A Russian princess and a Scottish doctor trying to find their place... The Ice Swan by J'nell Ciesielski (Review & #Giveaway) #TheIceSwan #JnellCiesielski #HFVBTBlogTours @JnellCiesielski @ThomasNelson @hfvbt

Welcome to my tour stop! Find my review and enter the giveaway below...

The Ice Swan
By J'nell Ciesielski
Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 400 Pages
July 6, 2021 by Thomas Nelson


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

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My Review

THE ICE SWAN is a story of loss, war, family, and love in France and Scotland during and after WWI. It's a story of a Russian princess and her family who are trying to survive and a Scottish surgeon who has a strong interest in cardiology who comes to the rescue. It's richly descriptive, informative and heartfelt.

I really loved Wynn's character! He was charming, but more importantly he was also quite talented, intelligent and steady, which I think was exactly what Svetlana needed. I liked Svetlana about half of the time. I empathized with her situation, especially as it stemmed from the revolution and her mother's actions, but I think I wanted her to take a more active role. She was so stubborn and demanding with Wynn and then it seemed she became so easily deceived and pushed around when dealing with her mom and the situation, as well as another situation later. It made it hard to pull for her. The first half of the story was difficult in this way to read, especially with all the drama, but then things changed in the second half of the story. Svetlana and her mother still made me mad in places, but overall I really enjoyed the story from that point on. There was a lot of heart in Wynn and Svetlana figuring things out separately and together, which I think most couples can relate to. I also loved Scotland, with its wild beauty (I would have loved even more of the landscape and area in the story) as these two worked with their tenants and as they strived to make a difference. I really didn't miss the seedy bar and gaming den from France. I loved Wynn's mother, who was such a wise and calming presence. The story rises to some climatic moments as well.

Besides my issues with the first half of the story and some of the drama, the ending was also drawn out a bit long. Just a little overly mushy. There was a lovely epilogue though that wrapped up things nicely.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an interesting mix of characters dealing with being pushed out of their country and trying to survive, medical advancement, family obligations and expectations, and two characters marrying for convenience but trying to make the best of things as love blossoms. An overall likable story for fans of the author and historical romance readers.

Content: Some innuendo and violence, but would consider this clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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.

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 6
Review at Rachelle Loves Books
Wednesday, July 7
Review at Crystal’s Library
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Thursday, July 8
Review at Nursebookie
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at McCombs on Main
Friday, July 9
Review at Two Bookish Babes
Monday, July 12
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile
Tuesday, July 13
Review at Wishful Endings
Interview at Books & Benches
Wednesday, July 14
Review at Novels Alive
Thursday, July 15
Review at The Green Mockingbird
Friday, July 16
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Review at Read Review Rejoice
Sunday, July 18
Review at Reader_ceygo
Monday, July 19
Review at Bookworlder
Interview at Reader_ceygo
Tuesday, July 20
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Niki Loves to Read

Tour-Wide Giveaway

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.

The Ice Swan

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