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Alison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of historicals with heart. Whether duelling with dashing cavaliers or waywards ghosts, her books provide a reader with a meaty plot and characters who have to strive against adversity, always with the promise of happiness together. Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes. She lives with her own personal hero and two needy cats and likes nothing more than a stiff gin and tonic and a walk along the sea front of her home town. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, facebook, twitter and Goodreads.
on April 16, 2012 :
In the mid 1600’s, Kate Ashley is a widow with a young son, 9 year old Thomas. She lived near her sister Suzanne, husband William and their children in Barton, Yorkshire where they lived a frugal, but happy life.
One day Kate received a letter from Tom’s great grandfather, Sir Francis Thornton, from whom they had been estranged for many years. The old man was on his death bed, and wanted to ‘clear his conscience’ by meeting Tom and Kate. It had been 30 years since the elopement which had split the family in two, and Kate had no desire to meet the old man. But speaking to Tom later, she discovered he wished to meet and get to know his father’s family.
Between the time of meeting Sir Francis, and his subsequent death, many things happened, not least being the meeting of the black sheep of the family, Sir Francis’ grandson, Jonathon Thornton, fugitive royalist fighting by the young King Charles II’s side, and the bequeathing of the Thornton family home ‘Seven Ways’ to Tom, with Kate to have complete control of the estate until Tom came of age.
With the English Civil War in full swing, things began to get difficult for Kate, and Jon’s sister Nell. Nell’s husband Giles was an officer fighting alongside Jon, and when their nemesis Stephen Prescott, who had been hunting Jonathan for years, arrived on Kate’s doorstep, she had to use all her powers of persuasion to be able to lie convincingly to this evil man.
When Prescott and Jon finally confronted each other, Prescott revealed a secret to Jon which was set to change his life, and that of Kate, the woman he’d come to love deeply, forever.
This historical fiction tale by Aussie author, Alison Stuart, was extremely skilfully told. It kept me enthralled and reading long into the night, with the love and loyalty, captures and escapes, gunfire and pain, all being an integral part of the story.
I can’t wait to read Alison’s next book, ‘The King’s Man’.
(reviewed long after purchase)