Sunday, October 2, 2022

BLOG TOUR - The Maid's Secret


Czechoslovakia, 1940: “We will always have our memories,” he says, as the soldiers pull him away. “You will survive this. You are braver than you know. Remember that, always.” This heartbreaking World War Two page-turner shows that love is more powerful than hatred, bravery can overcome evil, and hope is stronger than darkness.

In the middle of the night, while I am curled in Ben’s arms, there is a harsh knock on the door. My blood turns to ice. The love of my life is Jewish, and I am a Romany gypsy maid; every second that we exist in Hitler’s Europe, we are in danger. Every day, we have been huddling around a crackling radio, listening for news of this evil war. Every night, we have feared we won’t live till dawn.

The banging continues, and we leap out of bed. I can hardly breathe as I open the door, seeing Nazis standing before us. My heart cracks as the soldiers grab Ben. I’m powerless to stop them from shoving him into a wagon, bound for the place of no return.

The love of my life is now imprisoned in wire with thousands of other innocent inmates. For every moment he is trapped behind the gates of hell, he gets closer to death—surviving on scraps of food, and forced to work in gruelling conditions.

The soldiers haven’t arrested me yet, but it’s only a matter of time. I vow to stay alive for Ben, not to give up hope. I’ll stop at nothing to escape the enemy as they hunt me down.

With our fate in the hands of monsters, will we ever see each other again? And will our love for one another save us—or kill us?

Fans of Fiona Valpy, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Book of Lost Names will be utterly glued to this heart-wrenching and utterly gripping World War Two novel which shows that, if you have love, you can survive anything…

Title:   The Maid's Secret
Author:  Shari J. Ryan
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Historical Fiction 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   383
Date of Publication:   September 29, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars

It is 1938 and everything that once seemed normal is changing in Czechoslovakia. If a resident was Jewish, no matter their age, their life was soon to be in peril. There was another community greatly affected by the changing climate in this moving story, and those were the Romani citizens doing the best they could for themselves and their families. It was not easy for any of them, either Romani or Jew.

Mila Leon had seen a young man named Benedikt Bohdan as her father sold a couple of horses to his father. Little did Mila know at the time that Ben would change her life forever. Eventually, Mila became a maid and worked for  Ben's family. Ben's parents and three brothers were affluent Jews whose lives were soon to be turned upside down. While prejudices existed when it came to Mila and her community (as travelers were thought very badly of at that time), Ben saw past that. In fact, what he saw is a beautiful and kind young woman who made his heart beat faster. 

Ben did not share the prejudicial judgment like his brother Tobias, nor did Ben allow his mother's bitterness to affect his growing feelings towards Mila. He was drawn to her quiet and rather secretive nature. Meanwhile, Mila strove to keep her head down and to do her job, even when she experienced a sudden and great loss.   

Society may have had its dictates when it came to Germans, Jews and the Romani, but Mila and Ben found a way to move forward despite the fear, loss and complete emptiness that came with the actions of Hitler and his minions. Shari J. Ryan has written a wonderfully touching book of hope and love that shone through the darkest of times. With a storyline unlike I have read prior to reading The Maid's Secret, this incredible story takes readers on a journey of loss, love and eventually hope. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


Shari J. Ryan is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Women’s Fiction, WWII Fiction, and 20th Century Historical Fiction with a focus on the Holocaust and Pearl Harbor.

Shortly after graduation from Johnson & Wales with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Shari began her career as a graphic artist and freelance writer. She then found her passion for writing books in 2012 after her second son was born. Shari has been slaying words ever since.

With two Rone Awards and over 125k books sold, Shari has hit the USA Today Bestseller List, the Amazon's Top 100, Barnes & Noble's Top Ten, and iBooks at number one. Some of Shari’s bestselling books include Last Words, The Other Blue Sky, Unspoken Words and A Heart of Time.

Shari, a lifelong Boston girl, is happily married to her personal hero and US Marine and they have two wonderful little boys. For more details about her books, visit:

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