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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This story takes place during the time of the Great War which I haven't read a whole lot of during that time era. And bonus, this one took place in Scotland, which I will happily visit anytime. This had a Beauty and the Beast vibe going and reminded me a great deal of some of what Downton Abbey covered. Yet it was a unique story on it's own.
Lily Durham is an American heiress who was sent to her British relatives to stay out of trouble. Little did anyone know that a war was on the horizon. Now Lily helps out at the makeshift hospital located at Kinclavoch Castle. However, she is still getting in trouble with her superiors but Lily does set out to help the wounded soldiers, the lord of the castle's sister, and even quite possibly the lord of the castle himself.
Alec MacGregor comes off as a very brusque and a bit of a cranky person. As we get to know him we understand that he is a wounded man who is trying to keep his familial lands and properties in the hands of the family and those that work his land. He is a good man with opening his home to the soldiers who need it for recovery, even if he is a bit gruff.
He and Lily butt heads from the beginning, but she is able to bring out a softer, humorous side of him. Alec does not know what to think or do with this American woman, but he does want to keep her around. Along with their developing romance, there is the war going on, the recovering soldiers and their issues, other nurses romantically after Alec, a very militant head nurse, along with family drama, and an intriguing mystery you have yourself a chock full story to lose yourself in.
I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
About the Author
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.
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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.