Author: Margaret Kaine

+Book Review+ Dangerous Decisions by Margaret Kaine #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 8 February, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Dangerous Decisions by Margaret Kaine

Dangerous Decisions by Margaret Kaine

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Converse via: #DangerousDecisions

Illustrated by: Berni Stevens

 @circleoflebanon | Writer | Illustrator

Genre(s): Fiction | Romance | Historical

 Edwardian | Romantic Suspense

Published by: ChocLitUK, 7 December 2013

Available Formats: Paperback, E-Book, Large Print & Audiobook Page Count: 400

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “Dangerous Decisions” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! The book released on 7th December 2013. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

This perked my ears up a bit because one of my favourite tv serials on right now (although I borrowed the serial dvds through my local library until Series 4 which I am watching on Masterpiece Theater via PBS!) is “Downton Abbey”! I seriously didn’t realise how affected I am by the depth of drama and romance set in the Edwardian era! Although, surprisingly I hadn’t realised this as I have a big attachment to life during the 1920s-1940s! I liked the fact the premise ‘sounds familiar’ as far as the initial set-up is concerned but the writer has written in a twist (at least the premise alludes to it!) that will tip the story on its heel and give the reader a hearty story to absorb! Love that!

 

Book Synopsis:

Have you ever ignored a sense of unease?

Helena Standish knows that a good marriage would enhance her father’s social status but she’s wise enough not to accept any handsome fool. The wealthy and enigmatic Oliver Faraday is considered an ideal match, so why does Helena have faint misgivings? Nicholas Carstairs has little patience with frivolous pleasure-seekers or an upper class that closes ranks against outsiders. Why then is he entranced by the lovely ‘girl in the window’ – a debutante who would appear to be both of those things? A champagne celebration at Broadway Manor marks the start of a happy future for Helena, but no one can predict the perilous consequences of her decision or the appalling danger it will bring.

Author Biography:MargaretKaine
Born and educated in the Potteries in Staffordshire, Margaret Kaine now lives in Leicester. Her short stories have been published widely in women’s magazines in the UK, and also in Australia, Norway, South Africa and Ireland. Ring of Clay, her debut novel, won both the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 2002 and the Society of Authors’ Sagittarius Prize in 2003. She has now published seven romantic sagas about life in Staffordshire between the 50’s and 70’s. Dangerous Decisions is Margaret’s debut novel with Choc Lit.

 

Serendipitous Rendezvous & the Musings Therein

Very few novels are bold in giving you a precursory insight of the depth of pathos two characters are willing to take themselves forward out of their familiar territories. Insofar as to supposition the nature of the life they are each viewing through a pixel of glass! I oft wondered if those who engage in people-watching ever bemuse their time in expounding on what they feel the person they’ve watched might actually do in real life or if they limit their musings to flights of fancy instead. It’s quite a wicked way to begin the introduction phase of Dangerous Decisions  as it gives the reader a nodding of a clue towards each character’s personality trait.

When does mild curiosity start to turn into a genuine concern about another person’s welfare!? When do causal interactions yield to wanting to spend actual time in one’s company?! How much can you yield through a focused gaze into each others eyes without foreknowledge of each others lives!? The curious heart-strings of when attraction knits a bond between two souls seeking love is one of the questions put forth by Kaine. A world can nearly be lived within the nanoseconds of a first glance. It’s whether or not, each parties share a willingness to acquaint themselves with the other that lends the mystery aspect of the story. Do you listen to your instincts or do you refuse to accept that your thoughts of warmth towards the person are anything but flickerments of wishes; extinguished before they were aflame?

My Review of Dangerous Decisions:

I am a self-taught nature and wildlife photographer, gaining experience by walking in nature and watching water fowl and birds of prey alight near me. This is why one of the most striking inclusions of the book cover art for Dangerous Decisions is the white pelican! I nearly had the opportunity to see white pelicans off the coast of Cedar Key last year, but I wasn’t able to visit during their annual migration as planned! But, oh! The grace of beauty in the one who is on the cover is beyond inspiring! Quite the curious addition for a novel set in the Edwardian era!

Helena is a young woman after my own heart! She’s concerned about the scullery maid who is darting out of the house like a mouse worried over where the cat was last seen! Her heart for the downtrodden and the working class is a blessing to see, especially considering that she was bourne into a sect of notoriety and conventional expectations. Her life appears to have been sheltered to the hilt and its her desire to seek out life experiences to make up for the fact she’s been eluded the truth of the age due to how she was raised. Her desire to protect the welfare of those in need as much as animals without the voice to protect themselves endeared me to her forevermore!

One of the underlying life lessons inside the story is being able to accept your intuitive sensory perception as an accurate barometer of knowing when your entertaining the wrong suitor! Listening to the inner voice which reconciles logic within a balance of reasonable doubt is a necessary tool for all singletons whilst broaching the brink of marital bliss. There is a direct difference between the pursuit of love in its purest of sense and the pursuit of love for sake of wealth, security, and compromise. You have to realise where you stand on the merits of which avenue of matrimony your going to step into and this is where I feel Helena is a bit green around the ears! She makes reading her story enjoyable because your starting to want to root for her to transcend her ignorance of men and listen to the logic of her heart thundering in her head in quiet whispers!

In this story, marriage life is not quite a fit of bliss, joy, and love, but rather a girl who entered marriage with the presumed belief that her husband would be endearingly loving; slowly started to find cause to the murmurings of caution. Her marriage was an illusion she was not willingly able to give credence to being true. There is a twist in the story I kept trying to nibble away at with each passage of narrative. I nearly felt I had stumbled across it but it wasn’t until a pivotal moment in Helena’s life did I finally see the full measure of what the truth revealed! Oy vie, oh my! Kaine etches into Dangerous Decisions a dialogue of intrigue that leaves you rather full of suspense until you have it all sorted out! Its not the type of book you can read in two sittings! You must reach the conclusion in one!

Cacaphobia (fear of ugliness) is presented in a very careful manner so not to over-cede the story but rather to give the audience a vital case to substantiate one character’s behaviour indiscretions. I must admit, I haven’t come across this particular phobia beforehand and how it manifests itself to exclude even the most basic semblance of everyday life and living is truly difficult to process. And, yet, for those who are afflicted by this condition I would presume would rather not feel aghast in situations where they’d rather see what others see rather than what their mind is projecting them to see.

Edwardian England & whisperments of the Turn of the 20th Century:

As the 19th century faded into a new chapter called the 20th, ordinary lives were starting to have rippling effects of change intersect through their lives. The shadow play of posh ton society was going to take a hit as women would start to shake free of convention and find their voice to assert what they would be willing or unwilling to accept as commonplace. Etchings of women’s liberation could be felt as the old ideas were no longer measuring up to the demands for civil rights and liberties, most especially the rights and needs of women. The interesting bit to Dangerous Decisions is how Kaine is interweaving sub-plot and secondary characters into the threadings of the main story arc! She’s giving whisperments of hushed society a bit of a revealing edge to the undertone of the novel. You are whisked off the posh streets of London to duck into the darkened streets where ladies in red tend to tread as much as cloistered women on call live in lofty flats.

The living situations of those below stairs has always fascinated me, as though through tracing my roots in history I haven’t uncovered anyone who lived in service, I am always approaching the narrative of those lives with compassion. The understairs staff always had such a lot to weigh on their shoulders and the blight of living ‘below’ station in most of the ton‘s eyes was not a favourable view of mine! Kaine has a way of getting you into their inner world as they work, converse about rumours of change, and settle into their duties. I felt as though it was Sunday night on Masterpiece Theater as I am raptly viewing Downton Abbey! And, with the knowledge I have gained through reading period dramas (both in historical & romance fiction), as well as what I have viewed in period adaptations & originals,… there is a proper sense of excitement for being moved up in position as much as finding a companionable match in marriage. The servants strive to obtain all the blessings of life as those upstairs but with a strict line of separation between them.

Repleat of course in hearing murmuring echoes of the voices of Mrs. Patmore (in lieu of Cook) and Mr. Carson (in lieu of Bostock! There is such a lively connection between Helena and her staff, that I had inklings of reminders of how much Mary (Grantham) appreciated her staff as well! At least whilst Helena was at Broadway Manor; Graylings is a bird of a different feather completely!

Oliver Faraday & Nicolas Carstairs: a Comparison

Whilst the compassionate heart of a doctor whose long hours and dedication to his patients weary him thin on pleasantries of everyday joy in life, Mr. Carstairs still has a winking of a curious heart inside him. Whereas Mr. Faraday still recovering from the sudden death of a close friend is matrimonially inclined due to realising that without an heir his beloved estate could falter out of his ancestral line. Both men intrigued me for different reasons. Carstairs had a depth about him; lit by the mannerisms and observations he was keen on making during his short entrance. Faraday on the other hand nearly came across as a bit superficially composed, where his agenda to populate the circuit of the London Season felt obligatory rather than sincere. Yet. I felt at their first greetings there was far more to each of these lovely blokes than meets the eye!

For a singleton who appreciates a good romance to read, ChocLit never fails to give their readers blokes to swoon over! Each of the characters I have come across prior to Faraday & Carstairs were always wholly true to their own  ideals and owned their own stations in life. They are built strong and given the freedom to have a strong footing in the story-lines rather than causal afterthoughts. And, likewise are given the full reign of allowing the reader decide who is truly a friend and who is a foe!

NOTE: I added “romantic suspense” to the genre listing above due to the nature of how the story unfolds,…

This book review is courtesy of ChocLitUK,

ChocLitUK Reviewercheck out my upcoming bookish event and mark your calendars!

#ChocLitSaturdays | a feature exclusive to Jorie Loves A Story

*NEWSFLASH* : This marks my fourth *#ChocLitSaturdays*, where I will be spotlighting a book published by ChocLitUK! Coordinating bonus features will alight on my blog in forthcoming weeks! Previous reviews include: The Reluctant Bride by Beverley Eikli; A Bargain Struck by Liz Harris; and Close to the Wind by Zana Bell!! Future installments of ChocLitSaturdays will be forthcoming and announced through the hashtag section on Twitter! Stay Tuned!

Jorie Interviewed Ms. Kaine on ChocLitSaturdays : 22nd, March 2014!

{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis, Book Cover, and ChocLit Reviewer badge were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. The book trailer by Animoto had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in FotoFlexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Saturday, 8 February, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Britian, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Debut Novel, Downton Abbey, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Literary Adaptations, London, Modern British Literature, Nature & Wildlife Photography Antidotes of Jorie, Photography, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, the Edwardian era