Reviews/Praise

 

Romance Review Magazine

Francine Howarth
There’s little to be said in terms of the plot, for the back cover blurb provides a summary of the whole. What I will say, however; this debut novel by Ms Milkasen affords the reader a delightful and unusual take on the crossing of time. Thus an antique shop, a ring, and a robin, yes, that little red-breast darling who appears on Christmas cards in the northern hemisphere, leads Maya to explore elements from the past. Curiosity is one thing, need to know another, and as the past intertwines with the future the two begin to merge in the strangest of serendipitous events.

Whilst many time-slip novels often defy belief even in the fictional sense, the two things which cross time seem so plausible one can truly believe in predestined fate. Therefore the title of this novel is not only apt, it is a key to the lock that opens the window on true love that never died. And so the reader crosses time through the heroine as she in turn struggles with grief and a future that appears from the outset, somewhat bleak. But the thing with serendipity, it can surprise one when least expected! This is a lovely novel for anyone who loves “chance encounter” stories.

Author Reviews

Written with passion and expertise, Elena Mikalsen’s WRAPPED IN THE STARS is an intelligent and beautifully crafted story that proves the power of love while illuminating the historical struggles of women in medicine. I love books that teach me something while also being thoroughly entertaining, and Mikalsen’s debut does just that.

Kelli Estes, author of THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK

Mikalsen effortlessly weaves past and present in this engaging tale.  WRAPPED IN THE STARS spans countries and centuries, testing the boundaries between love, loyalty, fate, and following your heart. A delightful debut!

Jessica Topper, author of LOUDER THAN LOVE

Mikalsen’s debut draws you in and takes you on a richly detailed journey, from Edinburgh to Bern, to Paris and New York. A tale of aspirations and familial pressures, of serendipity and the choices we make, WRAPPED IN THE STARS thoughtfully explores how we can take control of our lives.

Amanda Stauffer, author of MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN

WRAPPED IN THE STARS is a gripping tale of two womens lives, woven together by the past and a little magic. The author’s mastery at story telling and the beauty in her words, kept me reading deep into the night. I couldn’t put it down!

Negeen Papehn, author of FORBIDDEN BY FAITH

WRAPPED IN THE STARS offers an intriguing twist on the idea of a found object that connects the past and present. Smartly drawing from Carl Jung and quantum physics, Mikalsen evokes shared memories that connect two women from different times and places…and a love story that lasts a century.

Jennifer Klepper, author of UNBROKEN THREADS

I am very impressed with the scope and depth of WRAPPED IN THE STARS. Not only did the author create viable, alive characters, she also told a well-paced and lively story. The author made me care every step of the way, and I can clearly see that she’s done an incredible amount of serious research when it comes to historical part of the narrative. Both story lines have lovely strong female protagonists. The historical men are intricately painted. Loved the traveling, loved the European locale. Loved especially how the robin tied different locations together, such a clever and nice detail.

E.V. Svetova, author of Print in the Snow: Anna’s Adventure in the Wyssun World.

Loved this story. Read it straight through in one sitting. Such a unique and charming work. Endearing characters and the plot is bewitching.

Fleeta Cunningham, author of DISCERNING HEARTS Series and SANTA RITA Series.

Blogger Reviews 

Pursuing Stacie

My Review: This book is exactly what I love about dual time-line storylines. Seriously. I LOVED this book!
(Also, Wrapped in the Stars is not only amazingly good, but is Elena Mikalsen’s debut novel. *mic drop*)
The book follows the story of Maya; living in the modern day, a resident in medical school and carrying around the weight of some heavy heartache. She travels to Europe, where she discovers a ring in an old, musty shop. She is drawn to it, purchases it, and that’s when things start getting interesting.
The book also follows the story of Rebecca; living 100 years earlier than Maya, a medical student against the wishes of her family, and the original owner of the ring.
Okay seriously, I am a huge fan of dual time-line plots. (Here’s looking at you, Anna B. and Amalia C.) But one thing that tends to happen with dual time-lines for me personally, is that I end up enjoying one character’s story more than the other. This absolutely was not the case, however, with Wrapped in the Stars. I adored both Maya and Rebecca equally, thoroughly enjoying their stories and getting to know them better. I loved how brilliantly the author weaved the two time-lines together, and how she set the stage for character and reader alike. The characters grow in depth as the storyline progresses, and the book itself kept me obsessed until the very end. It is a book that stays with you, with characters that feel familiar and a story that comes alive with the possibility of magical hope. A definite recommend.

Minerva Spencer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book–LOVED it!
I began this story thinking it was a conventional time travel story. Boy was I in for a surprise. Wrapped in the Stars is so much more than a time travel novel it’s hard to know where to start. So I’ll begin with the characters themselves.
Honestly, it’s like the author was channeling the two women in this book. The story is told in alternating times–Maya’s (present) and Rebecca’s (early 1900s).
Right from the first chapter I was hooked. I would get so wrapped up in the story I was reading (either Maya’s or Rebecca’s) that I absolutely hated it when a chapter ended. But by the time I’d read a paragraph into the next chapter, I’d be hooked all over again. . . . And then pissed when THAT chapter ended. This book grabbed me over and over again.
Mikalsen masterfully weaves together at least a half-dozen threads to create a rich, living tapestry: a glimpse into the history of women in medicine, a look at the grassroots organization of the Russian Revolution, early Twentieth Century European social history, parallel love stories, and a FASCINATING mystery/adventure in dual times.
I have this amazingly clear picture of Bern in the early 20th century stuck inside my head! The excitement of the time: a revolution brewing, a war coming, advances in medicine, technology, and revolutionary shifts in gender roles/relations. But even with such a vibrant backdrop, the characters still stand out and do not become lost.
It would be hard for me to say who is the heroine in this story–Maya or Rebecca. So I’m going to say they both are. They are two distinct characters and there is no mistaking their voices. Mikalsen does an excellent job of respecting history and depicts a character–Rebecca– who is a product of her time even as she rebels against it. Which means she actually ends up sounding and behaving like a woman from 1914, rather than a woman from 2018 dressed in clothing from the period.
And Maya? Well, she is a woman who alternately appears to be coming apart at the seams but also strong, driven, curious, and vulnerable. In other words, she is REAL.
And then there are the secondary characters, like Sarah, who Mikalsen makes you care for with only a few subtle, but powerful, snippets of her life.
Clearly I was floored by this book. Awesome debut and I hope for more.

Dressed to Read

A delightful and compelling novel about a woman, Maya Radelis, who is a medical student in New York. She is being scrutinized over a patient and feels so overwhelmed that she takes off to Edinburgh. Maybe she is running away from her old life, but she will soon realize that her journey has just begun.  A stroke of serendipity, an antique shop, and a hundred year old diamond engagement ring will set her course.
We will learn about the ring’s history through a dual timeline that will take us from present day to the period surrounding WWI where we meet Rebecca, who was also a medical student.
Can a ring hold memories?  Maya is determined to learn more and may just find love along the way.
I really enjoyed the mystery involved surrounding the ring, its origin and the power it seemed to hold.  I loved it!
4 Stars!

Randee Green

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
WRAPPED IN THE STARS is Elena Mikalsen’s debut romance/historical romance novel. It was published on February 19, 2018, by Wild Rose Press.
What immediately stood out to me in WRAPPED IN THE STARS was that it’s two romance novels in one. The novel follows two female characters, switching back-and-forth between their perspectives. Maya is a resident at a hospital in New York, but due to an unfortunate circumstance, she has taken a sabbatical from her residency and left the United States. In Scotland, Maya purchases an antique ring. After she has the ring, she begins to have dreams and visions about the ring’s original owner – a female physician named Rebecca who lived in Switzerland in the early 1900s. In an attempt to learn more about the ring and Rebecca, Maya travels first to Paris and then to Switzerland. Along the way, she meets a man named David. As a romance blooms between Maya and David, they learn that they both have a surprising connection to Rebecca’s ring. As Maya searches for answers about the ring, Rebecca’s romance with a Jewish student from the Ukraine plays out in the years surrounding World War 1.
Both Maya’s and Rebecca’s love stories are heartwarming and captivating. And their personal lives and struggles will keep the reader turning the page. You will be cheering for both characters to find love. WRAPPED IN THE STARS is a wonderful romance novel, delivering not one but two romances! All of the characters are intriguing, and the landscapes/time periods are brought to life in the descriptions. And the mystery surrounding the ring adds an extra element to the story that I thought was fascinating.

Artisan Books Reviews

Wrapped in the Stars is a passionate, engaging story that weaves two timelines together to form a beautiful tapestry of love and fate. It is full of history and intrigue. It is written with a unique voice and proficiency. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. The way that Elena Mikalsen so aptly combines the present with the past is beyond reasoning. She merges the two young women’s lives together in unanticipated and distinct ways. I was floored by the amount of historical research that was put into this story. We learn about the history of women in the field of medicine, the Russian Revolution, European social history and more. I learned a lot while reading this splendid novel.

The scenery is picturesque, defined and striking, as we are lead from New York to Paris to Switzerland and more.  I felt like I was there experiencing the same things as Maya and Rebecca. At the core of the book is an exquisite love story. A love that surpasses all boundaries and hindrances. It’s a mysterious magical tale that takes readers on a journey to beautiful places, and through time and history and back to the present day. I was hooked from the very beginning and remained engaged throughout the entire book. It is intelligent, yet easy to read. There are surprises and many things that I didn’t see coming which made it so interesting and entertaining. One would never know that Wrapped in the Stars is a debut novel. It surpassed my expectations and I highly recommend it to all avid readers.

Reader Reviews

Jewelsey from BN.com

Wrapped in the Stars by Elena Mikalsen is a beautiful tale of love, anguish, and destiny, written with a touch of magic realism. It’s modern day time and Maya Radelis travels to Edinburgh, Scotland after a tragedy at her hospital where she is doing her residency. She is ridden with guilt and blame and is trying to escape her emotions. A robin emerges which leads Maya to an antique shop where she discovers a beautiful vintage moonstone ring. She is immediately drawn towards the ring and compelled to buy it.

She then begins to have mental flashbacks and memories, of a time in history, and that are not her own. She is entranced by the ring and finds herself traveling throughout Europe in search of the meaning behind the woman who previously owned the ring. While in Paris, she meets David, a New Yorker as well, and has an immediate attraction. David wants to help her with her search. From there, Elena and David travel to Switzerland where they discover they have more in common than they expected. They uncover a parallel connecting the ring to David’s family and begin to learn more about its original owner.

From there we begin to meet Rebecca, the ring’s original owner. It is back in time during World War l, 1911. Rebecca is a young Swiss woman that wants to become a doctor. She is determined, although her parents don’t support her decision to go to medical school. They insist that she find a husband and marry. During her time at medical school, she meets a poor Russian student and falls deeply in love. Out of his love for her, he gives Rebecca the ring. Does the ring have a connection between the two women? Is the ring magical?

Wrapped in the Stars is a passionate, engaging story that weaves two timelines together to form a beautiful tapestry of love and fate. It is full of history and intrigue. It is written with a unique voice and proficiency. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. The way that Elena Mikalsen so aptly combines the present with the past is beyond reasoning. She merges the two young women’s lives together in unanticipated and distinct ways. I was floored by the amount of historical research that was put into this story. We learn about the history of women in the field of medicine, the Russian Revolution, European social history and more. I learned a lot while reading this splendid novel.

The scenery is picturesque, defined and striking, as we are lead from New York to Paris to Switzerland and more. I felt like I was there experiencing the same things as Maya and Rebecca. At the core of the book is an exquisite love story. A love that surpasses all boundaries and hindrances. It’s a mysterious magical tale that takes readers on a journey to beautiful places, and through time and history and back to the present day. I was hooked from the very beginning and remained engaged throughout the entire book. It is intelligent, yet easy to read. There are surprises and many things that I didn’t see coming which made it so interesting and entertaining. One would never know that Wrapped in the Stars is a debut novel. It surpassed my expectations and I highly recommend it to all avid readers.

Sue (Goodreads Reviewer)

It’s difficult to believe that this great book is a debut for the author. I can’t wait to see what she writes in the future. This is a well written book with beautiful locations, dual time lines, mystery and love sprinkled with just a bit of magic.

In the modern day timeline, Maya is a resident in medical school who has traveled to Europe to try to find her way beyond a tragedy at her hospital. She finds a ring in a small shop in Edinburgh that she feels she must buy and it changes her life. She starts getting flashbacks and dreams of an earlier time and feels that she has to explore the ring’s history. In her travels from Paris to Switzerland, she meets David who wants to help with her quest. In the historical time line, the main character is Rebecca. Her story takes place before and during WWI when she goes to medical school against her parent’s insistence that her goal should be to find a husband. While at school, she meets a poor Russian student and falls in love. He gives her the ring to show her his love. Can a ring bring happiness to two women who live over 100 years apart?

Usually when I read dual time line books, I like one story more than the other but in this book, I enjoyed Maya’s story as much as I did Rebecca’s. This is a beautiful love time periods story and I highly recommend it.

Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

Susan Peterson (Amazon Verified Purchase)

Wrapped In the Stars is a riveting, heartfelt story about great loves, heartache and fate…told with a little bit of magic. Maya is in Edinburgh, running from guilt and blame, when a robin appears, leading her to an antique shop where she is compelled to buy a beautiful moonstone ring. She finds herself so fascinated by the ring and its past that she goes to Paris and then Switzerland, determined to learn more about the woman who wore it before her. In a dual timeline, we meet Rebecca, a young Swiss woman in 1911 who is determined to be a doctor. The author does a fantastic job at weaving the two timelines, as Rebecca’s and Maya’s stories converge in unexpected ways. At the heart of this book is a love story; a love that faces seemingly insurmountable challenges. I lost myself in the pages of this book as I became invested in the lives and loves of these wonderfully complicated characters.