Written by Susan K. Downs Susan May Warren
Review by Vicki Kondelik

In 1917, the deposed Tsar Nicholas II has an encounter with Anton Klassen, a Mennonite merchant from the Ukraine. He entrusts Anton with a mission: to protect a servant named Oksana. Anton does not know that Oksana is really the tsar’s oldest daughter, Olga. Meanwhile, the real chambermaid Oksana takes Olga’s place with the imperial family. Anton and Olga go to his house in Petrograd, but when his workforce is conscripted by the revolutionaries, they agree to a marriage of convenience and live among his family in the Ukraine. But although their marriage is, at first, in name only, they cannot deny their feelings for each other.

Oksana is an entertaining read, but it turns into a formulaic romance (without the explicit sex). The premise on which the novel is based is implausible. The authors make several factual errors and seem to be unaware that women could not inherit the throne of Russia at the time of Nicholas II. Also, they introduce a villain, whose motive is not entirely clear, only to have him disappear for many pages in the central section of the book. Although the love story is compelling at times, I cannot recommend this novel.