About the Book
Book: Beauty Among Ruins
Author: J’Nell Ciesielski
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: January 12, 2021
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.
Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?
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I absolutely LOVED this book.
J’Nell Cielieski is a somewhat new to me author, and this is only the second book of hers I have read, the first being The Socialite. But she is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and this novel is proof as to why.
Lily is head strong, independent, loves to have fun, and tries to make the best out of situations. I felt bad for her as her parents were controlling and wouldn’t allow her to live the life she wanted. They were tired of her antics and they send her off to England to be with her aunt and uncle and cousins. But World War I breaks out and she ends up going to Scotland where she becomes a nurse for the Tommies. And where she meets a mysterious and intriguing man.
I had mixed emotions about Alec at first. He seemed somewhat cold the first time I met him, and he ended up being aggressive. But the more I read, the more I realized why. He is under so much stress, trying to save his beloved home of Kinclavoch from falling apart. He’s selling heirlooms and paintings to try and save it. He’s also trying to take care of his grieving mother and sick sister. Under his hard exterior, its clear that there is a sweet and caring man.
What I love most about this novel, though, is the fact that it is somewhat based off of Beauty and the Beast, which is one of my favorite Disney movies of all time.
I also love the author’s writing style. She is very descriptive and uses beautiful metaphors. It made the book that much more enjoyable.
I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review.
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 INSPY and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.
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.
Through the Fire Blogs, January 27
Fiction Aficionado, January 27
Sara Jane Jacobs, January 27
Wishful Endings, January 28
Genesis 5020, January 28
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 28
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 29
lakesidelivingsite, January 29
Reflections From my Bookshelves, January 29
Connect in Fiction, January 30
Connie’s History Classroom, January 30
CarpeDiem, January 30
Artistic Nobody, January 31 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 31
Rachael’s Inkwell, January 31
Where Faith and Books Meet, February 1
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Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 1
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As He Leads is Joy, February 2
Robin’s Nest, February 2
Older & Smarter?, February 3
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 3
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 3
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 4
Remembrancy, February 4
Inklings and notions, February 4
Mia Reads, February 5
Joanne Markey, February 5
Splashes of Joy, February 5
Mary Hake, February 5
Betti Mace, February 6
The Christian Fiction Girl, February 6
For Him and My Family, February 6
She Lives to Read, February 7
deb’s Book Review, February 7
The Write Escape, February 7
Simple Harvest Reads, February 8 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Novels Corner, February 8
To Everything There Is A Season, February 8
Blossoms and Blessings, February 9
Pause for Tales, February 9
Lis Loves Reading, February 9
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.