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Monday, December 26, 2022

My Thoughts-- Secret Society of Salzburg Author: Renee Ryan


About the Book

Book: Secret Society of Salzburg 

Author: Renee Ryan 

From the author of The Widows of Champagne, and inspired by true events, comes a gripping and heartwrenching story of two very different women united to bring light to the darkest days of World War II.
London, 1933
At first glance, Austrian opera singer Elsa Mayer-Braun has little in common with the young English typist she encounters on tour. Yet she and Hattie Featherstone forge an instant connection—and strike a dangerous alliance. Using their friendship as a cover, they form a secret society with a daring goal: to rescue as many Jews as possible from Nazi persecution.
Though the war’s outbreak threatens Elsa and Hattie’s network, their efforts attract the covert attention of the British government, offering more opportunities to thwart the Germans. But Elsa’s growing fame as Hitler’s favorite opera singer, coupled with her secret Jewish ancestry, make her both a weapon and a target—until her future, too, hangs in the balance.
From the glamorous stages of Covent Garden and Salzburg to the horrors of Bergen-Belsen,  two ordinary women swept up by the tide of war discover an extraordinary friendship—and the courage to save countless lives.

About the Author

Renee Ryan is the Amazon bestselling, multi-published author of historical romance and historical fiction. She’s published over 30 novels, including the WWII-set historical novel The Widows of Champagne and her upcoming release, The Secret Society of Salzburg.
Renee grew up in Florida, where she learned how to skateboard and surf poorly. She attended Florida State University, was president of her sorority, and earned degrees in Economics, Latin, and Religious Studies.
For additional information about Renee, check out or go to her Renee Ryan Instagram or Facebook page. Her Twitter handle is @ReneeRyanBooks. 

My Thoughts

The Secret Society of Salzburg is written by Renee Ryan. The author has done careful research to bring this story to life. Per the description, it is inspired by true events. Elsa Mayer-Braun is a famous Austrian opera singer. She has hidden her Jewish heritage and has been raised as a Christian. In 1933, she meets sisters who are fans, Vera and Henrietta Featherstone. The ladies get along right away and form a wonderful friendship. The two also share a common interest, help the Jewish people. Elsa's husband, famed composer Wilheim rubs Hattie the wrong way, but out of respect for Elsa she does not bring it up. When War is declared this makes their mission harder. Plus Elsa has to hide more from her husband. Plus Wilhelm’s alliance with the Germans makes things tough. Suddenly, Elsa finds herself detained. She had been Hitler's favorite opera singer and she is taken into custody and interrogated. Hattie is worried about her friend, but knows work needs to go on. Since Elsa was a well known opera singer, she is held in a special camp, Bergen-Belsen. The Nazi's want to potentially use this as leverage. This story flashes back and forth to 1933 and 1943 when Elsa is arrested. The author does so seamlessly. It's so beautifully written and well researched. I enjoyed seeing Hattie and Elsa on their adventures. I love that Harlequin has been expanding and we now have the Love Inspired Trade books. Thank you to the author and publisher for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own.

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