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My MacArthur By Cindy Fazzi

Are you looking for a historical fiction novel set in the Philippines that is full of sexual tension, secrets, and all that is forbidden? How about drinking during Prohibition, powerful older men sneaking around with feisty younger biracial women, and steamy lovemaking scenes? 

My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi is a brand new historical fiction romance that introduces readers to Douglas MacArthur’s coveted lover, Isabel Rosario Cooper.

Isabel Rosario Cooper My MacArthur By Cindy Fazzi book coverPin

Although not much is known about the real Isabel Rosario Cooper, Fazzi breathes vitality and fire into her persona. Fazzi places Isabel at the heart of the stage that she so dearly craves instead of her usual stand in position. Power, distrust, passionate love, and utter devastation will keep readers sailing through pages until Isabel can no longer share her tragic story.

Book Review of My MacArthur By Cindy Fazzi

One fateful night, in the 1930s, Douglas MacArthur passes a beautiful young Filipino singer and dancer a note. Behind the scenes, age does not matter, and he cannot deny his carnal feelings toward Isabel. Petite, in the prime of her youth, and beautiful, MacArthur craves and lusts after Isabel Rosario Cooper like a dangerous drug—and Isabel takes the bait.  Power is seductive.

Stationed in Manila in the 1930s, MacArthur is the most powerful man in the Philippines and plays a prominent role in United States military history. This renowned position makes him irresistible to Isabel, whose family suffers from poverty and poor decisions.

Only half white with Chinese and Filipino blood, Isabel cringes at the daily prejudices she and her family face. MacArthur can change her family’s situation in the blink of an eye, which is why she agrees to return with him to the U.S. Who can resist influence, money, and a skilled lover?

Young and in love, Isabel expects a proposal.

A Faulty Beginning Can Only End In Tragedy

Isabel and MacArthur’s external differences are impossible to parade around in public.  Age, race, and class define them. With MacArthur’s promotion to army chief of staff, he must re-marry a woman of equal stature. Obsessed with control, rumors and speculation incessantly hurt MacArthur’s already tumultuous career.

With nosy media and seething jealousy, MacArthur cannot continue with this affair.  His borderline fanatic love for Isabel Rosario Cooper eats him alive and imprisons her in an isolated and secretly rented apartment.  A relationship born on a tipping point, an innocent lunch causes the worn rift to disintegrate.

In the blink of an eye, Isabel loses everything she gave up for a man she loved. Death and destruction follow in the wake with no one left to pick up the heartbroken pieces.  A tryst gone awry proves fatal.

Falling in love with Isabel Rosario Cooper? Check out these other historical fiction novel leads that will captivate you:

Magdalena in Indelible (Paris and Lithuania)

Henry Kaplar in Artist, Soldier, Lover, Muse

A Timeless Lesson In History

As Fazzi’s afterword notes, writing about a man as big and infamous as MacArthur is intimidating and nearly impossible. A plethora of information exists about the 4-starred army general but there is little known about Isabel Rosario Cooper. Even her name is contemptuous.

Although a history major for undergrad, I have little knowledge in regards to the historical accuracy of My MacArthur. I never cared to get to know Douglas MacArthur—although Fazzi has intrigued me.

Along with MacArthur, Fazzi paints a clear picture of the divisive 1930s and early 1940s. Readers sip a stolen taste of Prohibition, colonial power, relations with the Philippines, and later, the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a historical romance, My MacArthur is rich in period details and relations that enhance the almost symbolic relationship of Isabel and Douglas.

Character-wise, Isabel Rosario Cooper is a complicated and bratty yet tamed mistress with complexities that continue past her death. You want to slap her slutty and naïve butt at the same time that you want to cry for her downfall.

Can someone so young be at fault?

All the while, you hope MacArthur will do right by Isabel and put a ring on her slim porcelain finger. But we all know he doesn’t. Fazzi cannot rewrite history, damn it. At times, I wanted to look away in disgust at MacArthur’s actions but some tenderness existed within the legend. Or so Fazzi leads us to believe.

Who Will Love My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi?

For adults looking for a diverse historical fiction romance, My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi should leave you satisfied, pissed off, and a little heartbroken. Or, maybe you think Isabel got hers, and MacArthur is just a dirty old scumbag. When I lived in Indonesia, I completely judged the teenage girls hanging off of older expat men in the business district. Is it a win-win situation for all parties? Is it love? True love? How could this story have ended any better or worse?

I applaud the novel for giving Isabel a voice and taking on such a unique story and period in American history.  Well done.  Personally, I loved My MacArthur and feel honored for the opportunity to review such a thrilling and captivating title.

Find your copy here:   Amazon


I would like to thank Sandhill Review Press and Cindy Fazzi’s team for providing me with a free copy of My MacArthur in exchange for a fair and honest review.

My MacArthur Book Information

My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi[Sandhill Review Press 2018]

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

About the author: Cindy Fazzi is a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. My MacArthur, published by Sand Hill Review Press, is her literary debut. She writes romance novels under the pen name Vina Arno. You can learn more about Cindy Fazzi here.

Where You Can Find My MacArthur On The Uncorked Librarian:

Best Books On The Philippines

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Share The Forbidden Romance & Bring Isabel Rosario Cooper’s Story To Light: Pin It!

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Christine Frascarelli

Christine (she/her) is the owner, lead editor, and tipsy book sommelier of The Uncorked Librarian LLC, an online literary publication showcasing books and movies to inspire travel and home to the famed Uncorked Reading Challenge.

With a BA in English & History from Smith College, an MLIS from USF-Tampa, and a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Christine's back pocket, there isn't a bookstore, library, or winery that can hide from her. Christine loves brewery yoga, adopting all of the kitties, and a glass of oaked Chardonnay. Charcuterie is her favorite food group.


Monday 17th of December 2018

I'm gonna be honest, I had NO IDEA who MacArthur was before reading this. And if it wasn't for the fact that this story tells 'his' story from what I feel is a FAR more interesting POV, I still wouldn't care about him... Does that make me a bad person?

This book sounds fascinating, though. I love historical fiction that focuses on the 'other side' of history (i.e. women, people of colour, 'freaks'). It's so much more interesting than just another white dude narrative. Not to, you know, get on my feminist pedestal but you get me...

Thanks for turning me onto this one. It is NOT something I would have found without you! Will add it to the list and see about getting a digital copy since I really don't have space for books that don't come in size Kindle.


Tuesday 18th of December 2018

I truly knew very little about MacArthur, and I double majored in history in college. AND, history was one of my favorite subjects in high school. Sooooo, there ya go... But military history is something that just never interested me. You are SO not a bad person.

When I decided to review My MacArthur, I worried slightly that the material would be dry. Yet, I truly loved every second, and the book just makes you so mad. Fictional MacArthur and Belle's relationship is infuriating yet engrossing. I've read a ton of strong feminist titles this year; thank gosh!

Isn't it awesome to find books like this? I would have never found My MacArthur without being asked to review. If I had seen a copy at B&N, I probably would have skimmed right by it. Finding these surprise reads has been one of my favorite parts about blogging this year. Thanks for reading!

Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

I must say, I love how EVERY novel set during the Prohibition features more drinking than any other time period. I cannot call to mind a single example of a Prohibition-era story where the characters weren't meeting up in speakeasys and getting drunk most of the time ? based on the historical fiction I've read, the law against alcohol was pretty much as effective and enforceable as the law against jaywalking...

This is such a brilliant concept, and I love the trend lately of bringing the forgotten stories of women (especially women of colour) back to the forefront through historical fiction. Being Australian, I know laughably little about MacArthur, so perhaps my ignorance would serve me in this case - I'd turn a blind eye to any inaccuracies or controversies without even realising it. A great review, thank you!! ❤️


Saturday 8th of December 2018

I actually always think the same when I read these Prohibition-era novels. There is so much drinking. Even in My MacArthur there are a plethora of details about how the drinks are made and how easy they are to get. I love it. Speakeasies back then sound like a grand ole time to me. Girls, booze, and no repercussions.

I know little about MacArthur too--so I would be interested in what others think who have studied him. Regardless of the facts, he isn't painted in the best of light in this story--so I imagine some might be critically biased too.


Kim @ Pages and Pekoe

Saturday 1st of December 2018

You had me at sexual tension! I am so intrigued by this time period and LOVE when authors have one foot in fact and the other in fiction.


Saturday 1st of December 2018

Right?! I love Prohibition era. Historical fiction was always something that I thought I could one day write.


Friday 30th of November 2018

I so want to read this! I'm placing this to the top of this list. I would have never found this on my own. Thanks so much for these awesome reviews.


Friday 30th of November 2018

Thanks!! I wouldn’t have found it either. So glad the author’s team reached out to me.


Friday 30th of November 2018

This book sounds amazing too! Unfortunately, I'm way behind with my reading this year. Unfortunately, reading your own work a million times over and over again doesn't count. :S :D I hope I'll have time next year to pick up this beauty too because it sounds great. Congrats again on your blogging wins! It's so great to see how you grow! =)


Friday 30th of November 2018

This book was definitely amazing. I wasn't sure that I was going to like it at first, but then I ended up loving it. No one really wants to read about old white guys and their abuse of power. Isabel made the story, though.

Thank you so much!