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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Russian Treasures is the first book in the Russian Treasures historical romance series by Elvira Baryakina. Set in the chaos of the Russian Civil War, it introduces journalist Klimint “Klim” Rogov, a Russian now holding Argentinean citizenship. Ten years after leaving his home on bad terms, Klim returns to 1917 Russia to claim his inheritance after his wealthy father’s death. In the process, he meets Nina, a young businesswoman and the widow of a nobleman who owed a large debt to Klim’s father. After Nina rebuffs his initial romantic overtures and refuses an offer to leave Russia with him, Klim liquidates his father’s assets and prepares to return to Argentina alone. When the Bolsheviks seize power, he decides to stay in Russia with her. Will they survive the tumultuous and deadly period that ensues, let alone the jealousy and machinations of another man who wants her, and another woman who wants him?
In Russian Treasures, Baryakina provides the perfect blend of romance, history, drama, and suspense. Her narrative is descriptive, flowing, and chock full of twists, turns, and surprises along the way. She builds a complex cast of characters against a politically complex background when the ruthless and lawless struggle for power and resources resulted in tragic and terrible suffering for the Russian people. Klim, Nina, and those close to them cannot but be affected as they are pulled, time after time, into brutal and deadly conflict with those who want what they have and who threaten their survival, let alone their growing love. A compelling read. Highly recommended.