Author Archives: Alison

A Good Fede

…and an excellent opportunity for graveyard photography.

Fede

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Queen’s House, Greenwich

Just one picture to tease you from my trip to London.  I’d never been to Greenwich before so I had to see the Naval College and Queen’s House.  Beautiful location.

Queen's House

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Book Review: Hard to Hold by Incy Black

Hard to Hold by Incy BlackI was given an ARC of this book in return for an honest review on its publication date, 28 April 2014 via ebook on Entangled:Ignite.  I have also followed this writer’s progress and am very pleased to review her début book.

First of all, nice cover, mmm.  Ahem:

Hard to Hold is a novel of romantic suspense, and I’m pretty sure the hero and heroine tell you from the get go just who they are, and what they’re all about!  For a start – the heroine is Anna Key Marshall – did anyone else think ‘anarchy’ or was it just me (say her first two names out loud)?  She’s smart and she can take care of herself.  She’s also made the choice to become a mum via an anonymous sperm donor since her divorce and is an extremely successful business woman in her own right.

Unfortunately for Anna, a seeming accident which puts her in hospital right at the beginning of the book is about to send her on a collision course with her ex…

Nick Marshall is a Black Ops Specialist for the British Intelligence and is one tough son of a…well you know.  Mind you, they strike sparks off each other as they’ve both needed to be tough to survive.  In fact they know each other from childhood, which we learn as their characters develop.  The hero and heroine are both strong leads in which we are privileged to discover softer sides, but in finding these it didn’t sacrifice any of the spark that they had by the conclusion of the story.  But when we meet him he is not a happy bunny with Anna and is not someone who forgives easily.

The danger and tenuous situation that Anna finds herself in is a tough subject and I didn’t know whether or not I would enjoy reading about it, but the relationship between the h/h is strong enough that the dark parts are worth bearing with to reach the end with them.  It certainly is a fresh modern twist on current topics.

What I loved in particular was the dialogue between the h/h, very sassy.  I liked that it was set in England and not abroad elsewhere for a change.  I also enjoyed many of the other secondary characters, but particularly Will – who I hope to see again but not sure about that one!  Oh and the baddie – very creepy.

What I did not enjoy so much certainly at the beginning was the introduction of many Americanisms such as Police Department, when the setting was London and at least two of the characters talking were British born.  It was very confusing and I felt like I should be in New York at times.  Even Anna’s home made me think of there.  As the story moved on and the characters moved about this was dispelled for the most part however.

This is a really enjoyable début covering some meaty subjects along with some sensual scenes and a satisfying relationship between the hero and heroine – giving the reader characters we can care about and a story that will keep you guessing.

This author has a strong voice which I look forward to seeing develop even further with her next novels very soon.

A copy of this review will also appear on my Goodreads page in due course.

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I Am Spoiled by Awards

…and rubbish at properly thanking and receiving them.  But I do love you all, honest.

I will try and do proper posts soon, but I must thank everyone as follows:

I do appreciate every single one I promise.

I am however busy enough to make my brain explode and that wouldn’t look very pretty here, so I’ll try and do proper posts on each very soon.  I bet Lady Fury would like that though!

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Book Review: Unwed and Unrepentant by Marguerite Kaye

uauI received an ARC of this book from the author in return for an honest review.  This novel is the final volume of the Armstrong Sisters books and the heroine is Lady Cordelia Armstrong, the hero – a working class Scot – Iain Hunter.  Both are unusual business people with very strong opinions, despite their diverse backgrounds!

As in the previous books, Cordelia’s father has a hand in arranging a marriage for her whether she likes it or not.  The difference being in this book is that she had previously escaped his clutches by running away with her lover as a young debutante, a worthless rake, and their relationship fizzles out relatively quickly leaving Cordelia to find her own way in the world still unmarried and with a ruined reputation.  Don’t feel you have to feel sorry for her though, as this does not bother her in the least – all she misses are her sisters which by extension to her father she is also estranged from.

Iain by contrast comes from a very poor family and is self-made, a ship builder who by his business talents is useful to Lord Armstrong who wants to use them in Arabia the home of his two eldest daughters and their powerful husbands.  By ‘chance’ bringing the hero and heroine together, he believes he can manipulate a partnership in marriage between the two.  What he does not know is that they have already had one passionate night together, and the spark between them hasn’t gone away in the ensuing years…

What I liked was a slightly later setting (1837), the chance to return to Arabia to revisit two of the sisters and a sparky self-made hero (and the way he attempts to protect the heroine) and heroine, surprisingly the hero to me appeared to have the softer heart and the slightly easier time of it allowing himself to fall in love – Cordelia took quite some time to do that.

What I didn’t like so much was that despite the plenty of opportunity on the journey to Arabia, there was very little time spent with the two oldest Armstrong girls/women – hardly anything at all – and we didn’t get to hear from Cassie except via her sister.  Lord Armstrong did get his comeuppance from his wife you might say, and she got what she wanted out of her marriage in the end, but this seemed small satisfaction for Bella, and Lord A. still seemed to me to get away with being downright cruel at times.  It would have been nice to see all his older children together finally showing how they had triumphed without him.

I did enjoy this book though, and it rounds out the series well – each of the girls finding their own distinct personalities and happiness in their own ways.  I would probably recommend that if you could only pick one of the books going for Rumours that Ruined a Lady (Caroline).

Oh, and another lovely cover (but the fashion is all wrong M&B, and what’s the house for?)

A copy of this review can also be found on my Goodreads page.

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In Which I Have Been Remiss, A Liebster Award

Liebster AwardDear Lady Fury, I’m sorry I took so long to respond to your lovely Liebster Award…since you were kind enough to steal acquire it from Shehanne for me.

When I received it I was delighted at the though of a Lobster Award also, but we’ll come back to that one.

Now there’s all sorts of rules involved – so I have to link back to the person that awarded it (check), then answer 10 questions set from that blog (to follow) and then set my own questions and nominate bloggers to answer them.  Hmm, well we’ll see about that one as the awards fairy has been kind lately.

So questions first:

1. Which fictional character would you most fancy having a fling with and why?

Um, there’s probably quite a few actually…Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books, Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice (of course) though maybe he wouldn’t do flings, and let’s face it I wouldn’t pick Flint – I don’t steal from my friends m’dear!

2. You’ve been shipwrecked on a desert island, what man ..sorry book can’t you be without?

Much as I love so, so many books – the one I reach for when I need cheering up is almost always Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer.  I wouldn’t want THAT man though, he’s far too much trouble.

3. What inspires you? Places or people?

Both!  As well as objects, rooms etc…

4. What little tome are you working on right now?

I have two WIPs, same as usual in the last few questions I’ve done on the blog lately!

5. Who would you like to see in the movie version?

David Gandy for the hero if he can act  ;-) not sure on the heroine yet.

6. In your own books do you have a favourite character and why?

The hero I was just referring too.  I find him so compelling he’s off and doing the talking (and what ever else he’s up to) without any help from me.

7. What do you think is the best book movie?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

8. Roughly how long does it take you to write a book?

I haven’t finished one yet, so really how long is a piece of string?

9. Favorite food?

I love to try food from different countries/cultures – but when it’s all going wrong chocolate never disappoints.

10. Any bits in your book you are embarrassed to show your family?

Ha, now that would be telling…

Now as a result of this I have not one but two Jolly Lobster Awards from Lady F and the lovely Incy Black.  Answers to these to follow after some book reviews.  Thanks ladies!

I’ll see about questions/nominations later on.

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A Day in Inverness

Had to pop by to Inverness to do some shopping at the lovely Leakey’s Bookshop was is in a converted church.  Books as far as the eye can see!

Nice views in Inverness too.

Inverness

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Bring Back Paper! Book Swap News

I’ve joined a Twitter based book swap (well book swapping is only part of it) with @ReadingRes and this is what I received!  Very lucky and so prettily wrapped and presented.  My book to my swapper has also now been posted.

Book Swap

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Published: My Article in the Latest Leopard Magazine!

Some exciting news here – I’ve just had my first article published in The Leopard Magazine.

Entitled ‘The Curious Case of the Colonel’s Missing Legs’ you can find it in the latest edition, which is March 2014.

Needless to say, it’s an historical article – and it’s about Charles Mackenzie Fraser of Castle Fraser’s experience of being wounded among some other intriguing things.

Let me know if you’ve read it and what you think.  You can also email me about the legs in question via this blog if you wish.

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Sapphire in the Snow – An Update

Some of you may remember a review I did last year on a historical novel I loved many years ago, Sapphire in the Snow by Carol Townend.

A quick update – Carol has now revised and reissued it with a shiny new cover as an ebook along with Shattered Vows, another novel I really enjoyed.  I’m looking forward to Leaves on the Wind appearing – I see this could be as early as April!

Links to buy in the UK for the reissues are:

Sapphire in the Snow

Shattered Vows

The Stone Rose

Needless to say, I’ve already got my copy!

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