An English teacher gets tangled in Italy’s political turmoil during the Second World War.
Today, we are thrilled to be the stop on the Blog Tour for Into the Burning Dawn by Natalie Meg Evans.
Into the Burning Dawn by Natalie Meg Evans is the story of an English young woman who happens to be in Italy when the Second World War was declared. She ended up entangled in the local political turmoil, fearing being discovered as the enemy.
Title: Into the Burning Dawn by Natalie Meg Evans
Publisher: Bookouture (September 22, 2020)
Print Lenght: 468 pages
In the terrace courtyard of the palazzo overlooking a sparkling bay, the scent of ripening lemons filled the air. His deep brown eyes gazed into hers with determination and longing. ‘Will you do it? Risk everything and join us?’
Twenty-one-year-old Imogen Fitzgerald was raised in an English orphanage and never knew her parents. So when World War Two breaks out, she refuses to leave the life she’s worked so hard to build for herself, teaching English to little Marco and Eloisa in the beautiful Italian city of Naples. With their father Giancarlo away fighting for the fascists, there’s no one else to care for these lost children. Imogen’s dark hair and perfect Italian will protect her for now, but if anyone discovers her secret identity as an enemy of Italy, Marco and Eloisa will be left with no one.
As the shadows of bomber planes darken the azure-blue waters of the bay, the one person Imogen can depend on is Fabrizio, the children’s uncle. He’s never seen eye-to-eye with their father, and Imogen is forbidden to speak to him… but whenever they secretly meet in the lemon groves Imogen instantly feels safe. Fabrizio talks passionately of the resistenza, the underground group fighting the regime, and soon Imogen herself is involved – smuggling food along the rocky coast, and even supplying information on Giancarlo to help fight the Nazis and end this awful war.
But when Giancarlo suddenly returns, injured from the fighting, Imogen is shocked to find him much changed. Rather than the fascist sympathiser she knew and resented, she sees in Giancarlo a man who would do anything to protect his children and his beloved Italy. Was she wrong to expose him as a traitor?
Torn between two sides, Imogen’s own life is thrown into terrible danger when a child goes missing and her secret identity is exposed… did she put her trust in the wrong man? And is it too late to save herself, and the children from the horrors of war?
An absolutely stunning and evocative historical read about the bravery of ordinary people in dark times, that will sweep you away to the breath-taking coastline of Italy. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, The Tuscan Child and All the Light We Cannot See.
From the Publisher’s Blurb
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Imogen Fitzgerald was an orphan raised by very strict nuns. She was chastised by her mother’s alleged sins and paid a high price for refusing to condemn her mom for her acts.
When she loses the opportunity to work for a school in Ireland, one of the nuns helps her secure a job as the Count de Trosini’s children’s teacher in Italy.
Giancarlo Trosini is a distant and judgemental man, and Imogen has a hard time understanding him. On the other hand, his half brother Fabrizio is everything she ever wished for.
When the Second World War starts, Imogen could not sail back to England and ended up tangled in a web of political intrigue, rebellion, and persecution.
Imogen is young and confident, but dangerously naive. I was a little annoyed by her initially, but I soon made allowances for her age and her upbringing.
She learned the hard way that things are very seldom what they first look like to be.
Giancarlo is an intriguing character. He was honorable, intelligent, and sensible but a little too direct, and aligned to the wrong side. I felt for him because he was so often misjudged and misunderstood.
Fabrizio is pure Italian charm, and I loved all the scenes with him driving around on his motorcycle. He was every girl’s summer dream.
I enjoyed how the author explored the complicated family connections between the characters. The side characters were well-developed and engaging.
Into the Burning Dawn is recommended to readers who enjoy WWII stories with intrigue, conspiracy, and a hint of romance.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Being a published writer has been Natalie Meg Evans’ goal from an early age. Having achieved her dream, she extracts maximum fun from it by writing the kind of books she has always loved reading. Plotty and immersive, her novels go behind-the-scenes of glamorous worlds, be that haute couture, millinery or the theatre. Her professional experience includes public relations, freelance copywriting and being a bookkeeper. She has also done stints as a bar-person, encyclopaedia saleswoman and cleaner. Mother to one son and currently guardian to two rescued Labradors, Natalie lives in rural north Suffolk, England’s easternmost county.
In 2012, Natalie won the prestigious Harry Bowling Prize and was a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist. She was longlisted in the Mslexia new women novelists
competition, and shortlisted for a Daphne du Maurier award for romantic suspense. The Dress Thief won the readers award for the best historical novel at the Festival of Romance in
2014 and is up for a Romance Writers of America RITA. The novel won the ‘best foreign book’ category in the 2105 Greek Public World book awards, voted for by readers.