Review: Cold Comfort by Ravella Ives

Must read

Niamh Kavanagh
Niamh Kavanagh
Niamh Kavanagh is a social media and digital marketing expert, CMO of Dream Machine Foundation, and storyteller with a purpose. She grew Dream Machine to 8M followers and edited videos that raised $750K for charity, earning attention from Oprah, Steve Harvey, and Khloe Kardashian.

When the war is lost, what else is worth winning?

Lt. Francis Ransome is newly promoted and completely miserable. After a year and a half of fighting in Russia’s revolutionary fallout, his regiment is retreating across the bitter Siberian wilderness, the war lost. Home has never been so close and yet so far, and any breath could be their last. When they stumble upon the remains of a Czech evacuation, they offer what help they can, but out here, it’s every man for himself.

Francis is instantly drawn to Sasha Jandácek, a handsome but withdrawn young soldier. The attraction is mutual—and enthralling—but it could spell the end for them both. Despite their best efforts, hesitance grows into friendship, and friendship blossoms into something else. Together, they struggle to conceal both feelings and fear in a world that won’t accept either.

As war stalks their footsteps and relentless winter gnaws on their morale, the journey home becomes a fight for survival. Francis and Sasha face the threat of discovery, death, and one burning question: even if they make it home, what future can they possibly have together?


Dear Ravella Ives,

This was a surprise recommendation by Amazon and it was a very good one. It is a historical with strong romantic elements rather than a full blown romance and it is a pretty well researched historical. Please heed the warning though, it is taking place during the Civil War in Russia, at the time when troops from many countries were trying to exit it or more specifically to run away from it. It is a painful read, a realistic one as well as far as I am aware and horrors of war were shown as part of the story, not to dial up the angst of the story to eleven.

The story shows the soldiers who are trying to leave the hell of revolutionary Russia and all they had to endure on the way out. Does the war show the worst or the best in people living through it? I always thought that the war can show both and it really depends on the people, so we see people doing things to survive, but also something like bringing an almost dead soldier to die in a relative comfort and safety (relative is the key word here) just because they could not bear the thought of him dying alone for example.

And there is that building romance between Sasha and Francis. It would have been so easy for me to roll my eyes if the author overdid romance in the midst of war, not because people cannot have romance and love in the middle of war, but because war comes first, before anything else. Somehow though I thought author managed very well to mix the romantic storyline in between everything that was happening and did not overdone it at all.

I was so rooting for Sasha and Francis to make it against all odds after the war with all their traumas and I was grateful for the ending we got.

I have to say that I cannot judge whether the English in the story sounded exactly how people spoke in 1919-1920s, however I can definitely say that it did not sound quite modern to me and I do hope that it fit the time well.


More articles

Latest article