Book Review: Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielski


Publication Date: June 11, 2018
 328 pages
Publisher: Smitten Historical Romance (June 11, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1946016489
ISBN-13: 978-1946016485


The ideal lady wears lace, speaks quietly, and never—under any circumstances—fixes an automobile. But Gwyn Ruthers has never cared two snaps about being the ideal lady. With the war to end all wars exploding across the English Channel, she leaves behind her restrictive life as a chauffer’s daughter to serve in an all-female ambulance unit in France. She’s not about to let her social status or gender prevent her from serving her country. Not even a handsome captain can distract her from her mission. Most of the time.

Captain William Crawford wouldn’t wish the ravages of war on any man, much less the captivating woman who insists on driving into battle instead of staying safely at home. He can’t deny that the troops need more medical help, but not when it puts innocent women in danger. How can he lead his men against the Jerries while worrying about Gwyn’s safety?

Bound together by circumstances, Gwyn and William can’t stop the love growing between them. Can their relationship survive, or will it become another casualty of war?

What I Thought: 

First, let’s get the business side of things out of the way. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the author, J’nell Ciesielski, in return for my honest review. There was absolutely NO signing of any documents that said I must leave a positive review. Just a review, good or bad. With that said, what follows is my humble, honest opinion of her debut novel, Among the Poppies.

Calling all Inspirational Historical Romance Fiction readers!!!

Go pre-order this book.

That’s all.

Okay, not really. But in the interest of not spoiling the story for anyone, I will keep this short and sweet.

This story takes place during World War I. Typically I read historical fiction novels that focus on the Civil War or post-Civil War time periods…or novels that take place in the “wild, wild west”…or ones that take you back in time in the Scottish Highlands. Those are my go-to historical fiction books. If you asked me why, I have no idea. It just seems to be the ones I gravitate toward time and time again. So, this book was not my norm (which is good – who wants to be stuck in a rut?) and when you venture outside your comfort zone, there’s a sense of concern, right? Despite that, it didn’t take long for me to be completely taken with Among the Poppies. In fact, I read the entire book in two days (and with two toddlers, that’s kind of amazing, haha). It was nigh to impossible to put down, y’all.

I loved the characters, especially Gwyn and Will. It was hard to turn the final page knowing their story was done because I just really liked the characters.

J’nell did such a great job of balancing humor and love with the heart and gut wrenching ugliness of war, so despite its setting this book wasn’t at all a burden to read.

J’nell did her research really well – I learned some things! Among the Poppies was well balanced in this respect as well. Knowing that the characters were products of J’nell’s creative imagination, their story felt so real as to seamlessly blend with actual history.

So, I will encourage you again…go pre-order this book! It will not only help J’nell out when the book releases on June 11th, but you’ll be glad you did! You can pre-order it here.

You can visit J’nell’s website here.

About the Author:


For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a book in my hand. When other girls went to the library to look at the Babysitter’s Club books, my mom found me sitting in the history aisle with a stack of Civil War books, and autobiographies of legends long gone. I loved being transported to other places and times, where men are chivalrous knights to the rescue and women wear big frilly dresses. I’ve always believed I was born in the wrong time period … but I digress.

With my natural curiosity of all things old-fashioned and love of happily ever afters, it was only natural I decided to pen a few of my own.

Born in Florida, I spent the many happy days of childhood running around our large backyard and splashing on the sugar white beaches known only to the Sunshine State. Just before high school, my dad got a job transfer to Texas and a whole new life began. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Psychology the summer of 2005.

Not knowing what else to do with my life, I joined the Air Force. Stationed in Germany I was able to travel to places I’d only dreamed of: France, Austria, Netherlands, England, and my favorite Scotland. I also met my awesome husband while over there. I consider him my consolation prize for the years being forced to wear camouflage and combat boots.

After serving our four years, we now live in Virginia where we’ve been blessed that I can stay home and write all day. Yay! When I’m not writing you can find me baking something with chocolate, making my baby girl laugh, or giving belly rubs to our beagle Daisy.


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