Centaurea cyanus, also known as bachelor’s buttons (blue cornflower) – Worn by the Nazi party in Austria during the 30s. Read a WWII romance. A Trace of Smoke Rebecca Cantrell
It was okay is the perfect descriptor for this book. I found myself interested and invested but ultimately a bit disappointed as the book continually set up an interesting twist only to fail to execute the possibilities the author had worked so hard to make possible.
The rest of this review contains spoilers. Seriously, not complete “ruin the read” graphic bits of information but strong enough hints that for some they might prove to be too much. If you are the anti-spoiler kind, stop reading here.
My main problems with the book lay with:
1. The killer. Obvious from the moment we first learn where Ernst had spent his last night. Seriously freakin’ obvious; that it took the heroine to almost the end to figure out was pathetic.
2. The boy. Why, after one week, was she willing to die for this boy? Yes, there was the similarity to her brother and the mourning she was experiencing but none of those things really add up to taking the risks she did or making the choices she did. We are meant to believe that above all, Hannah is a survivor and yet this one decision would show her to be too emotional to be truly good at that.
3. The money. Once she had a bit of a windfall she spent like a child who has just received their first bit of Christmas cash. Reckless in the extreme given their circumstances.
4. The boy, part 2. He clearly knew his father, was a bit clever and even manipulative regarding keeping himself where he needed to be in order to reunite with his parent. So why the utter attachment to Hannah towards the end?
5. The suitor. Seriously, there was a child involved and this man risked everything for a casual acquaintance. He would undoubtedly by punished when found by the SS. Why??
Too many questions to make it a good read but intriguing enough that I might give the author a second chance. I doubt I would do that if the setting weren’t so intriguing but the WWII Germany setting adds a chilling, atmospheric suspense to the books which make them alluring for me.
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