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The Ice King

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She'd resigned herself to her dismal fate. Tanya had no money, and now with the death of her uncle, no home. The solution was a virtual prison sentence: she must take a job as companion to a reclusive and ailing old woman in a remote Russian Village. But fate granted her a reprieve. Kindly relatives offered her a season in St. Petersburg, and Tanya was thrilled and gratefu She'd resigned herself to her dismal fate. Tanya had no money, and now with the death of her uncle, no home. The solution was a virtual prison sentence: she must take a job as companion to a reclusive and ailing old woman in a remote Russian Village. But fate granted her a reprieve. Kindly relatives offered her a season in St. Petersburg, and Tanya was thrilled and grateful. St. Petersburg was the city of her dreams. She was determined to pack a lifetime into that one all-too-short visit. And the disturbing Prince Nikolai was there to see that she did! He was acting like a jealous man. But the moment the thought entered her head, Tanya dismissed it as utterly impossible. A person had to have feelings in order to be jealous, and Prince Nikolai hadn't earned the name Ice King for nothing. He seemed devoid of all emotion,­ particularly love. What had happened to him, wondered Tanya, to turn his heart so cold that no woman had been able to thaw it? The answer to the question was shocking, and it turned Tanya's feelings into a confused mixture of pity...and love.


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She'd resigned herself to her dismal fate. Tanya had no money, and now with the death of her uncle, no home. The solution was a virtual prison sentence: she must take a job as companion to a reclusive and ailing old woman in a remote Russian Village. But fate granted her a reprieve. Kindly relatives offered her a season in St. Petersburg, and Tanya was thrilled and gratefu She'd resigned herself to her dismal fate. Tanya had no money, and now with the death of her uncle, no home. The solution was a virtual prison sentence: she must take a job as companion to a reclusive and ailing old woman in a remote Russian Village. But fate granted her a reprieve. Kindly relatives offered her a season in St. Petersburg, and Tanya was thrilled and grateful. St. Petersburg was the city of her dreams. She was determined to pack a lifetime into that one all-too-short visit. And the disturbing Prince Nikolai was there to see that she did! He was acting like a jealous man. But the moment the thought entered her head, Tanya dismissed it as utterly impossible. A person had to have feelings in order to be jealous, and Prince Nikolai hadn't earned the name Ice King for nothing. He seemed devoid of all emotion,­ particularly love. What had happened to him, wondered Tanya, to turn his heart so cold that no woman had been able to thaw it? The answer to the question was shocking, and it turned Tanya's feelings into a confused mixture of pity...and love.

30 review for The Ice King

  1. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    After the death of her guardian, Tanya Kirova was doomed to spend the rest of her life stuck in the Russian countryside when fate smiled on her with the arrival of her distant relatives. Alexei and Marie Kirova graciously allowed her into their home for a few weeks in order to experience the wonders of St. Petersburg before she was sent to live with yet another elderly relative just doing their Christian duty. Tanya was delighted to explore Russia's most wondrous city and was eagerly determined After the death of her guardian, Tanya Kirova was doomed to spend the rest of her life stuck in the Russian countryside when fate smiled on her with the arrival of her distant relatives. Alexei and Marie Kirova graciously allowed her into their home for a few weeks in order to experience the wonders of St. Petersburg before she was sent to live with yet another elderly relative just doing their Christian duty. Tanya was delighted to explore Russia's most wondrous city and was eagerly determined to bottle up every new experience. It was at her first ball where she caught the eye of Prince Nikolai Volkhov, and her innocent eagerness to explore her hosts' staircase was the first step in thawing out the man known as the 'Ice King.' Prince Nikolai's deadened demeanor was known to everyone within the Russian aristocracy and so it was with wonder and awe that they watched the little nobody from Yaroslavl melt the Ice King. Nikolai wonders if he might let go of his ghosts with Tanya by his side, but he also wonders if his past misdeeds may be too much for her to understand. It is with a heavy heart that the Ice King bares his soul and prays, as does all of Russia, that his Tanya finds it within herself to set him free. Foolish man. He had nothing in his past that needed to be forgiven. If anything, the only thing he needed was a great big hug. Nikolai was a wonderful hero. While known as the Ice King, this hero was far from icy. He was actually sweet, kind, (yes, I said kind so deal with it Nikolai) considerate, witty and so full of heart that I wanted to gather him up in my arms and rain kisses and hugs upon him. While Nikolai definitely showed moments of dry wit: "I'm afraid I was showing off to impress you." "But you might have fallen!" Tanya said faintly, gazing at him with a mixture of horror and incredulity. "In which case, presumably you would not have been impressed after all." he is not a humorous man. And while I definitely saw moments of unhappiness in his character, I never saw moments of ice, either. His outlook on life was certainly dour, thanks to his Rebecca-esque witch of a wife, but from the moment we meet him, he was so, so ......... nice! He was one of the nicest character's I've ever read. I know that probably sounds boring, or boringly beta, but it was much more interesting than that. And Tanya was also one of the nicest heroine's ever. She was quick witted, level headed, gracious, and I will forever love her for loving Nikolai. This was a truly lovely book. At first it started off slow and the middle section of the book seemed to go nowhere. But that is part of this books charm. The best way I can describe this book is that it's smooth. There are no peaks or valleys in this book. No raging emotions or passionate scenes of lovemaking. Instead it's smooth. Tranquil. Gentle. It's peppered with interesting facts about Russian architecture and the Russian scenary was vividly described. The character's were all warm hearted and so, so...........nice! There are no evil Russian characters in this book, (a la J.Lindsey's Secret Fire) instead everyone was welcoming to Tanya. Even the Czar was rooting for them! Best of all, there were no Big Misunderstandings. The conflict in this book was maturely acknowledged and dealt with. While the circumstances surrounding Nikolai's "past misdeeds" was quite odd, as well as a little eyebrow raising, he manned up and confronted it. I loved that. And I loved this book. On a side note, I had no idea that these books were such rare finds. I found (most of) Dinah Dean's Russian collection at my library store and I thought, "why not?" After shelling out my measly pocket change for them, I was later stunned to find that I had fallen ass backwards into a literal treasure trove. At first I was not sure why, but after finishing it I understood. While The Ice King is not a tempestuous, passionate read, it is proof that romance lives and once found it is to be held on to with everything you have. And that makes it very rare.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julz

    If you're in the mood for something heavy, this ain't it. Average, light reading. A little over the top at the end with the sugary sweetness and neat and tidy bow wrapping things up, but tolerable through most of it. Enjoyed the emo hero's slow melt. (Ha! Didn't mean to make a pun to match the title.) LOTS of skimming unless you're really interested in an in-depth education of Russian architecture and furnishings. If you're in the mood for something heavy, this ain't it. Average, light reading. A little over the top at the end with the sugary sweetness and neat and tidy bow wrapping things up, but tolerable through most of it. Enjoyed the emo hero's slow melt. (Ha! Didn't mean to make a pun to match the title.) LOTS of skimming unless you're really interested in an in-depth education of Russian architecture and furnishings.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    The book blurb pretty much says it all, and I'm five or six book reviews behind (plus some Vine swag), so I'm cutting this short. A quick easy read, setting is St. Petersburg around 1819 or thereabouts. A slightly angsty hero with issues from his past that led him to shut himself up and earned a reputation as the Ice King. Poor heroine comes to town and she slowly melts him down. Not a lot of action, the heroine and the family she stays with spend lots of time getting escorted around St. Pete an The book blurb pretty much says it all, and I'm five or six book reviews behind (plus some Vine swag), so I'm cutting this short. A quick easy read, setting is St. Petersburg around 1819 or thereabouts. A slightly angsty hero with issues from his past that led him to shut himself up and earned a reputation as the Ice King. Poor heroine comes to town and she slowly melts him down. Not a lot of action, the heroine and the family she stays with spend lots of time getting escorted around St. Pete and seeing the sights in between spots of drama leading up to the HEA. Not great, not bad either.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    My second book by this author, the first being the Cockermouth Mail, which was surprisingly well put together. This book is set in the same time period of Regency Period, but in Russia, which was a new and interesting setting to me. I had read very few historical fiction set in Russia before this book, and this one was full -- and by full, do I mean chock-full of historical facts. It is loaded with details of every sort of architectural tidbits about the buildings and people of the time. I saw t My second book by this author, the first being the Cockermouth Mail, which was surprisingly well put together. This book is set in the same time period of Regency Period, but in Russia, which was a new and interesting setting to me. I had read very few historical fiction set in Russia before this book, and this one was full -- and by full, do I mean chock-full of historical facts. It is loaded with details of every sort of architectural tidbits about the buildings and people of the time. I saw that the author spent a lot of time traveling to Russia and it shows in this book. That kind of historical detail is to be commended and was more common for the older traditional historical fiction novels. But perhaps because I am not as used to Russian society and its rules, the book failed to enchant me. It was well-written for the most part. There are almost no villains, aside from the Ice King's late wife and her brother, and everyone behaved scrupulously well. Men were gentlemen to a fault, and Tanya had pleasant relationships with all the women around her. The only conflict/mystery to the book was what had happened to the Ice King in the past, and it is revealed that (view spoiler)[his late wife was a beautiful and horrible woman, who flaunted her affairs in front of his face and even died pregnant with one of her lovers. She had apparently approached Nikolai for recognition of the child as his and he had refused. She then was petulant and angry and miscarried her child falling down stairs, an accident which immobilized her. Thereafter she killed herself by swallowing some of her medicine. He had then been so downcast and downtrodden from that wreck of a marriage that he had had his own affair with one of his serfs (?) and had a son from that affair that he recognized. (hide spoiler)] Perhaps it is the complete difference in culture that threw me -- I can't really tell, but I couldn't tell if Nikolai was heroic or overly dark and dramatic. Yes, his marriage was horrific, but was that sufficient reason to be SO gloomy? He was so gloomy that he never cracked a smile. Somehow he was bedazzled by Tanya in his gloomy way and would dance with her multiple times in one evening (but never smiling). She, on the other hand, was a poor relation with a time limit to her fun and games in St. Petersburg and so she reined in on any hopes, even though he even kissed her from time to time without declaring himself. I get that he's gentleman-in-waiting to the Czar and has to ask for permission before he can ask Tanya to marry her, but it seemed weird in this traditional romance that he would do such things so freely without declaring himself. And yet he angsted (again) so much over telling Tanya he had a bastard son with his serf. She later reassured him that he was an honorable man because her older male relatives thought nothing of demanding droit du seigneur on the serf girls' 14th birthdays. It was all very HUH? to me, and I couldn't pin down whether it was because of the setting or because the way his character was made out was inconsistent. What a cultural shock, and I only just read a book. I had thought that I had read more than the above average historical fiction reader's share of regencies, but it was quite odd to me. Society was so rigid on the one hand, with people talking because he had danced with her more often than with other females, and yet they could venture alone into a dark arbor by themselves...wherein he did proceed to kiss her silly. I couldn't quite make out the rules of propriety in this book and that was frustrating. And he did nothing for me. He was boring and as some reviewers put it, totally emo. But I was happy for Tanya, because she had a deprived life and shouldn't be going to some incredibly cold, remote manor with no town to sit next to an old relative until that relative died. For her sake, I'm glad she ended up with a really rich Prince, although I did worry that her son wouldn't inherit.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jolie

    This has, for whatever reason, been one of my all-time favorite romances. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katrin Davidson

    Following a lovely thread on twitter when people discussed their favourite romances that left them with a very sweet feeling after putting the book down the author Lucy Parker mentioned this story as one of them. I was lucky to find a copy. I gobbled this up. Its very sweet, well plotted, a little angsty but the heroine is dreamy. She's extremely likeable and caring. There are large portions of Russian architecture and interiors ( this was fine by me, it fits with my day job which I loved) but i Following a lovely thread on twitter when people discussed their favourite romances that left them with a very sweet feeling after putting the book down the author Lucy Parker mentioned this story as one of them. I was lucky to find a copy. I gobbled this up. Its very sweet, well plotted, a little angsty but the heroine is dreamy. She's extremely likeable and caring. There are large portions of Russian architecture and interiors ( this was fine by me, it fits with my day job which I loved) but it might not suit everyone. I loved it being set in Russia and now thinking of looking into other works set in this period. The hero is angsty. He is the title named "Ice King" so dead to the world, he's emotionless, cold and uncaring. This is said not in a way that he's cruel just doesn't engage at all. That when a beautiful prince/ess comes to wake him from his sleep ( there are comparisons to sleeping beauty throughout) that the kiss awakens him finally. (Now I just made a comparison to kissing but the actual kissing doesn't happen till late but her caring, touching nature is what helps awaken him! It is a clean romance) It gets a little angsty at the end but it was very sweet with a wonderful conclusion. This hero is my catnip. I like grumpy heroes and it was nice to have a cold one that wasent horrible as in had plotted evil things in the past and gets a redemption or was horrible verbally to the heroine. Often cold heroes are written with meanness and this was a perfect example of not writing that but keeping the character "cold". Additionally, cold heroes get often the enemies to lovers trope and this avoids this completely, this was perfect for me as this is one of my least favourite tropes. I hate constant conflict on the page. This was a lovely read, and one that I know I will reread. 4 stars

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Smith

    I love this book and the characters within it and it is book I return to time and again. It is within my book comfort list on my log page for this reason. I bought this back in 1980 and have read this many times since. It is part of her Russian Series. I fell in love with the characters she developed over this series of books as well as her descriptions of the Russian landscape and culture under the Romanovs. Set in 1819/1820 St Petersburg I loved this story of Anna and Prince Nikolai Volkhov an I love this book and the characters within it and it is book I return to time and again. It is within my book comfort list on my log page for this reason. I bought this back in 1980 and have read this many times since. It is part of her Russian Series. I fell in love with the characters she developed over this series of books as well as her descriptions of the Russian landscape and culture under the Romanovs. Set in 1819/1820 St Petersburg I loved this story of Anna and Prince Nikolai Volkhov and the other secondary characters are well developed too. They all seem so real to me, like welcoming friends back in to my life when I return to the novel. Synopsis Tanya had resigned herself to her dismal fate - she had no money, and now with the death of her uncle, no home. The solution was a virtual prison sentence: she must take a job as companion to a reclusive and ailing old woman in a remote Russian Village. But fate granted her a reprieve. Kindly relatives offered her a season in St. Petersburg, and Tanya was thrilled and grateful. St. Petersburg was the city of her dreams. She was determined to pack a lifetime into that one all-too-short visit. And the disturbing Prince Nikolai was there to see that she did! He was acting like a jealous man. But the moment the thought entered her head, Tanya dismissed it as utterly impossible. A person had to have feelings in order to be jealous, and Prince Nikolai hadn't earned the name Ice King for nothing. He seemed devoid of all emotion,­ particularly love. What had happened to him, wondered Tanya, to turn his heart so cold that no woman had been able to thaw it? The answer to the question was shocking, and it turned Tanya's feelings into a confused mixture of pity...and love.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dinjolina

    A beautifully written story with a hero that seemed rakish and cold-but was really a completely sweet beta. *melts* I did have a problem with some of the things that happened or were revealed in the end-(view spoiler)[ like the fact that his crazy servants made him get a girl pregnant while in a laudanum haze. Having a child was supposed to make him pull trough of his daze, but really….they took away his choice! HE was the one that should have chosen to have or not to have a child and for sure he A beautifully written story with a hero that seemed rakish and cold-but was really a completely sweet beta. *melts* I did have a problem with some of the things that happened or were revealed in the end-(view spoiler)[ like the fact that his crazy servants made him get a girl pregnant while in a laudanum haze. Having a child was supposed to make him pull trough of his daze, but really….they took away his choice! HE was the one that should have chosen to have or not to have a child and for sure he should have at least had the right to see the mothers face, let alone pick the child bearer! Maybe they had his well being at heart but it was just NOT OK! Also, the heroine went way overboard with asking the hero to legitimize his bastard. He himself told her that would make the kid his heir…this is all fine and dandy, but at least see how the kid is getting used to you before you give him advantage over all your future kids. Really, I am unable to go all ‘aaaaaaw’ over every bastard out there, like these martyr heroines do. (hide spoiler)] . Still my overall feeling about this book are very positive. And I will be checking out more reads from this author. She knows how to write for sure! 3.5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I love the old traditional regencies from the 1980s and early 1990s. I wasn't reading them then but luckily have gotten some great recommendations online about authors and publishers to pursue in the used book market and newly published backlists. I especially love the more unusual ones such as the Russian regencies by Dinah Dean. A discussion in the comments at Dear Author mentioned these and I was lucky enough to get one from interlibrary loan and really enjoyed it. This one I had to watch for I love the old traditional regencies from the 1980s and early 1990s. I wasn't reading them then but luckily have gotten some great recommendations online about authors and publishers to pursue in the used book market and newly published backlists. I especially love the more unusual ones such as the Russian regencies by Dinah Dean. A discussion in the comments at Dear Author mentioned these and I was lucky enough to get one from interlibrary loan and really enjoyed it. This one I had to watch for a good price on the used book and I am glad I got it. I can see it being one I will reread often. Others have described the story so I will just say I was pleased with it; especially since I hope to travel to St. Petersburg next year and want to see some of the same sights Tanya did!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miki

    This is not particularly well written - sentences and chapters ending in odd places - but it's a favorite that I re-read often. There's just something sweet and romantic about it that makes me feel good. Nikolai is a passionate, heroic, yet gentle man who wants to loved. Who can resist that? This is not particularly well written - sentences and chapters ending in odd places - but it's a favorite that I re-read often. There's just something sweet and romantic about it that makes me feel good. Nikolai is a passionate, heroic, yet gentle man who wants to loved. Who can resist that?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Younger

    One off my keeper shelf. Just wanted to read it again. It never gets old. Set in Russia in the early 1800s. Lovely... sigh

  12. 5 out of 5

    Poonam

    Really liked this book. The uncertainties at both ends was realistic. Both hero and heroine were sweet and simple. Cute love story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    A solid 4 stars. Enjoyed it immensly.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Parker

    One of my favourite books of all time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eva

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bella

  20. 4 out of 5

    Divya

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Fisher

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sera

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Caswell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  25. 4 out of 5

    Senichol

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marija

  28. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Depiano

  29. 4 out of 5

    Reg79let

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

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