“When Twilight Breaks” by Sarah Sundin is a historical novel set around the early days of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. The author skillfully weaves in a lot of information about historical events, daily life, and the mindset of various parts of society. I enjoyed the new things I learned, and the book never felt like a history text. All of the information shared was a natural and easy-to-read part of the story. I particularly appreciated the viewpoint of Peter, a young man who sees some benefits to Hitler’s early policies and actions. I’ve always wondered how everyday people allowed and accepted Hitler’s later atrocities, and seeing this time in history through Peter’s eyes helped me understand a bit more of what things were like for average citizens during this time.
The romance between Evelyn and Peter was handled beautifully. Their initial meeting was a truly delightful scene, and I enjoyed watching them get to know each other, and try to understand each other’s viewpoints about the current events they were living through. I honestly believed what each person was thinking and feeling, and could understand their logic. The author wrote the entire relationship with empathy and beauty, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it.
Honestly, this is one of my favorite books of the year so far. The mix of fantastic characters, historical information, and romance is absolutely perfect.
Five out of five chunks of my favorite sharp cheddar!
I don’t read a lot of romance. When I do pick one up, I’m looking for something extra to really grab my attention. “Her Mountainside Haven” by Jo McNally definitely fit the bill. As the title indicates, the story is set on a beautiful mountainside. The descriptions were wonderful, and I could almost believe I was there, seeing everything in person.
Another bonus was that main character Jillie suffers from some fairly severe agoraphobia issues. She has a semi-therapy dog (Sophie) to help her, but she still rarely leaves home. I was interested to read a romance in which one of the parties involved dealt with this type of problem. I also enjoyed the big part Sophie played in the story.
As if that wasn’t enough, the second major character (Matt) has just purchased an old (and non-operational) ski lodge, which he’s trying to fix up and reopen. All of these factors came together and convinced me to celebrate the start of Valentine’s month by reading a romance!
I’m so glad I did….the story was excellent, and it was interesting to see a relationship develop when one of the parties tends to avoid everyone except a small cadre of close friends. Both characters were well-written and believable, and I felt invested in their slowly evolving relationship. I especially appreciated that neither character played “games” with the other. There were some slight misunderstandings, but these were fairly quickly resolved with actual communication.
One note: This book is part of the Gallant Lake series. As I read, I could see certain Jillie-adjacent couples that were likely the main subjects of previous titles. However, I had no trouble figuring out who everyone was, and how they related to Jillie and Matt. Certain little character moments might be better appreciated by someone who views them as “revisiting old friends”, but I was perfectly comfortable picking up the series with this book.
Five out of five slices of spicy Pepper Jack!