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.
I love the cover of Dangerous Decisions, it is so beautiful and the description had me very interested from the moment I read it. I was soon swept up in the story and the character's lives.
I really liked Helena, and I warmed to her straight away. I liked that she is very intelligent and a strong woman, but at the same time I felt for her where she was aware of her father and the effect that a marriage will have on him. Like Helena I was wary of Oliver, he seemed like an ideal match for her but there was just something about him that put me on edge. Although I had misgivings about Oliver, I was absolutely fascinated by his character and trying to figure him out, and I was gripped to the story wanting to read on to find out what would happen with Helena and Oliver.
Nicholas...Oh Nicholas I really loved you! I actually felt the same sense of longing as Helena did for Nicholas, and it made my heart ache for them!
I thoroughly enjoyed the historical aspect of the novel. Margaret really focused on the attention to detail in this and she brought the scenes to life with her descriptions of the settings. Margaret's writing was so powerful that I could feel the difference between the upstairs and downstairs. I really enjoyed that both the upstairs and downstairs were included, it gave the book more layers and the contrast between their lives was interesting to read.
I was HOOKED to this story, I couldn't put it down...with a title like Dangerous Decisions I was expecting a bit of conflict but the tension quickly rose and nearer the end I was racing through the pages desperate to know how it would end. Margaret has cleverly weaved lots of different threads into such an intriguing and compelling story. I loved Dangerous Decisions and I'm very excited for Margaret's future releases!
I downloaded Dangerous Decisions just at the right moment. The last episode of Downton Abbey had played and I wanted to read something in a similar vein. This novel ticked all the right boxes. The manner in which the author described the difference between the lives of the characters upstairs/downstairs and the sad lives of the women who inhabit the demi monde was spot on. I felt an immediate rapport for the innocent Helena and, as her marriage approached, wanted to shout: DON'T DO IT. But, do it she did - and the consequences of that 'dangerous decision' reverberate throughout this well-written novel, making us turn the pages to know what happens next. I won't give the plot away, I'll just say that I was rooting for Cora (the tart with the heart of gold, detested the unfeeling Oliver Faraday and loved Doctor Carstairs. I switched off my kindle with a feeling of satisfaction, glad that Helen got the happy ending she deserved.
Soon after starting Dangerous Decisions,I realised I was in the hands of a master story-teller, and could relax and enjoy the tale. I trusted all historical details,totally believed in the characters and liked the clever way their stories were drawn together - upstairs,downstairs and in a lady-of-the-night's chamber. Loved it.
I think sometimes it must be difficult to create a heroine such as Helena. She's clearly loving and intelligent, but also dutiful, which allows her (all too convincingly) to agree to marry Oliver and so feel she's doing the right thing. However, she is also anything but a weakling, fortunately for this story. I really got swept along by the telling of it, and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good tale with an excellent historical background and a satisfactory ending. More, please!
In this novel Margaret Kaine has moved her wonderful storytelling from the Potteries and introduces us to life in Edwardian London. Helena is a lovely debutante setting out on the social scene. Oliver Faraday seems like the perfect husband but, like Helena, I had misgivings once he begins to court her. Margaret Kaine's fans will love this new departure. She captures the Upstairs and Downstairs worlds perfectly.
Yet again Margaret Kaine's stunning story-telling whisked me away to another time and place, vividly creating the perfect backdrop for a story that gently winds itself around you until you're gripped, desperate to know what happens to the lives and loves of her characters who are so real you can hear them speak. I could feel Helena's growing sense of unease, mistrusted Oliver from the start (as the author intended) and felt Nicholas' longing too. I won't spoil the ending, but it was a lovely, satisfying read. Highly recommended.
This was a new departure for Margaret Kaine, a writer I very much admire. Usually, she writes about the middle years of the 20th century and often based in the Potteries. This one covers a few years into the Edwardian period. The research is meticulous, incorporating the social mores, the political issues of the time and mental illness. There was just the right mix of upstairs and downstairs, reminiscent of Downton Abbey but with more likeable, rounded characters. Young socialite Helena marries, more out of duty to her father than love, Oliver Faraday, despite her misgivings as to his character. But she also finds herself drawn to a man she has glimpsed only from an upstairs window. Quite how the lives of these three characters interweave cannot be described because of spoilers. Suffice to say, this is a brilliant, well-plotted novel with a very satisfactory ending. Everyone gets what they deserve!
As usual Margaret Kaine has delivered another well written book that flows with ease making it a book difficult to put down. She develops the theme of the Edwardian era of the rich and privileged classes as against the poor and down trodden classes. The choices women especially have to make and the restrictions they are under whichever class they belong to. It is the beginning of the suffragette movement where woman are discovering they want a say in their lives, not only to be able to vote but to have freedom to follow a career or a life choice.
This is more than a romance, a book that touches on mental illness and the consequences that leads to. The social aspects of the time and place are well described making me thankful that we have come so far over the next 100 years.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable read which I would highly recommend.