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New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day. A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war. London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubo New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day. A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war. London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck – she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever. London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie, healing from past trauma and careful to close herself off to others, finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, Precious’ enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’ haunting past – and the secrets she swore she’d never reveal …


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New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day. A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war. London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubo New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day. A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war. London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck – she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever. London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie, healing from past trauma and careful to close herself off to others, finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, Precious’ enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’ haunting past – and the secrets she swore she’d never reveal …

30 review for The Last Night in London

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    3.5 stars rounded down. Here I am outside my comfort zone again with another historical fiction laced with romance! It wasn’t all history however, the story has two time lines. The history part is set before and during the early part of WWII, 1939 and 1940 and tells the story of Jeanne (all my friends call me Precious) Dubose and Ethel Maltby who re-invents herself as Eva Harlow. They are both in London to follow their dreams and are working as models for Madame Lushtak. The present day story is 3.5 stars rounded down. Here I am outside my comfort zone again with another historical fiction laced with romance! It wasn’t all history however, the story has two time lines. The history part is set before and during the early part of WWII, 1939 and 1940 and tells the story of Jeanne (all my friends call me Precious) Dubose and Ethel Maltby who re-invents herself as Eva Harlow. They are both in London to follow their dreams and are working as models for Madame Lushtak. The present day story is of Madison (Maddie) who is a journalist writing a piece about the clothes and the fashion business during those years. She is a distant relative of Precious and has been invited to London to write the story and curate the associated museum exhibition of the wonderful gowns of the era. Precious is now 99 years old and has kept many of her glamorous outfits, shoes, hats and bags. Eva and Precious share their lodgings and are like sisters and the models and other staff at Madame Lushtak’s are their family. Everything is great until Ethel meets Graham St John, she is immediately smitten but realises that Graham is way out of her league so she re-invents herself as Eva Harlow, a respectable doctor’s daughter who has been orphaned and resorted to modelling to survive (none of it true of course). Romance blossoms but danger is lurking in the wings. Eva becomes entrapped by Czech spy Alexander Grof. He knows Eva’s true background and threatens her with exposure if she doesn’t do a few small jobs for him. But of course she gets in deeper than she ever thought possible and her loved ones are threatened. This story has a tragic ending with an interesting twist (which I had guessed). In the present Maddie has her own demons which I won’t explain. When Arabella contacts her about the proposed article she agrees straight away although she is not keen on seeing Colin again. Maddie, Arabella and Colin had been friends at Harrow although it seemed Colin was interested in more than friendship. Maddie is softening towards him but her demons.... I much preferred the historical part of the story, it really brought the era to life, particularly the glamorous lifestyles of the upper classes and included descriptions of the shelling during the London blitz. I did mostly enjoy the story, it was charmingly written, the language seemed spot on and the characters of Eva and Precious jumped off the pages. In contrast, Maddie seemed colourless and I didn’t like her insistence on not falling in love. It seemed silly. The book was a bit long too, it seemed to flag a little after the halfway mark. And I have zero interest in fashion! But, if you do have an interest in fashion or historical fiction and don’t mind a bit of romance (there was too much for my liking) you would likely really enjoy this. It really was beautifully written. Thanks to Netgalley, Simon & Schuster Australia and Karen White for providing an ARC to review. My opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    ‘A life without rain is like the sun without shade.’ Loved, loved, loved from start to finish! Karen White is by far my favorite southern fiction writer. In her latest novel she has woven a story set ‘acrossed the pond’ in London during WWII. Both past/present stories were engaging and included her sprinklings of that signature southern charm she’s so well known for. The last part of the story set in Walton, GA reminded me so much of Steel Magnolias... smiled to myself this entire part. Reading h ‘A life without rain is like the sun without shade.’ Loved, loved, loved from start to finish! Karen White is by far my favorite southern fiction writer. In her latest novel she has woven a story set ‘acrossed the pond’ in London during WWII. Both past/present stories were engaging and included her sprinklings of that signature southern charm she’s so well known for. The last part of the story set in Walton, GA reminded me so much of Steel Magnolias... smiled to myself this entire part. Reading her author notes I realized that this is not Whites first time writing about Madison. I will definitely be adding Falling Home and After the Rain to my reading list to see how her story begins. Even without having read these I still found this to be totally fulfilling on its own. This novel has surpassed my expectations. I can not recommend a novel, or an author more highly. 5 stars. ‘Living with regret is like having a permanent stone inside your shoe.’

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    London, 1939. Eva Harlow and Precious Dubose are best friends, roommates and model gorgeous gowns for the House of Lushtak. Both are very beautiful, blond, and slender and share clothes. By chance, Eva meets handsome Graham St. John, he’s recently returned from Burma and he comes from an upper class family. Eva becomes friends with Graham’s sister Sophia, her fiancé David and they all go out together. When WW II starts Graham joins the Royal Air Force, the Blitz begins and London is a very dange London, 1939. Eva Harlow and Precious Dubose are best friends, roommates and model gorgeous gowns for the House of Lushtak. Both are very beautiful, blond, and slender and share clothes. By chance, Eva meets handsome Graham St. John, he’s recently returned from Burma and he comes from an upper class family. Eva becomes friends with Graham’s sister Sophia, her fiancé David and they all go out together. When WW II starts Graham joins the Royal Air Force, the Blitz begins and London is a very dangerous place to live. Especially for Eva who wants to keep her true identity a secret, this makes her extremely vulnerable and she reluctantly becomes involved in web of intrigue and spies. London, 2019. Madison Warner is an American journalist and she travels to London to interview ninety nine year old former model Precious Dubose. She has a large collection of clothes and accessories from the WW II era and Maddie plans to write an article about her wartime experiences. Maddie’s life hasn’t been easy, she moves around a lot and she finds all personal relationships hard. Much to her horror she discovers Colin Eliot is also staying with Precious, years ago they were friends and he’s like family to Precious. As Maddie delves into Precious past, she’s sure the elderly lady is hiding something and does her large vintage clothes collection contain any clues to what really happened during WW II? The dual timeline seamlessly combines the past and the present and it binds the three women together. The Last Night In London's story is based around themes of friendship, family, love, intrigue, secrets, war, trust and betrayal. It also highlighted to me how important honesty is, being authentic to yourself and family ties. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I’m keen to read the first two books is the series now: Falling Home and After The Rain and four stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A riveting novel of friendships, love, secrets and betrayal SUMMARY London, 1939. Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are models for a major fashion house. When Eva falls in love with the wealthy Graham St. John, she can’t believe her luck, that she’s getting everything she ever wanted. When the bombs start dropping over the United Kingdom Eva’s world begins to crumble. She slips into a mysterious web of intrigue, spies, and secrets. London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Wa A riveting novel of friendships, love, secrets and betrayal SUMMARY London, 1939. Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are models for a major fashion house. When Eva falls in love with the wealthy Graham St. John, she can’t believe her luck, that she’s getting everything she ever wanted. When the bombs start dropping over the United Kingdom Eva’s world begins to crumble. She slips into a mysterious web of intrigue, spies, and secrets. London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life as a model in pre-WWII London. Precious owns a tremendous collection of beautiful gowns from that time. Maddie finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, her enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie interviews Precious, she begins unraveling a secrets from the past. REVIEW The Last Night in London is a riveting historical fiction novel of friendship, love and betrayal. Karen White’s beguiling writing keeps readers engaged with strong female characters, intriguing dialogue, and a multi-layered plot. The two time frames of the story, 1939 and 2019, are creatively intertwined. Readers will appreciate finesse of the secrets and suspense throughout the book, This dramatic wartime story is simply impossible to put down. White is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five novels. Her most recent standalone novels include Dreams of Falling (2018) and The Night the Lights Went Out (2017). Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    Review to come

  6. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Lester

    Wow! The prologue of The Last Night in London gripped me around the heart and I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished. A captivating story of two friends in war-torn London who share a love of fashion as well as more than a few secrets, secrets whose repercussions are felt decades later by a young woman trying to escape her own past. This book had everything I adore: interwoven storylines, a thrilling mystery, beautiful friendships and a little bit of love.

  7. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    In 2019, Maddie Warner, who had spent a year studying at Oxford, travels back to London from the United States to write a freelance article for her friend Arabella who is a fashion editor at British Vogue. It is a feature on fashions during the war years. She’s to interview 99-year-old Jeanne “Precious” Dubose, who has an extensive collection of vintage clothing and is also a woman she recently learned is a distant relative. This assignment proves to be much more than expected as Precious is rea In 2019, Maddie Warner, who had spent a year studying at Oxford, travels back to London from the United States to write a freelance article for her friend Arabella who is a fashion editor at British Vogue. It is a feature on fashions during the war years. She’s to interview 99-year-old Jeanne “Precious” Dubose, who has an extensive collection of vintage clothing and is also a woman she recently learned is a distant relative. This assignment proves to be much more than expected as Precious is ready to reveal her wartime secrets. She asks Maddie to find her friend Eva. In this dual timeline story, author Karen White takes us back to London in 1939 where Precious and her best friend Eva Harlow are fashion models working at the House of Lushtak. While modeling fashions for a future bride, they become fast friends with Sophie St. John and Eva soon falls in love with the dashing Graham St. John, brother of the bride. Eva, who has changed her identity, hides her lower-class background from the St. Johns as she would be deemed unsuitable for Graham. Once England declares war on Germany and the bombings begin, it becomes hard to determine who is on which side. And Eva’s lies put her life in jeopardy. In the present, as Maddie is trying to put together the mystery of Precious and Eva’s story, a bond develops between the two woman and it appears that Maddie is also has her own secrets. Maddie is reunited with Colin Eliot from her time at Oxford. His family has been very close to Precious and help with her care. Colin still resents Maggie’s abrupt departure from his life. The Last Night in London is an engaging wartime story which connects the past to the present. The creative way in which the story unfolds will satisfy. I first discovered Karen White through the books she has written with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig and have gone on to read several of her individual works as well. In addition to bringing back the character of Maddie, who appears in two of White’s earlier books, I enjoyed the return of Precious Dubois from All the Ways We Said Goodbye, which is a wonderful collaboration with Williams and Willig. Many thanks to Berkley / Penguin Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book in advance of its publication. Rated 4.5 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I was totally charmed by this story of women dealing with the past and future in London and Georgia. Maddie believes she is in London to write a fashion story about women’s clothing during WW II, instead she becomes engrossed in the life of Precious Dubose, a very distant relative with many secrets. As we read further, we learn that Maddie also lives with secrets, so compelling, that she has put her life and emotions on hold. White transports the reader back to London at the start of the war usi I was totally charmed by this story of women dealing with the past and future in London and Georgia. Maddie believes she is in London to write a fashion story about women’s clothing during WW II, instead she becomes engrossed in the life of Precious Dubose, a very distant relative with many secrets. As we read further, we learn that Maddie also lives with secrets, so compelling, that she has put her life and emotions on hold. White transports the reader back to London at the start of the war using descriptions that are incredibly vivid which careful research made flawless. This book has the best elements of historical fiction and romance. Maddie is a likable protagonist, surrounded by a group of other interesting and well formed characters. Of course it is Eva, a mysterious woman who has transformed herself, that propels the plot forward. It is she who captured my attention. .I am an Anglophile so I loved being transported to 1940’s London. I loved the beautiful descriptions of fashions and the intrigue that surrounded Precious and her best friend Eva. Maddie resists emotional attachment because of her own secrets and fears, but women will find these references interesting. It is the relationship between the two women that bring Maddie to a point where she can imagine her own future. Thank you Netgalley for this terrific novel. I truly enjoyed it and look forward to recommending it to book groups.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    I adore Karen White's stories, they are always so wonderfully done and told. They transport you back in time and truly make you feel for the characters, their situation and what is happening in the world around them. It is no secret that this so happens to be one of my most favorite eras to read about, not to mention settings and White truly made this time, this place, and these characters shine. So vividly told I felt like I was right there with them but more than that, I felt like they were fa I adore Karen White's stories, they are always so wonderfully done and told. They transport you back in time and truly make you feel for the characters, their situation and what is happening in the world around them. It is no secret that this so happens to be one of my most favorite eras to read about, not to mention settings and White truly made this time, this place, and these characters shine. So vividly told I felt like I was right there with them but more than that, I felt like they were family and I couldn't get enough of their story. It was wonderfully done between the past and present and I truly devoured every single page. This story resonated with me because I just felt so much while reading it. I felt their joy, their love, their despair, their heartaches, I truly felt it all. This has been by far a story that not only has stuck with me but one of absolute favorites from this author. I can't recommend it enough. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    We meet Precious in 1939 as she and Eva are making their way to becoming famous models. We meet Precious again in 2019 at ninety-nine years of age and willing to tell her story. We meet Maddie in 2019 as she has been chosen to write Precious's story. Going back and forth in time and seeing the characters come to life in both periods is marvelously done by Karen White. I always enjoy dual timelines and especially when the earlier time has fashions from another era, WWII stories, endearing friendshi We meet Precious in 1939 as she and Eva are making their way to becoming famous models. We meet Precious again in 2019 at ninety-nine years of age and willing to tell her story. We meet Maddie in 2019 as she has been chosen to write Precious's story. Going back and forth in time and seeing the characters come to life in both periods is marvelously done by Karen White. I always enjoy dual timelines and especially when the earlier time has fashions from another era, WWII stories, endearing friendships, and characters you will love. The friendship between Precious and Eva is the main focus of the story as we follow them as war breaks out and then when they lose touch. I really enjoyed seeing the lives of Precious and Eva during the war and was looking forward to seeing what Maddie was able to find out about Eva since Precious said she just disappeared one day. We live through the Blitz with them, and we get to share their lives, their happiness, their fears, and their sorrows. Of course there is an evil character to spoil things. You won't want to stop reading because you will want to know what secrets Precious has as well as what secrets Maddie is keeping. THE LAST NIGHT IN LONDON has another wonderful story line written in Karen White's pull-you-in, won’t-let-you-go style. Don’t miss this one. 5/5 This book was given to be by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I like Karen White novels and have read many of them. She is usually a solid 4-5 stars for me. So this review pains me a little because even though I love this author, this one didn't work for me. It felt overworked and a little on the long side. Both of which I could overlook, but those weren't the only two things making my list. Before I get into the deal breakers, I want to say I liked the espionage angle and I also liked the characters, especially Maddie, Colin and Precious. So that gets an I like Karen White novels and have read many of them. She is usually a solid 4-5 stars for me. So this review pains me a little because even though I love this author, this one didn't work for me. It felt overworked and a little on the long side. Both of which I could overlook, but those weren't the only two things making my list. Before I get into the deal breakers, I want to say I liked the espionage angle and I also liked the characters, especially Maddie, Colin and Precious. So that gets an extra star. I will only mention the two major things that were the deal breakers for me. One was the predictability. Instead of bread crumbs leading to the truth, it was bright neon signs worthy of Vegas that led the way which didn't leave much to the imagination. Then believability was the other issue, especially when it came to the friendships, the love angle, and Maddie's job, as well as the cover-ups. The author told the reader about those things, but it would have been nice to see some of it. Overall it didn't ring true. So it pains me to only give out 2 stars here, but that's all I have for this one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This wonderful new historical fiction by Karen White is a fantastic read -- it's a dual time line novel with mystery, romance, fashion and family. The Prologue gives us a mystery - who is the woman that is carrying the baby in London as the bombs are dropping all around her. I didn't want to put down the book until I found out the answers to those questions at the end. Along the way, there was a story full of interesting characters during WWII and in the present day. 1940's - Precious and Eva mee This wonderful new historical fiction by Karen White is a fantastic read -- it's a dual time line novel with mystery, romance, fashion and family. The Prologue gives us a mystery - who is the woman that is carrying the baby in London as the bombs are dropping all around her. I didn't want to put down the book until I found out the answers to those questions at the end. Along the way, there was a story full of interesting characters during WWII and in the present day. 1940's - Precious and Eva meet at the train station in London and they quickly become roommates and best friend and felt like sisters. They are both beautiful and in London to become models. They are very different from each other - Precious is from America and is quick to talk about the family that she left behind. Eva is ashamed of her past and her poverty and has reinvented herself to a new person. Despite this difference, they both become popular models and have sparkling social lives until the war starts to affect them. Eva falls in love with an aristocrat and feels like her life is perfect until she makes some poor decisions and ends up in the midst of intrigue and secrets. As she tries to protect her secrets and wait for her boyfriend to return to London, her friendship with Precious remains the most important part of her life. Can this friendship be sustained as the bombs fall on London and change their world? Current - Maddie is an American journalist who travels to London to interview Precious. She plans to write an article about fashion before the war and wants stories from Precious to go along with pictures of dresses from the era. Maddie's life has been scarred by the death of her mother and her fear for her own health so she is careful not to get emotionally close to anyone. Maddie and Precious get close and as her stories of WWII begin to unravel, Maddie learns that many of the stories can be applied to her own life and maybe help her find happiness. In a dual time line novel, I normally like one story line better than the other but in this book, I found both storylines and the characters in them to be interesting and intriguing. The star of the novel is Precious and she is a big part of both timelines and a character that I won't soon forget. I loved the way that the two story lines were interwoven and came together at the end. I also enjoyed the romances - both past and present day and thought that the entire book was fantastic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    This is a captivating dual time novel. I could not put it down. London 2019: Madison Warner an American journalist is sent to London to interview Precious Dubose about her life. Precious and her friend Eva Harlow were fashion models in 1939. Eva finds herself falling in love with Graham St. John. Graham is from a very highly regarded family. Graham does not know about Eva’s past. She has even changed her name and reinvented herself. Eva becomes involved in espionage and falls deeper and deeper. Th This is a captivating dual time novel. I could not put it down. London 2019: Madison Warner an American journalist is sent to London to interview Precious Dubose about her life. Precious and her friend Eva Harlow were fashion models in 1939. Eva finds herself falling in love with Graham St. John. Graham is from a very highly regarded family. Graham does not know about Eva’s past. She has even changed her name and reinvented herself. Eva becomes involved in espionage and falls deeper and deeper. The Blitz devastates London. Whatever happened to Eva? Precious knows the truth, but is now 99 years old. Will Maddie uncover the truth in time? Maddie finds out that Colin an old friend of hers from College is a family friend of Precious and is living in her home. Maddie has her own secrets and demons to contend with. As Maddie looks at all the beautiful dresses and purses that belonged to Precious, she finds clues and secret messages. Maddie becomes distracted with Colin they have unfinished business from the past. This is a very well written historical fiction novel filled with mystery and intrigue. I highly recommend it. I received an advanced copy of this book, through Goodreads.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bonnye Reed

    I received a free electronic ARC of this excellent historical novel from Netgalley, author Karen White, and publisher Berkley. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Karen White writes a tightly told tale with precise location details and historical facts. This is her first historical novel that I have read. This is an exceptional look into wartime London with a sweet mystery on the sid I received a free electronic ARC of this excellent historical novel from Netgalley, author Karen White, and publisher Berkley. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Karen White writes a tightly told tale with precise location details and historical facts. This is her first historical novel that I have read. This is an exceptional look into wartime London with a sweet mystery on the side. Two women, separated emotionally by time and space and each still grieving the loss of a special soul. They share a many-great grandfather, according to Ancestry.com. What else do they have in common? Madison Warner, known as Maddie to her friends, is a thoroughly modern (Spring, 2019) freelance American journalist. Mourning the loss of her older sister to the same breast cancer that took their mother, knowing that she too carries the gene and probably has the same potential outcome, Maddie resolves to hold herself away from friendships and relationships, not willing to put this sort of emotional pain on the heart of another. With that in mind, she is currently working on a special article covering women's fashions during WWII. What reverberations did the war have on the concept of fashionable attire in Europe? What consequence did the concept of 'fashion' have on the mindsets of Londoners during the war - especially during the nightly bombing runs over London? And what effect did the war have on the concept of 'fashion? Her timing is nearly perfect. Couture houses in London are establishing a museum featuring haute couture throughout the twentieth century. And Jeanne 'Precious' Dubose, an in-demand model in the 1930s and 1940s in both London and Paris and a 'collector' of outfits she has modeled, is about to celebrate her 100th birthday. What better viewpoint can Maddie find for her article? Packing up her jeans and button-down shirts, she prepares to head out to London. Precious Dubose is 99 years old and failing in health. The very thought of interviews and of bringing up the past is disheartening, but she knows her time is short. The question is whether or not she will continue to hide the truths of that past, or will use this opportunity to bring it all out into the light? She is the only soul involved in the heartbreaking wartime conspiracy still breathing air, so the decision is entirely hers to make. Will she trust this young lady to handle the truth fairly and compassionately, or allow all their secrets to die with her? pub date April 20, 2021 Berkley Reviewed on Goodreads, Netgalley on April 7, 2021. Reviewed on AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, BookBub, Kobo, and Googleplay on April 20, 2021.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed: August 28, 2020 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Date reviewed: August 28, 2020 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do and because I don't like repeating the store over again in my review ... I tend to stick to the facts. New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day. (Well, that was short!! SO I have to break my own rule and tell you of the story .... ) A lovely lady named Maddie goes to London to write about WWII era fashions un the UK and gets in a whirl of discovery upon discovering a distant relative's life and secrets. Aren't secrets amazing?? Yes, they are because Maddie, a very plucky Georgian has a lot of her own. There is a lot of detail in this book so we know that Miss White did her due diligence in her research - and it is a nice blend of fiction and romance without it becoming being too treacly Secrets are always fun to have, read about and discuss in a book club, so I am going to recommend this book to a LOT of people....next spring. It comes 8 months from now so I am pregnant with another great set of news of a fantastic book coming out. It is marked on the calendar to order and to recommend as it is .... flawless. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE ONE SUGGESTION, THOUGH .... it is hard from the cover to tell if one is in London or Paris ... it needs more clear and obvious geographical monuments like a clear view of Parliament or Big Ben... As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 😷😷😷😷😷 (Stay home, save lives!)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dkbbookgirl

    Lovely historical fiction Wonderful characters- Precious, Eva, Maddie, Colin- lived them all I read quickly until near the end- I so wanted to know what happened, but I also did not want the story to end!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hope Hunter

    This story follows two models in 1941 London and a parallel story of a journalist helping her friend with a historical exhibit for British Vogue magazine. Eva and Precious were two friends and roommates who modeled for a top London fashion house and not entirely aware of the scope of the war. They remained blissfully unaware of world events and continued to enjoy the social whirl of parties and romances until London was targeted and their social lives were halted. Eva found herself in the middle This story follows two models in 1941 London and a parallel story of a journalist helping her friend with a historical exhibit for British Vogue magazine. Eva and Precious were two friends and roommates who modeled for a top London fashion house and not entirely aware of the scope of the war. They remained blissfully unaware of world events and continued to enjoy the social whirl of parties and romances until London was targeted and their social lives were halted. Eva found herself in the middle of espionage and was forced to help a spy or risk her secrets being exposed and her friends' and mother's lives being put in jeopardy. After the Blitz in London, Eva and her love, Graham, disappear without a trace. Meanwhile, Precious returns to America and lives to 100 carrying the weight of her and Eva's secrets and histories. One of Precious's distant relatives, Arabella, is organizing an exhibit for British Vogue on the change in fashions during World War II and have received permission to use the clothes Precious has in storage. She asks her college friend, Maddie to collaborate and research and write Precious' story. Maddie is also distantly related to Precious and looks forward to the introduction and spending time with Arabella. As Maddie begins uncovering the memories attached to each beautiful garment, she finds herself dealing with secrets in her own life. Precious tells Maddie her life is not already carved out for her and that she can always reinvent herself. Maddie's storyline was a little difficult for me; I found her prickly and had a harder time empathizing with her. The Southern vernacular phrases thrown in were humorous but did not "fit" with the overall story and were a little jarring for me. Maddie's character just wasn't as real to me as the other's in the book. In the end, her storyline kind of dragged on for me, when I wanted more of the ramifications and effects of Precious and Eva's exposed secrets on the family. I loved Eva's and Precious' story and wanted more of it. It was a beautiful story of two young girls enjoying young adulthood and life in the midst of high society in London. Eva's romance has the reader swooning at true love, and the descriptions of the beautiful clothes the girls modeled made me want to visit a museum or find a vintage clothing store. The girls were so naive about world events and a little in denial of the impending horrors of the war and the constant bombing they would begin experiencing, but when they had to face it, they showed strength and resilience. Finally, as Precious begins to tell Maddie pieces of the story, and some of the secrets begin to be uncovered, we see the tragedies of friendship, betrayal and true love and the effort to find peace with choices made and the effects of self-imposed atonement.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    A captivating novel about Eva and Precious who were fashion models in London during WWII and the London Blitz. Structured with alternating chapters that have a writer today, Madison, interviewing 99 year old Precious about her life and uncovering the story of reinvention, forgiveness and survival during very difficult times. I found the characters well developed, interesting and relatable. I will admit to figuring out the “mystery” rather early on, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment as A captivating novel about Eva and Precious who were fashion models in London during WWII and the London Blitz. Structured with alternating chapters that have a writer today, Madison, interviewing 99 year old Precious about her life and uncovering the story of reinvention, forgiveness and survival during very difficult times. I found the characters well developed, interesting and relatable. I will admit to figuring out the “mystery” rather early on, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment as the story unfolded. This an easy book to like that doesn’t require any heavy lifting...just an escape that many of us our searching for these days. I want to thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Poignant, Gripping and Immersive The Last Night In London is an intriguing historical fiction mystery set in two timelines; London in 1939 and in 2019, as three women’s intricate web is weaved through long buried secrets, betrayal and heartbreak. The writing is gripping and immersive, with taut plotting, and chapters that move fluidly between timelines that leave you wanting for more. This is such an entertaining read and an exceptional one as my first book from Karen White. I highly recommend t Poignant, Gripping and Immersive The Last Night In London is an intriguing historical fiction mystery set in two timelines; London in 1939 and in 2019, as three women’s intricate web is weaved through long buried secrets, betrayal and heartbreak. The writing is gripping and immersive, with taut plotting, and chapters that move fluidly between timelines that leave you wanting for more. This is such an entertaining read and an exceptional one as my first book from Karen White. I highly recommend this book for historical mystery readers and those that enjoy a carefully plotted story with strong female characters about family, friendships, and forgiveness.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tammy O

    I enjoyed this story much more than I expected to. I loved the idea of showcasing the fashions and stories of a 1939 top model. My favorite characters were Eva, Graham, Precious and Sofia. The prologue grabbed me from the start. I spent the entire book wondering who the mystery woman was who walked across London during an air raid to deliver a newborn baby in a suitcase. Who was the baby? What home did she go to? Karen White slowly unraveled the story and wrapped it up beautifully. I found the S I enjoyed this story much more than I expected to. I loved the idea of showcasing the fashions and stories of a 1939 top model. My favorite characters were Eva, Graham, Precious and Sofia. The prologue grabbed me from the start. I spent the entire book wondering who the mystery woman was who walked across London during an air raid to deliver a newborn baby in a suitcase. Who was the baby? What home did she go to? Karen White slowly unraveled the story and wrapped it up beautifully. I found the Southern references a little disruptive to the mood of the book--but others might enjoy those. Advanced reader copy courtesy of the publishers at NetGalley for review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    LibraryLaur

    Another dual-timeline novel (present-day London and WWII London), this time from a Southern author. I really enjoyed it even though I saw the "twist" at the end coming. For fans of family secrets, doomed romance, and WWII stories. *Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review. Another dual-timeline novel (present-day London and WWII London), this time from a Southern author. I really enjoyed it even though I saw the "twist" at the end coming. For fans of family secrets, doomed romance, and WWII stories. *Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Captivating, enigmatic, and absorbing! The Last Night in London is a mysterious, dual-timeline tale set in London during WWII, as well as 2019, that takes you into the lives of two main characters; Maddie Warner, a young journalist who unexpectedly stumbles across an intriguing story involving long-buried secrets and complex relationships after travelling to the home of a distant relative to write an article about wartime fashion, and Precious Dubose, a 99-year-old former model with a story to te Captivating, enigmatic, and absorbing! The Last Night in London is a mysterious, dual-timeline tale set in London during WWII, as well as 2019, that takes you into the lives of two main characters; Maddie Warner, a young journalist who unexpectedly stumbles across an intriguing story involving long-buried secrets and complex relationships after travelling to the home of a distant relative to write an article about wartime fashion, and Precious Dubose, a 99-year-old former model with a story to tell that involves more than just designers and styles but one that is also brimming with heartbreak and deception. The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are determined, resilient, and brave. And the plot is an alluring tale full of twists, turns, drama, duplicity, emotion, betrayal, family, friendship, life, loss, romance and mystique. Overall, The Last Night in London is a bittersweet, evocative, compelling tale by White that illuminates the enduring passion and power of unconditional love and is certainly the perfect choice for historical fiction lovers and long-time fans of Karen White’s work. Thank you to Uplit Reads for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Holly Browning

    really wanted to go with a 4 star rating on this book, but something held me back. Karen White is one of my favorite authors, and I love the way she can weave a tale, yet, in this piece of historical fiction I felt some of the storyline to be forced. The plot rotates between present day and WW2 London. The historical aspects of the storyline were fascinating and new to me. The fashion world in London before the Blitz was so interesting to read about. The romance that was set in the present day b really wanted to go with a 4 star rating on this book, but something held me back. Karen White is one of my favorite authors, and I love the way she can weave a tale, yet, in this piece of historical fiction I felt some of the storyline to be forced. The plot rotates between present day and WW2 London. The historical aspects of the storyline were fascinating and new to me. The fashion world in London before the Blitz was so interesting to read about. The romance that was set in the present day bothered me. I feel the whole "they hate each other and play hard to get the whole time until the end" plot has been played out to the extreme. It's just not quite believable to me even though Maddie's character had her reasons. I found myself wanting to skip the present day chapters. However, the ending was nice and all in all I would recommend, especially those who like WW2 history. #netgalley #thelastnightinlondon #karenwhite

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janie Hickok Siess

    Karen White delivers a richly emotional, absorbing story about two women, members of the Greatest Generation, whose lives and futures were forever changed by ambition, friendship, war, and betrayal. The story opens in February 1939. Eva and Precious share a small flat and work as models for Madame Lushtak, whose wealthy clientele are able to afford designer gowns to wear to their society affairs. Eva adores beautiful things and aspires to live the kind of life Madame Lushtak's customers lead, ac Karen White delivers a richly emotional, absorbing story about two women, members of the Greatest Generation, whose lives and futures were forever changed by ambition, friendship, war, and betrayal. The story opens in February 1939. Eva and Precious share a small flat and work as models for Madame Lushtak, whose wealthy clientele are able to afford designer gowns to wear to their society affairs. Eva adores beautiful things and aspires to live the kind of life Madame Lushtak's customers lead, accepting damaged clothing and cosmetics from their kind makeup artist, Mr. Danek, who is originally from a small Czechoslovakian town near Prague. Eva works diligently to modify her accent and never give away the truth about her background. She is the daughter of an illiterate laundress in Muker. Eva's father, an abusive drunk, was eventually incarcerated and Eva sends money to her mother every week. Indeed, Eva is not her real name, but one she adopted because it sounded more sophisticated than Ethel. The course of Eva's is set the day she and Precious model gowns for Sophia St. John and her mother. Sophia is engaged to David Eliot, and her brother, Graham, accompanies the women to the showroom. A few days later when Graham and Eva meet again on the street and recognize each other, their relationship begins. She concocts a story about her upbringing, confident that if Graham knew the truth about her family, he would never be interested in her -- and his family would shun her. Soon she is re-introduced to Sophie, along with David and his old friend from school, Alexander Grof. Eva is immediately unsettled by the way he looks at her with his piercing gray eyes that seem to see right through her. "He was an attractive, magnetic man, but he was like the luscious red apple hanging from the tree, beautiful to look at, possibly poisonous if eaten." She has no way of knowing at that moment that he will play a prominent role in her life. White relates that the friendship of Eva and Precious, which is the centerpiece of The Last Night in London, was inspired by her relationship with her own best friend. The two met in London when they were sixteen-year-old juniors in high school and remain best pals. She fashioned the relationship of Eva and Precious after their personalities and interactions, explaining that while her friend is "very calm, I can be very dramatic and excitable. We fit together nicely, complimenting each other’s personalities,. . ." Precious likewise tries to keep Eva grounded when her fanciful and lofty dreams threaten to carry her too far from reality. But she is happy for Eva when she meets Graham. The story was also inspired by readers clamoring for the completion of Maddie Warner’s story. Maddie was a teenager when she appeared in two of White's previous novels. Their urging dovetailed with White's desire to craft a story featuring an American living in London. So in a separate first-person narrative, commencing in May 2019, Maddie, now a journalist living in New York City, arrives in London to work with her long-time friend Arabella to interview Precious, sort through her collection of vintage clothing and select pieces for an exhibit on 1940s fashion at the Design Museum, and write an article. Maddie quickly realizes that although physically frail, Precious's memories are intact . . . and punctuated by grief. Precious instantly recognizes that she and Maddie have a great deal in common, asking Maddie if she lost someone she loved and observing, "Whoever said time heals all wounds is a liar. Grief is like a ghost, isn't it? Haunting our reflections." White deftly alternates the narratives, detailing the experiences of Eva and Precious as England inches closer to a declaration of war on Germany, while, in 2019, Maddie is assisted by Arabella and Colin in her quest to learn the fates of Eva and Graham. Precious maintains only that she lost touch with them. "It was the war, you see. So easy to lose touch with friends." And she is not forthcoming with details about what happened to her and her friends during those fraught days before they were finally separated from each other, cryptically observing that "just because a person is lost doesn't mean they want to be found." Maddie ponders whether Precious has actually been waiting to be set free of her ghosts while there's still time, even as the ghost of her own mother's demise and memory have fueled the decisions she has made about her own life. Eva learns that first impressions are usually accurate and one can never fully escape their past as, largely due to her naivete, she is involuntarily entangled in a dangerous web of espionage, deceit, and despair. As White reveals the pre-War developments, she injects clues that inform the modern-day search for the truth, cleverly linking the storylines and compelling both forward and sparking readers' interest in their resolution. Of course, it wouldn't be a Karen White novel without romance, and she compassionately reveals Maddie's inner torment as her attraction to Colin grows. Maddie decided long ago not to risk a long-term, committed relationship because she believes she knows how her own story will play out. But she finds it increasingly difficult to deny her deepening feelings for Colin. Meanwhile, her Aunt Cassie constantly calls and texts, seeking updates about Maddie's romantic life and insisting that she come home to Georgia to attend her sister's wedding. Their exchanges are frequently hilarious and relatable. White says she hopes readers of The Last Night in London will gain "a new awareness of the sacrifices and bravery of ordinary people who would not surrender even during a time of great strife." The story of Eva, Precious, and Graham is heartbreaking and haunting, populated by a cast of supporting characters who are equally fascinating and play important roles in plot developments. Readers may figure out the tale's biggest twist quickly, but that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of discovering how expertly White has constructed a complicated story set in two different time periods. White has many devoted fans and, for them, The Last Night in London will not disappoint. But she will undoubtedly garner new readers, as well, because of the masterful and captivating way she relates a story of friendship, sacrifice, selflessness, betrayal, grief, and, ultimately, love. And illustrates that, in order to reinvent oneself, it is only necessary to believe we are worthy of love. Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy of the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    I enjoy WWII historical novels, and especially the current trend of weaving together characters from one era to another and highlighting events from the past that have influenced the present. The Last Night in London is an outstanding addition to this group of novels. The book opens in March 1941 with an unidentified woman trying to get an infant to safety in war-torn London. It then jumps to May 2019 London and a trio of friends who went to college together. The initial link between past and pre I enjoy WWII historical novels, and especially the current trend of weaving together characters from one era to another and highlighting events from the past that have influenced the present. The Last Night in London is an outstanding addition to this group of novels. The book opens in March 1941 with an unidentified woman trying to get an infant to safety in war-torn London. It then jumps to May 2019 London and a trio of friends who went to college together. The initial link between past and present is that Maddie Warner, an American journalist, is going to interview her previously unknown distant relative 99-year old Precious Dubose about her and her best friend Eva Harlow’s experiences as fashion models in London during the war. As the story unfolds and Precious starts to tell her story, Maddie becomes more and more intrigued to learn what happened to Eva and her love Graham St. John after the war, and as a reader I wanted to know the significance of that baby in the prologue. I had a niggling sense there was something more to the story, something that Precious wasn’t sharing. Author Karen White has populated this story with fascinating characters in both time periods. Maggie, Arabella and Colin were great friend in college, but are not as close these days. Maggie keeps on the move; she has a breast cancer gene that took both her mother and grandmother and feels doomed so settling down is not an option for her. She and Colin could have been close but she is not about to have relationships so shut that door in college. This magazine assignment from Arabella appeals to her but she intends to be on the move again as soon as it is completed. Neither Colin, who is a surrogate nephew to Precious, nor Maddie expected to see the other and tension is high. Colin is solemn, somber and cranky. Maddie is thrown off balance seeing him again, but remember – no relationships even if there is definitely something going on there. It seems like Precious will be a terrific heroine for the article – came to London to model, stayed during the war, worked with the resistance in France. But again, it just feels like there’s more to that story. As for Eva, well, she’s hard to like. She reminded me of daughter Veda in the book and movie Mildred Pierce: grasping, greedy, ashamed of her roots. Selfish, shallow, thoughtless, careless. She an ignorant liar, unable to control the greed, the coveting, whatever the cost to others. And while you can understand and perhaps sympathize with her desire to improve her circumstances, to escape the poverty of her childhood, it is just not possible to like or feel sorry for her. She’s cunning in her ability to move upward, but she’s not really all that bright, which is what puts her in terrible danger – and what at last makes her seem very human and relatable. She wants what she hasn’t had, and doesn’t want to give it up once she has it. Not your typical wartime heroine, but oh so real. What happened to her after the war? Author White paints a vivid picture of the time and the contrast between the privileged in society, with their luxurious bomb shelters and exciting nightlife that continued as if there was no war, to those suffering and struggling like Eva in her “old” life. In the present day, the conflict – and caring – between Maddie and Colin and Maddie’s identification with Precious and the grief she has endured is excellently portrayed. These are flawed, human people who make you care what happened to them in the past and what will happen to them in the future. It’s a compelling story with a good dose of history thrown in. Thanks to Penguin Random House for providing an advance copy of The Last Night in London via NetGalley for my reading pleasure and honest review. I was drawn in from the first chapter and kept engaged by the smooth plot, deep, rich characters, romance, danger and real-life worries about life and love and especially the suspense about what Precious was still hiding and how all these characters and events could be connected. All opinions are my own. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend with without hesitation.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Karen White, Last Night in London, Simon&Schuster, 2021 Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me with this unproofed copy for review. The prologue, set in London during the blitz, with dust, embers and buildings falling around a woman carrying a valise, determined to get to her destination despite planes bombing Oxford Street is wonderfully realised. The woman is hurt but will not stay in the shelter in which she leaves the occupant of the valise, a baby. She is left in a park, imagining ocean sound Karen White, Last Night in London, Simon&Schuster, 2021 Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me with this unproofed copy for review. The prologue, set in London during the blitz, with dust, embers and buildings falling around a woman carrying a valise, determined to get to her destination despite planes bombing Oxford Street is wonderfully realised. The woman is hurt but will not stay in the shelter in which she leaves the occupant of the valise, a baby. She is left in a park, imagining ocean sounds, uttering a supplication, which the last line suggests will not be granted. The novel then moves between London in 2019 and London during the second world war. The characters in 2019 have links with some of those featuring in the war sections and bringing them together are the beautiful trappings of the modelling world in which Eva Harlow and Jeanne Dubose initially thrive in pre-war London. In 2019 Madison and her friend are bringing some of these accoutrements to life in an article about the models, their world and their clothes. An interview with Precious, as Jeanne Dubose has become known, is central to the work. Although initially Madison concentrates on organising photographing the clothing and bags associated with Precious and her modelling world she is drawn to Precious as another damaged person with a story that needs airing. Precious is a distant relative of the Georgia born Madison and the two become the recipients of each other’s insecurities, need to be truly known and attempts to develop new approaches to, in Madison’s case living her life honestly and to the full, and for Precious, a rehabilitation from the past. Both Precious and Madison have secrets, and these are explored throughout their relationship, the events of the war, in domestic and warfront events, and the quieter ones of 2019 London and, briefly, Georgia. In wartime London Eva and Precious are close friends, Precious helping Eva establish herself far from her roots as a working-class girl from the north of England to a middle-class model with the ‘right’ accent, manners and behaviour. The novel has all the features of something that will be a good story with potentially interesting characters, a mystery which predictably will be solved, romance, intrigue and, as noted above, the well-drawn setting in the prologue. However, I was unable to be drawn into the story. I think mainly because I found the characters unengaging. Madison’s southern sayings were grating, sometimes because they were voiced in such inappropriate settings. For a person who has such strict control over her emotions in other circumstances I found these outbursts undermined rather than enhanced the characterisation. The clues to Precious’s (what an awkward name this is to convey ownership, and I wonder why it was used) secret were too stridently foreshadowed. The relationship between Madison and her university short term lover, Colin, helped develop the story of her evasion of commitment as well as linking to secrets from the past, and this was a clever device. The theme of reinvention, with its positive and negative aspects, also cast the links more broadly, taking in the personal associated with Eva and Precious, and the role of espionage that also features in the novel. Similarly, I admired the beginning of the novel, and the connections between past and present were smoothly made. However, this was not enough. For me this novel was a disappointment.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Boyd

    The Last Night in London is an enthralling story about the bonds of friendship, the wonder of falling in love and the often painful experience of holding on to hope in the midst of unexpected hardship. It begins with an exhibit. Ninety-nine-year-old Precious Dubose had been a model for decades and kept many of the fashions she had worn. When the Design Museum in London, the city where she has lived for most of her life, decides to do a presentation of 1940s fashion, Precious donates her wardrobe The Last Night in London is an enthralling story about the bonds of friendship, the wonder of falling in love and the often painful experience of holding on to hope in the midst of unexpected hardship. It begins with an exhibit. Ninety-nine-year-old Precious Dubose had been a model for decades and kept many of the fashions she had worn. When the Design Museum in London, the city where she has lived for most of her life, decides to do a presentation of 1940s fashion, Precious donates her wardrobe from that time period. Her honorary granddaughter Arabella is helping to catalog and prepare Precious’ collection for the display and as a magazine editor, sees an opportunity for a fascinating story in the elegant garments of that bygone era and the woman who’d worn them. Precious modeled in London and Paris during WWII, working for the likes of Coco Channel and Madame Lushtak; she’d danced at underground clubs during the Blitz and dined with Nazi officers during the occupation of France. An article about Precious would capture not just the hardships and turmoil of those years but the stylish beauty and magnificence of the era’s haute couture. And Arabella knows just the woman to write that feature. Maddie Warner – who was at Oxford with Arabella – is currently a journalist but had also trained as a photographer and is a fourth cousin to Precious. The family connection will hopefully soothe Precious’ anxiety/reluctance to speak of the past, and having just one person write and take pictures will mean fewer people traipsing through the nonagenarian’s home. Maddie is happy to come to London and interview this living legend, but is far less pleased when she learns she will be sharing an apartment not only with Precious but also Colin Eliot, Arabella’s cousin and the bane of Maddie’s university years. As she tells Arabella, “Colin is the kind of guy a girl could really fall for. In a permanent way.” And Maddie feels she has just cause to insist on being with people who are only into temporary relationships; men who live in the here and now and never talk about the future. Colin is also less than pleased at the realization that the woman who’d spent years rebuffing and rejecting his advances will be sharing his home but reluctantly agrees to play nice for Precious’ sake. Maddie and Colin plan to keep their distance from each other but that quickly becomes impossible as they find themselves caught up in investigating the details of Precious’ past. It’s a history deeply entwined with Precious’ 1940s flat mate, another gorgeous blonde model named Eva Harlow, whose large friendship circle had incorporated such disparate characters as the wealthy Alexander Groff and makeup artist/Czechoslovakian refugee Anton Danek – and whose lover, Graham St. John, a Royal Airforce Pilot with aristocratic lineage, had been close to Precious as well. It doesn’t take long for Maddie and Colin to realize the tale they’ve stumbled upon is far more complex than they had first thought – and to understand that finding answers to their questions will affect both their lives forever. See the rest of my review at https://allaboutromance.com/book-revi...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kira

    3.5 stars. Madison Warner is in London to help a friend with a story about Precious Dubose, an American fashion model during world war two who also went on to help the french resistance. As Madison goes through Precious's memorabilia and puts together her story, we also learn more about Madison's life and why she is so reluctant to settle down or let herself fall in love. But the handsome and charming Colin who treats Precious as an adopted grandmother doesn't make it easy for her. The second sto 3.5 stars. Madison Warner is in London to help a friend with a story about Precious Dubose, an American fashion model during world war two who also went on to help the french resistance. As Madison goes through Precious's memorabilia and puts together her story, we also learn more about Madison's life and why she is so reluctant to settle down or let herself fall in love. But the handsome and charming Colin who treats Precious as an adopted grandmother doesn't make it easy for her. The second story we read in the novel is Eva Harlow's. She was also a model and shared a flat with her best friend Precious in London before and during the early years of the war. Eva falls in love with Graham, an upper-class gentlemen who works in the war office. But Eva isn't her real name, and an acquaintance she meets - Alex - knows about her past and threatens to unravel her carefully constructed life if she doesn't cooperate. As a result, there are misunderstandings between Eva and Graham, and as the bombs fall over London, Eva is forced to make a choice between her best friend and her lover that will affect her for the rest of her life. I enjoyed The Last Night in London and once I found the time to sit down and read the pages turned quite quickly. Eva's character made decisions which were understandable for someone of her position and because she was trying to protect herself. The love she and Graham shared was wonderfully developed, along with her complicated relationship with Alex. She was also still quite young during the war so her naiveté in some instances can be forgiven. Her relationship with Precious was also good, and they were more like sisters than friends, even at the end. Madison's story wasn't as strong or as intriguing as Eva's. The romance with Colin was mostly one sided, despite the attraction on Madison's part, mainly because of her reluctance to fall in love because of personal reasons which had nothing to do with him. Her friendship with Arabella was a highlight and echoed Eva's friendship with Precious. It was nice to see Precious as both a young woman and then again as a very old woman with a story to tell. But once Madison completes her task and returns to the US for her sister's wedding, the ending of the novel itself felt drawn out. The plot of Eva's story in particular is excellent. In the times before telephone communication was common, there was plenty of room for error and the author made excellent use of this. I don't want to give spoilers, but the reveals at the end were fantastic and tied both Madison and Eva's stories together quite nicely. However, I found that in Madison's point of view the description of every day rooms etc tended to become quite verbose at times and I would skip pages to get to the next line of dialogue or action. I didn't have this same problem when reading Eva's point of view. All in all though, it was an enjoyable read and one I'd recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction. My thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Foster

    No one does family mysteries like Karen White. I have read all but one of her novels, which is sitting on my shelf and waiting for the appropriate timing. It wasn't until the author's notes at the end of The Last Night in London that I realized that one of the main characters, Maddie, is from two of her earlier novels. It's been years since I've read them so I did not make the connection. However, this book can easily be read and understood without having read the other two novels. The Last Nigh No one does family mysteries like Karen White. I have read all but one of her novels, which is sitting on my shelf and waiting for the appropriate timing. It wasn't until the author's notes at the end of The Last Night in London that I realized that one of the main characters, Maddie, is from two of her earlier novels. It's been years since I've read them so I did not make the connection. However, this book can easily be read and understood without having read the other two novels. The Last Night in London, follows Maddie, on a freelance writing assignment that reunites her in London with two of her old college friends. There is a family connection, albeit far removed, from Maddie and the focus of her article, Precious Dubose. Precious, originally from Tennesee, lived in London and worked as a model before and during WWII, eventually finding her way to France and working for the Resistance before the ending of the war. Her flat-mate and best friend Eva Harlow hasn't been seen or heard from since then and while Maddie's article about Precious and fashion during and because of the war, isn't about finding lost loved ones, Maddie can't help but feel like finding Eva will help unravel the story that Precious doesn't seem to want to tell. Past and present intertwine to reveal as much about Maddie to herself as it does about what really happened in wartime amongst friends. While Karen White has been a favorite author of mine for some time, and I was so happy to receive the arc for The Last NIght in London, I wasn't really ready for reading historical fiction. But I wanted to make sure that I read it in plenty of time before its publication. White truly does family mystery, drama, and weaving the past and present like no other so I knew it wouldn't disappoint. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not typical WWII, historical fiction and contained the same flair and writing that I know of White's other novels So, once I started reading, I forgot all about the fact that this was historical fiction and was pulled into the intrigue and glamour of the life of Precious Dubose. I will admit to mostly figuring out the big twist early on and found myself frustrated at times because I wanted to find out if I was right or how certain pieces fit into the puzzle. I was most irritated with Maddie and her inability to take her own dang advice or to see how Precious' own story and wisdom applied to her own life. Her refusal to change literally made me want to throw the book at the wall a few times but alas, I read this on a Kindle so I held on tight and continued to read. I loved the ending and how everything wrapped up. I was also super pleased to see that even though the majority of the novel took place in England, White didn't abandon the southern charm her novels are known for. Being a southerner myself, I found myself laughing out loud a few times at some of Maddie's phrases and antics. Fans of southern fiction, family mysteries, and historical fiction will love this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barb Lie

    The Last Night in London by Karen White is a wonderful standalone novel. This story switches between the past in 1939, during war torn London, and in the present of London 2019. It is a story of two best friends, who were fashion models and roommates; we get to meet American Precious Dubose, and Londoner Eva Harlow. Eva comes from a low-class poor family, and decides to re-invent herself, and only Precious knows about Eva changing her name. When Precious and Eva make friends with Sophia, her fia The Last Night in London by Karen White is a wonderful standalone novel. This story switches between the past in 1939, during war torn London, and in the present of London 2019. It is a story of two best friends, who were fashion models and roommates; we get to meet American Precious Dubose, and Londoner Eva Harlow. Eva comes from a low-class poor family, and decides to re-invent herself, and only Precious knows about Eva changing her name. When Precious and Eva make friends with Sophia, her fiancé, David, it is Eva who meets Sophia’s handsome brother, Graham. In a short time, Eva and Graham will fall for each other, with her determined to keep her identity a secret. When Graham goes off to war, Eva finds herself fighting off the attention of Alex, who begins to blackmail her (knowing the truth of her true background), and she ends up in the middle of spies and intrigue. Precious is Eva’s rock, always there to help and protect her. In present time 2019 London, we meet Madison (Maddie) Warner, who is a journalist, having just arrived in London to do an interview with 99-year-old former fashion model, Precious Dubose. Turns out Maddie has discovered she is a distant relative to the family, with her friend Arabella inviting her to do the interview; as well as browse through all the wonderful collections of clothes. Maddie becomes engrossed in Precious story; her life then, what happened to Eva, how they survived the war, the secrets she discovers in pictures and forgiveness. Maddie is shocked to discover that an old school friend, Colin is living with his nana, Precious, which makes things a little difficult. What follows in the past is a story of love, friendship, betrayal, tragedy, with two fantastic women, one content in her life with friends, and helping during the war, and the other reinventing her life to be with the man she loves, and being blackmailed to help a traitor, and hide her truths. The present revolves around Maddie, as she delves into papers, photos, accessories to learn more about Precious and trying to discover more about Eva and Graham and the secrets that will be revealed along the way. I loved Precious, both the young woman in 1939 and the one in the present that was 99 years old. I liked Eva in the past, and her love for Graham. I loved the character of Maddie, who had her own issues, but working with Colin, she began to care for him, as they worked together to resolve the missing pieces from the past. The Last Night in London was an amazing story that kept me glued to my kindle, devouring both the past and the present. Karen White wrote a fantastic story, with wonderful characters, a bit of suspense and intrigue, as well as a twist closer to the end. The Last Night in London was a thrilling story, built around friendship, trust, love, secrets, war and betrayal. This is a must read. Barb The Reading Cafe

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