Book Reviews: Dangerous Liaisons - A Story of Men and Women who Loved Too Much (Royal Command Book 1) by Sarah Stuartcategories: Book, Romance, Show Business, Theatre, Crime, Thriller, Erotic, Wildlife Conservation, Historical, Romantic Suspense
Sarah Stuartabout this book: Show business became part of my life when a director chose one of my dogs to play Sandy in the musical "Annie", arguably the most difficult role for a dog, and its handler, ever staged. Theatre hooked me from the first night of the run, and I supplied Bulls Eye in Oliver… Toto in The Wizard of Oz… and dogs in plays, many on tour before their London premiere.
I have been incredibly lucky to meet so many producers, directors, and performers ranging from hopefuls who sank without trace to national, and international, superstars. It was from the stars I learned the price of success, and that is the background of my debut novel, the first of the Royal Command series. The royal is Margaret Tudor, James 1V of Scotland's queen, and her command is contained in a Book of Hours she used as a diary.
This sixteenth day of October the Year of Our Lord 1541, Methven Castle. I tire yet I must write for my beloved daughter comes hence. I pray I live to give unto her this book and charge her to give it also unto a daughter conceived in love. I direct and beseech my heirs to find love where they may. Love is a gift of God, not of kings.
Lizzie, the current owner of the book, disillusioned by life on a prosperous Scottish Shooting Estate, goes to London, where she meets Michael, born to poverty in the backstreets of Leeds, but determined to make it as an actor. They fall in love, but the road to stardom is a minefield and these two step on most of them. Their daughter, Lisette, follows in her father's footsteps, and drama from the past ignites a fireball with the potential to ruin all their lives.
I was delighted with my first review: it summed up all I had set out to achieve.
A love story full of surprises with a historical background that weaves throughout the novel. Beautifully written and I enjoyed the intriguing insights into life backstage in a London theatre.
Dangerous Liaisons is a Finalist of
The IAN Book of the Year Awards 2015
preview: read a sample from this book
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
Other book by Sarah Stuart
A Romance of Many LayersThis is a satisfyingly complex book. At its heart, it is the tale of the relationship between Michael and Lizzie and how they cope with the demands of superstardom, a tale which later remanifests in the experiences of their daughter Lizzie. But this is interwoven and driven by the themes of the musicals Michael stars in, with their themes of love being stronger than death, and by the advice Lizzie finds in the Book of Hours, a heirloom passed down the female line of descendants of Queen Margaret of Scotland. It is the fascinating way these themes recur and reflect upon each other in different times and situations that is so fascinating. It helps that the book is well written and the characters well drawn. [by Michael Kelly]
MY book of the yearMy wife downloaded this book before we went on holiday and I only started reading it on a day when it rained and I'd nothing else. Women's fiction! Not at all, though I can see why my wife enjoyed it. It's a complex story with characters you can't help rooting for, even when they make appalling mistakes and they do! Very highly recommended. [by Harry Parks]
A Finalist? It should be the BEST Indie Book of the Year!From the moment Lizzie discovers she's related to a queen who reigned almost 5 centuries ago her life changes course. She falls in love with a charismatic amateur actor determined to escape poverty and helps him become a star, only to almost lose the love of her life over and over to – Saying more would be a spoiler, but don't miss this beautifully written page turner. [by Kim Sharpe]
A real winner from an Indie author I found on TwitterIf you enjoy a story of relationships with a good dose of love, loss, deceit, sexual tension, and mildly erotic scenes, treat yourself to a copy of this book. It's well-written with a complex plot, believable characters, and a brilliant theater setting. More of the same, please, Ms Stuart. [by Harmony]
A romance with a unique difference - totally grippingI started to read this book thinking it was going to be the same as many others, but boy, was I wrong! Lizzie finds a 'book of hours', once owned by a Queen, and passed down through the female bloodline of her family. It commands that the females should find love. The story takes you on Lizzie's journey of love, and then that of her daughter - almost like two books in one. The story is much more than a simple romance. It is a tale of what can happen if you Love Too Much. I look forward to more from this author. A highly recommended read. [by Judith Fullerton]
No Holds Barred
a review by Jan SikesDangerous Liaisons will take you on a steamy romance adventure that goes all the way back to the 1500s. Lizzie Cameron was given the Book of Hours by her mother when she turned fourteen years of age. It was a book handed down by generations dating back to kings and queens from centuries ago. A diary of sorts, Lizzie diligently worked to decode the messages hidden in the book. "Always find love where you can. Love is a gift of God, not of kings."
From Lizzie's romance with handsome backstreet boy, Michael Marsh to the lights and lifestyle of stardom with paparazzi watching their every move, we journey with this couple through good times and bad. I won't write a spoiler, but when Michael is cast opposite his eighteen year old daughter in a leading role that includes kissing and nudity, things get even more twisted. I give kudos to Sarah Stuart for bringing this tangled story to a satisfying conclusion. Great read if you love steamy romance!
a review by Lena McCoyLike a bad accident, I couldn't take my eyes off this book! It's not something I would normally read (I love a good mystery) but I'm tired of reading the "known" authors and not feeling I've gotten my money's worth. So, I tend to gravitate toward new authors. Reading the synopsis of this book got me hooked and from the first the plot and the characters kept me moving through the book. Twists and turns with an ending I wasn't expecting but loved!
Utterly fascinating from the start to the astounding endThis novel is romantic suspense with a difference. It's exciting, passionate, and very sexy. Queen Margaret wished her descendants love, but it leads twenty-first century generations into hiding secrets that could see lovers split apart forever. It's a must-read… and read again, and again, until the next in the series appears. [by Zare-Jo Palmer]
Loved itIntriguing? Yes! If you are looking for a romance filled with passion then this book is for you! The characters, Lizzie and Michael are so relatable, they truly pull the reader in, especially Lizzie. Lizzie is a curious character, red headed eighteen year old with freckles,it's amazing to see what adventures Lizzie gets into. I don't want to go into too many details, but I highly recommend purchasing this book & find out for yourself how exciting it is. ~Neva Squires-Rodriguez author of Liliana [by Neva]
Uniquely, Refreshingly DifferentTwists and turns from Scotland to the West End. The book tackles some difficult issues with creative and colourful characters. The characters are very intertwined, literally at times and a very unpredictable ending which made a refreshing read. [by Kitten]
A really good read. BrilliantNot your typical 'boy meets girl'. Lizzie and Michael capture your heart, enticing you to ride the roller-coaster of their tumultuous love affair with them. Both have real depth of character and believable aspirations. Both have promises to keep, one to a Tudor queen of Scotland and the other to a dead father. Can't wait for the next in the Royal Command series. [by Yasmin]
Suspense To The EndA good read that has been thoroughly well written and researched. Romantic fiction is not usually my genre but this book kept my attention to the last page. Being a regular theatregoer the back stage descriptions were particular interesting.
Is it possible to love too much? Find out hereA real eye-opener into the world of behind-the-scenes London theatre. Poor boy may meet rich girl, but this is no Cinderella story. The determination to succeed is what drives the plot, and the heartbreaking backlash of success is what makes the characters compellingly human. Temptation, loyalty and betrayal all result from a young girl's determination to 'find love where you may, for love is a gift of God not of kings.', the command of a long-dead queen, passed down in a Book of Hours from generation to generation with disastrous results. Beautifully written. [by Sally Wright]
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