October 1941. 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 Serafima’s and Vitya’s 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?


The Cruel Romance is a tale of love, violence, and acceptance as Serafima is forced to live with what the Germans left behind. This compelling story makes for a thrilling read in a setting and time that comes to life, pulling the reader into the vividly drawn, rarely seen world.

Elisabeth Amaral, author of When Any Kind of Love Will Do and Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup
Available on Amazon

“Unpredictable, interesting, fiction!”

Five Star Review on Amazon By anna kunkes

I finished reading your book, and I was very happy to be involved in the life and experiences of its heroes. You do have a talent! I must admit that a few times I wanted to look into the end of the novel to see what the outcome of this unusual story would be; it often happens to me when I read a good whodunit. I covered your book in one breath, and now I miss the characters I came to love.
Many books have been written about World War II, but yours is unique and it differs from the interpretation, which we are accustomed to, namely that the liberators are the good ones, but the invaders are the bad. Yet, these people are humans who demonstrate their personalities in different situations. There are no good liberators or bad invaders – there are good and bad people. Thank you so much. I advise everyone to read this book. I am sure, people will ponder for a long time: could this really have happened?

About the Author

Marina Osipova is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of History and Archives. In 2001, she immigrated to America and eventually found her home on Staten Island, New York. She is an award-winning writer who is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Historical Novel Society.

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One Response

  1. I have just finished reading your book “The Cruel Romance” which was recommended to me by a friend of mine and author Giselle Roeder who wrote the book “We Don’t talk about that”
    I was going on a holiday and saved this book to read while I was away…well I couldn’t put it down till I finished it. Lol
    I loved your colourful and articulate writing making it so easy to imagine myself there walking along side with Serafima. It touched my heart and brought me to tears. I was sad to turn the last page.
    I have read numerous biographies written by German WW11 survivors as well as Holicost survivors. This was different being a Russian story and yet the comparisons are the same …what and how the horrors of war affect everyone.
    Thank you for this wonderful novel I will recommend it to all my friends.

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