The Ice Swan by J’nell Ciesielski
Publication Date: July 6, 2021
eBook & Paperback; 400 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
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 but hope 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 and beyond, Wynn and Svetlana begin to wonder if they will ever be able to outrun the love they are beginning to feel for one another.
“The Ice Swan is a ray of light in the middle of a Europe that was sinking into darkness. Ciesielski’s talent for storytelling from the heart is a feast for the readers’ eyes.” —Mario Escobar, international bestselling author of Remember Me and Children of the Stars
There is one thing so far, that 2021 has taught me: I love J’nell Ciesielski’s writing. At the beginning of the year, I was introduced to Beauty Among Ruins, which swept me away to Scotland with Lily and Alec. Now, to kick off my summer, I’ve landed in Paris with Svetlana and Wynn.
Wynn MacCallan is a wartime surgeon, and finds himself in a tad state of disbelief when he realizes that his current patient is Russian royalty. What follows are their stories of survival through some harrowing hardships, as well as Wynn and Svetlana’s growing romance. (By the way, Wynn is my absolute favorite. My favorite character, my favorite hero, my favorite surgeon, my favorite everything.)
One of the author’s strengths is her ability to tell a story. Her books read like a movie. She gives you a sweeping, drone’s-eye-view of the scenery, settling you into the landscape and time period. Next enter the characters, just long enough for you to grasp what their current situations are. Then, she dives into the storytelling. And as her reader, you are completely helpless to do anything but go on the journey. I would sit down, telling myself that I was only going to read for just a little bit, and then would find myself shocked to see that the sun had set while I’d been reading for the last 1.5 hours. (No, really. Pretty sure my family just survived on cheerios for those three or four days.)
I found myself frequently frustrated with Svetlana. She is a loveable character, in that I found myself drawn to her immediately. I could even understand the walls that she had put up, and why. What I struggled with was how long she persisted in defending those walls. Or maybe not even the length of time, so much as how she defended them. She was very cold and almost cruel at times. Little by little, however, she began to drop those defenses and the amazing person that she is began to take center stage. (I mean c’mon. She’s a princess and a ballerina. The six-year-old in me wants her to be my BFF.) But WYNN! Oh my goodness, Wynn. I won’t go on too much, because sometimes my husband reads my blogs, and my daydreaming about a fictional character might be a hard one to explain. However, Friends. He is one swoon-worthy, dreamy, strong hunk of a teddy bear.
Bottom Line: Dive into The Ice Swan, and come see why J’nell Ciesielski deserves her own personal bookshelf in your home.
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.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 6
Review at Rachelle Loves Books
Friday, July 9
Review at Two Bookish Babes
Wednesday, July 14
Review at Novels Alive
Thursday, July 15
Review at The Green Mockingbird
Sunday, July 18
Review at Reader_ceygo
Enter to win a paperback copy of The Ice Swan by J’nell Ciesielski! We have 5 copies up for grabs!
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on July 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.