Michael also has a passionate interest in the Romanov empire and Imperial Russia.
When Veronica and Michael finally meet for a date, Veronica accidentally discovers that he is in fact the heir apparent to the Russian empire! Could he be a real life Prince Charming or a phony? The Empress approaches Lena for help. She is convinced that Lena will be the once to help her conceive a boy. In occupied Paris, Charlotte is visited by Nazi soldiers who seem to know all about her life and history.
While her friend stalls the soldiers, Charlotte and her son escape from their home and try to figure out a way out of France. But what could a Nazi soldier want from her? As the story unfolds, all three plots come together in an exciting and unexpected fashion. This novel is a very quick read.
I hardly knew I was almost done with the book, I was that engrossed in it!
At first I was a little confused by the three different story-lines. I am used to books that toggle between a historic time period and the present, however this one skipped over three different periods basically spanning years. Each woman was memorable and interesting. All three of the women start out a little timid and meek but grow into strong independent women by the end.
I loved that about this book. It was exciting to see them come into their own and grow throughout the story. Web, Tablet, Phone, eReader. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. Grigory "Grisha" Potemkin has had a successful long association with the powerful Empress Catherine of Russia. But Catherine and Grisha are older now and face new threats, both from powers outside of Russia and from those close to them.
Haunted by the horrors of his campaign against the Muslim Turks, Grisha hopes to construct a mosque in the heart of the empire. Unfortunately, Catherine's much younger new lover, the ambitious Platon Zubov, stands in his way.
Grisha determines that to preserve Catherine's legacy he must save her from Zubov's dangerous influence and win back her heart. A gripping emotional page turner with a twist that will take your breath away. Would you risk everything for the man you loved? For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price. What a wonderful story! The Lost Season of Love and Snow: A Spark of Light: Timely, balanced and certain to inspire debate.
Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.
But Wren is not alone.
She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: I had several reasons to read this book: It was one of several books on the last Russian imperial family in my library system that I haven't read. Leigh planned to read it soon and, when I found the book on my local library shelf, I thought "why wait" and planned to read it with her. She finished some time before I did. The only friend of mine who reviewed it gave it one star, but said nothing about accuracy, so I figured it wouldn't be so bad. And when she and Leigh began writing their complaints, I was almost determined to disagree with them, yet I did not.
If you liked this book, we can agree to disagree. For the most part, this book is a matter of taste. The research is fairly good, but she did use biased sources and as a result, has some bias I will explain later in further detail. I didn't like it much, but just a little tweaking and it could have been a three-star book for me I admit, it was for certain not one-star or one-and-a-half-star-worthy terrible, but I did not in my gut like it whatsoever.
Why did Veronica have to be an illegitimate child and an orphan? Veronica herself was okay, but her universe was not. Jess was the typical shallow BFF type who made the first chapter seem like the 20th anniversary reunion for the cast of Dreaming Anastasia and Michael seemed like another stalker hot guy from some YA paranormal, albeit twenty years older. Whenever she was around him, she became a sick puppy. The first chapter, to me, seemed like a waste of trees. He was like a stereotypical evil Russian, and you could tell from miles away. Though somewhat based off real-life Romanov pretenders, he does not resemble any of them in character and my be potentially offensive.
He even worked with a more stereotyped character, Grigori the drug dealer, to get what he wanted and he seemed so one-sided and flat I could knock him over. Why waste your time and rescources, I wondered, on a throne that does not and should not exist? She was okay at first but awfully bland.
And then with Michael she turns into a sick puppy with a major case of instalove. I liked her more than Veronica but she came across as dumb and bland, especially when she asked something along the lines of "Did she think I didn't know what happened to people because they were different? I also didn't like how in her sections seemed to villify Marie Feodorovna until the end, where she had some kind of turnaround. Still bland but the best by far. She actually has sense. Portrayal of Imperial Russia The fault, dear book, is not in your research, but in yourself.
Jennifer Laam definitely did research this places other than the internet and did a fairly good job, However, some of her sources are biased: It's not that I think Alexandra deserved what she got, but I think she simply was not a good empress. The Lost Princess , of course, is biased toward Anna Anderson, but that was not an issue.
However, I do see major bias in this book in favor of Imperial Russian society. I get that the Romanovs should not have been killed in the manner they did, but life in their Russia was pretty bad for the average citizen, a fact Laam does not seem to grasp. In the end, she relents from the idea of Romanov restoration, but the mere idea that she puts in its possibility gives it a free ride to my giant-cat-realism shelf.
There was another part of Laam's Imperial Russia portrayal that set me off. Men in Panama hats and women in slinky dresses enjoying decadent lives before Communism's proverbial hammer swung down. Just like [Imperial] Russia. For a moment, Veronica was back in the Russian dream world of ornate palaces and complicated love affairs. I'm not a Communist or Socialist or anything, and it's not like that's a bad quote, but it just seems so romanticized.
Not to mention that portraying imperial Russia like that is not a one-time thing in this book.
As a matter of fact, it was this and not the view spoiler [sex scene hide spoiler ] that really pissed me off, along with the whole Grigori thing. The Plot and Pacing I don't know what exactly would be done to change it, but I thought the way the plot was done wasn't ideal.
There's a Nazi with a gun pointed at Charlotte's husband's head. The chapter ends and then Veronica and Michael just had sex. I also wondered why it was Veronica and not Charlotte, the titular secret daughter, who got whole chapters to herself. As this book reminded me of it, I would recommend this book to some fans of The Wrath and the Dawn if they liked the romance, read adult fiction, and loved it for other reasons besides its writing, as the writing in this book is not as atmospheric.
View all 5 comments. Nov 17, Deborah rated it it was amazing. What fun I had reading this book. The tragic story of the Tsarist Romanov family of Russia is one that fascinates me. Jennifer Laam has taken that historical background and made the Romanov's alive and vibrant through their fictitious servants and supposed heirs. I was completely taken in by the novel from the Prologue onward.
This work of historical fiction is such a good read! The story line is fluent and gripping. I couldn't stand to be torn away and was really aggravated when anything or any What fun I had reading this book. I couldn't stand to be torn away and was really aggravated when anything or anyone interrupted my reading time. Skipping through time and through the viewpoints of different women, it held my interest completely.
I had no trouble following the action and found my heart racing at some of the intimate and dangerous moments involved in the story. Hard to say which was my favorite character in this one because there were several and so many out- standing moments in the book. She was vulnerable in a beautiful way. While finding herself in dangerous situations, open to violence from several aspects, she maintained her courage and a sense of herself.
She was a regal woman despite the facts surrounding her I liked her gentle heart.
The suspense and mystery of this historical fiction was unexpected. It carried me swiftly through the book as I couldn't predict the conclusion until the very end. It's a very clever "mouse trap" of a novel! Made me wish there were a secret daughter of the tsar I highly recommend this one. Likable characters in realistic situations. Aug 13, Jenny Q rated it really liked it Shelves: I was really drawn to the premise of this novel and the idea that a Romanov heir exists that is neither Anastasia or Alexei.
The story begins with Veronica, a struggling professor attempting to write a biography of Empress Alexandra, who becomes involved with a man whose interest in the Romanovs matches her own. Orphaned as a young girl and raised by her grandmother, Veronica has always felt like an outsider within her large family, and later in her academic career. When she learns of 3. When she learns of the notion of a mysterious lost Romanov heir and a shadowy society devoted to restoring the heir to the throne, Veronica seizes the chance to take her book to the next level, and to learn more about Michael Karstadt, who may have ulterior motives in pursuing a romance with her.
Entwined with Veronica's story are those of Lena and Charlotte, two women from different times who also play their parts in the mystery. Lena, a trusted servant of Alexandra, gives us a glimpse into life behind closed doors in the imperial Russian court in , where all was not sunshine and roses for the empress, who was desperate to provide her husband and his country with a male heir after the birth of four daughters. As the tsar's mother and brother and other disgruntled nobles circle around the empress, searching for weaknesses they can exploit, Lena rises to the defense of her beloved mistress.
Forty years later, Charlotte, an aging dancer trapped in Nazi-occupied Paris, finds herself hunted by a high-ranking Nazi official for reasons she can't comprehend, and ends up on the run with her small son and estranged husband in a desperate attempt to reach sanctuary in Spain. I loved the historical threads in Russia and France and the connection that was eventually revealed between the three women. Their stories all came together rather seamlessly and satisfyingly in the end, even if it was fairly easy to predict the outcome.
Unfortunately, the present-day thread didn't work as well for me. I found the idea of restoring the Romanovs to the throne in the twenty-first century, in a Russia under Vladimir Putin's leadership, rather implausible, and much of the present-day story hinges on that. But I was able to suspend disbelief enough to enjoy the story and the intense climactic moments. While I enjoyed the story and the characters, the writing style was a bit disappointing. It lacks the elegance and resonance I associate with historical fiction. I also like a more subtle style of writing; I like to be able to read between the lines, to figure things out for myself--I don't like to have things spelled out for me and clues made obvious.
But the book does get a big thumbs up for taking on the idea of a Romanov heir with a new twist and for flawlessly braiding together three separate stories in different time periods. This story seamlessly winds together the lives of three women from different times and places. The first half builds the mystery about the Russian Romanov family and the three main characters, and the second half is where the action and the tension really begin. I loved how the book came together in the end, blending the mysteries from Russia in the early s, to Paris in , to present-day NYC; I honestly didn't see it coming.
At first the women are timid, and I rooted for them to grow stronger. I switched between whose story I enjoyed the most, but I think it was Lena, the servant to the Russian empress. I enjoyed her romance the best, and I would've loved to read more about it. She seemed to be the youngest and least jaded by life.
The other women endured struggles in the past, not uncommon to many women today, which will probably make their stories more poignant for many readers. Each of them eventually finds strength in themselves. You can feel the author's love for history and this particular time in history specifically. This book won me over! Jun 27, Rebecca rated it did not like it. I had such high hopes for this book.
The story line was so interesting. The writing was horrible. It's like the author had random information she really wanted to throw in the book. The story would be going a long and then all of a sudden some useless information would come up making me confused. From the very start I knew how the book would end.
No surprises, just a long drawn out story. When I was done reading the book I sat there trying to figure out how this book could have bee Um When I was done reading the book I sat there trying to figure out how this book could have been improved. I think that if the author didn't have the story line of the present day and just the other two stories it would have been much better. The author could have had the present day narrating it then in the end reveal how it pertains to her. May 06, Michelle rated it liked it.
I love the premise of this book so I really wanted to love this book. I enjoyed Lena's character but found some of the other characters lacking depth. I didn't particularly care for the Michael-Veronica relationship, felt it wasn't developed well. It was very obvious what the twist was going to be early on in the book. This book had great potential, but overall it was ok. Oct 18, Leigh rated it liked it Shelves: My opinion of this book bounced around like a pinball. I would find myself rolling my eyes and skimming Veronica chapters and vowing no more than two stars then change to Lena and Charlotte chapters and go up to four stars.
This book is not a five star book and Veronica is the reason. The story has a good premise that a fifth daughter was born to Nicholas and Alexandra in and smuggled out for political reasons. To me this story is more plausible than one child survived the massacre. I know My opinion of this book bounced around like a pinball. I know people who lived in the USSR in the 20's and 30's and there was no way anyone got out of that house alive.