To Free the Stars

Thomas Nelson. (Jack and Ivy, Bk. 2). Aug. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780785248484. pap. $17.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Ten years after defeating a great evil threatening Russia and losing her new husband in the process, Ivy Vale is pursuing a personal vendetta. Her rogue actions may jeopardize everything that Talon, a secretive agency founded to fight the United States’ enemies, has worked centuries to create. With each enemy agent she hunts down, she loses a piece of herself, until she comes face to face with the impossible: the love of her life may still be alive and someone close to her may be a traitor. Ciesielski flips the old-school spy story on its head in this conclusion to her historical action and adventure romance duology (following The Brilliance of Stars), probing what it takes to redeem someone from a heinous past. Set in the 1920s, this novel is the Winter Soldier to the first book’s Captain America–like adventure, delving deep into the darkness of the human psyche and contemplating how far each character will go to defeat evil and find forgiveness.
VERDICT Action-packed and thought-provoking; recommend this to readers looking for something completely different in their historical romance.
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