The Ice Swan was a riveting page turner that kept me up later than I needed to be and distracted from my obligations. The way J’nell Ciesielski used her words to put the reader right in the middle of Petrogad, Paris, and Scotland at the end of World War I and the Russian Revolution was simply inspiring. I could feel the fear, heartbreak, and yes, love, as Svetlana traversed from Russian aristocracy to destitution. Her fear of the Bolsheviks was palpable as much as her growing admiration for a certain hero.
Wynn was definitely a bit cocky, but who wouldn’t be if they saw a flaw in a system and had a way to fix it. but he wasn’t full of himself, he was confident in what he knew and stood behind it. No matter the cost. Though Svetlana gave him a run for his money, I still think it was a good match. The best teams are polar opposites, right? His wild Scot paired with her proper princess was the perfect pairing.
Now, let’s talk about her mother. Now, I apologize if what I am about to say sounds harsh. As I read each scene with Svetlana’s mother, I search my memory for a way to get her away from her daughters. I recall thinking “Will someone please lock her bedroom door from the outside?” I know, it’s mean, but she had me irritated to no end. I understand it is about up bringing, but wow!
There was one lesson that stood out to me through this book. “Just because it is something you have always known to be true, does not mean it is good for you.” Svetlana had a hard time trusting anyone not Russian, and at that, she was still questioning. the more she became comfortable with a “Russian rescuer” the more she saw how shady his life and practices were. She went to him because she thought she could trust him, because he was a displaced Russian like herself. Poor Wynn had an uphill battle with this one.
I knew when I finished The Socialite, I would forever enjoy anything J’nell Ciesielski published. The Ice Swan proved my hunch to be spot on. She is an author worth reading.
***I was given a copy of this book from the publisher through CelebrateLit Publicities. All views are strictly my own and a positive review was not required.
About the Book
Book: The Ice Swan
Author: J’Nell Ciesielski
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: July 6, 2021
Amid the violent last days of the glittering Russian court, a Russian 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.
Born the second son of a 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. While treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter and underground Russian clubs where drink, culture, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.
Out of money and options, Svetlana is forced into a marriage of convenience with Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn can’t help hoping the marriage will turn into one of true affection. As the Bolsheviks chase them to different corners of the earth, Wynn and Svetlana begin to see they will never be able to outrun the love they have for one another.
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About the Author
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 Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.
More from J’nell
When we think of the Great War we often only think about events happening right on the battlefield of France, Belgium, and Germany. It was a time of great upheaval for so many people and countries, none more so than Russia. It was during the Great War that the Bolsheviks rose up against the monarchy, assassinated the tsar and his family, and plunged Russia into civil war. The country was in such chaos that they pulled out of the war to deal with their own revolution. The Russian Revolution was the result of centuries of oppression and imperialism that finally boiled over. As the Bolsheviks seized power, nobles and anyone associated or favorable to the monarchy were stripped of their privileges and homes, many killed, and still thousands of others fled in fear of their lives where they became the great wave of White emigres.
The stories of the ill-fated Anastasia and the evil Rasputin are legendary, but it wasn’t until recently when I watched a Russian miniseries called Road to Calvary that I became fascinated with the nobles and their struggle and from all that an idea sparked that would become my upcoming release, The Ice Swan. It’s about a Russian princess fleeing the Revolution to Paris in 1917 where she meets a handsome surgeon who is breaking new grounds in cardiology. We see the plight of the White emigres who have taken refuge in Paris and founded their own little Russia in the heart of the city, the exhausted City of Light after four years of war, the overflowing hospitals, and highly controversial advancements in surgery. Plus, a romance to prove that true love can overcome any difference and who doesn’t need a little more love these days?
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To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.