genre: fiction/historical fiction
Nicola has a gift - with a touch, she is able to look into the past of an object, see its history. With her love of art and all things Russian, her job with an art dealer is perfect. When an beautiful object with an uncertain past makes its way into her hands, Nicola knows she has to find out its story. But for a journey this big, her gift might not actually be enough to discover all the clues she needs and it will take a man with an even more amazing talent to help her determine if The Firebird ever truly belonged to Russia's Empress Catherine.
Again, Susanna has a formula - modern day strong and capable career woman who, in one way or another, is able to access the past. And that "past" is a second storyline that we follow throughout the book. However, I happen to LIKE this formula. She writes good books. They keep me interested. I like the characters (what IS it about Scottish men, anyway?). I loved seeing Russia this time and learning about the relationship between British ex-pats in Russia, the Jacobite movement and the tsar and tsarina. If you have already read Shadowy Horses or, especially, Winter Sea, you will see MANY familiar characters, which I really enjoyed despite the fact that my knowledge of that story did lead me to know some spoilers about the ending of this one - but it didn't bother me too much. If you can suspend your disbelief about spirits and mind-reading and journing-to-the-past-in-your-mind, then you can have a lovely time.
They don't change my life, Susanna's books, but they do enrich them. They are romantic without being graphic, which I appreciate, and I'm always happy to loose myself in her stories. At the end of her novel she gives a thorough history of who is real and who is fictional, and I always appreciate that in my historical fiction. Yep, I'll read whatever she writes next.
note: if you're interested in the content of the books I read, please go to http://ratedreads.com