Sunday, September 24, 2023



Tuscany, 1944, Contessa Evelina Messina owns the wonderful Villa Rosa.  But as the Germans move to take over Northern Italy, Evelina entertains the soldiers to gather any information from them that she can.  Serving them fancy dinners and expensive wine from her wine cellar, the locals begin to wonder which side she is actually on.  Many years later Annie Reynolds’ father passed away and his last words to her was that she was adopted and the beautiful Villa Rosa was hers.  When she begins to investigate her past, some of the locals tell her that Evelina Messina had a child with a Nazi.  When Annie discovers an old diary with entries dating back to 1944, some of the pages had deliberately been removed.  Annie is certain that those missing pages are the truth to her past.  Reading through Evelina’s diary, Annie discovers that the Contessa did everything she could to keep the enemy Nazi’s at bay.  And now the truth must be discovered and made known, and Annie is the only one that can make that happen.

An Italian Secret written by author Ella Carey, was a heartbreaking story of finding out the truth and uncovering family history.  I loved every page of this story from cover to cover.  This dual timeline novel was completely unexpected and I was enthralled with its history.  I loved Annie’s story the most because of her determination to uncover the truth. This was a story that completely captivated me and I wasn’t ready for it to end.  I am so happy that this is the first book of a brand new series.  I can’t wait to read the next installment.  Thank you Ella Carey for such a phenomenal read…you never disappoint.  I loved this story and I highly recommend it.



Rating: 5 out of 5.
Author:  Ella Carey 
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: September 22, 2023
Pages: 331
Buy on Amazon 

Tuscany, 1944. Did she fight for the resistance or betray her people?

When the Nazis storm into northern Italy, 
Contessa Evelina Messina, the owner of the beautiful Villa Rosa, welcomes the Germans to her valley. In a dazzling rose silk dress, she entertains soldiers with priceless wine from her ancient cellars. Privately, she tells the townspeople this will keep the enemy at bay, but her disguise is so good, it is impossible to tell on which side her heart truly belongs…

Years later, American
 Annie Reynolds gazes up at the peach-coloured walls of the magnificent, empty house. Grieving deeply for her beloved father, Annie remembers his last words before he slipped away—he told her she was adopted and that the Villa Rosa was her birthright. Desperate for answers, Annie’s heart breaks when the locals tell her the Contessa had a child with a Nazi. She is devastated and ready to turn away from her dark past.

But everything changes when Annie uncovers a musty old diary from 1944 amongst the Contessa’s belongings. Pages have been meticulously cut out and Annie is sure these missing entries hold the clue to her past. As she frantically searches old papers, Annie sees how hard the Contessa worked to keep her people safe and wonders if the locals’ stories are wrong. 
Can Annie find the Contessa’s missing child, born at the end of the war? And will discovering the truth about what happened alter the course of her own life for good? 


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

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