The Witch of the Breton Woods

Romance - Suspense
163 Pages
Reviewed on 05/25/2024
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Author Biography

Jennifer Ivy Walker has an MA in French literature and is a p former high school teacher and professor of French at a state college in Florida. Her novels encompass a love for French language, literature, history, and culture, incorporating her lifelong study and many trips to France.
The Witch of the Breton Woods is a heart-pounding romantic suspense set during WWII in Nazi-occupied France, where a young woman in the French Resistance shelters a wounded American soldier, hiding him from the Gestapo and the monstrous Butcher who are relentlessly hunting him.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ronél Steyn for Readers' Favorite

Jennifer Ivy Walker brings us a suspenseful romance novel in The Witch of the Breton Woods. Yvette Fleury lives alone in a little cottage in the seaside village of le Vivier-Sur-Mer in German-occupied France. Food is rationed and it is a dangerous place for the Resistance, and anyone found helping them. When Yvette finds an injured American soldier in the woods on her way home, she decides to help him. As she goes about her daily routine to keep suspicions away, she takes care of the American and slowly falls in love with him. When he has to leave to return to his regiment, they vow to find each other when the war is over. Will the Third Reich keep them apart forever or will fate intervene and allow love to win?

Author Jennifer Ivy Walker has created an amazingly rich world that is filled with tastes, smells, sights, and sounds. Along with textural descriptions, this book stimulates the senses on all levels. Written in the third-person narrative mostly from the perspective of our protagonist, we are privy to her fears and desires. With a steady pace and a slow-revealing plot, it was hard to put down this book. Character descriptions were solid, which made them more relatable. Much attention was given to the little quirks each of the characters had. This made the entire book more believable. This book is not recommended for younger readers due to some sexual content. From “lupine gazes” to “briny breezes,” The Witch of the Breton Woods is a must-read!

Jennifer Ibiam

Yvette Fleury lived in a cottage in the Breton Woods after the Nazis killed her family and confiscated their farm. One day, on her way back from trading food supplies, she found an American soldier, battered, and hanging from a tree. Yvette saved, treated, and hid him in her cottage. The soldier recovered and fell in love with his nurse, Yvette. Unfortunately, their peace was shattered when Yvette’s suspicious client and enemy informant betrayed her to Etienne “Butcher” Boucher. Etienne led the Nazi collaborators in Le Vivier-Sur-Mer village. Their enemies stormed Yvette’s house on the orders of the man who had killed her family, and things were never the same. Is there hope for their love? Will Yvette and everything she loves survive the Nazis and their collaborators? Find out in The Witch of the Breton Woods by Jennifer Ivy Walker. 

Reading about the occupation of France by the Nazis in the early 1940s is sobering. It gets worse learning that a portion of the French population collaborated with the Nazis against their brothers for bread. The Witch of the Breton Woods by Jennifer Ivy Walker turns the spotlight on Yvette Fleury. She is one woman who was neither weak nor took prisoners. She was kind, determined, resourceful, and courageous. Yvette was the star of this novel. I enjoyed the suspense, romance, adrenaline rush, grit, and the quest for survival against all odds. Jennifer is a writer with fantastic descriptive prowess. I felt everything. The plot development and the characters were authentic. Jules, Jaques, Lola, and Zach were solid people who deserved some peace. However, I hope Marie-Claire Dubois gets her just deserts. Thank you for a beautiful book, Jennifer. Please keep writing.

Keith Mbuya

Perhaps it was because of the way she had mysteriously appeared in the small French village of Vivier-Sur-Mer, as if from out of the blue. Or because she was an enigmatic healer. Whichever, it made the people of the small village in northwestern France call Yvette Fleury the Witch of the Breton Woods. Following the German invasion of France, Nazi soldiers had moved into her village, killing many families, including hers. Being among the few survivors, Yvette and her brother Jules moved to Vivier-Sur-Mer. While fetching supplies, Yvette found a badly wounded American soldier in the woods. The soldier was part of a regiment deployed by Allied forces. It had been shot down by Nazi anti-aircraft guns and was being hunted by La Milice, the French collaborators helping the Nazis control the region. With the help of Les Loups, a local resistance group led by Jules, Yvette hides the soldier at her cottage. It turns out the soldier has completely lost his memory and does not even know his name. As she tends to him, Yvette and the soldier fall head over heels for each other. With the La Milice hunting for him, and a looming war between the Allied forces and the Nazis, the couple finds themselves treading a dangerous path. Find out more in Jennifer Ivy Walker’s The Witch of the Breton Woods.

If you are looking for a romance suspense novel, Jennifer Ivy Walker’s The Witch of the Breton Woods is just what you need. This love story keeps you on edge as the protagonists face powerful and almost invincible villains, survive the most grueling encounters that show death’s cruel hand, and put their wits, trust, and patience to the test, all while keeping the flame of their love fiercely burning. The author took me back to the German invasion of France with vivid depictions, giving me a glimpse into living under the oppressive Nazi rule, and the watchful eyes of the La Milice. The author's way of bringing out the cast’s emotions and juxtaposing their complex traits allowed me to connect with them. The fear of La Milice among the village folks was so palpable that they trembled at the mere mention of the name. While many were fooled by her quiet demeanor, at heart she was a daring, intelligent, and fierce woman who would kill for those she loves. Walker pays great attention to detail, uniquely capturing the mood, setting, and cultural nuances of the era.

Pikasho Deka

The Witch of the Breton Woods is a historical romance by Jennifer Ivy Walker. Set during World War II in France, the story follows Yvette Fleury, a young Frenchwoman living in the dense forest near the Breton shore. Most of Yvette's family members were murdered by the Nazis, and now her oldest brother Jules leads the French resistance group called Les Loups -- The Wolves. Yvette finds an injured American soldier tangled in a parachute, whose plane was brought down by the Germans, and she immediately starts nursing him back to health. She calls him Beau as he suffers from amnesia, and the two soon fall head over heels in love. After killing a Nazi officer, Beau is reunited with his fellow American soldiers. But now, he thinks the Nazis have Yvette.

Packed with romance, suspense, and action, The Witch of the Breton Woods is a captivating story to be savored by historical fiction enthusiasts and romance lovers alike. Jennifer Ivy Walker has written a riveting tale of love and revenge set against the backdrop of World War II. Using a cast of compelling characters and an unpredictable plot, the author tells a fast-paced story that never lets you take your eyes off the pages, keeping you hooked with unexpected twists and turns that take you by surprise every single time. Beau and Yvette's love feels genuine, and Walker makes their story so engrossing that, as a reader, you can't help rooting for them to end up together. I found the ending satisfying and hopeful, and I think most readers will feel the same. Readers of historical romance are in for a treat with this book.

Risah Salazar

The Witch of the Breton Woods by Jennifer Ivy Walker is a suspenseful romance set against the backdrop of World War II. Yvette Fleury, a villager in le Vivier-Sur-Mer, does her best to survive the Third Reich by bartering goods. She and her brother Jules, who also survived a brutal attack, are now members of Les Loups, the French Resistance group opposing the Gestapo and their leader, Etienne Boucher, the Butcher. One day, with the help of her brother and friends, Yvette rescues a critically wounded American soldier near her cottage. Although she feels an attraction to him, Yvette denies his advances, wary of opening her heart amid the chaos of war. She wonders if she can protect her heart in such turbulent times.

Jennifer Ivy Walker demonstrates her storytelling prowess in The Witch of the Breton Woods, a novel rich in detail and meticulously researched. From mollusk anatomy to the depiction of wartime injuries, Walker's expertise shines through, adding depth and authenticity to the narrative. The story captivates readers from the outset, drawing them into a vivid, immersive world that feels palpably real. Walker expertly balances moments of lightness and tension, making her audience smile and then grit their teeth in suspense. The world-building is particularly impressive, with the confined setting of a small cottage brought to life through dynamic storytelling. Yvette emerges as a strong, unconventional fighter, embodying the feminist spirit within a historical context. The narrative is compelling and engaging. The Witch of the Breton Woods is a must-read for fans of history, action, feminism, and romance.