cover image The Ice Swan

The Ice Swan

J’Nell Ciesielski. Thomas Nelson, $16.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7852-4842-2

Ciesielski (Beauty Among Ruins) delivers an intense love story set during WWI. Scottish marquis Wynn MacCallan is a skilled surgeon working in a Paris hospital when he meets Russian princess Svetlana Dalsky. Svetlana and her family fled the Bolsheviks and now survive by selling off their dwindling cache of jewels. Svetlana’s hopeful that their fortunes will improve after she and Wynn save the life of Leonid Sheremetev, the son of one of Russia’s most influential ex-pat families. But Leonid’s father is a cruel man, and Svetlana’s mother has accrued gambling debts at his establishment, the White Bear. Sheremetev forces Svetlana to don a ballet costume and dance at his club to pay off the money owed. Svetlana feels trapped by Sheremetev’s lecherous attention and suspicious of his ties to the Bolsheviks—until Wynn offers her an out by proposing a marriage of convenience. As they travel to Scotland, they grow closer, but their relationship is strained by a secret Wynn is keeping and the continued Bolshevik threat. Ciesielski’s attention to historical detail and heart-tugging look at wartime tragedy add depth and emotion to Wynn and Svetlana’s relationship. Fans of historical romance should snap this up. [em]Agent: Linda Glaz, Hartline Literary. (July) [/em]