Thursday, May 16, 2024

Review & Giveaway - - Tomorrow is for the Brave

Tomorrow is for the Brave
by Kelly Bowen
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: May 14, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

1939, France
: Lavish parties, fast cars, and a closet full of the latest fashion—to the average eye, socialite Violet St. Croix seemingly has it all. But what she truly wants is a life full of meaning and purpose. So when France falls to Germany, Violet defies her parents’ wishes and joins the war effort.  With her impeccable skill for driving under pressure, she is soon sent to North Africa to shepherd French Foreign Legion officers carrying valuable intelligence through dangerous territory.

But as the Allies encounter one mishap after another, Violet becomes convinced there is a spy in their ranks. And when her commanding officer is murdered, Violet realizes she might be the only one who can uncover the traitor and save the lives of countless soldiers on the front lines. Convincing others to believe her is difficult enough. Finding someone she can trust just might be impossible.

PJ's Thoughts:

I have a book hangover. I started reading Tomorrow is for the Brave yesterday. It didn't take long before I realized that I may as well toss my to-do list to the side. Clearly, nothing was going to be accomplished until I had read the entire book and I didn't care. I was that deeply immersed into the life of Violet St. Croix. With each chapter read, I was that much more invested in her, a woman who defied her family - and 
fiancĂ© - to do what was right for her country, a woman who risked her life on the front lines of the WWII North Africa campaign, a woman who became a symbol of hope against the murderous Nazi regime, a woman who seemed to be the only person willing to entertain the idea that there might be a deadly spy among them. I simply had to know what happened next!

Kelly Bowen, a historical romance auto-buy author for years, has now become one of my go-to authors for WWII historical fiction. Her research is impeccable with fictional and actual events - and people - woven together into compelling stories that are darn near impossible to put down and a sense of place that puts the reader in the middle of whatever is occurring. Each time I looked up from the pages of this story, it took me a minute to realize that I was reading a book in the comfort of my home in 2024 and not on a twisty coastal road in southern France in 1939 or a dug-out desert bunker in North Africa in 1941. It's that immersive and realistic.

Bowen's character development is so complete that it's difficult to not think that these were actual people who lived. Violet, George, and Henri, in particular, are characters who engaged my interest - and affections - completely. I was right there with them through all of the peaks and valleys of their intertwined journeys and fully invested in what happened to them. (While all three of these characters are fictional, Violet was inspired by a real woman, Susan Travers, the only woman to ever serve in the French Foreign Legion. Be sure to read the Historical Note at the back of the book for more information about Travers as well as events depicted in the book.)

As if the trials of war weren't enough, Bowen has also woven a deadly mystery through this book with plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing as to the actual identity of the "spy among us." Just when I decided I had figured out the spy's identity, she would throw another twist into the mix that had me second guessing. I love when authors stump me like that. I did finally figure it out but even then, it in no way took anything away from the suspense and danger as events played out.  

If you're in the mood for a compelling, immersive, coming-of-age story featuring a young woman raised in the lap of luxury who leaves it all behind for a greater purpose amidst the turmoil and danger of WWII, finding courage, love, and a sense of self in the process, look no further than Tomorrow is for the Brave by Kelly Bowen. It has my highest recommendation. 


Have you read any of Kelly Bowen's books?

In Tomorrow is for the Brave, Violet is both an accomplished driver as well as mechanic, very unusual for a woman of her time. How are your driving/mechanic skills? Any wanna-be car racers among us?

I love historical fiction, especially those set in the WWII era. Have you read any WWII books lately that you would recommend?

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, May 18 will receive a print copy of Tomorrow is for the Brave. 

*U.S. / Canada only
*Must be 18



  1. I have not read any of this author or any WW2 era books. Patoct

  2. I have not read anything by Ms Bowen. From your review it is evident that she is a talented author. She's got skills. I have a problem and I am not sure what to do. Material about WWII is a difficult topic for me. I was a child during the war and my family was involved in several aspects of the war. After the war, we had many displaced persons move into our area. These were people who had escaped the Nazis or the Russians. It was an exciting time for a child, but the people that I met had endured situations that were horrific And it was evident, even to a child, that life had been very hard. I love the sound of this book. I love mysteries. Finding spies sounds quite intriguing. But, I know I am unable to handle this. Thanks for the review and all the wonderful information.

  3. I have read all of Kelly Bowen's wonderful novels. Captivating and unforgettable. A fabulous storyteller. Historicals set during World War 2 are my favorite since they are meaningful and profound. I have read hundreds that make me sad but are also inspiring and uplifting due to the bravery of the characters. The Paris Agent. The War Pianist, The Book Spy, The Last Restaurant in Paris and many more. I can drive but have no mechanical aptitude at all.

  4. I have not read anything by this author, but I am looking forward to reading this! I love WWII era books.

  5. Wow. I've read a ton of WWII books but almost none (except Annabelle McCormack) that took place outside Europe or the U.S, so this title sounds particularly interesting. But I'm ashamed to say that I think I've never read a Kelly Bowen book. Obviously I should catch up! The two WWII novels that stand out most in my memory are Beyond That, the Sea, by Laura Spence-Ash and of course, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I read one fairly well-known book about a woman who worked as a mechanic and driver in England during the war, but I cannot remember the title!

  6. I love Kelly Bowen's books! Sometimes I really miss that she isn't writing historical romance anymore, but her historical fiction books are also wonderful! It has been a minute since I've read any WWII books. I love to drive and think it would be a lot of fun to drive some of these fancy sports cars someplace where I could push the speed without getting a ticket, but I have zero desire to actually be a race car driver. Sadly, my mechanic skills are lacking.

    1. This was my comment since I didn't realize that I had been logged out.

  7. I love books that include historical facts and are set in important periods of history. I have read a very interesting series that is in the time leading up to WWII by Anne Perry her Elena Standish series. It shows the conflict between the people and governments that never want another war and the ones that want to protect their country from evil. I will definitely check out Kelly Bowen's books

  8. I've not yet read any of her books, but I will definitely have to correct that oversight. There are some wonderful WWII books coming out and I have a wish list of quite a few that sound so good. I did start a book with a WWII and contemporary dual timeline. Unfortunately, we were on vacation and the book got misplaced when we got home and I haven't found it to finish it. I have several books in my TBR pile that are set during WWII and look forward to reading them.
    When we first got married, I took a car maintenance class. We have a 1972 Land Rover (think the movie Hatari with John Wayne) and that was the car I took to class. It is so simple I could probably still work on it. It was made for easy upkeep and repair in harsh conditions. Todays cars are made so it is really hard or impossible to work on them yourself. As for speed, that is not for me. I love driving curvey, back roads, especially through the mountains. No speed involved, just concentration and care.
    Thank you for the review and recommendation. All of her books are going on my wish list.

    1. Just found the title of the book I started. It is The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen. It was good. I just need to find it so I can finish it.

  9. Another new author for me! Love historical books set in WW11. Need to check her out.

  10. I've definitely enjoyed some of Kelly Bowen's historical romances! As for WWII books, one that has stuck with me is Carrie Lofty's His Very Own Girl. It really brought some of that time alive for me.

  11. I've read a few of Kelly's historical romance books and enjoyed them - this one sounds quite exciting and is on trend for the current trend of WWII stories. I happen to be watching a segment of Antique Roadshow UK and it is focusing on items from WWII - such fascinating and also many heartbreaking stories. I can be fairly mechanical and learned how to change tires & the oil on cars, but wouldn't attempt it now - anything further on todays computerized cars is way beyond me.