Strangers in the Night: Book Review

Is there anything better than a steamy historical romance? Only if it's a steamy historical fiction about two of Old Hollywood's most famous stars. Strangers in the Night, the latest from Heather Webb, is a fictional account of the very true story of the sordid love affair between Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. Star-crossed lovers meets silver-screen stars in this incredibly sexy romance. Old Blue Eyes met his match when he met Ms. Gardner, and soon the whole world would know. Buckle up for the bumpy ride that is their romance.

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Strangers in the Night book review

Quick Look⁣

  • Mid-Century historical romance (closed door)
  • one of Old Hollywood's most infamous couple⁣s
  • reads more like a memoir⁣
  • probably terrific as an audiobook
  • sexy and full of tension
  • spice level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️/5

Pub date: March 21, 2023⁣

Thank you to @williammorrowboooks for the advanced reader copy!⁣

Publisher's Synopsis

It was the tumultuous romance that scandalized the world: Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner fought, loved, and lived life to the hilt. Now their unbridled story is brought vividly to life by Heather Webb, the bestselling author of Meet Me in Monaco and The Next Ship Home.

In the golden age of Hollywood, two of the brightest stars would define--and defy--an era...

She was the small-town southern beauty transformed into a Hollywood love goddess. He was the legendary crooner whose voice transfixed the world. They were Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra. Separately they were irresistible; together they were an explosive combination.

Ava's star is rising just as Frank's career--and public image as a family man--is taking a hit. Gone are the days of the screaming bobbysoxers and chart-topping hits. Ava, however, finds herself gracing the front page of every tabloid in America. Jealousy and cheating abound, and when the two succumb to their temperaments and their vices, their happiness is threatened at every turn.

As the pair ride the rollercoaster of success and failure, passion and anger, they both wonder if the next turn will be the end of their careers, and most devastating of all--the end of all they've shared.

A captivating novel with a star-studded cast spanning continents and decades, Strangers in the Night brings to life the most riveting love story of the twentieth century.

My Review

OMG yes yes yes! This book is EXACTLY what I hoped it would be! Every Classic Hollywood fan needs a copy of Strangers in the Night. I found it hard to tear myself away from this book, frustrated with the fact that I'm not paid to read full-time just so I could finish the super sexy story of Frank and Ava.

Strangers in the Night scratched every itch and then some. With plenty of wit and banter, the dialogue felt authentic and captivating. More than once I felt as though I was right there with Ava and Frank, falling in love with his charm and her sass. Frank's New Jersey accent and wise guy charm leaps from the page, and Ava's prowess lures readers into her web alongside Frank. I only had an e-galley for this one, but I bet the audiobook is superb!

Their love affair felt like the perfect combination of toxic but intoxicating romance, the kind of magic you would expect from two of the world's most beautiful people. Readers are taken along for the ride thanks to Webb's superior storytelling skills. By switching between the two stars' points of view you get a sense of their inner demons and the reasons they were drawn together like two magnets.

As a fan of classic films, it was fun to hear behind-the-scenes tidbits from famous films I've enjoyed even if fictional. Webb uses plenty of references to films, clubs, shows, stars, and locations to give context to the story which only serves to add to the drama.

My Rating

Whew! This one was steamy, sexy, and full of flair, which is exactly what you'd expect from a novel based on one of the most scandalous affairs of Hollywood. I couldn't look away from the trainwreck that was their love affair. But at the heart of the book is the undying love Frank and Ava shared for each other, long after the ink dried on the divorce papers. Strangers in the Night is superb storytelling that any historical fiction lover will appreciate. This one sure did!

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About Carlie

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