best ones that I have ever read. We have two primary protagonists. One a spymaster and one a well regarded singer recruited to the resistance during WWII. Genevieve Dumont is loved by the Nazis and has fairly free range to travel just about anywhere possible to perform. Max Bonet becomes her manager and the pair become far more involved than performing. Tr I have read countless historical fiction books over the last couple of years, and I would say this book by Karen Robards is by far one of the best ones that I have ever read. We have two primary protagonists. One a spymaster and one a well regarded singer recruited to the resistance during WWII. Genevieve Dumont is loved by the Nazis and has fairly free range to travel just about anywhere possible to perform. Max Bonet becomes her manager and the pair become far more involved than performing. Traveling from place to place they are able to get past the Germans time and again. But eventually the question remains whether or not the Germans would ever catch on to what was really going on. Meanwhile, Genevieve’s mother was being held by the Germans. Held and tortured. This was not for the faint of heart. Instead it was a portrayal of the brutal realities of a war in which the Germans would use any means necessary to ferret out information by any means necessary from anyone that was opposed to them.While both Max and Genevieve work side-by-side, Genevieve has her own agenda - that of locating and freeing her mother. Genevieve has reasons of her own as far as not revealing to Max as to who her mother is. Estranged for years, not only from her mother, but also from her sister Emmy, Genevieve‘s heart remains pure when it comes to genuine love and concern for her mother and her sister. Can Genevieve And Emmy find a way to work together in order to rescue their mother? This remarkable story is equally heartbreaking and touching. The romance in the story was incredibly touching. While it may have developed at a very slow ebb, when it came to fruition it was well worth the wait The emotion left me completely wrecked at times. All the while, the danger never let up. Reading of that terrible time in history is always difficult, but this book was so well-written and managed to capture my attention from beginning to end. Many thanks to MIRA and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The Black Swan of ParisSeries: standaloneAuthor: Karen RobardsRelease date: June 30, 2020Cliffhanger: noGenre: historical fictionThis is my tenth read by this author and it's my favorite BY FAR. It's been a long time since I read a Karen Robards book, but if this is an example of what I've been missing out on, my hiatus is over for the foreseeable future. Ever since reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, I haven't been able to find a good spy book that even comes close to competing to Title: The Black Swan of ParisSeries: standaloneAuthor: Karen RobardsRelease date: June 30, 2020Cliffhanger: noGenre: historical fictionThis is my tenth read by this author and it's my favorite BY FAR. It's been a long time since I read a Karen Robards book, but if this is an example of what I've been missing out on, my hiatus is over for the foreseeable future. Ever since reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, I haven't been able to find a good spy book that even comes close to competing to that masterpiece. The Black Swan of Paris has finally been the one to give it a run for its money. I know it's not fair to compare books, but it's a little bit hard not to put an all-time favorite up on a pedestal in all of its shining glory. I'm so glad I decided to go with my instinct because it exceeded all of my expectations.One of the central characters is Genevieve Dumont, otherwise known as The Black Swan, a widely adored singer from Paris. She's been estranged from her family for many years, and her past is not something she likes to contemplate very often. There's a lot of resentment and bitterness built up over events that led up to a tragedy in her life. This tragedy cut her life, and her entire persona in two. The before and after held two versions of the same woman. Before was an idyllic, affluent life full of glittering days that were brighter than the sun. She was the youngest, and loved dearly despite being the rebel of the family. After, she traveled to foreign places, just a shell of her former self as she struggled to put food on the table and live another day alone. She meets Max seemingly by chance while roaming and becomes ensnared in a trap that turns her life in a direction she never could have predicted. Max had grand plans to make her a star, with himself as her esteemed manager. With the level of stardom she eventually achieves, she earns a level of trust and admiration from the Nazis in occupied Paris. Keeping her enemies close becomes more than a motto, it becomes a way of life in the ultimate game of cat and mouse. Being on tour is terrifying, because we’re often risking death by smuggling someone or something across some border or another. And that lovely song I sang over the radio today? It was a signal to an agent.Max and Genevieve have a very volatile and complex relationship. She feels deceived and manipulated by him (rightly so) which causes constant friction between the two. Max did seem to care about her from the beginning, but many times he put her life at risk without batting an eye and I debated on how I should feel about him. Add in the fact that he dragged her unwillingly into the spy network with him, I wondered how admirable he really was. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was judging by my entitled standards. When you're living in such desperate times you can't afford to put anything at a higher priority than ending the war. Max may have had to make difficult decisions every single day, but he was genuinely a good man. It's understandable that he never considered mixing personal feelings with the arrangement he had with Genevieve as it would have made an already impossible situation harder. Their main issue in growing closer was the need for secrecy, even among those in the network. It's drilled in their heads so many times that the less you know the better for the safety of all. If anyone were ever captured and interrogated by the Nazis, eventually they will give up all the information they have. So when Genevieve starts sneaking off on her own personal agenda to discover the whereabouts of her mother, she feels safer hiding her actions. Towards the end however, after some much needed communication between the two of them when secrets are laid bare, their hearts are as well. For a historical fiction book to wow me the number one most important thing it needs to have is DETAIL. I want to feel like I just traveled to another time and place and walked in the characters' shoes through unfamiliar surroundings. Not only did the author do a monumental amount of research on the facts of WW2 events itself, but more importantly, she depicted what the day to day life was like for the citizens living through it. Microscopic details such as what they substituted for coffee, or the unusual smell of a specific type of cigarette. You really get a solid sense of the fear, hunger, and weariness that everyone dealt with day after day. There's a thread of desperation weaving through every single character, the feeling that nothing else matters but survival. The more the author describes the uncertainty that became an every day part of life under Nazi rule, the easier it is to empathize. Just a warning, there are scenes in this book that are not for the faint of heart. Gritty scenes of extreme torture, and mass murder of innocent people, and harrowing escapes. At first I was a little worried that this story would be a too heavy for me right now, but after reading the first few chapters I started devouring the pages, unable to put it down. I easily breezed through close to 500 pages in less than two days. One of my favorite things to read about was the relationships between the de Rocheford women. Lillian and her daughters had been through hell and back, each in their own way. Their family had been splintered, but not completely broken. It was heart wrenching to watch Genevieve come to terms with what happened to her and make the decision to risk everything for her family. The tie that bound mothers and daughters was like no other. It was eternal, stronger even than death.I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an action-packed, suspenseful war-time story with a hint of romance. Yes the characters were flawed and messy, and it made me love them all the more for their perseverance to get it right. The ending was phenomenal and everything I wanted leaving me in a happy place after turning the last page. I'm really looking forward to reading more from this author soon!FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.A captivating story of estranged sisters reunited by a devastating war and When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.A captivating story of estranged sisters reunited by a devastating war and the race to save their mother’s lifeParis, 1944***************Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling to the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege also has its advantages—such as going undetected as an ally to undercover British officer Captain Max Ryan as part of the resistance.What Max doesn’t know is that Genevieve’s estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is among the underground group recently captured by Nazis. It won’t be long before the Gestapo forces sensitive information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming Allied invasion, so Max has been tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. Terrified by this deadly threat, Genevieve secretly plots to rescue Lillian.There may be seven bitter years of distance between Genevieve and her sister, Emmy, but as the clock runs down on their mother’s life, a shared determination to keep the frayed fabric of their family intact reunites them. If only they can navigate the perilous crosscurrents of occupied France undetected—and in time.Deftly portraying the impossible choices faced in wartime, bestselling author Karen Robards vividly illuminates three women’s strength, courage and capacity for unconditional love.Oh, sisters --- what a complicated story and history for most readers to understand: unless they are an only child, most people who that familial bonds can be ridiculously tenuous. Karen Robards is such an incredible writer that I was happy to see her delve into this historical era that is slowly being forgotten (aside from reading about it) as that generation dies off. The story reminded me a bit about Joesphine Baker as she was a singer and a spy during WWII as well and the subject of an episode of "Timeless"!The storyline was tense at times and warm at others and the familial bonds in this story were well crafted. The fact that they were rescuing their mother is a memory-related talking point for people to think about their mothers and what they would do for them. I have added this book to the "Summer 2020" reading lists for my book club ladies as the book is wonderful and talking about siblings and mothers is always a great taking point for a group of women and a bottle or two of wine. lol.As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter..get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🦢🦢🦢🦢🦢 (they did not have black swans, only white!)
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  • Caroline arrow_reads
    January 1, 1970
    The WWII historical fiction of the summer! ⁣⁣Genevieve Dumont is a star singer for the Nazis in Paris during the WWII. She uses her fame to the Germans to help her aid to the Resistance go unnoticed. When she hears her estranged mother has been taken by the Nazis, she knows she has to try to use her power to help save her and help the Allies. ⁣⁣This book pulled me in from page one and I fell in love with the characters and story! It is full of suspense, espionage, and unconditional love. ⁣
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Absorbing, intense, and pacey!The Black Swan of Paris is a suspenseful, thrilling tale set in Paris during WWII that takes us into the life of Genevieve Dumont a beautiful, Parisian performer who uses her charisma, fame, and desirability to acquire crucial information from high-ranking Nazis that will not only aid Allied Forces and the Resistance but also provide her with the intelligence needed to rescue her recently captured mother from the hands of the ruthless enemy.The prose is descriptive Absorbing, intense, and pacey!The Black Swan of Paris is a suspenseful, thrilling tale set in Paris during WWII that takes us into the life of Genevieve Dumont a beautiful, Parisian performer who uses her charisma, fame, and desirability to acquire crucial information from high-ranking Nazis that will not only aid Allied Forces and the Resistance but also provide her with the intelligence needed to rescue her recently captured mother from the hands of the ruthless enemy.The prose is descriptive and tense. The characters are committed, supportive, and courageous. And the plot is a compelling mix of life, love, loss, secrets, passion, heartbreak, betrayal, danger, tragedy, survival, friendship, and war.Overall, The Black Swan of Paris is an emotive, action-packed, gripping tale by Robards that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be fully invested and enthralled.Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Poppy
    January 1, 1970
    There is nothing I love more than a WW2 novel, especially one with a female lead. And when it’s set in Paris embroiled in the French Resistance? Perfect! This novel was the first I’ve read by this author but I will definitely be reading more of her work. It was pacy, exciting, heart-breaking in places, with a truly believable romance sub-plot that was centred around characters I cared about. The lead’s emotional and personal development was great - she matured as the plot did and I thought it wo There is nothing I love more than a WW2 novel, especially one with a female lead. And when it’s set in Paris embroiled in the French Resistance? Perfect! This novel was the first I’ve read by this author but I will definitely be reading more of her work. It was pacy, exciting, heart-breaking in places, with a truly believable romance sub-plot that was centred around characters I cared about. The lead’s emotional and personal development was great - she matured as the plot did and I thought it worked perfectly. An all-round great read!
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  • J'nell Ciesielski
    January 1, 1970
    Dazzling, tender, heartbreaking, romantic, and an utter whirlwind. Despite the typos that are often plagued in ARCs and the sometimes too modern phrasing, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Absolutely adored Genevieve and Max together.
  • January 1, 1970
    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.comRating: 4.5 out of 5 THE BLACK SWAN OF PARIS by Karen Robards is this bestselling author’s first historical fiction book and it pulls you in with a story of estranged family dynamics, loyalty, partisans, spies, intrigue and action. It is a story that features a young internationally acclaimed singer and her perilous life during WWII in Nazi occupied Europe.Genevieve Dumont is a celebrated cabaret star with a voice and beauty that c Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.comRating: 4.5 out of 5 THE BLACK SWAN OF PARIS by Karen Robards is this bestselling author’s first historical fiction book and it pulls you in with a story of estranged family dynamics, loyalty, partisans, spies, intrigue and action. It is a story that features a young internationally acclaimed singer and her perilous life during WWII in Nazi occupied Europe.Genevieve Dumont is a celebrated cabaret star with a voice and beauty that captivates. In 1944 Paris, Nazis, partisans and spies are everywhere as the Germans prepare for the invasion they know is coming. Genevieve has been both a star and a smokescreen for her manager, Max Bonet. She knows and at times resents how she is being used and she wants to know as little as possible about Max’s secret life, until she overhears about the capture and arrest of Lillian, Baroness de Rocheford.Genevieve has kept secrets from Max, but now she needs his help to save the baroness, who is her mother. Reunited with her sister, who is working with the SOE, a daring plan is set into motion. Will the little group be able to rescue the baroness directly from the home of the sadistic SS General Claus von Wagner?I loved this story, but it was a little confusing in the very beginning as all the characters are introduced because the connections and histories are reveled throughout the entire book in flashbacks. Once it started to flow, I was transported back to 1944 occupied Paris. The description of the Nazi opulence contrasted with the deprivation of the Parisians, the sparkle of the cabaret, the partisan spy networks helping to prepare for the invasion, the mistrust and secrets all engage the reader and I was completely engrossed. Genevieve’s story was as tragic as it was triumphant and her entire family’s history kept me turning the pages. Ms. Robards has written historical characters that could walk off the page with a plot that builds to an action filled climax.I highly recommend this dynamic historical fiction book with a touch of romance!
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  • Bonnye Reed
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free electronic ARC of this novel from Netgalley, Karen Robards, and Harlequin - MIRA. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I highly recommend this historical jewel to those who enjoy a rich, historical novel, stories set in France in World War II, or romance novels. Karen Robards doesn't ever disappoint. The Black Swan of Paris is a remarkable tale with fully formed char I received a free electronic ARC of this novel from Netgalley, Karen Robards, and Harlequin - MIRA. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I highly recommend this historical jewel to those who enjoy a rich, historical novel, stories set in France in World War II, or romance novels. Karen Robards doesn't ever disappoint. The Black Swan of Paris is a remarkable tale with fully formed characters, and accurate and picturesque WWII background, plus a story that is fully-charged to keep you on the edge of your chair. Even the maid, Berthe Krawiek plays an important part in this tale of espionage and war, and I loved the singer Genevieve Dumont and Max Bonet of the French underground - or is he? Emmanuelle Granville - Emmy - and her mother Baroness Lillian de Rocheford play important and essential roles in this tale, as does Otto. This is a book you cannot put down until the very last word is read. pub date June 30, 2020Harlequin - MiraReviewed on July 2, 2020, at Goodreads, Netgalley, AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, BookBub, Kobo, and GooglePlay.
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  • Becki
    January 1, 1970
    What a great cover for spies! Genevieve Dumont is the Black Swan, a talented and beautiful singer with perfect cover to travel all over Europe during the war with few questions asked. Whle she didn't originally volunteer to work for the Resistance (as she laments in her head over and over - she was TRICKED), it's better than being a genuine collaborator.Her manager, Max, is actually a British soldier in disguise. He tells her as little as possible about their illicit activities to keep her safe. What a great cover for spies! Genevieve Dumont is the Black Swan, a talented and beautiful singer with perfect cover to travel all over Europe during the war with few questions asked. Whle she didn't originally volunteer to work for the Resistance (as she laments in her head over and over - she was TRICKED), it's better than being a genuine collaborator.Her manager, Max, is actually a British soldier in disguise. He tells her as little as possible about their illicit activities to keep her safe. Her job is to sing, and occasionally pass on a playbill or sign something special as an autorgraph - all messages she doesn't even understand.But Genevieve begins to care a bit more about beating the Germans when she hears news about her family. Even Max doesn't know Genevieve's true identity. She travels now as a new person after walking away from her first life in response to a tragedy. When Max and Genevieve tell each other the truth and work together with other spies in their networks, can they successfully complete their missions and survive to dream about life after the war?This book had a little of everything. Spies and intrigue, war dramas, romance, and well researched telling of the allies landing at Normandy. It definitely sounded well researched and inspires me to look further and see what was history, and what was fiction. Overall I'd give this book 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for those who enjoy historical fiction.
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  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    This book grabbed me, I could almost smell the fear and see the horrors that were being perpetrated on Europe and in this book France during this terrible time in history. The author gives us a young woman struggling with her grief, and thrown into the limelight as a star the German Regime enjoys seeing. As her manager is a man with many personas, and at times I wondered if Max was really for or against Genevieve. Well, we sure are given a lot of action and found myself looking for answers here. This book grabbed me, I could almost smell the fear and see the horrors that were being perpetrated on Europe and in this book France during this terrible time in history. The author gives us a young woman struggling with her grief, and thrown into the limelight as a star the German Regime enjoys seeing. As her manager is a man with many personas, and at times I wondered if Max was really for or against Genevieve. Well, we sure are given a lot of action and found myself looking for answers here.This is a world at war time, and we don’t know from beginning to end who will survive the horrors that are executed here, and I found myself holding my breath during parts of this read. Praise that we really know how the war ends, but this puts you right in the heat of battle, and lets you know about those behind the scenes who helped at great costs, to bring victory.We put faces on some of these people and the author did a great job of bring alive this part of a dark time in history.I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher MIRA, and was not required to give a positive review.
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  • Alyson Stone
    January 1, 1970
    Book: The Black Swan of Paris Author: Karen RobardsRating: 4 Out of 5 StarsI would like to thank the publisher, Mira Books, for providing me with an ARC. This one actually ended up surprising me. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I was fully engaged in the plot and the characters. There were some parts in the middle that went on too long for my liking, but, other than that, I really did enjoy this one. This is one of those books that pulls you in and makes it very difficult to get ou Book: The Black Swan of Paris Author: Karen RobardsRating: 4 Out of 5 StarsI would like to thank the publisher, Mira Books, for providing me with an ARC. This one actually ended up surprising me. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I was fully engaged in the plot and the characters. There were some parts in the middle that went on too long for my liking, but, other than that, I really did enjoy this one. This is one of those books that pulls you in and makes it very difficult to get out. So, this is set in France during World War II. We follow a group of musicians as they preform for both the common people and the Nazis. However, they are actually part of the French Resistance. They put their lives at risk with the hopes of bringing down the Nazis. Karen did an amazing job at writing the tension and the fears that the characters went through. We see them go through a lot rough bits. We had a lot of pretty intense scenes. No, the book is not all about the war. We get to see a lot of family bonds and romantic bonds form. I really enjoyed these little normal moments woven in. It gave us some kind of hope-even when things were really bad. Yes, this book is about the French Resistance, but there is also a lot of mother-daughter stuff woven throughout it. The main focus of the book is that Genevieve’s, our main character, mother has been taken captive by the Nazis and the main goal is to save her. (Lillian, the mother, is also a part of the Resistance.) Now, the problem is that Genevieve really hasn’t had any contact with her family for awhile now. You see, she got pregnant at sixteen and didn’t give the baby up, which caused a big blowup. To make matters worse, Max, a British solider working as part of Genevieve’s troupe, has been ordered to silence Lillian by any means possible. You see they kind of don’t want the Germans to find out about the upcoming invasion. So, this puts Genevieve in a race against time to attempt to save her mother. Emmie, Genevieve’s sister, also comes back into the picture. Like with her mother, the relationship between the two sisters really isn’t all that great either. They are forced to put their differences aside in order to save their mother. Now, this is actually their last attempt to save their family as well. Their family is messy, but these things are going to cause them to grow stronger. To see the two sisters reunite is great and is probably my favouirte moment in the book. Now, the romance between Max and Genevieve was actually pretty enjoyable. It’s kind of a slow burn, friends to lovers kind of thing. I’m not sure if it actually falls under that troupe, but we’re going to work with it. I like that Karen took the time to actually develop their relationship and characters. I know some people are probably going to complain about how long it took them to get together, but I found the slow burn to be rather enjoyable. So, why four stars? Well, as I said at the start of the review, there were some parts in the middle that went on a little bit too long for my liking. I did almost give it a five star, but them I remembered that little bit of a slough in the middle.Anyway, this book comes out in June 30, 2020. Youtube: https://youtu.be/iOKHx0BBQQw
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  • Holly Noel
    January 1, 1970
    Review forthcoming, after I finish crying my eyes out.Okay, I'm back. I received an advanced copy of this book from Edelweiss+ and MIRA in exchange for an honest review.From the moment I read the first page, I was hooked. Robards immediately draws you in on the action with a raid on a house that is hiding Jews. There is no slowing down once the book is started. If I didn’t have work and wasn’t literally falling asleep while reading, I would’ve finished it sooner.One aspect of her writing that I Review forthcoming, after I finish crying my eyes out.Okay, I'm back. I received an advanced copy of this book from Edelweiss+ and MIRA in exchange for an honest review.From the moment I read the first page, I was hooked. Robards immediately draws you in on the action with a raid on a house that is hiding Jews. There is no slowing down once the book is started. If I didn’t have work and wasn’t literally falling asleep while reading, I would’ve finished it sooner.One aspect of her writing that I particularly love is that she doesn’t draw out action sequences. There’s a part close to the end where the characters are trying to escape from the Nazis, and once the danger for the time passes, the next chapter is the next sequence. The flow didn’t feel rushed or abrupt either, it all felt like, yes “this is how it should be.” Everything is given its proper attention but not overdoing it for action and gore sake.I absolutely love Max! He’s adorable and driven, knows he has to take part of unpleasant actions but does it anyway because he’s a soldier and these are Nazis. His and Genevieve’s relationship felt so true and beautiful but not in a way that felt disingenuous. Their relationship unfolded exactly as I wanted it to.The only part I didn’t like, and it’s such a small thing I know, but I felt like it ended so abruptly. There’s all this tension, fear, and unknowable ending (yes, we know how it ends, but as I was reading, at points, I forgot how it would end. Plus, I didn’t know what would happen with these characters), and then just a drop off at the end. There’s an epilogue set in May of 1945 that ties up everything with a bow. It was only a few pages, and I felt a little let down by it. I don’t know how I would’ve ended it instead but something I did want to point out.Overall, this was a beautiful and heart-pounding novel from the off-set and definitely would recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction books set during World War 2.
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  • Manda Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    When I first read the premise of this book, I was extremely intrigued. I found this to be a departure from the typical Karen Robards’ books I have read in the past. Even though this book falls more into the historical fiction genre, Robards still manages to develop intrigue and romance, which is reminiscent of her other books.In 1944, at the height of WWII, Genevieve was a cabaret singer beloved by the Nazis. This offers her the opportunity to move freely about to perform. When the Nazis take he When I first read the premise of this book, I was extremely intrigued. I found this to be a departure from the typical Karen Robards’ books I have read in the past. Even though this book falls more into the historical fiction genre, Robards still manages to develop intrigue and romance, which is reminiscent of her other books.In 1944, at the height of WWII, Genevieve was a cabaret singer beloved by the Nazis. This offers her the opportunity to move freely about to perform. When the Nazis take her mother, Genevieve uses her fame to try to save her mother as well as to help the Allies.Robards superbly combines suspense and historical fiction in The Black Swan of Paris that keeps you intrigued to the end.
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so good! I’ve read quite a few WW2 books lately and this is one of the best! It had espionage, it had romance and lots of adventure. I enjoyed the story. It’s a page turner! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy
  • Chelsie
    January 1, 1970
    Genevieve Dumont is a well known star singer across Europe, but what they don't know is she is also a smoke screen for resistance work. Genevieve left home at a young age, after she was found to have been pregnant and not married. Her parents sent her away to have the baby and she decided to not returned home after. This created a riff between her parents, and her and her sister had a falling out the night of her sisters wedding. Genevieve, although she struggled at first made a life for herself Genevieve Dumont is a well known star singer across Europe, but what they don't know is she is also a smoke screen for resistance work. Genevieve left home at a young age, after she was found to have been pregnant and not married. Her parents sent her away to have the baby and she decided to not returned home after. This created a riff between her parents, and her and her sister had a falling out the night of her sisters wedding. Genevieve, although she struggled at first made a life for herself. She sang for a while over in the US, and then came back to Europe and became a huge star. This is due to the help of her manager, Max. He does all the bookings, and arranging and anything else that needs to be taken care of. Genevieve just has to show up for the most part.One night after one of her performances, they are traveling home when they get stuck by a convoy of vehicles, who then raid a building. They are stuck with no where to go, and Genevieve watches and listens in horror to people scrambling out of the building, Nazi guards screaming at these people, and gun fire going off. A woman sneaks out a side door and tries to get out of the gate. Genevieve sees she has a small baby in her arms. She does the unthinkable, gets out of the vehicle and attempts to help her. Max is not happy, what the hell are they going to do with a baby. She can't have a baby, that would bring down everything she is. People know she wasn't pregnant and there is no way she can keep this a secret. Max will take care of putting the baby somewhere safe. This event brings up memories from the past and Genevieve feels she has to do something. How can she enjoy the food she is given, the hotel rooms she stays in and have no fear really, when all of these people don't know when they will get their next meal, or if they will be forced from their home.One night, she overhears some conversation between Max and another man. Names she hasn't thought about in a while. Max she has found out, is more than just her manager. He has been using her to help smuggle things across borders because of her security. Max keeps everything close to the heart, and often she has no idea what he does but now she must know. This is her past and she can't let anything happen to her family, no matter what happened between them years ago.Genevieve does everything she can to get back into contact with her sister, and to do more to become part of the resistance. She goes so far as dining with the enemy for information. No one knows the truth of who her mother is, and who she really is. Not even Max, but her sneaking around resistance soon gets back to Max and almost costs her, her life. She then has to tell Max some of the story, will he help her?This was another amazing WWII novel. It was so well written and the storyline just flowed. With as many of these as I read, I still cannot fathom fearing for my meals and life every second of every single day. Thank you to Shelf Pro Awareness and Mira books for the arc! Definitely one to add to your WWII list!
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    Skimmed the last 100 or so pages. I get the urge to tell a glamorous story during a pivotal time in history. And I love a flawed heroine. But, as I've been mentioning as I update, this is a very whiny heroine. One who, in 1944 (5 years into the war), is still bitching about being tricked into being part of the resistance in France. No matter her history (which was, I think, supposed to make the reader sympathetic), I couldn't get past her whining about everything. And of course, as she bitches a Skimmed the last 100 or so pages. I get the urge to tell a glamorous story during a pivotal time in history. And I love a flawed heroine. But, as I've been mentioning as I update, this is a very whiny heroine. One who, in 1944 (5 years into the war), is still bitching about being tricked into being part of the resistance in France. No matter her history (which was, I think, supposed to make the reader sympathetic), I couldn't get past her whining about everything. And of course, as she bitches and moans, she is admired for her strength. Right. Anyway, if you like stories of female spies in wartime, go with The Alice Network.
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  • Phyllis Krall
    January 1, 1970
    Genevieve Dumont is a famous singer who is hiding her true identity during the war. Although she appears to be a star to the Nazi’s, she is using her fame to work for the Resistance. Her real name is Genevra de Rocheford, and she is estranged from her family who live in France . When she finds out that her mother has been captured by the Nazi’s , she realizes that she must use her career to help the Resistance rescue her. The danger she faces is terrifying and the obstacles she encounters are th Genevieve Dumont is a famous singer who is hiding her true identity during the war. Although she appears to be a star to the Nazi’s, she is using her fame to work for the Resistance. Her real name is Genevra de Rocheford, and she is estranged from her family who live in France . When she finds out that her mother has been captured by the Nazi’s , she realizes that she must use her career to help the Resistance rescue her. The danger she faces is terrifying and the obstacles she encounters are the hardest, especially when the Nazi’s discover her true identity. Genevieve must fight for her life in order to get to her mother before it is too late.I received this ARC from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. Although some parts were upsetting to read, this historical novel was thrilling and hard to put down. It focuses on family, love , and strength . A great read that is highly recommended.
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  • Terri
    January 1, 1970
    Lately, I've been more and more interested in books, fiction and nonfiction, about the World War 2 era. For most people alive today it is hard to believe that this time in history actually happened. The stories of how everyday peoples lives were turned upside down and how they all banded together against the Nazis are extraordinary. The Black Swan of Paris was hard to put down. It's the story of a popular singer who, against her will, is drawn into working with the Resistance in France. When she Lately, I've been more and more interested in books, fiction and nonfiction, about the World War 2 era. For most people alive today it is hard to believe that this time in history actually happened. The stories of how everyday peoples lives were turned upside down and how they all banded together against the Nazis are extraordinary. The Black Swan of Paris was hard to put down. It's the story of a popular singer who, against her will, is drawn into working with the Resistance in France. When she finds out her estranged mother is also a member of the Resistance and has been captured by the Nazis she uses all her resources to try and help her. The story is suspenseful, has a great story line and is a sobering reminder of the events this time in history held. Highly Recommend!!
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  • Dsbook
    January 1, 1970
    This is not her normal romantic suspense book. This is a historical mystery set during world war 2 and the holocaust. This is not my favorite time period to read about as in real life there was so much evil done but the author did a great job of weaving the characters story into the every day lives of people who had to live through that horrible time in history. The story line was one where you had to keep reading to see how the story was going to end even though I did not like the time period. This is not her normal romantic suspense book. This is a historical mystery set during world war 2 and the holocaust. This is not my favorite time period to read about as in real life there was so much evil done but the author did a great job of weaving the characters story into the every day lives of people who had to live through that horrible time in history. The story line was one where you had to keep reading to see how the story was going to end even though I did not like the time period. The author did a wonderful job of pulling you into the book
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  • Shkolnikjx
    January 1, 1970
    This was an incredible historical novel that drew me in and never let go. I felt emotionally invested in the characters’ lives and couldn’t stop reading.
  • Yolanda
    January 1, 1970
    This is Karen Robards at her best . She had a way of creating plot and characters that draw you in . Wonderful book
  • Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    “Do you know why pretty little songbirds are kept in cages? To keep them safe from beasts.” I love this book. There, I said it, the secret is out. Although I don’t really want to keep it a secret because I want everyone to read this book. Now. Go get it and read it because it’s amazing. So detailed, with spectacular characters and such richness to the plot it makes me unbelievably happy.Genevieve. Uh what a heroine. So spunky, resilient and tenderhearted. I loved her instantly and onl “Do you know why pretty little songbirds are kept in cages? To keep them safe from beasts.” I love this book. There, I said it, the secret is out. Although I don’t really want to keep it a secret because I want everyone to read this book. Now. Go get it and read it because it’s amazing. So detailed, with spectacular characters and such richness to the plot it makes me unbelievably happy.Genevieve. Uh what a heroine. So spunky, resilient and tenderhearted. I loved her instantly and only grew to adore her more with each chapter. She had such tenacity with every challenge she faced over the course of her life, rising to become the star she did under the pressure that was put on her. I empathized with her need to bury the pains of her past so she could continue on with life and watching her deal with the resurfacing of those painful memories and emotions pulled at my heart. She was a character that made it easy to root for her as she fought for what she knew was right against seemingly impossible odds.And Max, oh Max. His commitment to his cause made him admirable, but his devotion to Genevieve despite the risks is what made him truly stand out as a man of honor. They were like lightning in a bottle. Excellent chemistry from the start that only continued to build and become better throughout. Max could appear distant, calculated and singularly focused on his mission as his desire to end the war is a large part of what drives him but his softness towards Genevieve was a real gem in this book. Their tender moments together were so well done and exemplified the idea that their shared fear of vulnerability crumbled when they were with one another. Their relationship felt real as it unfolded, giving a sense that while these two were driven together by circumstance they were meant to find one another all along.Lillian, Emmy, Otto and Berthe were just as enjoyable characters as these main two. Genevieve’s mother Lillian’s POV was a good addition to show another side of the narrative, even though it was fairly heartbreaking at times. And I liked how Emmy showed real growth as she and Genevieve reconnected and rediscovered the sisterly bond that still bound them together. Berthe and Otto were little hidden surprises of characters, both being the silent partners of Genevieve and Max respectively. Otto’s care for Genevieve is sweet throughout the book even though it’s plain that he won’t compromise Max despite his genuine friendship with her. Berthe was such a good companion to Genevieve and I was surprised at her connection to Max, but I won’t say any more for fear of spoiling things.Now the plot of this book. So phenomenal. The sheer amount of detail and description still amazes me. Nothing was left out, no piece of information or scrap of narrative that needed to be filled in. I never felt lost for a second in this book. For locations, descriptions of people, time or places. All of it came alive so vividly in my imagination as the words flowed on the pages. The writer did such a great job bringing to life the setting of this period in France, what life was life during WWII, the hardships, the fear. And then adding on top of that the fictional elements of Genevieve’s life and those working around her to achieve their end goals. It all wove together so perfectly I would’ve thought this was a non-fiction book and not historical fiction. It felt as if I were being told a dramatized version of an actual person’s life at times, not a fictional story. It was easy to get so immersed in Genevieve’s world of espionage, performance and living during such a chaotic time that I believed it could be real. The depth of the narrative and the way the book was paced really gave time to connect to the characters and what was happening to them. By the end I was so invested that it felt almost personal when something happened to the characters.Overall this was a dazzling read. I could see it being turned into a miniseries it’s just that detailed and entertaining. It’s absolutely a favorite for me and I recommend it highly to anyone looking for a book filled with plenty of realism, tension-laced romance and bittersweet triumph.– I voluntarily read and reviewed an e-copy of this book I received for free through NetGalley from Harlequin Trade Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own. –Review on my blog: Babbling Books Blog
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  • Raji
    January 1, 1970
    Find this review and more on my blog at Worlds Unlike Our Own .Thank you to the publisher, MIRA (Harlequin), and Edelweiss for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.In wartime Paris, Genevieve Dumont is a celebrated singer favoured by the Nazis who uses her fame and the privileges she is afforded as an artist to help the resistance undetected – passing messages to allies, smuggling refugees across borders disguised as part of her troupe and more. The allied i Find this review and more on my blog at Worlds Unlike Our Own .Thank you to the publisher, MIRA (Harlequin), and Edelweiss for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.In wartime Paris, Genevieve Dumont is a celebrated singer favoured by the Nazis who uses her fame and the privileges she is afforded as an artist to help the resistance undetected – passing messages to allies, smuggling refugees across borders disguised as part of her troupe and more. The allied invasion is drawing closer when Lillian de Rocheford, Genevieve’s estranged mother, is captured. To prevent her from giving away any information, the resistance is prepared to go to any length to silence her. But Genevieve is determined to save her, and she and her long-lost sister Emmy must put aside their differences and find a way to cross the dangerous territory of Occupied France to save their mother’s life.In an odd coincidence, this is the third book I’ve read this year that takes a look into the situation in France during World War II. The Paper Girl of Paris, which I read last month, was a great introduction to the workings of the Resistance in those years, but this book is on a whole other level, seeing as it is told from the perspectives of those actively entrenched in the movement. The Black Swan of Paris provides a much more up-close, behind the scenes look at the events of this time, especially those surrounding the planning of the Normandy landings which I had never read about in detail before.Genevieve was a fantastic main character to follow. I adore spy stories and it was great to follow her journey from the glamour and glitz of Paris to her throwing herself into the thick of things as she navigates a very precarious situation to bring her family back together. Karen Robards does an excellent job at developing the characters and building up the tension in the story aptly depicting their emotions and thoughts during the harrowing experiences they go through. What really interested me though, was that the author took the time to talk about what normal French citizens went through during the Occupation, with the severe shortage of food and supplies, always at the risk of being arrested or killed by the Germans for any possible reason – and that’s not even mentioning the allied bombers.Though this story is fictional, it does use real people and events whose contributions to the effort are well known. This book was obviously very well researched and the author truly brings this time period to life. Despite the core of the story being Genevieve’s journey to save her family, it doesn’t shy away from depicting the atrocities of the time, just as a warning for more sensitive readers.The Black Swan of Paris is a book, in my opinion, that anyone can enjoy, even if they’re not a fan of history. Beautifully written and fast paced, while this is a departure from the usual fare of historical fiction, it is more mystery and adventure cleverly woven into the events of this time period, and is practically impossible to put down. Highly recommended!
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    "A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected."Never have I read a historical fiction as invigorating, dynamic, and powerful in every aspect such as this new work by Karen Robards.Two protagonists are about to collide on the front stage during WWII at a time of great uncertainty and devastation that continues to escalate with each passing day. One is a spymaster while the other is a beautiful cabaret singer in her own right.Tensions build in Paris 1944 as we ponder upon the "A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected."Never have I read a historical fiction as invigorating, dynamic, and powerful in every aspect such as this new work by Karen Robards.Two protagonists are about to collide on the front stage during WWII at a time of great uncertainty and devastation that continues to escalate with each passing day. One is a spymaster while the other is a beautiful cabaret singer in her own right.Tensions build in Paris 1944 as we ponder upon the baronness as well as the relationship with Max; the strong yet determined soldier whom she seems smitten over.Lillian aka the Maman as she was known; was full of surprises that truly elevated this to a whole new level in terms of excitement level.Who knew the cooking a meal could result in such serious and drastic consequences?But I digress as we learn that there's so much more than meets the eye here with true heartbreaks from the past that have festered and stirred till now.Confronting the past, renewing the present, hopeful for the future is what this book creates and stirs up.These characters were so active staying in perpetual motion in terms of importance to one another.Emmy the estranged sis is back with a vengeance and determination that ends with spectacular fashion. The emotional toll and the linguistic fluidity of this historical fictional piece was just superb.I couldn't get enough as the descriptive nature of the setting combined with the tensions and stressors of hiding from the Nazi's while they gathered everyone up including Lillian was truly horrific.The resistance movement had one mission to silence the victims!Yet, they know not the determined force and tornado that's rolling through with Emma joining forces with her sister.A magnificent piece that truly deserves all the accolades it will receive now and in the future.I'm honored to have played a role in helping get the word out through Harlequin's book blog Summer 2020 Tour.Thank you to Karen, Harlequin and Mira, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.This is going to be one of the 'must read books' of the year! Mark my words!!!
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  • Debbie Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Lately, I’ve read quite a few books in this genre. Though this is a very long story, by a quarter of the way through I was completely feeling the setting. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to live through that time of fear and uncertainty.Genevieve Dumont is a singer who is loved by the Nazis. When Max Bonet becomes her manager the two are allowed to move about freely without raising suspensions as she entertains at various cities. This works to Max’s benefit since he is using the titl Lately, I’ve read quite a few books in this genre. Though this is a very long story, by a quarter of the way through I was completely feeling the setting. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to live through that time of fear and uncertainty.Genevieve Dumont is a singer who is loved by the Nazis. When Max Bonet becomes her manager the two are allowed to move about freely without raising suspensions as she entertains at various cities. This works to Max’s benefit since he is using the title of a manager as a cover for his real activities. And when Genevieve discovers some important information about her mother and sister, she has an agenda of her own.As I said above, at times this story feels so real that it’s extremely hard to read. I had to take it in pieces and parts occasionally. It wasn’t a book that I could whip right through. It was a very emotional and touching story that I read at different speeds.What Concerned MeThis author does an incredible job of bringing this intense time to life. So much so that it’s possible it might bother those who are sensitive. Yet, the story is also filled with many positive factors, so don’t shy away too quickly.What I Liked BestHistory buffs will love Robards's attention to details and the depth this WWII story takes. It is filled with so many emotions. Fear, suspense, love, and romance, fill the pages causing them to flip faster at times and slower at others. I definitely slowed to take in the descriptions of what was happening in and around the streets. And for me, a few times I had to stop and take a breather because of the harshness inflicted by the Nazis.Lots of history and details are woven into a moving WWII story.My thanks to #NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC and the ability to leave a review of my opinion.more reviews at https://pickagoodbook.com
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  • Paige Green
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher! Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book: The Black Swan of ParisAuthor: Karen RobardsBook Series: StandaloneRating: 3.5/5Recommended For...: history lovers, WWII, resistance, romancePublication Date: June 30, 2020Genre: Historical FictionRecommended Age: 17+ (romance, violence, slight gore, resistance, and war)Publisher: MIRAPages: 400Synopsis: Paris, 1944Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling o Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher! Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book: The Black Swan of ParisAuthor: Karen RobardsBook Series: StandaloneRating: 3.5/5Recommended For...: history lovers, WWII, resistance, romancePublication Date: June 30, 2020Genre: Historical FictionRecommended Age: 17+ (romance, violence, slight gore, resistance, and war)Publisher: MIRAPages: 400Synopsis: Paris, 1944Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long-lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross-currents of Occupied France undetected—and in time to save Lillian’s life.Review: I really loved this book! I thought the writing was beautiful and well done. The book was about the French Revolution, which I don’t know a ton about and I thought it gave me some insight into the historical movement. The book had very well developed characters and the world building was also very well done.However, I felt like the middle of the book slowed down in pacing. It was extremely long and almost made reading it feel like crawling through mud. However, the ending was good and it was worth the read in my opinion.Verdict: Recommended!!
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  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    Robard balances the glitz and glamour of famed Paris nightlife with the tension and danger of being part of the Resistance in the midst of Occupied Europe. Opulence is countered with uncertainty, daring with danger. This novel is a bit of a slow-burn that will keep you fascinated from the very first chapter. The intricate story lines crisscross to create a beautifully crafted novel rife with romance, intrigue, heartbreak, and hope.It was not as thrilling as other WWII novel’s I’ve read – the ide Robard balances the glitz and glamour of famed Paris nightlife with the tension and danger of being part of the Resistance in the midst of Occupied Europe. Opulence is countered with uncertainty, daring with danger. This novel is a bit of a slow-burn that will keep you fascinated from the very first chapter. The intricate story lines crisscross to create a beautifully crafted novel rife with romance, intrigue, heartbreak, and hope.It was not as thrilling as other WWII novel’s I’ve read – the identity of the Black Swan in the novel also lends a layer of protection and benefits to the heroine that play very much into the pace of the story itself. Her celebrity affords a perfect veil and she becomes a ticket to move in circles otherwise inaccessible – but with this level of security also comes a risk that seems to be less intense (though no less real or relevant) than perhaps communicated in other characterizations found in this genre. When I say thrilling, I suppose I refer to pace. It’s very much engaging, but the excitement comes in to play well after you’ve begun to know the key players and care about them. Overall, it was a touching, engaging piece of fiction with a beautiful cadence and voice – reader discretion advised mostly for some grisly scenes.My thanks to my friends at Mira Books (Harlequin) and the author for the complimentary copy of this title and chance to share my thoughts as part of the 2020 Summer Reads Blog Tour. This is a great sunny day on the deck or lounging in a hammock read.
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