Book Reviews (and a Giveaway!): The Metropolitan Affair & The Hudson Collection by Jocelyn Green

Posted June 8, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Christian, giveaway, historical, Jocelyn Green, mystery/suspense, romance / 79 Comments

the metropolitan affair the hudson collection book review

I have had The Metropolitan Affair on my TBR list since it came out last year and now that The Hudson Collection has released too I decided it was the perfect time to read them both!

The Metropolitan Affair book review

The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn GreenTHE METROPOLITAN AFFAIR by Jocelyn Green
On Central Park #1

GENRE: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: March 14, 2023
PAGES: 400

A Booklist Top 10 Romance Novel of 2023

Bestselling author Jocelyn Green sweeps you away in a dazzling novel of secrets, betrayal, and romance within one of New York City’s most esteemed museums.

For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she’d accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.

The first is her repentant father’s offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York’s wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.

With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York’s high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger’s identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.

“Death isn’t the end of life – it’s really the beginning of our eternity.”

Jocelyn Green is one of those rare historical fiction authors who writes seamlessly in a variety of time periods … and delivers captivating stories in them all. I first fell in love with her writing through her Civil War series (specifically Widow of Gettysburg) and continued to enjoy the books set in French-colonial North America and then late 1800s Chicago. And now The Metropolitan Affair brings us to 1920s New York City, complete with Prohibition, bootlegging, Egyptomania, forgeries, and high society glitz and glamour…. and I loved it too!

In this series starter, Green introduces us to three savvy New York City roommates who are establishing their careers in the world of historical preservation – Lauren as an assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Elsa as an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History, and Ivy as a historian at the New York Historical Society. Right away, my interest was piqued by these friends who are bravely and determinedly carving out a spot for themselves in fields that still elevated male expertise over female.

The Metropolitan Affair focuses on Lauren – Dr. Lauren Westlake, to be specific – and I immediately connected with her personality. I found her work, including her reputation in authenticating Egyptian antiquities, to be all kinds of fascinating. The complexities of her relationship with her father gave her even more compelling layers to sort through, and I wanted to hug her through the pages. Fortunately, someone else is there to embrace her, to help her feel loved, and to shine a spotlight on her accomplishments and her inherent value as a person. Enter Detective Joe Caravello, an old friend who needs her expertise on forgeries to help him with his current investigation. Joe is classic ‘good New York cop’, a man of integrity, without being a caricature, and he easily found his way into my heart. His parents did, too, and I could picture their interactions so clearly. I loved watching Joe and Lauren rebuild their once-special connection as they work together to root out the mastermind(s) behind the spate of forged Egyptian antiquities bilking the elite and the curious out of untold amounts of money.

Bottom Line: The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green fully immersed me in the captivating world of 1920s New York City, Egyptomania, and Prohibition, entertaining me with a multi-dimensional story and characters I loved rooting for. Lauren and Joe’s unique beginning to their friendship provides the perfect foundation for their renewed connection and reawakened feelings. Their romance is both sweet and swoony, as is their respect for each other and the way they build each other up, and it perfectly complements the historical and mystery elements to the story too. Meaningful threads of belonging, pride, extravagance, jealousy, forgiveness, and the deep love of God also touched me. All of it together, plus the various NYC settings, puts readers right in the narrative and keeps them invested in the outcome. The perfect choice for fans of Elizabeth Camden!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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The Hudson Collection book review

The Hudson Collection by Jocelyn GreenTHE HUDSON COLLECTION by Jocelyn Green
On Central Park #2

GENRE: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2024
PAGES: 352

Step into the beguiling world of 1926 New York and discover the power of resilience, friendship, and love from award-winning author Jocelyn Green.

Elsa Reisner’s lifelong dream of working as an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History is fading as the job begins to drain her passion. But fate takes an unexpected turn when she is assigned to catalog the bequest of a recently deceased patron whose Gothic country mansion holds secrets and treasures waiting to be discovered.

As Elsa delves into her task, she forms an unlikely bond with the estate’s delightful gardener and her daughter, as well as an architectural salvage dealer who still bears scars from the Great War. Together, they embark on a thrilling treasure hunt for a missing relic intended to safeguard the servants’ futures before the estate is sold. At the same time, Elsa’s body seems to betray her with new symptoms from a childhood disease that isn’t through with her yet.

With the brooding veteran and her handsome colleague joining the search, Elsa must navigate the tangled web of secrets and hidden motives along with the changing state of her health. As her deadline looms ever closer, will she be able to secure a new life for her friends before the estate slips from their grasp?

“No matter how strong you may be, some wounds we can’t reach by ourselves.”

I’m going to have to quit saying that I’m not a fan of reading about the 1920s, and it’s exactly because of novels like The Metropolitan Affair and The Hudson Collection that I have a newfound appreciation for stories set during this era.

There is so much depth to The Hudson Collection, and Jocelyn Green seamlessly incorporates several thought-provoking ‘hot button’ topics of the day into the larger narrative. I appreciated the layers that these complexities – as well as explorations of PTSD, sexism, and chronic illness – added to Elsa’s story. In particular, the spotlight on the eugenics movement served as a timely reminder of how easily sin uses fear as a foothold to trick us into supporting the unthinkable under the guise of the greater good. I also found the contrast compelling between the eugenics proponents and those working outside conventional medicine & means to give preemie babies a chance at life.

Elsa Reisner is kindhearted, warm, and intuitive, making her an easy character to love. Her battle with the lingering effects of polio reminded me in many ways of my late mother-in-law who also suffered from polio as a child and walked with a limp the rest of her life. Because of this, I felt personally invested in Elsa’s journey on perhaps a different level than I would have otherwise. I also have a recent penchant for bird watching (from the safety of my living room) and a new appreciation for all the bright colors and vibrant birdsong, giving Elsa and I yet another connection. One thing I humorously could not relate to, however, is her job of preserving bird specimens for display at the museum. The line “A mansion full of dead birds awaited her” had me chuckling over how that would have marked my last day of work in that field LOL.

Luke Dupont – with his own external & internal scars – is the perfect match for Elsa, and I fell quickly for his steadiness, his integrity, his gentleness, his strength, and his ability to really ‘see’ Elsa. The care he takes with not only Elsa and her work but his friend Tom as well as the estate gardener Tatiana and her daughter Danielle (who would now likely be diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum) too had me solidly in his corner from his earliest encounters with Elsa. I adored watching their relationship blossom, and I admit to shedding some tears over an incredibly meaningful and tender gift that he gives her. The emphasis on leaning on each other, on not being ashamed to ask for help, reminded me again of the fact that we were created to live in community, not isolation.

Bottom Line: Once again, Jocelyn Green completely immersed me in the world of 1920s New York along with an eccentric estate full of preserved birds (and greedy relatives), and a mystery of medieval proportions. Not only did I love Elsa and Luke and their tender romance, but a host of supporting characters like Tom, Tatiana, Danielle, Barney, and even the late Birdie herself also captured my heart. The message that every person is skillfully created and wholly loved by God became even more resonate when considering the contrast between these wonderful characters and the horror of the eugenics movement that considered them each ‘less than’ in some way. Luke and Elsa’s love story fits perfectly alongside the historical layers and mystery elements that Green incorporates into The Hudson Collection, and I found myself thoroughly entertained as well as challenged. Looking forward to Ivy’s story!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

affiliate links used

Jocelyn Green

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including the Christy Award-winning The Mark of the King and Drawn by the Current and her On Central Park series. Connect with Jocelyn at her website.

The Hudson Collection giveaway

Bethany House is offering a paperback copy of The Hudson Collection to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read The Metropolitan Affair and The Hudson Collection by Jocelyn Green?

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79 responses to “Book Reviews (and a Giveaway!): The Metropolitan Affair & The Hudson Collection by Jocelyn Green

  1. Pam K.

    i’ve already read The Metropolitan Affair and found it excellent, as is usual for Jocelyn Green’s books. I really want to read The Hudson Collection because I know it will be very good.

  2. Roxanne C.

    Both of these Christian historical romantic mysteries sound fascinating. I am especially interested in The Hudson Collection.

  3. Sarah Evankovich

    The covers for these books really draw you in & everything I’ve read about them makes me want to read them. I’ve also been following them for awhile & wanting to read Joceyln’s books. She’s a new to me author & all I’ve heard are good things.

  4. Leah Williams

    I love the covers of these books! I really enjoyed the Metropolitan Affair and looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

  5. Kay Garrett

    Thank you so much for your reviews on both THE METROPOLITAN AFFAIR and THE HUDSON COLLECTION. Jocelyn Green has a way of bring history to colorful life within amazing stories.

  6. Sandy Avery

    I read and loved The Hudson Collection and definitely plan on reading The Metropolitan Affair very soon. Looking forward to the next story too.

  7. Erika Luther

    The first book was really good. I’m looking forward to reading the second one.

  8. Paty Hinojosa

    I love how detailed and well researched her historical books are! Love her books!

  9. Patty

    Like you, I’ve had the first book in this series in my TBR stack since soon after it’s release. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to get my hands on book two!

  10. Elly

    They sound like intriguing books! I’ve not read either of them, but am looking forward to doing so!

  11. marti

    Egyptology in the 20’s has always fascinated me. And working in a museum is a dream job of mine. (I didn’t volunteer at a museum a few times).

  12. Jessica Baker

    I have book one, but still haven’t read it (ugh there’s just not enough time). But I need to get this so my Jocelyn collection stays complete!

  13. I’m giggling with delight that it took you, Meez Carrie, a year to get to a book on your TBR list. Since I’ve been following you, my list has grown like a weed. Both books sound captivating!

  14. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for these thoughtful, generous reviews! I’m so glad your enjoyed both stories. Thank you for sharing! This makes my whole week!

  15. Teri DiVincenzo

    I loved The Metropolitan Affair so much, and have been eagerly awaiting The Hudson Collection!

  16. karen

    These books sound like a book that will be hard to put down and full of suspense. These books are both on my tbr list.

  17. I enjoyed The Metropolitan Affair. Since I’m not a fan of books from the 1920s I wasn’t in any hurry to pick up the sequel, but you’ve sold me on The Hudson Collection. Adding to my to-read list now! And thanks for adding the funny bit about the dead birds to your review 🙂

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