Thursday, February 4, 2021

Review: The Last Tiara by MJ Rose

The Last Tiara
by MJ Rose 

Publisher: Blue Box Press
Pages: 437
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Sophia Moon had always been reticent about her life in Russia and when she dies, suspiciously, on a wintry New York evening, Isobelle despairs that her mother’s secrets have died with her. But while renovating the apartment they shared, Isobelle discovers something among her mother’s effects—a stunning silver tiara, stripped of its jewels.

Isobelle’s research into the tiara’s provenance draws her closer to her mother’s past—including the story of what became of her father back in Russia, a man she has never known. The facts elude her until she meets a young jeweler, who wants to help her but is conflicted by his loyalty to the Midas Society, a covert international organization whose mission is to return lost and stolen antiques, jewels, and artwork to their original owners.

Told in alternating points of view, the stories of the two young women unfurl as each struggles to find their way during two separate wars. In 1915, young Sofiya Petrovitch, favorite of the royal household and best friend of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, tends to wounded soldiers in a makeshift hospital within the grounds of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and finds the love of her life. In 1948 New York, Isobelle Moon works to break through the rampant sexism of the age as one of very few women working in a male-dominated profession and discovers far more about love and family than she ever hoped for.

Kritters Thoughts:  Two storylines, both in the past.  Sophia Moon lived in St Petersburg, Russia as the world was falling apart and with her close proximity to the royal family of Tsar Nicholas II, she had a unique perspective on the family's final days.  Isobelle her daughter has returned to NYC where her mother fled when she was just an infant and is dealing with the ramifications of the unexpected death of her mother and the secrets that she left behind.  

Before I dive in, I will say, I am a huge MJ Rose fan.  If you are looking for an author that writes solid historical fiction that informs and entertains, then look no further.

What made this book feel unique other than where and when it took place was that both storylines were historically set.  Even Isobelle's storyline was more contemporary, she was living in NYC in 1949.  I think having her story be historical helped because she didn't have all the technology at her fingertips and it also made her have her own storyline with her involvement in the development of Oak Ridge, TN and her uniqueness as a woman architect at the time.  She had substance while also diving into her mother's past.  

To send a light warning, there were a few sex scenes and yes, they fit into the story and were appropriately placed, but in my humble opinion they didn't move the story along.  

My favorite feeling after finishing a historical fiction is the anticipation to read more books set in the time and place and this book did just that.  I am now in heavy pursuit of more books that will take me back to Russia during the time of Tsar Nicholas II and I want to know more about Russia and its people during this time. 

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 2 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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