I love mustelid haberdashery, vinho verde wine, and wensleydale with fruit.
The second in the Slains series (I'm not sure how many there are going to be), this is a continuation of the first book, The Winter Sea.
In this novel, we experience the same sort of modern/historic double story, with Nicola and Rob as our modern day couple (who, of course, aren't together, but, spoiler alert - will be, eventually, we all know it). Nicola is an art historian/dealer with a Russian history (her grandfather and mother escaped the USSR). Rob is a Scottish policeman/constable? (I'm already getting fuzzy on the details). But wait, they met while taking part in a study about psychometry. You see, they can see into the past. So we're psychics. Rob is more powerful, Nicola has to actually touch objects to see their pasts.
She inadvertently touches something that gives her a flashback of Anna, the "abandoned" daughter of the first Slains novel, who would be part of the romantic duo we'll focus on in the past. In the historical flashback storyline, we're treated to St. Petersburg during the reign of Peter the Great and Catherine I and the marginal part that Russia played in the Jacobite rebellion. Anna (of course) meets a dashing rake, and navigates the society among the Jacobites that have fled to Russia. Cue angst among misunderstood characters.
I am an utter junkie for anything Russian, and I'm just going to say that I'm disappointed. There is lot less historical "meat" in this novel than there was in the first one, with most of the novel just being about Anna maneuvering about in life with a couple of adorable plot!twists! and more of the "fade to black" romance that I really don't enjoy.
It's still a solidly written book, and I think the biggest issue I honestly had was that the narrator for this novel (audiobook) was not nearly as good as the one for the first one.
All in all, I'm pretty done with this series. I picked up The Firebird because Russia. And I got the first book so I could get the background before checking out the second, but I don't find myself compelled to continue.