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The Crown Spire Paperback – 14 Dec. 2016
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Like other readers, I particularly enjoyed the characters of Ed and Richard.
In The Crown Spire we become acquainted with Alice Ingram married for 20 years to an abusive, unpleasant man and her young niece, Beth, who is completely unaware of her aunt’s unhappiness. Fleeing along the Great North Road, they are suddenly in dire danger until two masked men save them and deliver them into the safe hands of the Bishop of Edinburgh. Both women find it difficult to forget their rescuers but once in Edinburgh they become entangled with two other men. Beth is quickly captivated by charming innkeeper Edward Hogan, even though he is well below her station but Alice maintains her dignity and has constant arguments with respectable doctor, James Dillingham.
Edinburgh of 1795 is, as you might expect, a city of charm and danger, but the lack of propriety shown by Beth is astonishing. Alice is a more empathetic character and the reader enjoys becoming closer to the reticent doctor. As in all good fiction, they have secrets, but love and passion will conquer all, until the dramatic events of the last section of the book threaten everyone’s happiness.
The description of the taverns give a sound historical authenticity to events but personally I would have liked to have read more about everyday life in the streets of Edinburgh. The fast-moving story is difficult to put down and I hope that there will be other romantic adventures, in this style, to follow.
Taking shelter at an inn for the night Beth is soon entranced by the landlord, Edward Hogan, while her aunt is considerably less so by Dr James Dillingham summoned to look at her ankle, sprained in the skirmish.
It soon becomes apparent that it is not only the highwaymen who are hiding their identities as Alice is introduced as Grace Lambert and has come to Edinburgh to hide out at her rather forbidding sister’s house.
I shall stop there for fear I shall soon be giving the whole plot away. Suffice to say there are some delightful characterisations in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the flirty interplay between the frisky Beth and undoubtedly handsome Ed Hogan and equally the frosty exchanges the good doctor shared with Grace. Terrifically well written the dialogue throughout this story was quick, witty and thoroughly entertaining.
For those looking for fun romantic escapism, look no further, the women are strong, the heroes suitably dashing and there are horses – what more could you possibly want?
This is a charming foray into Georgian history, the story is fast and exciting, you know where the story is going with our couples but the way we get to there is thrilling, the only flaw I have for The Crown Spire is that because it is character driven we don’t get as much history and detailing about Georgian Edinburgh as I would have liked, but apart from that it is a great book, very entertaining and one that I would recommend.
Top international reviews
Alice and her niece Beth are fleeing a bad situation and as their journey nears its end they are accosted by ruffians who would take their goods, but also their virtue. Just when things are dire, the ladies are rescued by a pair of highwaymen in masks.
But the adventure is far from over because they make their way to a nearby inn to meet a jovial and flirtatious innkeeper and a dour physician. Alice is sharp with the physician when he is called in to care for her turned ankle and he returns her attitude with a bit of his own. Meanwhile, young Beth is taken with the twinkling eyes and bold smiles of the innkeeper which makes an otherwise dreary life with her aunt in Edinburgh now fill with color and hope for more excitement.
Both ladies settle into their new life, hiding their past, but this includes daydreams of handsome highwaymen while slowly getting to know and appreciate their respective innkeeper and doctor. Meanwhile, Alice's abusive and plotting husband is on the hunt for his missing wife and niece.
Alright, this one is told from four different perspectives of all the main players. It was set in Georgian era Edinburgh with a light touch on the historic details and more attention to a colorful plot.
At first, I was none too taken with either lady, really. Beth was impetuous and immature while Alice was pinch-lipped and snobby, but slowly they relax as their respective gentleman work on their attitudes and hearts. Beth is not sure what caused all the fuss that forced her to leave behind all she has known and resents her aunt's coldness and her past actions. When I realized what was behind Alice and caused her caution and behavior, I had a change of heart and was rooting for her to take a chance on fun and give James, the doctor a chance.
James Dillingham has closed in on himself and his only interest has been his child until Alice forces him to sit up and notice. They snipe and snap at each other and slowly she brings him to life again.
Ed has his work cut out for him because though Beth is interested, he worries that he is beneath her or that she will let her insecurity and jealousy get the best of her.
Much of the plot are the four main characters growing and growing their relationships. But there is always the threat of Alice's husband looming on the horizon to make things get very interesting. This was an easy and mild read for me as I envied these two ladies their dashing highwaymen. I think those who enjoy historical romance will appreciate this two for one.
I enjoyed this fast-paced novel set in the late eighteenth century. Beth is too wild, and free-roaming for a well-bred girl of her time. And there were no drinking bars until the Victorian age.
Still, the characters are well-rounded and the story is fun and quite the romp.