July 28th, 2021
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
Rebecca ZannettiRebecca Zannetti
Fresh Pick

Summer reading in July you need to start







Fresh Pick of the Day


Roberts Ink
June 2020
On Sale: May 27, 2020
Featuring: Nessa Baumgartner; Erich Reinhold
313 pages
ISBN: 0999439820
EAN: 9780999439821
Kindle: B0899CYQGZ
Add to Wish List


Read Kindle Preview

Barnes & Noble

In World War II Berlin, Jews such as Erich Reinhold, who can pass for Aryan, and his sweetheart, Nessa Baumgartner, go underground. In a city where Jewish life is being snuffed out, they soon find themselves in a world of false identification papers and forged ration cards, risking their lives to help others escape to freedom. Safety is a foreign word, danger is everywhere and love is a luxury they can’t afford.

But maybe, in spite of danger and separation, they will find their safe harbor.


Shivering in the frigid railway car, Erich centered his thoughts around warmer things: Nessa. The happiness he felt when he was with her, the touch of her hand, how her brown eyes would light up at the sight of him. His mind traveled back to the first time they’d met.

He was minding the family bookshop alone one Saturday, balancing on a ladder in the front of the store. In one hand, pressed against his chest, he held a bundle of six or seven new arrivals by Hermann Hesse; with the other he picked the volumes out of the stack to place them onto the bookshelf.

He had just slid a copy of Steppenwolf into place when he saw someone outside on the sidewalk looking in the display window. Turning for a better look, he caught sight of the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. At that moment gravity and the angle of his body took over and he was suddenly in mid-air plunging downward. He crashed onto the floor, the books in his hands scattering everywhere.

Unhurt, he scrambled to his feet and scooped them up. Then, in an attempt to save face, he tried to act as though nothing had happened. Too late. The girl on the sidewalk had witnessed the entire scene: the awkward flight to earth, the sprawling crash, and the mad scramble afterwards. She covered her mouth with her hand, trying to conceal her laughter.

Red-faced, Erich smiled at her through the window. After she had gained control of herself, she looked at him with a smile that seemed to shine right through him. He put his pile of books on a nearby counter and hurried toward the front door, anxious to find out her name.

She met him as he swung the door open. “Are you all right? I’m so sorry for laughing. I just couldn’t help myself.”

“Don’t worry, I’m fine. That was my imitation of The Flying Dutchman.”

The girl let out a laugh and Erich blushed again. He held out his hand to her. “My name is Erich Reinhold. How can I help you?”

She shook his hand. “Anastasia Baumgartner. You can call me Nessa. Have you got anything by Thomas Mann?”

The touch of her hand! Erich held it and stared into her eyes, which were the shade of chestnuts.

Nessa withdrew her hand. She cocked an eyebrow and smiled at him. “Thomas Mann?”

She had the most beautiful smile. And such lovely eyes and … “Who?”

“Do you have anything by Thomas Mann?”

“Oh…oh, yes.” He turned and pointed to a corner of the shop. “Right over here.”

Nessa followed as he led her past a rack bulging with maps and then down a narrow aisle flanked by bookshelves.

“Let’s see,” he said, running his finger over the book spines. “Otto Ludwig, Heinrich Mann ... and here’s Thomas Mann. Have you read any of his books? He can be a bit depressing, you know.”

“I’ve read Buddenbrooks. It was a little gloomy, but I like his writing style.”

She was smart as well as beautiful. And she liked his favorite author; that had to be a sign they were meant to be together. “If you got through Buddenbrooks you won’t have any trouble with The Magic Mountain.” He pulled down a volume bound in brown leather. “It’s set in the Swiss Alps. Stunning descriptions of nature. Great character development.”

Nessa took the book, her hand brushing his for a moment, sending an electric jolt through his body. As they stood in the narrow aisle surrounded by legendary German authors and the smell of books, the fragrance of roses coming from her hair and skin overwhelmed him. He felt a nearly irrepressible urge to take the book from her, place it back on the shelf, and kiss her.

He watched her eyes in fascination as she skimmed through the first page of the book. He had to find a reason to keep her there. Say something, he told himself. “This volume’s on sale,” he said. “Over seven hundred pages. With that many pages, it’s a good thing we don’t sell books by the kilo.” Was that witty or stupid?

Witty. She smiled up at him. “I’ll take it.”

“Would you like me to gift wrap it?” He was stalling. He knew she was buying it for herself.

“No, it’s for me.”

There was that smile again. Erich cleared his throat. “Great. I’ll ring it up.” He motioned for her to walk ahead of him and watched the sway of her hips as she moved through the aisles. How did she do that?

He rang up her purchase and wrapped it slowly and carefully in brown paper savoring every moment with her. “Do you live around here?” She couldn’t. He’d have noticed such a pretty girl.

“Just over on Lessing Strasse, a subway stop away.”

“Really? I live just a few blocks from there.” He’d have to find a reason to walk down Lessing Strasse. He handed her the book. “Is there anything else I can do for you? All of Schiller’s works are on sale.”

“No, thank you. This should keep me busy for some time.”

“I hope you’ll come again.” How many times had he said those words since he’d been working at the bookshop? But this time he really meant them. I hope you’ll come back every day for the rest of my life. 

She smiled once more and turned to go.

He rushed ahead of her to open the door. Ten seconds later she was gone.

But she did come again. And again. Soon she was coming back nearly every day. And one day, in a narrow aisle, surrounded by the collected works of Goethe and Grillparzer, he took her hands and drew her to him for their first kiss. That first kiss had been perfect. After that life had been perfect. For such a short time.

Start Reading SAFE HARBOR Now

Fresh Picks

Our Past Week of Fresh Picks

by Kristen Callihan
Featured as Fresh Pick on July 27, 2021

BrennaThere are some people in life who know exactly how to push your buttons. For me, it’s Rye Peterson. We can’t Read More »

A divine mix of angst and amazeballs to make you cry and cheer!

A Glimmer of a Clue A GLIMMER OF A CLUE
by Daryl Wood Gerber
Featured as Fresh Pick on July 26, 2021

Courtney Kelly has a shop full of delights, a cat named Pixie, a green thumb—and a magical touch when it comes to garden Read More »

Enchanting and magical cozy mystery

by Lynn Austin
Featured as Fresh Pick on July 25, 2021

For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade Read More »

Emotionally Taxing but Great Read

by Christina Clancy
Featured as Fresh Pick on July 24, 2021

A dazzling portrait of a young woman coming into her own, the youthful allure of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and what we lose Read More »

A tender-hearted coming of age story with a captivating air of escapism...

Falling in Love on Willow Creek FALLING IN LOVE ON WILLOW CREEK
by Debbie Mason
Featured as Fresh Pick on July 23, 2021

Fall in love with the latest Highland Falls romance about a single mom-to-be's surprise delivery and the undercover FBI agent who rescues Read More »

A Good Romantic Comedy with a Mystery Bonus

Were-Geeks Save the Middle of Nowhere WERE-GEEKS SAVE THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
by Kathy Lyons
Featured as Fresh Pick on July 22, 2021

Into every generation is born a really scary relative. In this case, it’s Walter Chen’s aunt, who puts the spirit of Read More »

The demigod Monkey lands in Wisconsin

The Secrets of Lord Grayson Child THE SECRETS OF LORD GRAYSON CHILD
by Stephanie Laurens
Featured as Fresh Pick on July 21, 2021

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to the world of the Cynsters’ next generation with the tale of an unconventional nobleman Read More »

Great second-chance-at love story with exciting newsroom mystery!

The Summer of No Attachments THE SUMMER OF NO ATTACHMENTS
by Lori Foster
Featured as Fresh Pick on July 20, 2021

Summer flings with no strings mean nobody gets hurt.At least, that was the plan…After putting the brakes on her dead-end relationship Read More »

A summer filled with surprise attachments

© 2003-2021 off-the-edge.net  all rights reserved Privacy Policy