Whoever dares to seek the firebird may find the journey—and its ending— unexpected.
Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes sees images, glimpses of those who have owned it before. It’s never been a gift she wants, and she keeps it a secret from most people, including her practical boss Sebastian, one of London’s premier dealers in Russian art.
But when a woman offers Sebastian a small wooden carving for sale, claiming it belonged to Russia’s Empress Catherine, it’s a problem. There’s no proof. Sebastian believes that the plain carving—known as “The Firebird”—is worthless. But Nicola has held it, and she knows the woman is telling the truth and is in desperate need of the money the sale of the heirloom could bring.
Compelled to help, Nicola turns to a man she once left and still loves: Rob McMorran, whose own psychic gifts are far greater than hers. With Rob to help her “see” the past, she follows a young girl named Anna from Scotland to Belgium and on into Russia. There, in St. Petersburg—the once-glittering capital of Peter the Great’s Russia—Nicola and Rob unearth a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption . . . an old story that seems personal and small, perhaps, against the greater backdrops of the Jacobite and Russian courts, but one that will forever change their lives.
Praise for A Desperate Fortune
“Susanna Kearsley is a nothing less than a magician weaving together the past and the present in yet another marvelous, genre bending, romantic, mysterious, and utterly unputdownable novel. You’ll be captivated by the history, the secrets, the memorable heroines, and one of the cutest dogs to show up on the pages in a long time. Kearsley raises the bar book to book, and this is one of her most ambitious and successful ever. Bravo!”
“…compelling characters, an intricate plot, and just the right balance of intrigue, romance, and historical detail…In a winning combination of historical treasure hunt and romantic tightrope, The Firebird is another page-turner for Kearsley.”
“…an enchanting story told with wit and dexterity…The Firebird has it all: love, intrigue, twists, betrayal, and unexpected outcomes…This is a book to remember.”
“A new Susanna Kearsley novel is always a cause for rejoicing—and for turning off the ringer on the phone and canceling all appointments.”
"…Susanna Kearsley deftly interweaves a compelling contemporary romance with a sweeping historical drama, and the fantastic with the realistic, to create a richly nuanced, delicately balanced novel that will not only satisfy her regular readers but seems well-positioned to win new converts to her unique approach to fiction…The Firebird is the sort of book one wants to curl up within and savour.”
“In A Desperate Fortune, Susanna Kearsley has conjured a story that will stay with you long after you put it down. Her deft touch with historical intrigue is matched only by her delivery of a contemporary heroine who is as unique as she is memorable.”
"Susanna Kearsley brings historical figures and events to life in this artfully crafted, exquisitely detailed tale, laced with a heady mix of intrigue and romance."
“The latest historical romance from acclaimed Ontario author Susanna Kearsley crackles with imagination…With intrigue and verve, Kearsley has penned what is sure to become another bestseller.”
“Gorgeously romantic! One of the best books I’ve read this year!”