Beautiful Evil Winter by Kelly K. Lavender

Beautiful Evil Winter by Kelly K. Lavender
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Vintage Historical, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full (243 pgs)
Rated: 3.5 stars
Review by Rose

After the USSR collapses, a time reminiscent of the unforgiving gun-slinging days of the frontier west, mild-mannered Ethan and fiery Sophia board a plane bound for Russia. They hope to prevail with their homespun plan to secure their son’s safe passage to America. What can go wrong? Maybe, an innocent ill fated encounter with the Mafia or maybe, being marked as a target for mob revenge. Perhaps, having to rely on a first-time adoption coordinator to complete the process and shelter them from harm. Honestly, what won’t go wrong?

Inspired by a true story, Beautiful Evil Winter triumphs as epic historical fiction about the human capacity for hope, the traumas that shape our lives and the hardships we’ll endure for love.

This book is set in the time just after the USSR collapses and describes the terrifying events that an adoptive couple goes through in order to adopt a son. They decide to go the foreign adoption route because there are more babies available and because, being an older couple, they might find it difficult to be placed with an infant in a traditional adoption.

Just a heads up, this book is written in first person present, which is a turn-off for a lot of readers, and there are several flashbacks. It was a little awkward for me to begin with, but I soon got into the swing of it. One issue I found was that there were several awkward word choices as well as historical discrepancies – the book could have used more editing.

However, even with the issues, the story itself was riveting, and I enjoyed the plot – what Sophia and Ethan had to go through to get their new son safely to the United States was chilling. It is said that opposites attract, and that was certainly the case with Sophia and Ethan. She was definitely the stronger of the pair. That said, Ethan did step up when it was necessary, which won him points from me.


  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Kris Meldgaard says:

    This looks Fantastic!😍 Totally TBR’D 📖
    Thank you for the tour & the awesome chance!!💋xoxo🍀
    📖Kris Meldgaard💘

  3. Kim hansen says:

    Sounds good.

  4. The book sounds great.

  5. Thanks for hosting the tour! Thanks for reading and reviewing my book, Rose! I wrote Beautiful Evil Winter after traveling to Russian to adopt in the 1990s, after the fall of the USSR. I stayed locked in the Moscow apartment, traveled to Siberia on that rickety plane and managed Natasha. At the time, Russian technology and medical know-how had fallen far behind America, due to the Communist era death grip. My goal for this book to spotlight: wondrous motherhood, a mother’s protective instincts toward her child and page-turning suspense in one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The Russian mafia controls Russia. And everyday existence still harkens back to the days of the frontier gunslinging west. For decades, my stepdad has worked in the USSR and in Russia. He returned from his last trip just a few months ago. I’m glad you enjoyed the book! It is chilling!

  6. Motherhood – difficult and overrated or blissful and bountiful? Is it worth a repeat?

  7. Circling back in a few hours.

  8. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Lisa Brown says:

    I enjoyed getting to know your book; Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  10. Does anyone else keep a diary? An international adoption became such an all-encompassing struggle for us. Glad that I wrote down all of the details.

  11. Good luck with your new release and thanks for the lovely giveaway. x

  12. Tracy Robertson says:

    It sounds good. First person accounts don’t bother me a bit if the story is good!

  13. Kelly is a new-to-me author so your honest review of her book helps me decide if it goes on my books-to-buy list. I’ll continue to follow the tour before I make that decision. Thanks for the giveaway!

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