Have you ever ignored a sense of unease?
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.
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 and is a finalist in the InD’tale RONE Award for Historical Fiction – Post Medieval.
…The author has cleverly given Oliver an unusual obsession, which gradually becomes more dangerous as the plot unfolds. Although you are reading this review in August, this is a novel to enjoy on a grey winter’s day sitting in front of a cosy fire and with a box of chocolates close by.
Reviewed by the Historical Novel Society.
Read the full review here…
I read a huge part of this book in one sitting because I simply couldn’t stop reading! Dangerous Decisions had me hooked from the first page. This is a beautifully written period story that transports the reader back in time to be totally immersed in the sights and sounds of the era. It explores the lives of a whole raft of vibrant, colourful Edwardian characters from the wealthy landowners down to the poverty stricken lower classes. Margaret Kaine paints a complete, what must have been meticulously researched, canvas of Edwardian living. Downton Abbey eat your heart out!
The reader can immediately identify with Helena, the lead lady of the book and share her concerns about her choice of husband, but also sympathise with her as her sense of duty prevails. Through the thoughts and opinions of her characters Margaret Kaine weaves in to the story all the important social and political issues of the day. She gives us an insight into just how difficult life could be as an Edwardian woman, whether she was privileged and wealthy lady like Helena or existing on her wits as a ‘lady of the night’ like Cora.
It is a gripping tale full of intrigue, prejudice and romance which takes the form of two very different men, one who the reader very early on falls in love with and one whose despicable actions invoke only contempt.
Towards the end of the book I began to wonder how all the strands of the story were going to come together or if they ever would. I had to keep reading, it wasn’t an option, it was a necessity.
Turning the pages reveals the eclectic mix of characters from all walks of life and class, all expertly bought to life. I felt their anxiety, their doubts and their pain, I laughed with them and cried with them. Yes, this is a book for Downton Abbey fans, but it is so much more than that. This is quite simply a masterpiece and a must for anyone who enjoys a gripping, enthralling and perfectly balanced historical read.
The story line plunges you into the early 1900’s when women where seen and not heard. When social standing was high on the agenda and love and happiness featured a long way down the list of requirements as far as finding a husband was concerned. Dangerous Decisions steps back in time with ease, subtle details swiftly bringing the era and the characters to life, living on in your thoughts long after you finish the book. A glimpse into all the different lives of the social classes, and the light and shade of social acceptance within their symbiotic relationships.
Our beautiful debutant Helena Standish, falls for the charms of Oliver Faraday, yet something plays on her inner conscious and it is some time before she realises what her instincts have been trying to tell her. Love does find a way though, as is well deserved, although Margaret Kaine delivers our heroine some hefty life changing, character building obstacles before she gets there.
This was the first of Margaret Kaine’s work that I have read, and I look forward to reading some more. So much is woven into this beautifully crafted romance you cannot be disappointed, except that putting it down before the end can be irritating! But then who needs sleep anyway…
Cosily playing into our nostalgia for Downtonabbeyland (it’s a real place honest), this flirts with gritty social issues, weighing the glamour of the wealthy against the poverty of the masses. But really, it’s all about debutante Helena growing up – with the help of a very handsome doctor! 2nd December 2013.