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The Wardrobe Mistress By Natalie Meg Evans

The Wardrobe Mistress‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ is the latest book by Natalie Meg Evans.

London 1945. A young war widow steps aboard a train in search of a new life. Clutching the key to a mysterious inheritance, Vanessa Kingcourt can no longer resist the pull of the old Farren Theatre – an enchanted place seeped in memories of her actor father. Now owned by troubled former captain Alistair Redenhall, The Farren is in need of a Wardrobe Mistress and a new lease of life. With no experience and no budget for supplies, Vanessa must use her intuition to create beautiful costumes from whatever scraps of silk and thread survived the blitz. It’s a seemingly impossible task, but a welcome distraction as she struggles to resist her blossoming feelings for Alistair. What Vanessa discovers could unravel family secrets sewn deep into the very fabric of the London theatre scene . . . but will she repeat the same terrible mistakes her father made? And can she dare to love a man who will never be hers?

Natalie is back with another gripping read set in the aftermath of the Second World War.

In this story, we meet Alistair and Vanessa, an unlikely pair who forge a professional friendship when they work at The Farren, a popular theatre.

After her father left when she was child, Vanessa was consumed with wondering what became of him. She knew he had an acting career at The Farren, so she returns to the old theatre after his death and takes on the old of wardrobe mistress even though she has absolutely no experience in the trade. Meanwhile, Alaistair is the husband of Vanessa’s best friend whose marriage is falling apart, having left the navy after the war, Alaistair takes over the The Farren and prepares for their first performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the background of war ridden London trying to recover itself made for atmospheric reading. The characters are engaging and complimentary with each other, with Vanessa’s humour and outspoken nature and Alaistair’s charisma, they made an entertaining couple, even though they both tried to deny their attraction to each other. There are two parts to the story, as Vanessa delves into her father’s past and tries to solve the mystery of the tiny key that she was given as a child and as she tries to find her place in life.

Filled with flamboyant and dramatic characters, beautiful fashion and riddled with suspense and mystery throughout ‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ is a romantic and luxurious tale that made for memorable reading

You can buy The Wardrobe Mistress from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Milliner’s Secret By Natalie Meg Evans

The Milliner's Secret‘The Milliner’s Secret’ is the latest book by Meg Natalie Evans.

June 1940. As Paris, the City of Light, approaches its darkest hour, a young woman treads the line between survival and collaboration.

Londoner Cora Masson has reinvented herself as Coralie de Lirac, using a false claim to aristocratic birth to launch herself as a fashionable milliner. When the Nazis invade, the influence of a high-ranking lover protects her business.

But the cruel demands of war – and of love – cannot be kept at bay forever. Soon Coralie must find the courage to do what’s necessary to protect her friends, her freedom and everything she believes in.

I’ve been reading this book over the last few days and although I thoroughly enjoyed it as I have always been a fan of German history, my only negative point regarding the book was I did find the story a bit too long. The story is seen solely through the eyes of Cora Masson, an outspoken young woman who has left the slums of London and her abusive father behind for the sophistication of Paris. Her hero comes in shape of Dietrich von Elbing, a handsome German man who Cora has fallen for and together the two of them embark on a heated relationship. With a flair for fashion, Cora reinvents herself as Coralie de Lirac and uses her skills as a popular milliner to become one of Paris’s most sought after fashion designers. When Dietrich disappears one day leaving Cora behind with a baby and the war raging in the background, Cora finds herself embroiled in a world where identities are hidden and lives are at stake.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Natalie and I thought it was a cleverly written and well researched story that flowed at a nice pace, filled with suspense from the very beginning. Coralie is a great leading lady, flamboyant with her English wit and humour, she adapts easily to the role of a sophisticated Parisian lady, who works hard to fend for herself and protect those around her, particularly her bubbly little girl Noelle. With her maternal nature and protectiveness, people flock to Coralie when they are in danger and she naturally looks out for them.

The story is primarily a romantic one, but it is filled with facts and information that makes it an informative and historic tale. Set against the backdrop of 1930’s Paris and packed with glamour, danger and outspoken ladies, ‘The Milliner’s Secret’ is a brave, captivating and glamorous story with a stunning cover.

You can buy The Milliner’s Secret from Amazon and is avaialble to buy from good bookshops.