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In October 1941, in a small village outside Moscow, Serafima bids farewell to Vitya, a Soviet officer going to the front. With only moments left together, she places a cross around her beloved’s neck and reluctantly releases him into a cruel world where nothing is certain, especially whether she will ever see him again.

Days later, Germans invade her village and take over her tiny house. Serafima and her mother must comply with orders, endure abuse, and stay put, or their village will be annihilated.

As World War II intertwines Serafimas and Vityas life with that of a young German violinist and a Russian intellectual, their destinies are irrevocably altered. Can they rise to the challenge of agonizing moral choices and learn to forgive and love again?


2015 Molly Contest (Heart of Denver Romance Writers): 1st place (Single Title)
2015 Golden Rose Contest (Rose City Romance Writers in Portland, Oregon): Grand Prize Winner and 
3rd place in Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category
9th Annual Dixie Kane Memorial Contest (The Southern Louisiana Chapter of the RWA): 2nd place (Historical Romance category)
2015 Orange Rose Contest (Orange County Chapter of the RWA): 2nd place (Women’s Fiction with Romantic elements category)
2015 The Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction: Short-listed (fiction)
2016 Amsterdam Book Festival: Honorable mention
2016 San Francisco Book Festival: Honorable mention
2016 New York Book Festival: Winner (Romance category)
2016 Hollywood Book Festival: Honorable Mention
Literary Classics 2017 Book Award Two Golden Medals and one Silver Medal in three different categories
Reader's Favorite Medal - 5 Stars
Literary Titan Book Award - Silver medal

FROM some READERS’ Amazon reviews:

“Excellent read. Move over Anna Karenina. A true Russian epic, thought-provoking and deep. Give yourself time to savor it. It’s not an easy read but it is a darn good one. Well written with great character development. Excellent job Ms. Osipova.”—reader2010

“A well-researched, highly detailed novel, The Cruel Romance will keep lovers of serious historical fiction spellbound throughout."—Thomas A. Peters for Readers' Favorite.

“The novel is a great read. I would suggest this book to everyone who likes historical love stories.“—Literary Titan

“There are plenty of attention-grabbing moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a truly mesmerizing journey!”—Piaras, VINE VOICE

“…this is an author who can write about war and its horrors with passion and realism…this is an important read. A must read.”—Luv2read

“It’s beautifully told. It would make a great movie!! I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I loved and I hated a few characters too.”—pamarella

“What a wonderful story of a terrible time.”— Shirley McAllister

“I covered your book in one breath, and now I miss the characters I came to love.”—Anna Kunkes

“WOW, so good. This is one of those books that will make you feel every emotion … Such a gripping and poignant work, I can definitely see why this book won awards. A must-read for lovers of historical fiction.”—J. C.

“A tale of a dark time in human history replete with moments of brilliant beauty and time capsule historical details. A tale of loss and grief that teaches poignant lessons about the value of human life and the primacy of goodness and beauty if they are encouraged and allowed to bloom. A beautiful read.”—Brianna York

“The book was incredible! I couldn’t put the book down during the second half. I wasn’t expecting things to happen the way they unfolded; kudos to Osipova for this wonderful novel!”— Alyssa Strickland

“Like many of this author's novels, it is psychologically haunting, well researched, and takes you to places you never imagine to go. This is a novel that will stay with me for a long time and I cannot speak highly enough of it.”—Kathryn Gauci

“This is an unsettling, heartbreaking but compelling story … The four main characters are brilliantly drawn, and the writing is of extremely high quality.”—Tarian Green

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