A New York Secret by Ella Carey
Book Review - Blog Tour

Publication Date: March 12, 2021
Publisher: Bookouture
Series: Daughters of New York, Book 1 Format: ebook, 379 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


She looked at the telegram in horror, the words blurring in front of her eyes. She dropped to her knees, feeling that her entire world was ending. The paper slipped from her hands as she put her head in hands, sobs wracking her chest…

1942, New York. As war rages in Europe, Lily Rose is grateful for her perfect life: the love of her wealthy uptown parents in their beautiful brownstone overlooking the park and her dream job as a chef at one of New York’s finest restaurants, the art deco dream that is Valentino’s. But in her heart, Lily is drawn towards the bohemian Sicilian community in Greenwich Village, where gorgeous fresh fruit spills onto the pavement and the smell of freshly baked cannoli tempt her inside every Italian deli.

Part of the attraction is Tom Morelli, talented chef and handsome grandson of Sicilian immigrants, whose deep brown eyes call to her and set her heart on fire. As wartime rationing bites in the city, Lily and Tom stay up late, dreaming up delicious meals that will see Valentino’s through the war and distract New Yorkers from the threat of sons and sweethearts being called up. Lily knows he has found the key to her heart.

Then Tom receives a devastating summons that changes everything: he is drafted to Italy. He must return to his beautiful homeland to fight a desperate war.

Suddenly alone, with only the memory of Tom’s last kiss, Lily turns to her parents for support. But when her mother finds out about her relationship, she is furious. When the war ends, Lily’s duty is to marry the man picked for her, raise children and never work again. They give her a heartbreaking ultimatum: end her relationship with Tom and give up her job or lose her family and inheritance forever.

Lily knows she must follow her heart to Valentino’s and to Tom. But when Tom is declared missing in action, Lily is totally heartbroken. If she pursues her dreams, will there be anything left for her when the war is over?

From top-ten bestseller Ella Carey comes an utterly heartbreaking historical novel, inspired by true events, about the courage, love and friendships that sustain us in the darkest of days. Fans of Fiona Davis, Rhys Bowen and The Nightingale will be captivated.

My Thoughts

Lily Rose and her mother, Victoria, have very different views on the direction Lily's life should take. Victoria demands that Lily marry for wealth and prestige, even going so far as to select the future bridegroom. Lily, encouraged by her grandmother, Josie, is determined to make her own decisions and pursue her dreams of becoming the head chef of Valentino's, one of the best restaurants in New York.

With many young men awaiting the draft, it is only a matter of time before Valentino's current head chef, Tom Morelli, is called up. Lily and Tom's shared passion for cooking leads to romance, but their new-found love is cut short when the inevitable does happen and Tom is posted overseas. When he is declared missing in action, Lily finds the long hours as a chef a welcome distraction, devising recipes and sourcing supplies to keep the restaurant viable during wartime, but never gives up hope that Tom will return.

A New York Secret is the first of a promising new series from Ella Carey. Romance, food and history make a delightful combination in this World War II story as we follow Ellie's rebellion against her mother's selfishness and snobbery. This rebellion takes Ellie into the kitchen of a busy restaurant, an environment traditionally the preserve of men, where personalities clash amid the challenges of keeping a restaurant running during wartime. Ellie's grit and determination is further tested when peace is declared and servicemen return to take up their former jobs.

A New York Secret is a great portrayal of life on the homefront and the roles of women during World War II. I enjoyed every aspect of it: the characters, the setting and especially the descriptions of those mouth-watering recipes that our chefs lovingly prepare.

Ella Carey has written another novel that will delight her fans and gain her many new ones. Her new series is off to a great start.

Meet the Author

Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen languages, in twelve countries, and have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. A Francophile who has long been fascinated by secret histories set in Europe’s entrancing past, Ella has degrees in music, nineteenth-century women’s fiction, and modern European history. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.

Ella loves to connect with her readers regularly through her facebook page and on her website.


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