Historical Fiction Book Review: Beauty among Ruins
About the Book
Book: Beauty Among Ruins
Author: J’nell Ciesielski
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: January 12, 2021
Publisher's Book Description
"American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.
Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.
Beautifully written, richly detailed, and thoughtfully composed, Beauty among Ruins, by J’nell Ciesielski, is an utterly entertaining novel. Captivating characters, relevant themes, and a riveting plot make this historical romance as lovely as it is fascinating. With a superb blend of romance, history, and mystery, this book is wholly intriguing and enjoyable.
Within the pages of this novel, Ms.
Ciesielski's writing talent is evident and enthralling. With a
lyrically descriptive style, Ms. Ciesielski offers a compelling story
that is clever and engaging. Central to this story is the timeworn
Scottish castle that serves as the main setting. Often just as
significant and memorable as the characters themselves, this expansive
castle and its verdant surroundings provide a stunning backdrop for many
of the novel’s most vital scenes.
by immersive writing and an unforgettable setting, this book also
creatively and effectively explores the themes of courage, survival,
love, honor, and purpose through a cast of unique characters who are
vividly developed. Throughout the novel, their beliefs, motivations,
fears, desires, and choices hold genuine purpose and meaning. In the
face of danger and uncertainty, they persevere, and their hearts awaken
to unexpected possibilities and renewed hope.
Beauty among Ruins is a story of grace, trust, truth, and redemption. It is
an emotional-stirring, thought-provoking, and truly satisfying novel.
From beginning to end, I was thoroughly enchanted by this well-written
story. This is certainly a book worthy of being noticed, savored, and
revisited. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
was given a copy of this novel from the publisher and Celebrate Lit. A
review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and
contains opinions that are entirely my own.
About the Author: J'nell Ciesielski
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 INSPY and the Maggie Award, she is a
Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and
More from J'nell
Inspiration for Beauty Among Ruins
Once again, blame it on Downton Abbey. This time on Lady Rose. She was impulsive, spoiled, a free spirit, yet with a good heart. I knew I wanted to take on the challenge of writing a heroine like her. A character who starts off one way and by the end of the book has completely charmed you over. So I started writing and everything was going great until … it wasn’t. The plot just stopped on me. No matter how hard I tried the story refused to reveal itself to me which is incredibly frustrating for someone who doesn’t like to give up once they’ve started something. But I had to. In the end, I had to put the story, affectionately titled Love on the Limp, away for several months while I wrote The Socialite. Then one day the story clicked. It was meant to be a WWI telling on the classic Beauty and the Beast story. Everything fell into place and the story and characters burst onto the page in glorious technicolor.
Lily and Alec took me by surprised with how much I fell in love with them. Bubbly Lily and brooding Alec. Never had two more opposites been so perfect for one another (at least in my writing experience). They had so many obstacles to overcome, many of them self-imposed, that I often found myself in tears over their heartaches, but golly gumdrops when they came together, boy o boy were there fireworks!
You may have also noticed that the story is set in Scotland because I happen to believe that every good story is set there. I had the privilege of staring at pictures of this breathtaking landscape for months so I could imagine the characters strolling among the heather and watching the river twist through the green moors. To me, nothing rivals the awe-inspiring beauty of a certain place, and hopefully readers will feel that through these pages.
To celebrate her tour, J’Nell is giving away the grand prize of a paperback copy of the book and an audiobook copy of The Socialite!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
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