Russian Treasures

Book One

Romance - Historical
462 Pages
Reviewed on 10/05/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Divine Zape

A historical romance set against the tumultuous period of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, Russian Treasures by Elvira Baryakina introduces readers to a compelling drama. It’s the first book in a series and a riveting first entry, to say the least. Klim Rogov had never wanted to embrace the path his father desired for him, that of following in his footsteps as a Public Prosecutor. Can he move away with Nina, the woman he loves, and will he be able to succeed as a foreign journalist and make the triumphant return back home that he’s always dreamed about? Can he protect the woman he loves and pursue the career he’s always coveted at the same time? By the time the revolution hit the nation, Klim's father had been dead ten years and Klim had been away that long from his home.

Elvira Baryakina has a superb writing style and I enjoyed the prose, composed with short, at times pithy sentences. There is a clarity in expression that makes for a very delightful read, and clarity is only as good as the author’s confidence in their voice and narrative skills. It’s the kind of writing that helps readers to create a bond with the characters and leaves them feeling as though they knew these characters personally. One of the merits of this work is the vivid setting in the troubled political background of Russia, with the unrest, fear, and paranoia communicated with style throughout the writing. Russian Treasures is a beautiful romance against a perceptive social and political commentary, a novel that brilliantly captures the soul of an age.

Romuald Dzemo

Russian Treasures by Elvira Baryakina is a well-written story that features romance, war, and family drama. Set against the backdrop of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the story invites the reader to navigate the social tensions in Russia and to follow a compelling character pursuing a dream under challenging circumstances. While his father had always wanted him to become a Public Prosecutor, Klim Rogov wanted to become an international journalist. But years later, after running away, Klim comes back. With the strict family dynamics and the dangerous period in Russian history, can he pursue his dream and still take care of the woman he loves?

While the story is beautifully told, it is the meticulous and masterly handling of the setting that captivated me. The narrative left me feeling as though I was literally present in this story, thanks to the author’s use of vivid descriptions that capture details of the setting and the powerful historical references. The writing is suspenseful and the unpredictability of the plot makes it an enjoyable read. The author allows readers to get a feel for Russian culture and what it is like to live through politically turbulent times. The themes of love and family are so beautifully developed and they are introduced right from the beginning of the narrative. The conflicting relationship between the protagonist and his family, and the dilemmas he faces when it comes to pursuing his career, are strong enough to drive the plot forward. Russian Treasures has a great setting, and even if the writing falters occasionally, this is a great historical novel.