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Written on the Wind

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He carries a dangerous secret, but can he survive long enough to expose it? Count Dimitri Sokolov has been charged with overseeing construction of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, but during this work, he witnesses an appalling crime, the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. In an effort to silence him, the czar has stripped Dimitri of his title, his land He carries a dangerous secret, but can he survive long enough to expose it? Count Dimitri Sokolov has been charged with overseeing construction of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, but during this work, he witnesses an appalling crime, the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. In an effort to silence him, the czar has stripped Dimitri of his title, his lands, and his freedom . . . but Dimitri has one asset the czar knows nothing about: his deep and abiding friendship with Natalia Blackstone. Natalia is the lead analyst for her father's New York banking empire and manages their investment in the Trans-Siberian Railway. Her bond with Dimitri has flourished despite the miles between them, but when Dimitri goes unexpectedly missing, she sets the wheels in motion to find him. Once they join forces, they embark on a dangerous quest in which one wrong move could destroy them both. From the steppes of Russia to the corridors of power in Washington, Dimitri and Natalia will fight against all odds to save the railroad while exposing the truth. Can their newfound love survive the ordeal?


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He carries a dangerous secret, but can he survive long enough to expose it? Count Dimitri Sokolov has been charged with overseeing construction of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, but during this work, he witnesses an appalling crime, the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. In an effort to silence him, the czar has stripped Dimitri of his title, his land He carries a dangerous secret, but can he survive long enough to expose it? Count Dimitri Sokolov has been charged with overseeing construction of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, but during this work, he witnesses an appalling crime, the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. In an effort to silence him, the czar has stripped Dimitri of his title, his lands, and his freedom . . . but Dimitri has one asset the czar knows nothing about: his deep and abiding friendship with Natalia Blackstone. Natalia is the lead analyst for her father's New York banking empire and manages their investment in the Trans-Siberian Railway. Her bond with Dimitri has flourished despite the miles between them, but when Dimitri goes unexpectedly missing, she sets the wheels in motion to find him. Once they join forces, they embark on a dangerous quest in which one wrong move could destroy them both. From the steppes of Russia to the corridors of power in Washington, Dimitri and Natalia will fight against all odds to save the railroad while exposing the truth. Can their newfound love survive the ordeal?

30 review for Written on the Wind

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    Absolutely smashes every last convention and genre expectation to form a masterwork of rare impression. I am rarely speechless especially about an author whose work I have followed for years, but this launches her into a new stratosphere. I will be hard-pressed to get over this one. It's a major book hangover. with thanks to Bethany House for the arc I begged and pleaded for. Formal endorsement and full book gush forthcoming. formal endorsement thingamabob: "In Written on the Wind, Camden smashes ge Absolutely smashes every last convention and genre expectation to form a masterwork of rare impression. I am rarely speechless especially about an author whose work I have followed for years, but this launches her into a new stratosphere. I will be hard-pressed to get over this one. It's a major book hangover. with thanks to Bethany House for the arc I begged and pleaded for. Formal endorsement and full book gush forthcoming. formal endorsement thingamabob: "In Written on the Wind, Camden smashes genre conventions and expectations with a dazzlingly unique hero and a taut and tense unearthing of a historical moment rarely covered in fiction. As complex as a Brahms motif, this treatise of home and sacrifice is deftly intercepted by a startlingly smart and rich love story woven with the potential to change the course of history. Jubilant descriptions and richly textured banter underscore Dmitri and Natalia’s poetry of a relationship while tempering the barren wastelands of Russia with the crackle of New York’s shifting and bustling industry. Camden's reigning voice in dimensional and indomitably-researched historical romance reaches its zenith in this work of rare impression. This book is nothing short of a game-changer and I eagerly await how its elevated discourse on the strengths and limitations afforded two singular and wonderful characters will ripple through the Christian Fiction industry for years to come. "

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    Though this is the second book in a series it can very easily be read as a stand alone. I have read all of the author's books, I won't miss one but this book takes historical fiction to a whole new level. I love her books for how well researched they are and give me as many details as possible please. There are historical books that are great that are similar to many others out there. This author's books shine in their own way because they have original story lines not the same ones many other auth Though this is the second book in a series it can very easily be read as a stand alone. I have read all of the author's books, I won't miss one but this book takes historical fiction to a whole new level. I love her books for how well researched they are and give me as many details as possible please. There are historical books that are great that are similar to many others out there. This author's books shine in their own way because they have original story lines not the same ones many other authors use. How about topics of Trans-Siberian Railway,the launching of prerecorded wax discs, and a woman who is the lead analyst for her father's New York banking empire and manages their investment in the Trans-Siberian Railway. Now you have to remember this is during the early 1900's when women were not easily accepted in these fields and expected to stay home and let the men take care of it all. Very strong character development. I enjoyed reading history about Russia and about their culture. Very interesting book. I look forward to the next book as this one is incredible! Pub Date: 03 May 2022 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mimi Matthews

    Stretching from Gilded Age New York to the wilds of pre-revolutionary Russia, Written on the Wind is a sweeping saga of a historical romance, enhanced by complex characters and riveting period detail. A fascinating read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    About this book: “Natalia Blackstone is a rarity in Gilded Age America. As a trusted analyst for her father's bank, she is helping finance the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. From her office in New York City, Natalia relies on a charming Russian aristocrat to oversee the construction of the railroad on the other side of the world. But while overseeing the work, Count Dimitri Sokolov witnesses the deadly result of the Russian Monarchy's will to see the railway built. To silence him, the state h About this book: “Natalia Blackstone is a rarity in Gilded Age America. As a trusted analyst for her father's bank, she is helping finance the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. From her office in New York City, Natalia relies on a charming Russian aristocrat to oversee the construction of the railroad on the other side of the world. But while overseeing the work, Count Dimitri Sokolov witnesses the deadly result of the Russian Monarchy's will to see the railway built. To silence him, the state has stripped Dimitri of his title, his lands, and his freedom . . . but Dimitri has a key asset the czar knows nothing about: his deep and abiding friendship with Natalia Blackstone. From the steppes of Russia to the corridors of power in Washington, Natalia and Dimitri will fight against all odds to save the railroad and share the truth of what happened, but how can their newfound love survive the ordeal?” Series: Book #2 in “The Blackstone Legacy” series. Review of Book #1 Here! Spiritual Content- A Scripture is quoted; Prayers, Thanking God, & Crossing one’s self; Talks about God; ‘H’s are capitalized when referring to God; A bit of witnessing (which mentions the Holy Spirit); Natalia lights candles and prays at her mother’s private chapel; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers, praying, blessings over food, & crossing one’s self; Mentions of chapels, churches, & cathedrals; Mentions of hymns & Christmas carols; Mentions of religious icons; Mentions of a baby’s christening & choosing a godfather not because of religious reasons, but political connections; Mentions of the pope & a bishop for the Roman Orthodox Church; A few mentions of those & events in the Bible; A few mentions of Jews & a synagogue; A few mentions of nuns & convents; A couple mentions of blessings; A mention of a Bible; A mention of a set of chocolates that were the finest things since manna; A mention of a musician making an instrument sound like a sacred rite; A mention of a man living like a monk; A mention of a mosque; *Note: Mentions of Greek gods, goddesses, & Mythology; A couple mentions of Russian folklore believing that birch trees protect against evil (Dimitri says he’s a Christian, but does think the trees have protected the property); A mention of a godforsaken place; A mention of a food being like it was “kissed by the gods”; A mention of a talisman. Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘give a fig’, a form of ‘shut up’, three ‘dumb’s, four forms of ‘idiot’, and seven ‘stupid’s; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); Some eye rolling & sass; Almost dying, Being attacked, Being held at gunpoint, Pain, Injuries, Blood/Bleeding, & Passing Out (semi-detailed); A bomb, explosion, pain, & passing out (including seeing a child thrown, semi-detailed); Dimitri socially drinks (& also drinks when deemed needed because of injuries/pain and to keep warm), smokes cigars with others (which he says he doesn’t like smoking, but the cigars’ fragrance), & plays poker; Many mentions of a massacre/rebellion, violence, shootings, drownings, & witnessing it (semi-detailed); Many mentions of drinking, social drinking, alcohol, making alcohol, saloons, & drunks; Many mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of bombs, explosions, an assassination, an assassination attempt, injuries, & deaths (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a dead body; Mentions of wars, fighting, & injuries; Mentions of Liam being kidnapped as a child (Book #1); Mentions of frostbite (up to semi-detailed), amputation, & someone saying how they can end their life (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of injuries, illnesses, blood/bleeding, & pain (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of thinking someone is a hypochondriac & thinking they’re dying; Mentions of convicts/prisoners, prison camps, arrests, & being exiled; Mentions of bandits/thieves, robberies, & stealing; Mentions of smoking, cigars, pipes, & tobacco; Mentions of jealousy; Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of eavesdropping; A few mentions of serfdom (similar to slavery); A few mentions of a communist anthem; A few mentions of opium dens; A few mentions of blackmail; A few mentions of poker & gambling; A couple mentions of close calls with death (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of street gangs; A mention of dog waste; *Note: A couple parts reference adoption in ways that may be hard for some adoptees to read: Such as Natalia’s father saying they never adopted because “[He wasn’t] sure if [he] could love a stranger’s baby. One can never be sure what sort of people the parents are.” and later when a woman tells her husband not to adopt another child while she’s not around; Mentions of novels, authors, & characters (including spoilers for all of them: ‘War and Peace’, ‘Little Women’, and the ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’); A couple mentions of damning details about someone in a newspaper. Sexual Content- Trying to kiss someone (barely-above-not-detailed), three hand/palm kisses, a fingertip kiss (borderline semi-detailed), two forehead kisses, an almost (detailed) kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, two border-line barely-above-not-detailed // semi-detailed kisses, a semi-detailed kiss, and a detailed kiss (mentioning desire and being aroused); Remembering a kiss & embraces (up to semi-detailed); Wanting to kiss & embrace (up to semi-detailed); Touches, Nearness, Warmth, Hand holding, & Embraces (up to semi-detailed); Noticing (barely-above-not-detailed); Even though he says he heart belongs to Natalia, Dimitri slightly flirts with another woman, a moonlight stroll is mentioned and she kisses him; A man asks Dimitri if Natalia is his mistress; Mentions of a man dallying with the servants, one becoming pregnant, & his illegitimate child; Mentions of flirting, winks, & blushes; Mentions of reputations & chaperones; A few mentions of kisses & kissing; A couple mentions of a woman saying Dimitri is looking at Natalia with lascivious eyes (which he retorts that his eyes are full of reverence and that he knows the difference “between crude physical needs and something more lasting”); A couple mentions of jealousy; A mention of someone saying a ballerina is a little better a prostitute; A mention of a cheek kiss; A mention of a woman not doing something salacious with a man; A mention of men singing bawdy songs; A mention of a man’s eyes shining with masculine appreciation when he looks at Natalia; Love, falling in love, & the emotions; *Note: Mentions of a man not being able to father children (*Spoiler* (view spoiler)[Due to having mumps after puberty, Dimitri is considered to be sterile; It’s said that he “could enjoy marital relations, there would never be children as a result of them” Natalia wants to have biological children, is sadden by this fact, and doesn’t know if she could give up that dream. They both struggle with this fact. At the end, she realizes that if they adopted children like he said, the children would be lucky to have him as a father. *End of Spoiler* (hide spoiler)] ); Mentions of miscarriages, a stillborn baby, & a mother dying in labor; A few mentions of seeing a mother nurse; A couple mentions of Natalia and her new stepmother being the same age; A mention of a woman’s gown with a plunging neckline; A mention of a woman’s hefty bosom. -Natalia Blackstone, age 28 -Dimitri Sokolov, age 34 P.O.V. switches between them Set in 1900-1902 352 pages ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Pre Teens- One Star New Teens- One Star Early High School Teens- One Star (and a half) Older High School Teens- Two Stars My personal Rating- Two Stars Well, that was an adventure in every sense of the word. Like most of Elizabeth Camden’s books, I was completely sucked into the world and the character’s lives by the opening chapters. I can’t place was it is about the author’s writing style, but, oh, I love it so. I really enjoyed reading about Russian culture and some of the historical events that took place in the early 1900s. It was all really interesting. It was partially a long-distance relationship, while I really enjoyed seeing in a historical novel. I wasn’t a fan of the few parts that had sexual tension between Natalie and Dimitri when they were together. Some of it was more than a bit much in my opinion, so because of those few elements (and some mentions of other things), however, the ratings are lower for this book. There were a couple kisses that if this wasn’t a contemporary book, the phrase “make-out” could have been used for both of those scenes. I did like Natalia and Dimitri when they were together due to their personalities being great together, but also their separate parts. She was very much a planner and gets things done; He was more of the flying on the wind (😉) personality, but he had a great way with words. He could be light-hearted and yet also serious, but it never felt like it was two separate characters with the same name. Overall, they both were good characters. I do think they balanced each other out well, personality wise. I appreciate how they discussed and conversed with each other and there weren’t any secrets kept for long. I do wish there had been more faith content and discussions, but I’m somewhat satisfied with what was there. After only partially enjoying the first book in this series, I was a little hesitate about this one. I don’t know much about Russian history, so I think that’s why. I was concerned about keeping up with the characters and events, but I’m a bit proud to say that I feel like I did well while reading. The timeline of this book being stretched around two years made it realistic and helped break up certain events. For older teens and up, who are interested in Russian history and culture, this may be a fascinating novel. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the third book with Liam’s story when it releases. Link to review: https://booksforchristiangirls.blogsp... *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author. * I received this (Advance Reader Copy) e-book for free from the Publisher (Bethany House) for this honest review. Having read an ARC, there are some details listed in this review that may have been changed in the final print edition.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Miller

    3.75 ⭐️ Written on the Wind is the second book in Elizabeth Camden’s series, The Blackstone Legacy. This book follows the story of two protagonists, Count Dimitri Sokolov and Natalia Blackstone. After witnessing a heinous crime, Dimitri flees to America to seek the help of the one person he can trust, Natalia Blackstone. After setbacks and complications, Natalia joins forces with Dimitri to fight for the people of Russia. The quest that brings them together begins to tear them apart, and the que 3.75 ⭐️ Written on the Wind is the second book in Elizabeth Camden’s series, The Blackstone Legacy. This book follows the story of two protagonists, Count Dimitri Sokolov and Natalia Blackstone. After witnessing a heinous crime, Dimitri flees to America to seek the help of the one person he can trust, Natalia Blackstone. After setbacks and complications, Natalia joins forces with Dimitri to fight for the people of Russia. The quest that brings them together begins to tear them apart, and the question they both wrestle with is this: Will their love survive even when the fight ends? You’ll have to read to find out! There were a couple of things I appreciated about this book. First was Dimitri’s character. I loved how the author had his character be both serious and lighthearted. The author balanced this very well, and some of my favorite scenes were of Dimitri complaining of his various scrapes and cuts to Natalia, and how something so silly helped strengthen their relationship.  Second was the faith element in this book. I love reading books where faith isn’t the backdrop of the story, but the center of it. It plays an integral part in the story just as the storyline, historical details, and characters do. I appreciated that the author crafted faith into this story in a way that made it fit perfectly and not feel out of place. A few things that kept me from giving this book a higher rating:  First was the romance between Natalia and Dimitri. This is more on Natalia’s part than Dimitri’s, but if there’s romance in a book, I really appreciate it when it’s intentional on both parts. Natalia made it clear that she didn’t want to marry Dimitri because she wanted to have children and be a mother and that she didn’t feel called to move to Russia. However, she still pursued a romance with Dimitri because she loved him. I don’t know—that kind of romance doesn’t always sit right with me because it’s not an intentional commitment to move forward, but just a temporary fling, knowing that things won't work out. This is just a personal opinion of mine, so don’t let that keep you from reading the book if you don’t mind that style of romance!  Second, I wished there were more historical details provided about that time in history. The story is centered at the turn of the twentieth century, 1900, and while some history is provided, I wish there had been more on Russia (Dimitri’s homeland) in particular.  As always, please don’t let my review keep you from reading this book. There was no inappropriate content, so this book was a completely clean read! The only reason I gave this book a lower rating was because of my personal dislikes, and nothing against the content itself. What may have been an almost four-star read for me may be a five-star read for someone else!  Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC of Written on the Wind. All opinions are expressly my own, and I wasn’t required to write anything but an honest review of this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristianne

    Rich with historical color and vibrant characters, Elizabeth Camden’s latest novel draws you into the electrifying world of early 20th century New York City and leaves you wishing you could stay there forever. Dimitri’s adorable eccentricities and Natalia’s brilliance will have you falling head over heels for this unconventional couple as they fight to stay together amidst the unique challenges of two opposing worlds. Characters: I must say, the opening chapter did not give me the best impression Rich with historical color and vibrant characters, Elizabeth Camden’s latest novel draws you into the electrifying world of early 20th century New York City and leaves you wishing you could stay there forever. Dimitri’s adorable eccentricities and Natalia’s brilliance will have you falling head over heels for this unconventional couple as they fight to stay together amidst the unique challenges of two opposing worlds. Characters: I must say, the opening chapter did not give me the best impression of this story, and I went in wondering if it would be another dry read with the cliché female protagonist fighting for her place in a man’s world. But once Dimitri came onto the scene and the author began to explore Natalia’s personality more, I was fully invested. There aren’t many male protagonists I’m absolutely smitten with, but Dimitri was one of them. I think a large part of that was because although he was every inch the aristocrat, he didn’t possess the trademark arrogance that seems to show up in almost every wealthy character. He was a paradox in many ways—wealthy, yet generous. Dramatic and a bit spoiled, yet courageous. Gentle and caring with those he loved, yet impossibly stubborn when it came down to his convictions. All his eccentric habits and sweeping, dramatic way of talking were simply charming and had me chuckling so many times. And as a lover of art myself, I felt a special bond with him because of his deep appreciation for classical music and the glories of Russian literature. Natalia, while less striking overall, was still thoroughly fascinating and relatable. It was highly insightful to get a glimpse into what it would be like for a woman working on Wall Street in early 1900 when women had much fewer rights. I thought Camden did an admirable job realistically portraying the unique challenges she would have faced as a woman while not allowing it to domineer the rest of the story. Their romance was adorable, and I appreciated that Camden included it within the context of their previous friendship so that it didn’t feel too rushed. Natalia was exactly what Dimitri needed—someone who wouldn’t coddle him too much and knew how to bring him back down to planet earth again. I loved how his lofty idealism and her matter-of-fact down-to-earth-ness complemented each other perfectly. Note: There are some mild kissing scenes and a few scenes where they hold each other intimately, but those scenes are brief and never graphically described. Plot: While the opening chapter was slow, once we shifted to Dimitri’s perspective and his escape across Russia, the pace really picked up and kept me turning pages all the way through. There were so many tones and colors to the story, from the desperation and bleak wilderness of the Russian tundra, to the lavish opulence and political intrigue of aristocratic American society. Particularly fascinating was the contrast between the culture of the old world of Russia and the new world of America. You might think they wouldn’t be all that different, and yet Camden skillfully highlighted the major cultural divides between these two worlds. Her historical detail was impeccable and made each page sparkle with realism. My very favorite part of Written on the Wind, besides the characters, was the strong musical influence. It’s obvious the author did her research and has a thorough understanding and appreciation of classical music through the way both Dimitri and Natalia talked so competently about it, and that made my music-loving self very happy. It added a certain richness that made an already great story even better. While I thought the plot was well-executed throughout most of the story and I enjoyed the ending, I was disappointed that Natalia never got the chance to visit Dimitri’s homeland, especially his beloved family estate Mirosa. I hope to see more of these two in coming books! Themes: Camden addresses a challenging theme you don’t see very often in fiction these days—that of doing what is right even when it means losing everything. I admire that Camden isn’t afraid to tackle hard questions about when and how we should and should not compromise in our quest for justice through the difficult choices Dimitri faced. In the end, I thought Camden did a fine job exploring what it means to fight for true justice and stand with our convictions even when society tells us not to—all in a realistic and meaningful way. I really appreciated how Camden handled Dimitri’s faith. It felt real, honest, sincere. I loved how it colored every action, every part of his life, and spurred him onward to accomplish some of his greatest acts. His faith was such an integral part of his life that he didn’t even question whether he should sacrifice all to do what was right. That’s the kind of courage I want to emulate. Layered, complex, and memorable, Written on the Wind is a powerful exploration of the complexities of human nature and what makes life truly worth living and fighting for. You’ll quickly find yourself immersed in this riveting world of steam engines, soirees, and political intrigue as Dimitri and Natalia fight for justice. With plenty of food for thought, it’s a story you’ll be savoring long after you put it down. Favorite quotes: “There’s only so much you can learn about life from reading.” “He had the soul of a poet as he paid homage to stars that glittered like diamonds on the velvety night sky or the joy at seeing the first violets of spring peeking out of the wet snow to defy the harsh climate.” “The history of Russia is a litany of grief and sorrow woven into the fabric of our nation. A Russian novelist must dip his pen in his own blood to write his story. You may avert your American eyes if you choose, but there is glory and valor in suffering that transcends our paltry physical lives. I practice it daily.” *I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Clark

    There is nothing typical about Written on the Wind. Camden bravely explores a story and characters whose path and traits set a new level of precedence in the genre, especially with the forming of the hero. With fascinating historical detail, a riveting romance, and brilliantly depicted settings from Russia to NYC and Washington, DC, this novel of convictions and purpose is one that will resonate with readers and cater to history lovers. Count Dimitri Sokolov is as complex and multifaceted as his There is nothing typical about Written on the Wind. Camden bravely explores a story and characters whose path and traits set a new level of precedence in the genre, especially with the forming of the hero. With fascinating historical detail, a riveting romance, and brilliantly depicted settings from Russia to NYC and Washington, DC, this novel of convictions and purpose is one that will resonate with readers and cater to history lovers. Count Dimitri Sokolov is as complex and multifaceted as his vast homeland of Russia. He cannot be easily categorized or labeled, exhibiting strength and tenacity and being, at the same time, slightly vain and needy. His emotional intelligence is exemplary, as exhibited when he sets his mind on pursuing Natalia. I swoon over all the tiny things that make him so atypical, one small example being his enjoyment of manicures, yet he is completely a masculine gentleman. Another big trait of his I won’t point out for spoilers’ sake, but I’ll say it’s a breakthrough in the inspirational fiction genre and one I am proud of Camden for tackling with such alpomb. Yay for a historical romance beta hero! Natalia Blackstone is accomplished and has great tenacity to achieve anything she sets her mind to, yet the strictures of the business world at the turn of the century inhibit her progress at times. She is a counterpart to Dimitri’s personality, with the right contrasts in perspective and harmonically aligned goals. The friendship between Natalia and Dimitri and all of their interactions are full of wit and crackling with an electric tension the reader can sense. This friendship is an appropriate foundation for their romance, one that is as dramatic, at times, as the Russian literature Dimitri loves. My favorite aspect of their relationship is that, with every stage of their journey from friendship to romance and beyond, the allure of their connection transcends proximity and instead pairs them on a level of intelligence and integrity. My love for this book can be attributed 85% to Dimitri and 15% to the rest of the story, and with a structure and characters as fantastic as this, that is a great ratio :). When it could be predictable in a particular climactic moment of choice for Natalia, I LOVE that it isn’t. I hope readers embrace this book for what it is: a declaration and perspective of love and sacrifice. Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Ms. Camden always manages to take privileged, socially prominent characters and give them substance, warmth and faith. This time the story is about Natalia Blackstone who oversees the construction project for the Trans Siberian Railway as she forges her way in the finance department of the bank her father owns. There is so much history conveyed here. The author deftly weaves her story among real events, I still learn new things. I was curious about the Boxer Rebellion from a different perspectiv Ms. Camden always manages to take privileged, socially prominent characters and give them substance, warmth and faith. This time the story is about Natalia Blackstone who oversees the construction project for the Trans Siberian Railway as she forges her way in the finance department of the bank her father owns. There is so much history conveyed here. The author deftly weaves her story among real events, I still learn new things. I was curious about the Boxer Rebellion from a different perspective because my grandfather and his brother were missionaries to China and spent time as prisoners of war in Japan during this time. My favorite character was Dimitri. A noble man who is loyal to his country, but won’t cover up an injustice, he is a mix of gentility and teasing little boy. He can be charming but when faced with adversity, he is resilient and incredibly strong willed. An unlikely match for the notable Natalie Blackstone, who is equally strong willed as she is establishing a foothold for women in the banking world. They find common ground as they fight for a worthy cause. “It takes two kinds of people to make businesses thrive. It takes dreamers and doers like you, and sensible people behind the scenes to make the dreams happen. That’s who we are. Romance and Reason. Fire and Ice.” This is a sweeping saga that evokes many emotions. A worthy second book in The Blackstone Legacy. I cannot wait for the next book. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Elizabeth Camden was one of the first authors I read when I re-discovered Christian fiction and what drew me the most were her characters and how well she developed them. Her earlier books had this wonderful quirkiness about them and I mean that in a really good way. The characters of Count Dimitri Sokolov and Natalia Blackstone remind me of her earlier works, especially Count Sokolov who takes on an almost whimsicalness about him. Even though Russia is a part of him, Natalia has thoroughly capt Elizabeth Camden was one of the first authors I read when I re-discovered Christian fiction and what drew me the most were her characters and how well she developed them. Her earlier books had this wonderful quirkiness about them and I mean that in a really good way. The characters of Count Dimitri Sokolov and Natalia Blackstone remind me of her earlier works, especially Count Sokolov who takes on an almost whimsicalness about him. Even though Russia is a part of him, Natalia has thoroughly captured his heart and he will go anywhere to be with her. This is what makes me enjoy Ms. Camden’s stories so much she first creates characters that though you would’ve never met, she makes them much like you and me; full of vulnerability. Recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I enjoyed the mix of American bankers and the Trans-Siberian railway. It was interesting having a Russian main character. The relationship and dynamics between the love interests was fresh and believable. I did feel like some of the story could have had a little more depth, some of the story "problems" needed a little more time for the reader to dwell on them, so that we "feel" them too. overall, this is my first Elizabeth Camden book and I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the time period. I would d I enjoyed the mix of American bankers and the Trans-Siberian railway. It was interesting having a Russian main character. The relationship and dynamics between the love interests was fresh and believable. I did feel like some of the story could have had a little more depth, some of the story "problems" needed a little more time for the reader to dwell on them, so that we "feel" them too. overall, this is my first Elizabeth Camden book and I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the time period. I would definitely read another Elizabeth Camden novel.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    Thank you, NetGalley, Bethany House Publishing, and Elizabeth Camden for the opportunity to read this book. It will release on May 3rd, 2022! I absolutely adore Elizabeth Camden’s books! Written on the Wind is the 2nd book in The Blackstone Legacy series. I loved the first book in the series called Carved in Stone. This book is about Gwen’s cousin, Natalia Blackstone. She works for her father’s bank and is in charge of the loan and funding of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Being a woman in the year Thank you, NetGalley, Bethany House Publishing, and Elizabeth Camden for the opportunity to read this book. It will release on May 3rd, 2022! I absolutely adore Elizabeth Camden’s books! Written on the Wind is the 2nd book in The Blackstone Legacy series. I loved the first book in the series called Carved in Stone. This book is about Gwen’s cousin, Natalia Blackstone. She works for her father’s bank and is in charge of the loan and funding of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Being a woman in the year 1900 –is no easy feat. She works with Count Dimitri Sokolov who oversees the construction in Russia. They have developed a close friendship through their telegrams. However, Dimitri is a witness to atrocities committed by the Russian Army, he refuses to be a part of it and is stripped of his titles and exiled. He manages to flee to America knowing the only person who can help him cripple Russia is Natalia Blackstone. Once again, Elizabeth Camden does a fabulous job at mixing passion, politics, and standing up for one’s beliefs. This book dives into the very fragile political alliances involving Russia and America and how image and money run the world in 1900. It was interesting to see Natalia’s development because she does not condone what Russia has done, but she does not want to see all of her hard work fail and if her reputation gets ruined, there will be no room for her at the bank. Even though Natalia is a woman in a very patriarchal society, she is still very privileged and I was glad that the author is quick to point that out. However, I did wish to see more diverse parts of New York in 1900. I am hoping that we will see more of that in book three since it looks like it will be Liam’s story. One of the best historical detail is the slow rise of revolution in Russia. At first, it is just mere whispers, but then becomes one of the main points towards the end of the book. There are historical characters that we are familiar with that will make an appearance and we know that their time is limited. I did love the chemistry between Natalia and Dimitri. Before Tinder, Bumble, and EHarmony there were…telegrams? In this book, yes! Natalia and Dimitri communicate via telegrams and their relationship develops from these correspondences. I loved reading the telegram messages. Dimitri is so lighthearted and melodramatic and Natalia is witty and sarcastic. It is obvious that they are meant to be. Even though I loved this book, I can’t put into words how excited I am for book three! Liam has been my favorite character throughout the past couple of books and I can’t wait to see him shine. Overall, this book gets 5 out of 5 stars!

  12. 4 out of 5

    MJSH

    “Sometimes our best memories are born during our harshest trials. They become happy only in hindsight.” This second installment of The Blackstone Legacy is an intercontinental saga of epic proportions. From the frozen beauty of 1900 Russia to the bustling ports in American West Coast to cutthroat boardrooms of New York City, this tale of risking all to right an injustice will captivate you completely. Elizabeth Camden’s books are historical fiction at its very best, where history and fiction are “Sometimes our best memories are born during our harshest trials. They become happy only in hindsight.” This second installment of The Blackstone Legacy is an intercontinental saga of epic proportions. From the frozen beauty of 1900 Russia to the bustling ports in American West Coast to cutthroat boardrooms of New York City, this tale of risking all to right an injustice will captivate you completely. Elizabeth Camden’s books are historical fiction at its very best, where history and fiction are seamlessly melded to create beautiful art. I loved Dimitri and Natalia’s telegrams that felt like texting in the 1900s. Dimitri, though vain and melodramatic, grew exponentially through suffering and his unshakable faith was quite admirable. Natalia and her logical, focused intelligence made her a unique heroine in 1900s NYC. Their banter is fantastic and their relationship is quite fun. In the midst of the adventure and romance, there are delightful historical tidbits about the steel industry, railroad industry, and even the music industry. I can’t wait for the third book in the series! I received the book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle Cobb

    Appreciated the historical depth of this one! Camden’s writing of strong heroines continues, and although the plot had some weak points, Natalia and Dmitri’s love story shone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joanne | wellreadcoffeeaddict

    4.5 ✨ After hearing my friend on instagram calling this book one of Camden's best, I was very excited to get my hands on it for myself. Y'all know my love of Elizabeth Camden ;) While The Spice King holds the top spot in my bookshelf, Written on the Wind comes very close! The Russian influences in this book were fascinating, and once I put the book down, I immediately looked up some of the highlights like the sarafan and dacha so I could better picture what Dimitri and Natalia were speaking of. E 4.5 ✨ After hearing my friend on instagram calling this book one of Camden's best, I was very excited to get my hands on it for myself. Y'all know my love of Elizabeth Camden ;) While The Spice King holds the top spot in my bookshelf, Written on the Wind comes very close! The Russian influences in this book were fascinating, and once I put the book down, I immediately looked up some of the highlights like the sarafan and dacha so I could better picture what Dimitri and Natalia were speaking of. Every Camden novel is brimming with culture, academia, experiences, and fascinating professions - and this one is no different. Every word has a purpose; she doesn't use fluff to fill word count. I loved that the characters didn't meet each other until about 80 pages in. We get the full set up first, and with their main communication taking place via telegrams. I loved how great their communication is and that any miscommunication isn't drawn out for tension and is solved as soon as it could be. Natalia and Dimitri are mature and passionate people, albeit over different things; Dimitri on his love for his homeland, and Natalia on her business at the bank. Dimitri's melodramatic and fatalistic expressions are entertaining and he makes for an interesting POV. And on Dimitri's opinion on tragic endings, the scene where Beth dies in Little Women is not the best scene in the book. I am appalled he can even say that. Although the tragic stories *are* the ones we remember best... so maybe he's on to something. A few minor points that kept this from being a 5-star read (and these are all personal opinions, so what made me enjoy the book less may not bother you at all): - the trope of how tough it is to be a woman in a man's world is getting a bit old, since we see it in so many HR novels - I liked Dimitri, but I'm not so sure of Natalia and Dimitri as a couple. It felt like he wanted her to cater to him a lot, and she had to give up a lot to be with him. He even makes the statement: "It seems it is your fate to suffer on my behalf." Even after a certain event caused by Dimitri's quest, (view spoiler)[where Natalia loses her position at the bank (hide spoiler)] that directly affected Natalia's entire life, he never really talked about it with her, or asked her how she was dealing with the unfair and sudden loss of her livelihood. For someone as chatty and longwinded as Dimitri could be, it was a bit strange he didn't bring this up, since he does acknowledge in his mind that it was his fault. That aside, I enjoyed this book more than book 1 and am very much excited for Liam's story! I highlighted a seemingly throwaway line but one I think is foreshadowing great things for his story - "It's good that I found out about her. [She] was a distraction. If I ever get married, it will be to a woman who isn't afraid to walk into a cauldron of fire with me." Whew! Camden sure likes to write the spitfire whirlwind passionate romances! I'm imagining great things for Liam ;D Okay back on track. *winks* If you enjoy clean historical fiction with a good dose of romance (not too much, not too little, just right), Written on the Wind is the book to try!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa’s Bookshelf

    Absolutely loved this second book in the Blackstone Legacy series! Elizabeth Camden has a way of writing such endearing, authentic characters. I adored Dimitri and Natalia. This story takes the reader on an exciting journey through the wilds of Siberia to the glamour and political intrigue of Gilded Age New York City and Washington, D.C. I was immediately pulled in and enjoyed the romance, faith, and history the author deftly weaves into the story. Count Dimitri Sokolov has been overseeing the bu Absolutely loved this second book in the Blackstone Legacy series! Elizabeth Camden has a way of writing such endearing, authentic characters. I adored Dimitri and Natalia. This story takes the reader on an exciting journey through the wilds of Siberia to the glamour and political intrigue of Gilded Age New York City and Washington, D.C. I was immediately pulled in and enjoyed the romance, faith, and history the author deftly weaves into the story. Count Dimitri Sokolov has been overseeing the building of the Trans-Siberian railway for several years. He’s developed an enjoyable friendship through telegrams with Natalia Blackstone, the American banker’s daughter who manages the investment in the railway. Sokolov witnesses a terrible massacre the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. To keep him quiet, he’s stripped of his title and sent to Siberia. His only hope is to escape and try to reach Natalia in New York. Natalia Blackstone enjoys her position as the lead analyst for her father’s banking empire. The wealthy heiress is anything but typical. She loves her work and looks forward to the flirty, descriptive telegrams from Dimitri. After not hearing from him for months, she becomes worried. When they finally reconnect, the two work together to expose the truth and try to restore Dimitri’s lands and title. There are significant forces working against them to prevent the truth from coming out. Both their reputations and futures are at risk in this delicate political dance. I loved this story! Pieces of the Russian culture are beautifully portrayed through Dimitri and other characters. The romance between Natalia and Dimitri is explosive. They’re both passionate people and that underlying chemistry heats up especially when their wills collide. There are so many facets to this story and I loved the messages of perseverance, faith, and doing what’s right when faced with insurmountable odds. There were times when I didn’t know if this story would have a happily ever after American ending or a tragic Russian ending. I also enjoyed the various cameos of real people who appeared in the story including Mark Twain. I not only have the ebook version, but also the audiobook version. The audiobook is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator. My only criticism was that the narrator didn’t employ a noticeable Russian accent. While I liked the way she voiced Dimitri, it would have been fun to have a touch more of his accent. If you haven’t read an Elizabeth Camden novel before, I highly recommend this book and series! I can’t wait for Liam’s story! While it is part of a series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. Those familiar with Carved in Stone will enjoy seeing Gwen and Patrick again as well as Liam. I received a complimentary copy of this book from LibraryThing through NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Faye

    Oceans apart Natalia and Dimitri have fostered a unique friendship, but an atrocity that threatens the Trans-Siberian Railroad has them both putting everything on the line. The long awaited second installment in The Blackstone Legacy did not disappoint, building on the relationships and revelations of the previous book. I loved getting to know Dimitri, his daring, charm, and flare for the dramatic, yet he is a peacemaker at heart and sees Natalia in a way that others don't. Natalia is a brillian Oceans apart Natalia and Dimitri have fostered a unique friendship, but an atrocity that threatens the Trans-Siberian Railroad has them both putting everything on the line. The long awaited second installment in The Blackstone Legacy did not disappoint, building on the relationships and revelations of the previous book. I loved getting to know Dimitri, his daring, charm, and flare for the dramatic, yet he is a peacemaker at heart and sees Natalia in a way that others don't. Natalia is a brilliant businesswoman, who has proven herself time and again at her father's bank only to be dismissed on account of her gender. I loved seeing her passion for projects as well as her love for her brother, and how working with Dimitri opened up new doors for her. Liam has grown more into his role in the Blackstone family, fighting against the elites who know nothing of his previous life working on the ground. I loved his friendship with Natalia, how he always seems to know when she could use some extra support and their bond as outsiders. Overall, this was a well written read that did not disappoint. The count was glorious and everything I could have hoped for, and his undimming support of Natalia throughout. I don't usually like books where the love interests don't meet immediately or spend long periods of time apart, but I think that in this case that it worked given the nature of their relationship at the beginning of the story and how the previous book set up this one. I loved diving into the rich history and politics of the time, as well as comparing things to how they are in the present day. A thrilling series about a powerful family, and the members who challenge the status quo to bring about change. You won't want to miss a minute of it! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    I love, love, love the ongoing influx of novels featuring all things Russia into today's book scene. _Written on the Wind_ is a welcome addition to the genre, and another stellar installment that lives up to my increasingly high expectations for author Elizabeth Camden! (No pressure, LOL.) I loved Camden's _Hope and Glory_ series, as well as Book 1 in this (Blackstone Legacy) series, _Carved in Stone_. _Written on the Wind_ may be my new favorite, mostly due to its featuring all things Russia (ev I love, love, love the ongoing influx of novels featuring all things Russia into today's book scene. _Written on the Wind_ is a welcome addition to the genre, and another stellar installment that lives up to my increasingly high expectations for author Elizabeth Camden! (No pressure, LOL.) I loved Camden's _Hope and Glory_ series, as well as Book 1 in this (Blackstone Legacy) series, _Carved in Stone_. _Written on the Wind_ may be my new favorite, mostly due to its featuring all things Russia (even if the "cz" spelling was used rather than "ts" for the royals!). (I studied Russian in college, and thanks to that and an Edinburgh Museum exhibit on the Romanovs, I'm now firmly in the "tsar"/"tsarits" spelling camp.) Still, spelling aside, the read is fantastic: quick pacing, the perfect length to flesh out the storyline and details, and shoutouts to some of my favorite classical composers and classic reads. I may need to find an audiobook version of _War and Peace_ now--but maybe abridged! I do recommend reading the series in order; this book features characters from Book 1, and the reader will benefit from knowing their story (as well as that of the Blackstone patriarch!). I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4.5 stars "That's who we are. Romance and reason. Fire and ice." . . . . . "That may be the most alluring statement since Cleopatra tempted Marc Antony to world domination." "They both ended up dead, " she pointed out. " . . . "As befits all good heroes." (answers Dimitri) After many months of transatlantic conversations, Natalia Blackstone and Count Dimitri Sokolov of Russia were finally going to meet face-to-face, unless the cryptic telegram that Natalia had received turned out to be a complete h 4.5 stars "That's who we are. Romance and reason. Fire and ice." . . . . . "That may be the most alluring statement since Cleopatra tempted Marc Antony to world domination." "They both ended up dead, " she pointed out. " . . . "As befits all good heroes." (answers Dimitri) After many months of transatlantic conversations, Natalia Blackstone and Count Dimitri Sokolov of Russia were finally going to meet face-to-face, unless the cryptic telegram that Natalia had received turned out to be a complete hoax. Half-starved and wearing the clothes of a thousand peasants, the elegance of Dimitri's persona seemed temporarily hidden, but a long way from dormancy. Being pampered was Dimitri's favorite past time and Natalia found that she loved showering the handsome, confident man with attention. After all, his harrowing experience would have completely destroyed a much weaker soul, but her count was nothing but strong in faith and character; after all he was still willing to lay down his life in order to influence a czar, if necessary; unfortunately, the repercussions of that intention might very well destroy everything that Natalia had worked so hard to accomplish. Let me emphasize the fact that chivalry is alive and well! Dimitri's flamboyant pursuit of his "dearest Natalia" is a sight to behold, their chemistry practically pulsating off of every page. There's just this wee little problem, Dimitri's dream is to return to Russia and Natalia is just as determined to remain in New York. The question should be, what does God have in store for these equal opposites? Let's hope that Dimitri doesn't have to die in order to be heroic, for "what kind of symphony ends with lovers on the opposite side of the world"? Brilliant contrasting characters, rich Russian history, and a story line that perfectly suits them both! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    Written on the Wind might just be my favorite Elizabeth Camden novel yet! I loved Natalia and Dimitri, as individuals and together—the romantic tension was spot on. And when Natalia gave Dimitri manicures...you know the romance is real. Our main couple exchanged telegrams for years prior to the events of this book, but they don’t meet in person until a quarter of the way through. Even though it’s unusual to have the couple be separated so long in a romantic story, readers truly need that time to Written on the Wind might just be my favorite Elizabeth Camden novel yet! I loved Natalia and Dimitri, as individuals and together—the romantic tension was spot on. And when Natalia gave Dimitri manicures...you know the romance is real. Our main couple exchanged telegrams for years prior to the events of this book, but they don’t meet in person until a quarter of the way through. Even though it’s unusual to have the couple be separated so long in a romantic story, readers truly need that time to get inside the characters’ heads, especially Dimitri’s. I can promise you that their time together most definitely makes up for the time spent apart. I enjoyed seeing Patrick and Gwen again, and I absolutely cannot wait for Liam’s story. Anyone who enjoys intricate historical fiction with a heavy dose of romance needs to read Camden’s books, and The Blackstone Legacy series is a perfect place to start. 4.5/5 stars I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    It's official -- I have a new favorite Elizabeth Camden novel!! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 I always enjoy Camden's unique characters and stunning historical details, but Written on the Wind takes both to breathtaking new heights. From his first, distant introduction in Carved in Stone, I was immediately intrigued by the charismatic Count Dimitri Sokolov, but after reading his full story here, I can honestly say he is the most hilarious, most heartfelt, most captivating fictional hero I have met in a long, long time. It's official -- I have a new favorite Elizabeth Camden novel!! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 I always enjoy Camden's unique characters and stunning historical details, but Written on the Wind takes both to breathtaking new heights. From his first, distant introduction in Carved in Stone, I was immediately intrigued by the charismatic Count Dimitri Sokolov, but after reading his full story here, I can honestly say he is the most hilarious, most heartfelt, most captivating fictional hero I have met in a long, long time. From the vast taiga of imperial Russia to the booming streets of San Francisco and New York City, I loved every page of his journey to meet Natalia and rally her to his cause. And speaking of Natalia, as dazzling a hero as Dimitri is, she is every bit his equal as a woman of strength, passion, and wisdom. Their sparks electrified every page. I can't wait to reread this one!! ❤️

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    3.5 ⭐️. I loved the Russian connections in this story but had issues with the main characters. It was not quite believable, but sweet in places. Still a good story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Bridgewater

    Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden introduces readers to the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia in the later stages of the building. While the story does not actually focus on the building of the railway, it does involve the people who were active in a horrible situation that occurred because of the building of this massive structure. If readers are familiar with the first novel in the Blackstone Legacy, Carved in Stone, then the readers would be familiar with the name of Natalia, the heroine Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden introduces readers to the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia in the later stages of the building. While the story does not actually focus on the building of the railway, it does involve the people who were active in a horrible situation that occurred because of the building of this massive structure. If readers are familiar with the first novel in the Blackstone Legacy, Carved in Stone, then the readers would be familiar with the name of Natalia, the heroine. This time around, it is her story that readers are allowed to follow. The romance between Natalia and Dimitri is what starts the story through telegrams from Russia to New York City. There are moments of survival through the Russian wilderness through the early winter. There are moments of high society in New York City. There are moments of life on a farm in Russia. Plenty of scenery to capture a readers’ attention. The plot tickled my interest, giving readers an interesting plot centered around the Blackstone Family. Overall, Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden is an interesting peek into the world of the banking system and Russian politics. A delightful novel. I received a complimentary copy Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden from Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Another good and enjoyable read from a wonderfully talented author. I loved the peek into various aspects of society that we don't normally see, and enjoyed the visit to a culturally rich era in both America and Russia. I couldn't seem to connect with (or truly appreciate) the main characters like I really wanted to. I know I'm in the minority when it comes to this as I've seen so many readers adore them, and I did like the book, so definitely recommend Historical Fiction lovers to give it a try. Another good and enjoyable read from a wonderfully talented author. I loved the peek into various aspects of society that we don't normally see, and enjoyed the visit to a culturally rich era in both America and Russia. I couldn't seem to connect with (or truly appreciate) the main characters like I really wanted to. I know I'm in the minority when it comes to this as I've seen so many readers adore them, and I did like the book, so definitely recommend Historical Fiction lovers to give it a try. Overall, I'm loving this series, and cannot wait for Liam's story! [I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.]

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Alfveby Crea

    Fantastic historical fiction! Author Elizabeth Camden hit it out of the park with Written on the Wind. Her talented pen puts you right in the story, whether you are suffering on a long journey across Russia with Count Dimitri Sokolov after he was wrongly accused and escaped a penal colony, or whether you are in New York with Natalia Blackstone at her family's bank, loving her job as a trusted analyst (rare for a woman in the guilded age), you will love this story! Elizabeth Camden is a master of Fantastic historical fiction! Author Elizabeth Camden hit it out of the park with Written on the Wind. Her talented pen puts you right in the story, whether you are suffering on a long journey across Russia with Count Dimitri Sokolov after he was wrongly accused and escaped a penal colony, or whether you are in New York with Natalia Blackstone at her family's bank, loving her job as a trusted analyst (rare for a woman in the guilded age), you will love this story! Elizabeth Camden is a master of historical fiction. "My dearest Natalia" and Dimitri got to know one another through telegrams. They became friends and enjoyed teasing one another. He was her Russian point of contact for information on the progress of the Trans-Siberian Railway that her bank was heavily financing. "It was no secret that Natalia worked at the bank, but society would have a heart attack if they knew exactly how much power a twenty-eight year old woman had in managing the bank's largest investment in Russia." "It was a privilege to be a part of something that was going to change the world." "Dimitri found a sad irony in riding to a penal colony on the same railroad he helped build." "Free. He had never appreciated that concept until it was taken away from him." "Dearest God above, you know what I saw. You know that it can happen again if someone does not put a stop to it. Let me be that man. Let me escape and find my way to freedom. In your name I pray. He crossed himself, drew a deep breath, and leapt into the darkness." Dear Lord, please let me live long enough to reach Natalia Blackstone." I think Dimitri is one of the best fictional heroes I've read about in a long time. He is principled, willing to truly suffer for what is right, and I loved his over-the-top charming, and effusive language skills. "When Natalie saw the world through Count Sokolov's eyes, everything became more vivid. Sunsets were not the end of the day, they were blazing fires of a dying sun as it reclined in exhaustion. The chocolates she sent him for Christmas weren't a simple gift, but quite possibly the finest culinary creation since God himself sent manna to the Hebrews wandering in the desert." This intriguing, captivating, and page-turning story takes the reader across Russia to San Francisco to New York, to Washington DC, and back to NY and Russia. Fans of historical fiction and romance are sure to love Written on the Wind. You can read it as a stand-alone, or part of a bigger story in the Blackstone Legacy series. Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read an early copy. All opinions are my own. I highly recommend Written on the Wind!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    Written on the Wind is the newest novel by one of my favorite Christian fiction authors: Elizabeth Camden. It is the second book in the Blackstone Legacy series, which centers around a rich American banking family. It can be read independently, though it is fun to see the characters we already know and love from totally different eyes. In this story we follow Natalia Blackstone as she oversees the funding for the Trans-Siberian Railway. She is very good at banking and keeping everything under co Written on the Wind is the newest novel by one of my favorite Christian fiction authors: Elizabeth Camden. It is the second book in the Blackstone Legacy series, which centers around a rich American banking family. It can be read independently, though it is fun to see the characters we already know and love from totally different eyes. In this story we follow Natalia Blackstone as she oversees the funding for the Trans-Siberian Railway. She is very good at banking and keeping everything under control, and has devoted her life to this. Her home situation is not ideal, with her stepmom who is always jealous. She very bravely decides to move and take control of her own life. I really love how she stood up for herself, without hurting anyone in the process, always thinking about how it will impact other people. In book 1 we had this hilarious telegram conversation between her and a Russian count, where it takes hour for him to help Natalia because he wants to make lots and lots of small talk first. Honestly, this is the vibe of this book. Count Dimitri is too charming for his own good, and loves talking. He oversees the railroad, but when he suddenly is in the middle of a massacre of a village of indigenous people who are in the way of the rail road. He is forced to participate in this slaughter but refuses, which earns him the status of traitor and gets him on a train himself – off to Siberia. He valiantly escapes and encounters lots of horrors before he finally gets to Natalia himself. They corresponded by telegram for years, but now in real life, there might be even more electricity (get it? Telegrams are wired through electric pulses. Yeah ok it’s not a very good pun). I love this long distance relationship, where they have to rediscover themselves when they finally meet. It’s a very good slow burn romance, and I really loved it. Dimitri is the opposite of Natalia, he’s very extraverted, loves a good laugh, loves his luxury and seems a bit shallow, but there’s a whole deeper side to him too. Natalia seems very serious and deep, but with Dimitri she discovers a fun side of herself. While Dimitri is a fun character to read about, I have to say I got a little exasperated at him at times. He’s just not my type, thankfully he’s Natalia’s and I love them together. The story was so interesting, and Elizabeth Camden always makes boring history facts fun. Like how business transactions went in the early 1900s, seems boring, but is in fact really cool. The making of music records on wax is amazing! The inner workings of a bank had me hooked. I kinda wished we’d seen a little bit more about Russia (I have to admit the troubles in Russia are eerily familiar with current events). For me the first half of the book was amazing! Dimitri’s escape, his romance with Natalia, I’m here for it. The second half lost a little steam (yup another pun),. The ending was really nice, but after such a riveting start, this book just had a lot to live up to and for me it didn’t entirely do that. That’s why I’m giving four stars, because the rest of this story is amazing, and I still flew right through the story, the pacing just felt a little off. I do recommend this story 100% and can’t wait for book 3! I received a free e-arc through Netgalley, this has not influenced my opinion.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa M.

    Written on the Wind is the second book in the Blackstone Legacy series. This book is definitely able to be read as a stand-alone, but you may enjoy reading book one just to get a feel for the family and an introduction to the characters. I had high hopes for this book. Book one Carved in Stone was one of my 5 star reads last year! I was hopeful that would set up for an excellent series. But, unfortunately, I just didn't enjoy Natalia and Dimitri's story as much. The setting of the Boxer Rebellio Written on the Wind is the second book in the Blackstone Legacy series. This book is definitely able to be read as a stand-alone, but you may enjoy reading book one just to get a feel for the family and an introduction to the characters. I had high hopes for this book. Book one Carved in Stone was one of my 5 star reads last year! I was hopeful that would set up for an excellent series. But, unfortunately, I just didn't enjoy Natalia and Dimitri's story as much. The setting of the Boxer Rebellion was interesting and a great tidbit for history. Seeing the setup for Czar Nicholas and his carefree ways when it came to government issues was good. I enjoyed the different musician references as I'm familiar with most through my studies of music appreciation. I would have loved to listen to the song the violinist recorded. But all that aside...I honestly just wanted Liam to keep coming on the scene. LOL. Dimitri I'm afraid was bit too...over the top? Just too aristocratic and very vain. Yes he's generous. Yes he's passionate about helping, but I just couldn't get past his vanity. And the whole manicure thing was just...weird. I had hoped that his whole Siberia experience would tamper it...but it just didn't seem to have that effect. Natalia. I just wanted to keep shaking her and say "YOUR WORTH IS NOT THE VALUE YOU BRING TO A COMPANY!" And even near the end when she FINALLY gave it up, it was sort of anti-climatic. NOt like she'd had a big inner turmoil recognizing her weaknesses for approval and validation. I think what she was dealing with is something many struggle with even today, but it just didn't have the resolution and "God moment" that I'm used to in characters like this. I did love her experiences with her little brownstone. I could just envision her beautiful mantle. So compared to Gwen and Patrick? Meh. I just wasn't into this pairing. I did like Natalia more than Dimitri though. But I admit. It's Liam I can't wait to read about. :) So all in all, I give Written in the Wind a solid 4 stars.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    This was a wonderful conclusion to The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth Camden. Colonel Dimitri Sokolov is in charge of the Russian military personnel guarding the building of the Trans Siberian Railway one of the longest railway stretches ever attempted. Natalia Blackstone is the banker in charge of the distribution of funds for the railway, and the only female banker in her father's bank. But will events intervene that cause each of them to fall from grace with the people above them and w This was a wonderful conclusion to The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth Camden. Colonel Dimitri Sokolov is in charge of the Russian military personnel guarding the building of the Trans Siberian Railway one of the longest railway stretches ever attempted. Natalia Blackstone is the banker in charge of the distribution of funds for the railway, and the only female banker in her father's bank. But will events intervene that cause each of them to fall from grace with the people above them and will it drive them to seek one another to find another course for their life? Elizabeth Camden's historical fiction is always superb not only bringing a story to life with excellent historical research but also taking lesser known history like the Boxers Rebellion to life as well. The two main characters, Dimitri and Natalia both had strong moral beliefs and stood up for their beliefs no matter how hard the trials. From the Russian Czar Nicholas to the powers in Washington DC both will fight to not only save the railroad but also to expose the truth of events that took place on the Russian-Chinese border. From the Russian Czar Nicholas to the powers in Washington DC, Dimitry and Natalia fought to see right done and atrocities stopped. Another excellent series from Elizabeth Camden. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer K

    Once again, Elizabeth Camden has weaved together an epic romantic saga while including the most interesting history. In the previous book, I was introduced to the two main characters and I anticipated their story for months. Simply put, I was thrilled by this story. It was delightful to learn more about these two very intriguing characters. Their stories were full and satisfying and the romantic portion was simply rewarding. I enjoyed the references to Russian vs. American literature which contr Once again, Elizabeth Camden has weaved together an epic romantic saga while including the most interesting history. In the previous book, I was introduced to the two main characters and I anticipated their story for months. Simply put, I was thrilled by this story. It was delightful to learn more about these two very intriguing characters. Their stories were full and satisfying and the romantic portion was simply rewarding. I enjoyed the references to Russian vs. American literature which contributed to the well placed humor. I really didn’t want their story to end. Hopefully, there will be lots of updates in book 3. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Meadows

    Ahhh this book 😍😍😍😍😍! Count Sokolov! Russian History (that I didn’t realize I would enjoy learning)! The relationship between Natalie and Dimitri😍! I’m predicting this will be one of my top books of the year. Full review to come.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    When I saw that this book would have more of a Russian theme, I was immediately intrigued, especially since I know the author does excellent research. I was not disappointed. The research around the culture of the time period, the history and settings were so well done. It gives you insight not only into American history, but lots of Russian history that is not often known from before the time of the Czar's fall or removal. The Russian fatalism is well portrayed, and there are a few characters t When I saw that this book would have more of a Russian theme, I was immediately intrigued, especially since I know the author does excellent research. I was not disappointed. The research around the culture of the time period, the history and settings were so well done. It gives you insight not only into American history, but lots of Russian history that is not often known from before the time of the Czar's fall or removal. The Russian fatalism is well portrayed, and there are a few characters that you love to hate. Overall, a very enjoyable read!

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