Book Review: Dangerous Decisions

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Author: Margaret Kaine
ISBN: 978-1-78189-035-6
RRP: $19.99

Historicals are not a genre I often read but since broadening my horizons in my time with Beauty and Lace I find I am reading increasingly more of them – and enjoying them very much. The more I read in the genre the more I admire their authors because there must be such a lot of research involved as these aren’t times that the authors have lived through and experienced first hand. It was a different world back then – the dress, the customs, the language and certainly the society. The women of the past have certainly done us all a great service in their fight for our rights.

Helena is quite an opinionated young lady for her time and she doesn’t intend to settle for a quiet life with a dullard for a husband. She wants to marry and she wants to make a good match that will help her father with his aspirations and their social status but she refuses to settle for just anyone with the right heritage. The enigmatic Oliver Faraday seems like he may be the man for her, enjoying her spirit and wanting more than just vapid chattel. He would usually not consider anyone whose money had been made in industry, rather preferring inherited wealth and old money but Helena had everything he deemed essential – good health, youth and spirit.

dangerous decisions

I loved Helena right from the beginning. She was an intelligent young woman not willing to be tied to a man she could not imagine an interesting future with, a man she could love and admire. A man who would allow her to have an opinion and a personality. She wasn’t always as demure and quietly mannered as she should have been and she didn’t place herself as far above the servants as was expected of her. In a time when marriages were often about connections and social status she possessed quite a romantic soul.

Oliver on the other hand did nothing for me from the very beginning, I wanted to slap him from very early on and that never changed – if anything it got worse. He was a shallow and opportunistic man who was cruel, selfish and utterly deplorable. He cared nothing about having a wife, or a companion. He wanted an heir and that was as far as it went, and only to ensure that his ancestral home stayed in his line rather than being inherited by his equally horrid cousin.

The story was engaging and I had to keep reading, if only to make sure that Oliver got what was coming to him. I wanted Helena to get the happy ending that she deserved after rushing into marriage with an absolute cad who put on a good show but was not the man that he seemed. We did discover that there was a story to his complete heartlessness but it didn’t not change my utter detestation of the man.

The writing was executed well and though it was narrated in the third person it followed multiple characters, though not in complete chapters which did take some getting used to because there was no warning when we would switch to a new character.

Dangerous Decisions is a fascinating look at a bygone time when life for women was very different than it is now, I could never have survived it. Also, being pregnant myself, it was very odd to read about a time where women of Helena’s social status were discouraged from breast feeding and instead engaged wet nurses and employed Nannies to raise their children.

There is a little bit of destiny, thwarted romance, intrigue. betrayal and psychological instability to excite a variety of readers. Not to mention an evil anti-hero you just want to ensure gets his come-uppance. An interesting read that kept me involved start to finish. There were times that I wondered about the relevance of some characters to the overall story but in the end Kaine brings it all together beautifully, she is definitely an author I would read again.

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