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Thursday, February 16, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books Cold - Gorgito's Ice Rink by Elizabeth Ducie - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze
Emma's grandmother is Russian and Emma speaks the language well. She's an engineer and is being sent to Nikolevsky to work on a factory project. Gorgito, the owner of the factory, is a passionate man. He doesn't only want to expand his business, he also wants to build an ice rink for his goddaughter. This means Emma has a lot of work to do and while being in Russia she might learn more about herself than she ever thought she would.
After many years Gorgito still hasn't found his older sister Maria. She left when he was a child and he's never been able to locate her. He promised his mother he'd track her down, but so far he doesn't have any leads. His goddaughter Yulia wants to go to America to become a professional ice skater. Her brother Dima will be left behind just like Gorgito all those years ago. That's why Gorgito wants to build an ice rink. Maybe he can convince Yulia to stay home, so history won't repeat itself. Can Emma help him to succeed at this enormous project?

Gorgito is a special man. He's positive and enthusiastic, he's always got some kind of plan and nothing is too crazy for him. I immediately liked him and admired his cheerful personality and sunny disposition. He's a dreamer with a big heart. He welcomes Emma with open arms and therefore she feels at home in Nikolevsky straight away. She struggles with the choice between two countries, does she belong in England or in Russia? She's sweet and caring and she's also smart and practical, which makes her good at what she does. She doesn't take impulsive decisions, which makes her a perfect candidate to work together with Gorgito. She can help him to make his dreams become reality.

Gorgito's Ice Rink is an interesting book. Elizabeth Ducie starts her story at a slow pace, so it's easy for the readers to get to know her main characters and find out more about the factory and life in Russia. Gradually she adds more layers to the story and quickens the pace. I enjoyed learning something about the Russian way of life and loved reading about a country that went through many changes in the years Elizabeth Ducie describes. She clearly knows a lot about her subject and that instantly fascinated me.

I liked that Gorgito's Ice Rink is set in different periods of time. Before Emma came to Russia Gorgito lived in a small village with his parents and sister. She describes their lives and tells Maria's history, which was my favorite part of the story. True love complicates her life and because of it she leaves her family. I was impressed by her bravery and had tears in my eyes when I read about what happened to her and why Gorgito couldn't find her. Every main character is somehow connected to Gorgito. I loved how I got to know him really well by reading about the lives of the people he loves. Everything together makes Gorgito's Ice Rink an original and fabulous book, I liked it very much.


If you're looking for an interesting story about a very special person set in a place you won't often read about Gorgito's Ice Rink will be a great choice.

About Elizabeth Ducie

I was born and brought up in Birmingham. As a teenager, I won a holiday to France, Spain and Portugal for writing essays and poetry in a newspaper competition. Despite this promising start in the literary world, I took scientific qualifications and spent more than thirty years as a manufacturing consultant, technical writer and small business owner, publishing a number of pharmaceutical text books and editing a technical journal along the way.

I returned to creative writing in 2006 and since then, I have written short stories and poetry for competitions—and have had a few wins, several honourable mentions and some short-listing. I am also published in several anthologies.

Under the Chudleigh Phoenix Publications imprint, I have published one solo collection of short stories and co-authored another two with my friend, Sharon Cook. I also write and lecture on business skills for writers running their own small business. My debut novel, Gorgito’s Ice Rink, was published in 2014. My second novel, Counterfeit!, was published in 2016. It is the first in a series of thrillers set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals. I am currently working on Deception!, the second in the series, which is due to be published in summer 2017.

Having left Birmingham to study in London, I lived for more than twenty years in Wilmington, Kent. In 2007, I moved to the South West of England, where I live with my husband, Michael, in a converted granary sited picturesquely on the banks of, and occasionally within the path of, a small stream. In 2012, I closed down my technical consultancy in order to concentrate full-time on my writing. In the same year, I graduated from Exeter University with an MA in Creative Writing

I am the editor of the Chudleigh Phoenix Community Magazine, a monthly online newsletter. I am a member of the Chudleigh Writers’ Circle, ExeterWriters, West of England Authors and ALLi (The Alliance of Independent Authors). I spend far too much time on Facebook and Twitter, but have met some wonderful members of the writing community as a result.

When I am not writing, I am a keen reader and singer (I am a member of several local choirs). I also enjoy live theatre of any kind, share with my husband a love of fine dining, and am a real sucker for the kind of country house hotel where you can kick off your shoes and curl up with a book in front of a log fire.

I spend quite a few early mornings in the gym, trying to keep fit and healthy. I would like you to believe I am also a keen walker, enjoying the beauties of Dartmoor and the South Devon coastline—but, as a writer, I’m good at making things up.




1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was educated as a scientist, trained as a technical consultant and writer, and spent more than thirty years working in the international pharmaceutical industry. Then one day, I decided I wanted to write creatively instead. I began writing fiction in my spare time in 2006 and a few years later, gave up the day job in order to concentrate full-time on my writing.

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

Seeing Michael, my husband, again after a long business trip (or even after a day apart); getting an email or a telephone call to say I’ve been placed in a writing competition; or reading a great piece of prose.

3. If you could create the perfect romantic day what would it look like?

Spending the day with Michael exploring somewhere we’ve not been before; booking in to a country house hotel with a log fire blazing; sipping champagne together; then sitting down to the best meal the chef can deliver.

4. Who is your favorite romantic couple?

Michelle and Barack Obama; the way they look at each other, seeming to exclude everyone else, even when the whole world is watching.

5. Could you describe what romance means to you?

Doing something, anything really, with the one special person who makes sense of the world for me.

6. Do you find it difficult to write about romance?

I am not a romantic fiction writer, although my novels all have an element of romance in them. But, yes, I do find it difficult to write about romance without it seeming too sugary or clichéd. And although my characters have sex on occasion, we never watch them.

7. Can you tell us about your most romantic experience?

Well, the answer to this question was going to be the time we flew to Modena in Italy for Valentine’s Day in Massimo’s 3* restaurant; or other similar journeys I’ve been taken on. But on reflection, my most romantic experience is an ongoing one: Michael buys me flowers every time he goes shopping. Not for a special occasion, but just because he knows I love flowers.

8. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're in a romantic mood?

I have a very wide taste in music, but for a romantic mood, it has to be classical music like the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty, or Meditation from Massenet’s Thais.

9. Which country personifies romance for you and why?

I think it has to be Russia, especially in the winter. I have a memory of standing in the snow, outside the theatre, having watched a wonderful ballet performance, and then hearing the sound of a trumpet in the clear, cold air, as a busker played for his supper on the streets of St Petersburg. And a stranger offering me his arm to make sure I didn’t slip on the ice.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

Having set Gorgito’s Ice Rink, my debut novel, in Russia, I have moved around the world somewhat. Counterfeit! which was the first in a series of pharmaceutical thrillers, was set in Southern Africa. The follow-up, Deception! which is due out later this year, is set in Brazil. But the third part, Corruption! will be back in Russia once more.


Three very lucky readers of With Love For Books will win a digital copy of Gorgito's Ice Rink by Elizabeth Ducie.
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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The book review sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. Love the cover and interview too.

  2. The setting sounds fascinating! Thanks for sharing about the book and author!

  3. It must have been daunting to set her novel in Russia. I look forward to reading a book set in such an 'exotic' locale. Please enter me. annfesATyahooDOTcom Thank you.

  4. Thanks for the chance to win!


  5. Awwww the husband part is sooo cute! :O <3