Today’s book review features
The Ice Swan by J’nell Ciesielski.
Amid the violent last days of the glittering Russian monarchy, a princess on the run finds her heart where she least expects it.
1917, Petrograd. Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, Princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory. Svetlana and her family are forced into hiding in Paris’s underbelly, with little to their name but the jewels they sewed into their corsets before their terrifying escape.
Born the second son of a Scottish duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. After treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter. Intrigued by this mysterious, cold, and beautiful woman, Wynn follows Svetlana to an underground Russian club where drink, dance, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.
Out of money and options, Svetlana agrees to a marriage of convenience with the handsome and brilliant Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her family’s debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn cannot help hoping the marriage will turn into one of true affection. When Wynn’s life takes an unexpected turn, so does Svetlana’s—and soon Paris becomes as dangerous as Petrograd. And as the Bolsheviks chase them to Scotland, Wynn and Svetlana begin to wonder if they will ever be able to outrun the love they are beginning to feel for one another.
With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the INSPY and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.
From Author Website
The Ice Swan by J’nell Ciesielski is suspenseful WWI romance. Princess Svetlana Dalsky, her mother and sister escaped the revolution in Russia only to struggle to survive in war-torn Paris. Dr. Wynn MacCallan is a cardiac surgeon who only wants to see his patients survive another day. And spend more time in a certain princess’ company, if she’ll let him.
The Ice Swan is my first book by J’nell Ciesielski. I’ve seen good reviews on her other books, so when I had the opportunity to read and review this one, plus the unique twist of Russian Revolution and WWI, I jumped at the chance. I love the tone of the story. the author’s writing is epic and beautiful. The story did feel like two separate books since Wynn and Svetlana seemed like opposite people from part one to part two and the conflict switched focus from one to the other. But I loved Wynn’s character and equally loved reading about an early 1900s heart surgeon, before cardiology was a separate discipline. Very fascinating!
I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading another by J’nell Ciesielski. It’s hard for me to pass up a good historical romance tinged with suspense!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.
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