In the terrace courtyard of the palazzo overlooking a sparkling bay, the scent of ripening lemons filled the air. His deep brown eyes gazed into hers with determination and longing. ‘Will you do it? Risk everything and join us?’
Twenty-one-year-old Imogen Fitzpatrick was raised in an English orphanage and never knew her parents. So when World War Two breaks out, she refuses to leave the life she’s worked so hard to build for herself, teaching English to little Marco and Eloisa in the beautiful Italian city of Naples. With their father Giancarlo away fighting for the fascists, there’s no one else to care for these lost children. Imogen’s dark hair and perfect Italian will protect her for now, but if anyone discovers her secret identity as an enemy of Italy, Marco and Eloisa will be left with no one.
As the shadows of bomber planes darken the azure-blue waters of the bay, the one person Imogen can depend on is Fabrizio, the children’s uncle. He’s never seen eye-to-eye with their father, and Imogen is forbidden to speak to him… but whenever they secretly meet in the lemon groves Imogen instantly feels safe. Fabrizio talks passionately of the resistenza, the underground group fighting the regime, and soon Imogen herself is involved – smuggling food along the rocky coast, and even supplying information on Giancarlo to help fight the Nazis and end this awful war.
But when Giancarlo suddenly returns, injured from the fighting, Imogen is shocked to find him much changed. Rather than the fascist sympathiser she knew and resented, she sees in Giancarlo a man who would do anything to protect his children and his beloved Italy. Was she wrong to expose him as a traitor?
Torn between two sides, Imogen’s own life is thrown into terrible danger when a child goes missing and her secret identity is exposed… did she put her trust in the wrong man? And is it too late to save herself, and the children from the horrors of war?
An absolutely stunning and evocative historical read about the bravery of ordinary people in dark times, that will sweep you away to the breath-taking coastline of Italy. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, The Tuscan Child and All the Light We Cannot See.
Into The Burning Dawn is available in ebook now paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.
I absolutely loved this gripping and fascinating piece of historical fiction. I have enjoyed all of this author’s previous books and couldn’t wait to read this one.
Firstly the author does a great job of describing what life was like in Italy during world war two. It was definitely a very hard, frightening time with lots of hardships and living in constant fear that one if your loves one would be killed. It was interesting to learn more about what things were like and how similar it was to life in Germany.
The characters were all really well developed and very engaging. I loved how different they were to each other and how all of them brought something different to the story. Imogen was a very intriguing main character who I felt a lot of sympathy for and the difficult situation she finds herself in. I had a huge soft spot for Fabrizio who was very charming and seemed incredibly cool zooming about on his motorbike. I felt very connected to them all which meant I felt everything that happened to them as if it was happening to people I knew.
This was a really compelling read which gripped me from the start. I thought it was clever how the author weaved the romance into the story in a way that compliments the historical part of the book without taking anything away from the impact of what was happening. As it’s based in world war two it is very tense as you never know who is telling the truth and what will happen next. There are some very emotional scenes which were hard to read at times and I did have to put the book down at one point as it was getting too much for me. However it wasn’t overly graphic and it was in keeping with what would have happened during the war.
Huge thanks to Noelle for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book. If you’re a fan of well written historical fiction then you need to read this book!
About The Author:
Natalie is a RITA nominated, USA Today Bestselling author of six novels: The Dress Thief, The Milliner’s Secret (re-titled “The Girl who Dreamed of Paris”), The Wardrobe Mistress, Summer in the Vineyards, The Secret Vow and most recently, The Paris Girl. Look out for a heartwrenching WW2 inspired novel set in Italy, due out Autumn 2020. Visit her website at https://www.nataliemegevans.uk Natalie Meg Evans has had a varied career, first as an actor in London’s fringe theatre, then as a PR exec and company director and finally, dream achieved, as a full-time writer. She lives with two very lively dogs in rural mid Suffolk. Natalie has collected numerous awards for her writing including the UK’s Harry Bowling Prize (2012). The Dress Thief was nominated for a coveted RITA Award by Romance Writers of America and it won the Greek Public Book award for the best foreign novel; also, the UK’s Festival of Romance readers award (where readers rather than industry professionals select and judge). The Milliner’s Secret was shortlisted for the same award. Natalie was also nominated for the coveted Daphne du Maurier award and was named a finalist for a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award. Natalie’s titles are available as Spoken Word. She loves to hear from readers.