Cover Image: A Fire Sparkling

A Fire Sparkling

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If you are looking for an intense, emotionally rich story then Julianne MacLean’s latest book, A Fire Sparkling is it. As one granddaughter seeks to work through her own heartache she asks her grandmother some tough questions that cause her to relive hers. Not exactly what Vivian Hughes had planned to ever do, especially now. Told in such vivid detail and beautiful description it isn’t just a story that is read but one that is felt and experienced. 

I was transported back in time to WWII London through Vivian’s eyes. Change is inevitable but war brings it on even faster. Choices are made, consequences follow, this is Vivian’s story; her family and her friends. Perhaps it is also Gillian’s story who now needs to find her own future. What I am sure A Fire Sparkling is, is a story that will stick with you long after you finish the last page; heartbreaking and inspiring, significant and evocative.
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Wow- there were so many surprises in this book! Julianne MacLean did an amazing job with both the characters and the plot. I liked that the book was primarily focused on Gillian's grandmother's past mixed with some brief looks at the present time and Gillian's own personal struggles. As the story unravels, Gillian gets a better understanding of true love and what is important in life. 

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing a copy for review.
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WOW! This book will just blow you away, from the first page to the last page it keeps the reader engaged and you’ll never guess at the events that span a generation! An emotional read that will touch your very soul. Julianne MacLean is a master story teller, she weaves her web and pulls you in. It has some interesting history, some great characters and a storyline that just keeps you on edge.  I would highly recommend this book to everyone. I have read other books by Julianne MacLean and this was just another one of her books that you won't be disappointed in. An absolute MASTERPIECE! All I can say is WOW! What an amazing book. It’s well worth the read!

I received a complimentary copy from the author. This is my honest unbiased opinion.
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Gillian discovers her family tree may not be what she has been lead to believe.
Her grandmother has told her she is the granddaughter of an earl, so why is there a photograph of her grandmother with a nazi officer.  
This leads her on a path to discover the truth !
This book alternates between time periods and points of view!
A great historical novel 
Thank you to lake union publishing and net-galley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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This is a five stars and more. Such a well written story of twins, April and Vivian and their struggles, losses, heartache and bravery during the London  Blitz and invasion of France. Identical twins, so connected, yet so different,  have secrets that put themselves in danger and those they love. Written in two time periods, early 40s and 2011, Julianne MacLean skillfully takes the reader between the events of both eras. I enjoyed this book so much and it ended for me, much too soon.
I received this ARC from Net Galley and thank Lake Union for the opportunity to review this wonderful book. I loved it. 
#AFireSparkling #NetGalley
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"Love is smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs; being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes..."
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

A FIRE SPARKLING by Julianne MacLean is an emotionally charged novel about one woman's love, loss, and courage during wartime. The cover is gorgeous and the story is a masterpiece! I felt as though I was rushing to a bomb shelter in London, England during the Blitz of World War II. 

This multigenerational saga was a page-turner. It grabbed me from the start and didn't let go. There were several intertwined stories with twists and turns and surprises in this realistic and entirely plausible novel. I was so involved with the characters, the relationships between them, and the scenarios and situations, that I read it in one setting. This is a must read for fans of historical fiction such as The Nightingale. A FIRE SPARKLING is my new favourite book!
5+ brilliant stars⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️

Special thanks to author Julianne MacLean, Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC of A FIRE SPARKLING which allows me to write an unbiased review.
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I love Julianne Maclean’s books and this latest one certainly doesn’t disappoint. Written as a dual timeline novel set partly in 2011 Connecticut and partly in WWII London and France, this story is deeply emotional for both modern day Gillian and her grandmother.
At the heart of the story is an old wooden sea chest, which has a secret compartment containing wartime photographs that lead Gillian and her father on a quest to discover the truth about her grandmother’s life and an apparent wartime affair with a Nazi officer. As the story unfolds revealing layer after layer of secrets, Gillian discovers the price her grandmother paid for her freedom and the life of her young son. 
Ultimately this is a tale of love but with hints of treason and betrayal, unbelievable sorrow and sacrifice it had me hooked from the beginning. I came very close to reading cover to cover in one sitting. The story is clearly well researched, very well structured and beautifully paced. I found it utterly engrossing.
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Wow!  I've enjoyed other books by Julianne MacLean, but this one was even better than the others.  I don't always like books that switch between past and present, but this was well done.  The book was extremely well written.  The storyline set in WWII made me feel like I was seeing what it was like.  I could feel the emotions of the characters.  I don't want to give any details as the story has a lot of plot twists and has what I consider a perfect ending! I received an advance copy through NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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The most amazing historical fiction book I have read since The Nightingale! To say that I absolutely loved it is an understatement! Gillian's story begins with her own personal experiences of loss and love, which leads her to go home to her father and grandmother for refuge. What she finds there takes us back to her grandmother Vivian's past during WW2. Vivian has kept her secrets from her family close to her heart for many reasons. Once she tells her family the truth of her past it leads Gillian to travel back to where it all started and what she uncovers is not what any of them expected! This page turning book had me on the edge of my seat and at times in tears. Filled with romance, loss, pain, mystery and above all hope.  I highly recommend this book to any history lovers, as well as suspense and romace! I can't say enough words to explain how amazing this book is! A must read! Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing and the author in exchange for my honest review! I look forward to reading many more from this author! Perfectly written in every way possible!
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I enjoyed this well-written book. Gillian goes to her family home when she catches her boyfriend in a lie. She discovers photographs from her grandmother's past that starts her on a journey to discover more about her grandmother's life. The more she discovers, the more mysteries she finds. This multigenerational story brings aspects of World War II to life, along with Gillian's emotions and her grandmother's journey. This was an entertaining book and I look forward to reading more books by this author.
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This was a great story.  At one point in the book I gasped as I was so surprised.  The author does a wonderful job with creating the character's and setting the scenes.  I visibly felt like I was there.  What a sad and horrible time in our history and to think people went through this is unimaginable.
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This is a stand-alone by Julianne McLean the author.  
This story spans in the timeline of WW2 1940 and modern day.    This story also takes part between England , France , America , and a few paragraphs in Germany.   
This story will grab your heart with hope , love and then bruise it and some screams even break it . But then you heart will still being crushed will be glued back together.   There is mystery , espionage and love .  
Heroine is Gillian, April , and her twin sister Vivian.   Hero is Theodore , Jack and Ludwig .  
What would April do that what she thought about about the father of her baby , Ludwig was not who you thought he was .  What you thought his actions were in world war France was an act .  
When Vivian dies during the bombing in England along with Theadore during the /Blitzkrieg and Vivian told April to take her wedding ring and pretend April was her.  Did April do it.  
In the present day when April’s son Edward and her granddaughter found the secret compartment in a chest with April posing with a Ludwig how did they take it .  That Edward was a German soldiers child .  I felt sorry for Ludwig and April’s love .  That part will have you in tears
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This story is set in a historical period of time. The characters could have been a member of anyone’s family. The story has many moving parts, two of which are a love story and a mystery. The first chapter sets the stage for the characters lives that intertwine deeply. You will experience many emotions through out this novel. 

This is a superbly written story that will leave you wishing for more and more.
Don’t miss out on this awesome book, it is a must read!
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A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean is a book with twists and turns. It is a novel of the Holocaust but such a different novel. It is a tale of love, of heartbreak, breaking of boundaries, and so much more. Gillian has just broken it off with the man she was to marry, a cheater as it turns out. She calls her father for a shoulder to lean on and he tells her he has discovered something in her 96-year-old grandmother's house that has him wondering. By accident he had discovered pictures of her grandmother as a young woman, clearly in Berlin in 1940 and clearly in love with a Nazi officer. But, she had been in England and married to an Englishman at that time. What is happening? Gillian's ex is making a pest of himself, apologizing, so shortly she decides she needs to know more and sets off for Europe.

One of the many reasons I loved this books was the research portion of it. Uncovering one small truth at a time and connecting them all until there is a clear picture. Gillian, hung in there; met people, followed leads, until she had the whole story and what a story it is. Eventually she returns to her father and grandmother and completes the picture. It would be spoilers if I told you much else. I have read many Holocaust novels, from many perspectives, but none have grabbed me the way this one did. It is not horribly graphic but the emotion is heart-rending and there is plenty of it. Please read this book. It is beautiful. 

I received a free ARC of A Fire Sparkling. All opinions expressed herein are solely my own. #netgalley #afiresparkling
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A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean is a marvelous dual timeline story of love and courage in times of war. It is a novel that will both thrill and horrify as the reader journeys through lives that loved and lost and that lost and found. It is a book that made me cry as the love reached out beyond the pages and into my heart.
The greatest love of all is a sacrificial love. Within the story there are many instances of sacrificial love but one will pale all others into oblivion.
The action alternates between 2011 and the World War II years. It is set in London, continental Europe and present day America. The story is told from several points of view. The reader is in for a real treat as we see love in action.
Life deals us blows, leaving us feeling guilty and with regrets. We must deal with our past if our future is to be rosy.
Twins share a deep bond with parallel lives even if they are apart.
Family is important. A mother’s love is fierce with a desire to protect at all costs.
The reader enters the world of the home front in war torn London and also that of the resistance movement in occupied Europe. It is a time of courage, bravery, loyalty and sacrifice. Sacrifices were made so we can live in freedom today.
I was really thrilled to recognize some of the settings such as Churchill’s cabinet war rooms, having visited them myself. The London landscape was familiar to me and therefore it was easy to picture the action.
I loved A Fire Sparkling. I ‘lived’ through the action. Julianne MacLean perfectly captured the atmosphere and painted the scenes with her words. I adore all her books and cannot wait to read more, more, more.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own
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A Fire Sparkling is an age old puzzle that's waiting to be solved. MacLean holds nothing back. Gillian's road of discovery taps into the substance of humanity. Betrayal thrusts a woman into her family history. Heartache becomes the catalyst for exposing a truth that is not as cut and dried as it seems to be. Turns out the facts are stranger than anything she could have ever dreamed up. Fire of Sparkling delves into darkness of mind, before the heart can see the light. This is the tale of two women, who found strength in facing weakness and helping others do the same. Words have power and MacLean is shouting at the top of her lungs with this emotional stunner.
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If you like historical fiction, mystery, suspense and family drama, you will want to read "A Fire Sparkling"!
This novel put me in the throes of World War II with Vivian, a young woman with many secrets. 
 I could not stop reading until the skeletons were out of the closet. It kept me in suspense all the way until the very end of this book.
Told in the present and then back to 1939, this is one amazing journey. 
It is like nothing I have read. 
 The transition from timelines is so smooth, and the story so well plotted; that it makes for a wonderful, detailed, story of love, anger, endurance and hope. 
Truly 10 stars!
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What an incredibly written and beautiful book spanning generations and a grand daughter's search to find the truth  behind a photograph.  Her discoveries along the way shape her future and her relationships and the story line had me captivated from the first to the last word.  Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this title prior to publication--I simply could not put it down!!
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This is an amazing story. Gillian Gibbons flees to her family home after the man she loves betrays her. She finds a photograph of her grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer and now Gillian wants to learn the truth behind the photos. In the story it goes back to 1939 England and Vivian Hughes falls in love with a British officer and the war is happening. I really enjoyed the twists and turns of this story. I love Gillian is was really good to follow her journey to find out more about her grandmother.
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An excellent novel filled with romance, heartache, betrayal, loyalty, danger, secrets, suspense, adventures and a cast of unforgettable characters. As you begin reading this book, prepare to be swept away...

The scenes are so vividly painted. I felt as though I was walking the streets of London right along with the characters who were deeply developed and very well connected. Easily, I became immersed into their lives. I rejoiced at their good news and felt their sadness at other times. As secrets became burdens, the tension was palpable. As characters agonized over difficult decisions, I worried with them. Heart wrenching betrayals became very real possibilities.

There is so much uncertainty with war. The one certainty is that war changes things and people. War destroys buildings and changes lives and relationships. War forces people to change how they live, love, survive and make decisions. Some of these decisions have life long and life altering consequences. Decisions which become consequences can then become closely guarded secrets. Some secrets get carried to the grave, while others get discovered in unusual, unexpected ways.

So many choices to make. Duty or honor? Truth or lies? Loyalty or treachery? Can any of these opposites coexist?

Many secrets and stories will be revealed as Vivian is enjoying her golden years and suddenly, her son and granddaughter want answers to questions she had been hoping to never have been asked.

As Vivian recounts her story, we learn of complicated family conflicts and loyalties. We learn that a tragic ending can actually become a fresh, new beginning. We learn that sometimes, there are very compelling reasons for keeping secrets. Vivian’s life underwent many changes, and with each change, she was required to wear a new mask. The wearing of all these masks prepared Vivian for each of her next realities.

I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent book. I felt many emotions while reading it. At times it caused me to gasp and other times, I shed tears. So very well done and so very much enjoyed!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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