Monday, July 6, 2020

Review Tour: Annie's Choices by Tricia McGill

Title: Annie's Choices

Series: Settlers Series #4    
Pages: 326
Date Published: April 19th, 2020
Publisher: Ebound Canada
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis:
Annie, at eighteen, is the eldest Carstairs girl. She has lived out at Bathurst west of the Blue Mountains, where she was born just after her Mama, Bella a
nd Papa, Tiger settled there back in 1824. After visiting her brother Tim and his wife Jo just before Christmas 1843, Annie decides to stay in Port Philip, seeking adventure much as her brother did when he set out with Jo the previous year. Annie has inherited her mother’s independent streak, a character trait that sometimes leads her to make the wrong choices.

Jacob O’Quinn works for her brother, and the likeable young carpenter catches Annie’s eye. Jacob is quiet and reserved in his manner, having spent his life with his widowed mother. When handsome Zachary McDowell, the complete opposite to steady Jacob comes along, he sweeps Annie off her feet. Heedless of advice given by others, Annie makes a choice that turns out to be the worst she could ever make.

Restless, Annie decides to return to her home, and Jacob makes the decision to escort her. The journey back across the mountains proves to be a lot more eventful than she assumed it could ever be. The road itself may have seen improvements through the years but there will always be unexpected incidents to turn life around on its axis. A suspected murder brings the might of the law down on the shoulders of the young couple.

~My Thoughts~
Annie Carstairs is young and looking for love. She isn't sure if it will come in the form of Jacob, the muscle-bound hunk working for her brother Tim, or the enchanting and mysterious Zachary who seems to be the only one that might be able to see her as a woman and not as her brother's kid-sister. 

Poor Annie. Such a headstrong young woman who believed she knew everything. It was mildly  extremely infuriating how Annie really did not take even the simplest precautions around unknown people, especially men. She had a bit of a haughty attitude about her actions, and her brother's lack of control over her that made her a bit less than a sympathetic narrator. It's unsurprising then, when the product of her actions start to trend towards the calamitous and make life difficult for her.

The character development could have been a bit stronger in my opinion. Right away, I was introduced to approximately 10 characters in the first few pages so it was difficult to keep them all straight, particularly as I hadn't read the other three books in the series. However, I was able to get a sense of them more or less eventually. Annie, as the protagonist, was the most fleshed out, but I did not feel I really got to know her as much as I wanted to. I felt like an observer of her actions, not a visitor in her head to understand her thoughts and feelings. This led me to be a bit more critical of her - I found myself screaming in my head, "What's wrong with you woman!?" much more often than I found myself cheering her on. Still, you spend the whole book on a journey of self-discovery with her and you can't help but grow to feel sympathetic. 

I won't tell you which of the two men our heroine ends up with, but I think an accurate summary might be that slow and steady wins the race. Particularly if the slow and steady one happens to have plenty of muscles and be an intriguing and intelligent guy. Fans of historical fiction, particularly Australian colonial books, will find lots to like in this book and the others in the Settlers series.
~Try an Excerpt!~

Straightening her back Maggie stared straight ahead, as she said, “It could only be him—no other man was seen with her at any time.”


“That is a ridiculous lie,” Annie shouted as she stood and glared at Maggie. This time when Jacob went to touch her arm, she shook him off. “Jacob only knew the girl during the time we travelled from Sydney to Bathurst so it is out of the question that he could be responsible. I am well aware that Jacob knew who the likely father of the baby was, and I can vouch that he would never have touched a young innocent like Fannie in such a way. He is the type of man who would console her in her time of trouble, and that is what he was doing when that woman...” She stabbed a finger towards Maggie. “When she saw him with her.”


The judge angrily bashed his hammer on his desk and ordered quiet as the court exploded into uproar. “Sit down, Madam, and wait your turn,” he ordered, as he glared at Annie, before turning back to Maggie. “Miss Fitzsimmons, I will ask you another question and I wish you to be very sure of what you say. You are suggesting that Jacob O’Quinn could in some way be involved in the death of Fannie Doyle?”


For a brief moment, Maggie looked flustered as she glanced at her mother and then back at the judge. Biting on her bottom lip she said, “Not really, sir.”

~Meet Tricia!~ 

Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart. 

Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time, she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”

 Tricia will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via a Rafflecopter giveaway during the tour.

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your book with us. I always look forward to finding out about another great read.

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  2. Great giveaway and excerpt. :)

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  3. Thanks so much for hosting my book today, and many thanks for you honest review. Tricia

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  4. I love historical fiction and this sounds like a great read.

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    1. Thanks Debbie, good luck in the draw. Tricia

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  5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and, if so, how do you overcome it?

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    1. Ah, writer's block! The author's nightmare. So far I have overcome this by taking a break and letting my mind take over--it usually works. Some small thing might trigger an idea and I mostly just write, and let my Muse decide where the characters would like to go. I have always had rather involved dreams so a lot of my ideas stem from these.

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  6. Thanks you to everyone for stopping by. I hope you enjoy Annie's story if you do decide to read it. Tricia

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  7. Sounds like a great series! Thanks for sharing this one!

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  8. Thanks so much, all, for your comments. Good luck with the draw. Tricia

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