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February 5, 2021

Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell Ciesielski ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

In Ciesielski’s latest sweeping romance, an American heiress finds herself in Scotland amid the fallout of the Great War, and a wounded Scottish laird comes face-to-face with his past and a woman he never could have expected.

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Beauty Among Ruins
January 2021; Thomas Nelson; 978-0785233565
audio, ebook, print (416 pages); historical fiction
Beauty Among Ruins
is a beautiful love story set in Scotland during the first world war.  Lily is a spoiled rich girl living in New York and always looking for a good time. Her parents' main goal is for her to find the proper rich man for her to marry.  When she refuses to settle down, her parents send her to England to live with an aunt.  They feel that living her life outside of NYC will help her appreciate her current life and when she returns she'll be ready to marry a rich man and become part of society.  When the war starts, she and her cousin decide that they must help so they take nursing classes.  Bertie is very serious about nursing but Lily is mostly doing it for the adventure.  They both get assigned to a castle in Scotland that has opened their doors to help care for the wounded men.  Alec is the laird of the manor and has spent his entire life preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castlebut he appears to be fighting a losing battle as he sells off bits and pieces of the estate to pay the bills.   Once Lily and Bertie arrive at the castle, one of their first warnings from the matron of nursing was to never go into the private family part of the castle.  Of course, Lily gets lost the first day and ends up in the private family area and meets Alec.  It is dislike at first glance.  He is dour and serious and she is frivolous and happy and there is immediate dislike between them.  The more they get to know each other, the more their feelings for each other begin to grow.  There is a mystery at the castle and they get thrown together to try to find the culprit and the more time they spend together, the more they understand each other as they begin to fall in love.

The characters are much more than they appear to be at first glance.  Lily appears to be a rich American without thought for others but she ends up being a wonderful caregiver who helps the wounded both physically and mentally.  Alec appears to be a nasty person who is only worried about his castle but he ends up being a man who cares deeply about his family and his heritage along with his strong interest in helping the wounded from the war.

What else can you ask for in a story -- it has scenic Scotland, a beautiful and caring woman, and a handsome and misunderstood man.  It was a perfect book to read on a cold winter weekend and daydream about living in a castle.

Buy Beauty among Ruins at Amazon

Connect with J’nell

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. Thank you for your review! I'm delighted that you enjoyed Alec and Lily's story!

  2. I really haven't read books set in Scotland, which makes me want to read this for that alone. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours