The Secret Wife by Gill Paul Blog Tour - This Chick Reads
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The Secret Wife by Gill Paul Blog Tour

D Day is finally here! I can finally share my review of the AMAZING, BRILLIANT, BREATH TAKING novel by Gill Paul, THE SECRET WIFE. Guys, I have so many feels for this book, I just want to scream and shout and make everyone JUST READ IT! You might not be the biggest fan of historical fiction/romance, but trust me YOU NEED THIS BOOK! Yes, it’s that good! In fact, it’s beyond good, it’s a MASTERPIECE! Sorry for the emotional outbursts but I just can’t contain myself. OK, I’m off to make a strong cuppa and chill a bit, but in the mean time, READ MY REVIEW, run to amazon, DOWNLOAD A COPY (just 99p on co uk, how freakin cheap is that?!), read it and come back to comment. I would SO love to gush over this book with as many of you. Oh and almost forgot (what happens when I get these outbursts) massive thanks to lovely Helena and the AVON UK team for my review copy and the chance to be part of THE SECRET WIFE’s blog journey. 

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul
Published by Avon
Published on 25.8.2016
Genres:historical fiction, historical romance
Pages: 416

‘A cleverly crafted novel and an enthralling story… A triumph.’ DINAH JEFFERIES

A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries . . .

Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.


Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger . . .


Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret . . .

Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Dinah Jefferies.

Oh god, THIS book! Just so many feels!

The Secret Wife is a book that made me realize two things:

1) I really should read more historical fiction, and

2) I MUST check Gill Paul’s previous books as I TOTALLY loved this one!

The Secret Wife is one of these beautifully written, exceptional books you just don’t know how to review. I love it so much I fear no matter what I say it won’t do the book justice. But I’m willing to try anyway.

The Secret Wife is a wonderful historical novel with plot that spans for a bit over a century. Going back and forth, from 1914 to 2016, and traveling different locations (Russia to America) we follow two stories. The first story is about the famous family of Romanovs, their rise and fall on the night of 16/17 July 1917. Through the love story of Tatiana (the second of the duchesses) and Dmitri Malama (a Russian soldier) we follow the life of the Romanovs in a very turbulent Russia. Tatiana and Dmitri meet after he’s been shot and brought to the hospital, where Tatiana and her older sister, Olga are helping out as nurses. From the moment they meet, they feel an instant chemistry between them. Now I have to say that after reading about 20% of the book I immediately had to check (advise google) about how much of the historical facts were interwoven in Gill’s story. And you should have seen my surprise when I did find a picture of Tatiana and Malama online (wikipedia) which only made this story even more enjoyable and amazing.

Fast forward 100 years and we meet Kitty who’s having a bit of a rough time in her relationship and finds out she’s inherited a cabin on the shores of Lake Akanabee. The cabin seems like the perfect place to hide and heal and she’s off from London to America on what will surely be a surprising adventure. What is the connection between Kitty and Tatiana or Dmitri? As you continue to read you’ll see the link and feel the romance of Tatiana and Dmitri unfolding before your eyes.

There’s so many things about this book which make it a must read. The past and present are beautifully blended, as well as fiction with the historical facts. To be honest, I haven’t read that many books on one of the most famous Russian families, but this book did feel like a short course on that historical period. Gill’s writing is so beautiful I was in awe of her talent and knack for keeping me totally engrossed in the story. As you can see, it’s not a short book, on the contrary there’s quite a bit of pages, but I swear I’ve never read a book faster.

In a way, The Secret Wife reminded me of the great Russian Classics, but not because of the topic it exploits. Strong feelings of undying love, that great love that inspires and doesn’t leave you to rest, even feelings of melancholy, they’re all perfectly blended making this book a true masterpiece.

As I was reading about Dmitri’s numerous attempts to free Tatiana and his hope to one day be reunited, I couldn’t help but feel goosebumps. I won’t lie, there were parts that brought a tear to my eye and got me so emotional I had to put the book down and calm down. Yes, this is one of these books you’d be crazy not to read and it’s also one of these books I can’t imagine anyone not loving. It’s that brilliant! Wonderful, emotional and exceptionally written, The Secret Wife is definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read and easiest 5* I’ve ever given.

About Gill Paul

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in recent history. Her new novel, The Secret Wife, is about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914. It’s also about a young woman in 2016 deciding whether to forgive her husband after an infidelity.

Gill’s other novels include Women and Children First, about a young steward who works on the Titanic; The Affair, set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fall in love while making Cleopatra; and No Place for a Lady, about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects (to be published 1st October 2016) and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.

Gill was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls “research trips” and attempting to match-make for friends.

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