Review: The Ice Swan by J’nell Ciesielski

I have read three of J’nell Ciesielski’s novels and each one has been absolutely fantastic! I love how well she writes romance as well as historical fiction and I always seem to breeze through her books because I am so captivated. When I saw this one was coming out, I knew it was going to be an easy ‘yes’ for me. I mean—take one look at that cover and tell me you would pass? No. The author as well as this cover are truly sunning!

This one is set in Russia which I thought brought some variance to the historical fiction genre. The last novel I read by Ciesielski was set in Scotland, and I was eager to see how she would describe the opulence of the Russian court as well as the streets of Paris. And you all know how much I love WWI so having this book set during a very uncertain and tumultuous time in Russian history.

So yes, I was chomping at the bit to read this one and with good reason—-this one was excellent! Ciesielski writing just keeps getting better and better. This book has been seen on a number of ‘most anticipated books’ this summer and with good reason! While it might have a cold setting, it’s the perfect book to cool off with this summer!

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Special Feature: Between Two Kings: A Sequel to The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas , Lawrence Ellsworth

The Three Musketeers is arguably Alexandre Dumas’s most popular novel. Growing up, I love the mid 90’s Chris O’Donnell (I know I know I know, cheesy) film version of the Three Musketeers and while I have not read the Dumas classic, I know he writes wonderful adventure stories for the ages. I read his other well known novel The Count of Monte Cristo which also has swashbuckling adventure so naturally I would assume that The Three Musketeers has the same.

The Count of Monte Cristo wrapped up rather nicely, but from what I understand, The Three Musketeers leaves a few optional stories untold making way for an exciting follow up novel. So what happens after The Three Musketeers ends? What becomes of some of the most beloved characters of the book you ask? Well enter Between Two Kings. Dumas wrote the serialized, Le Vicomte de Bragelonne as a follow up to The Three Musketeers and it’s first volume has now been translated by Lawrence Ellsworth!

I am so excited to bring you guys all the details of this newly translated novel today! If you love classic adventure stories or want to know what happened to the young d’Artagnan after the events of The Three Musketeers then this book will help fill in some of those gaps. This new translation is out now and I have all the details for you below!

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Review: The Hollywood Spy (Maggie Hope #10) by Susan Elia MacNeal

I fell in love with Maggie Hope long ago and watching her journey through these last 10 books has been so fun as a reader. We have seen her go from nervous secretary, to spy, through PTSD, and heartache. As we enter the 10th book in the series ,she is in many ways unrecognizable from the first book.

As a reader you really get a sense of how the war changed her character and I think that’s what really makes this series shine. I haven’t always loved the direction that Maggie’s character has taken or choices that she has made but for me that’s what makes her so real and relatable. You don’t have to love her choices or agree with them but you learn to live with them in the same way that her character must.

I was a little nervous going into this book though because we see the reappearance of one time beau, John Sterling. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. In the previous books I felt like John was charming and wonderful—-up until he wasn’t. Then I was like ‘Maggie girl kick his ass to the curb!’ and now suddenly he’s making a reappearance in her life and I hoped that he had undergone some changes between the books.

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Special Feature: The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

New York Times best selling author, Christina Baker Kline is back with a hot new novel called The Exiles! After her success with The Orphan Train as well as a number of other historical fiction novels, this one promises the same well researched and moving plot that she is known for. As an Australian author, many of her books feature her beloved country as their setting and The Exiles is no different.

That is one of the reasons this book appeals to me! There are so many historical fiction books that are set in England or Europe, but having this book be set in Australia and describe how the characters all end up there, makes it rather compelling. I don’t really know too much about Australian history or how and why many English people ended up there so books like this help fill in those untold stories in history.

Kline is a well known author and with her practiced hand, this book no doubt will be instantly loved by fans of historical fiction. It was published last year in other countries but only now in the US. Many fans have been raving about this book with many five star reviews. I am so excited to share a bit about this one with you guys today! If you love historical fiction and are eager to hear some untold stories in history, this is going to be a great option for you!

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Special Feature: Have We Met? by Camille Baker

This hot new release was featured last month on Amazon’s First Reads program and so many readers fell in love with Camille Baker’s writing style! This is Baker’s debut novel and it promises to be a good one sure to draw fans who enjoy women’s fiction as well as romance. I am so excited to read this one later on this summer but right now I want to share about this one and I also have a giveaway happening over on my IG where you can win a copy of this book!

This debut promises heart, romance, social relevance, as well as humor and that sounds like an incredible mash up to me! While it has a serious component (the main character loses her best friend to cancer) there is also a focus on friendships as well as some comedy to break things up and keep it light enough for readers to sit back and relax with.

If you have been looking for a novel with current relevance with a fresh voice, then this is the book for you. I know a lot of readers have loved this one and are eager for more novels by this hot new author and I am pleased to read that from other reviewers that this book set the stage for follow up books so if you read this one and enjoy it then you can rest assured that more books will be coming! Now hop on over to my IG and enter the giveaway!

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