Thursday, January 28, 2021

Beauty Among Ruins: A Novel by J'Nell Ciesielski

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

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.

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?

my thoughts:

Beauty Among Ruins is historical fiction at its very best! Talk about top notch writing, fascinating historical details, and unforgettable characters. I just LOVED falling in deep with Lily, Alec, and Kinclavoch Castle. What an absolute treat to read!

Lily's an American socialite who manages to always find herself in a spot of trouble.  She's a bit reckless. So, her family sends her off to England to learn how to become a 'proper' lady. Unfortunately, Lily happens to be in England just as the Great War's begun. So, she joins her cousin in nursing and gets sent to Scotland to tend to wounded soldiers. They wind up at Kinclavoch Castle. Alec is bent on preserving his family's home, Kinclavock Castle. He's opened it up as a convalescent home/hospital for the soldiers. Alec's unable to fight in the war as he was injured years ago and isn't fit enough to fight. He believes that everyone judges him for not joining the fight. So, he's got quite a chip on his shoulder, along with the stresses of maintaining his home. Alec pretty much keeps to himself.  However, once Lily makes her presences known and felt at Kinclavock Castle, Alec soon finds that he can't seem to keep away from her. Though they clash and manage to get on each other's nerves, they soon find themselves working together to solve some mysterious happenings around the castle.  And, they soon find themselves falling for each other. 

Ciesielski has written a wonderful story about love, war, history, family, and identity. She's created a must-read with Beauty Among The Ruins. I absolutely LOVED this book and would recommend it anyone and everyone looking for their next great read!

Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


J'nell Ciesielski said...

What a wonderful review! Thank you and I'm so glad you enjoyed Alec and Lily's story!!

Sara Strand said...

Normally historical fiction isn't my go-to genre, but this sounds stunning! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours