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Alison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of cross genre 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 July 14, 2013 :
bookshelves: aussie-authors, smashwords-review, aww2013, 4-star-review, a-lil-sexy, historical-fiction, romance
Read from July 12 to 13, 2013 — I own a copy, read count: 1
If you've read the blurb and you're not intrigued by that, then I don't know what will draw you into a book.
This story has it all; Friendship, hardship, romance, war, blackmail, assassination, drunken tavern songs, bawdy wenches and plotting and dishonesty as thick as three planks of wood. The plot is twisted and gnarly and will drag you along however unwittingly you may be, down the dimly lit corridors of this 16th century historical tale.
Thankfully, it's not all doom and gloom. Kit and Thamsine are lovely, detailed and realistic characters who draw you into their arms like lovers. They tease you with whispered sweet nothings and then dunk you head first into the cold harshness of their reality. If you don't know much about this time in England's history, you'll find this tale amusing and entertaining, if you do know of this rather turbulent time, you'll find this tale rich in detail, adding colour to the dreary, daily life of the English subjects.
There was one point that failed in this story. In actual fact it didn't fail, but it failed to deliver the impact I think Alison was going for. It has to do with the closing line in the synopsis. The lurch of my guts, the stilling of my heart... it all occurred but it wasn't allowed to sink in, the story moved along too quickly. The gut-wrenching feeling of sadness should have been overwhelming, it should have made me cry. It didn't quite get there.
I've seen this type of scene done before and, I believe, done better. If you've read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series you'll probably know of the scene I'm referring to. This was painstakingly drawn out and I, as the reader, was in tears as I mourned the loss of one of my dearest friends/characters. I'm not saying that Alison's tale wasn't great, this scene was almost right... perhaps another chapter or two in between would have just given me time to really start to feel for them.
All in all, this was a thoroughly engrossing tale. If you enjoy historical fiction, if you enjoy romance, if you enjoy plotting and mystery then this book is for you!
A few things I noticed:
The text changed size and font every paragraph or so, not a huge issue, but something that might wreak havoc for those who struggle with reading certain fonts.
69% - '...if you told us what (he) looks like...'
75% - '...there was little she could (do) for Kit...'
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 18, 2012 :
Fun, fast-moving, and entertaining. . . that is until chapter 13. From there, the plot drags. Also, Thasmine, in her respectable state, loses that certain spark that makes her interesting earlier in the novel. I assume that the purpose of the Epilogue is to set the scene for a sequel. Unfortunately, by the end of the book, the characters have become staid and dull, and the mystery and excitement are gone.
(reviewed long after purchase)