Sarah Stuart

Sarah Stuart, this week’s guest author has been compared to Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins and Jacqueline Susann. She writes thought-provoking novels and is not afraid to tackle sensitive subjects. Please read on to discover more, then check-out Sarah’s website via the link at the foot of this page.

Author Biography

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Sarah Stuart lives on the edge of a quiet English village where wildlife sightings are common, though becoming less so. Hunting with dogs is now illegal in the UK: it goes on in secret and incidences of this are almost impossible to prove in court. Many of her dogs are, or have been, rescues and only those who aenjoy the limelight perform onstage. 50% of her royalties are donated to animal charities.

Dogs were Sarah’s opening into show business. During a period when she lived in Wales she supplied them to professional companies using Aberystwyth University’s Arts Centre Theatre during student vacations. Many musicals and plays performed there were on their pre-West End premiere run, which gave her an unrivalled opportunity to talk to directors, choreographers and the many other vital members of the backstage staff, and the performers. These ranged from actors and actresses in their first, or early, roles to worldwide superstars of stage and screen. That experience, and her association with the Northern Ballet, underpins the vivid portrayals of show business triumphs and heartbreak.

Sarah has studied English language and literature, and history, with delight since her early teens. She is a qualified adult literacy tutor and has written short stories, in addition to other resources, for her students. Her published articles have been in magazines dedicated to wildlife and dogs. The Royal Command series, her debut into full-length fiction, has been well received. Book One, Dangerous Liaisons, is a Romance Finalist in the Independent Author Network Book Awards 2015 and Book Two. Illicit Passion, gained a five star rating from Readers’ Favorite within weeks of publication.

Sarah’s hope is that readers will enjoy her novels as an escape from reality, but be left understanding that fame and fortune often comes at a high personal cost. Also, an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets.

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Review Rating – Five Stars!

Reviewed By Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite

Illicit Passion (Royal Command Book 2) by Sarah Stuart is the romantic suspense sequel that tackles the taboo subject of incest. The Book of Hours is a diary from Margaret, James IV of Scotland’s queen, which was passed through the female generations, with the message to love honestly without regard for whomever that love is bestowed upon. That is the central theme to this story, that love cannot be controlled. Characters love whom they love, even if it means being blackmailed or hated. Showbiz superstar Lisette Marsh is dealing with her own nightmare of abuse that started in the first book of this series. Eighteen years ago Lisette had an affair with her own father which produced a child, Harriet. When Harriet comes to own the Book of Hours, she struggles with the meaning of true love as she is in love with Kit, who may or may not be her twin. Trying to keep these secrets safe from the paparazzi just might bring the whole family empire crashing to the ground.

Author Sarah Stuart handles the serious nature of this theme with sensitivity and readers will love the soap opera quality of this story. The characters are larger than life, beautiful, glamorous and glitzy, but obviously have their demons and secrets. Getting to know those secrets and peeling back the layers of dirt and grit that lie beneath all of the superstar glamour is the fun of the story, and readers will really appreciate this incredible journey.

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Book Details

Showbiz superstar, Lisette, flees a blackmailer threatening to reveal to the scandal-hungry media that she bore a child of incest. Michael, her father, and ex-lover, initiates an audacious plan to set her free that leaves the whole family hovering on the brink of emotional and financial disaster.

Their adult daughter, Harriet, learns the truth and vows vengeance on all who conspired to hide her birth by registering her as the twin of the man she loves. “The night will end in death.”

Illicit Passion is available as an eBook and it will be reduced from $2.99/£1.99 to 99 cents/99 pence from November 25th to December 1st.

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Reviews

I hope the author won’t mind my describing this book as a great soap opera, centred around the lives of a glitzy and theatrical family. It reminded me of elements of Dallas and books by Harold Robbins but at the same time remained uniquely different. It is the first book I have ever read where the taboo of incest was at the heart of the story but I thought the author handled it really well, not sensationalising it but simply making it integral to the plot, which is full of suspense.The characters are vivid and their emotions fully revealed, helping make them seem very real. This is a well written book and though I have become aware it follows on from a previous book by the author, at no time did I feel I was missing anything by not having read the first book.

***

I enjoyed this book for three reasons. One – It is a compelling story; Two – I never knew what the next twist would be and Sarah continuously surprised me; Three- It is well-written with everything from raw unfiltered sex, blackmail and kidnapping to tender hearts The Book of Hours is a diary passed down through many generations in the female lineage of Queen Margaret of Scotland from the 1400s. The message to each one is the same – to find love where you may and that love is a gift from God, not kings. But, each pair of hands this book passes through finds challenges to decipher code and read the messages hidden within the book.Superstar, Lisette Marsh, is trapped in a nightmare of sexual, physical and verbal abuse from an evil actor whose career had been destroyed by Lisette’s father in the first book, Dangerous Liaisons. He threatens to expose the illicit affair Lisette had participated in eighteen years ago with her father, Michael Marsh, which had produced a daughter. Michael Marsh is also an international superstar and constantly under the radar of the paparazzi.Lisette and Michael’s daughter, Harriet, the one who gains possession of the Book of Hours in this story, deals with her own despair when she falls helplessly in love with her supposed twin, Kit. She is torn apart when the truth comes to light that her mother is indeed Lisette and not Lizzie, who is actually her grandmother.The plot takes many unexpected twists and turns as the family struggles to free Lisette from the bitter and evil Kevin Tyrone as well as avoid the paparazzi and mend the many lives hurt by all.If you like a thriller with unbridled complicated sexual encounters, you will like this book. The ending took me by surprise as did many of the plot twists along the way. Sarah brings all of the characters to life and even though this book is a sequel to Dangerous Liaisons, it is a standalone as she weaves that story through this one.

***

I enjoyed this book for so many reasons. It was filled with drama, one juicy twist after another. It had mystery and action, the plot thickening at every twist and turn. The author tackles a controversial topic — incest — but she handled it so well, and I admired her guts for the way she wrote the story. She didn’t condone incest, but she managed the topic in a way that felt real and believable. Also, I had no idea I was reading the second book of a series until I saw the first book online. But it didn’t matter because the story worked as a standalone, and held my interest throughout. The author’s writing style is flawless. She did an unbelievable job at characterization in this novel. I was able to understand the characters as though I were each of them, feelings their feelings and thinking their thoughts. Major kudos to the author for this! This is a must read, filled with so much drama and intrigue that I dare you to try and put it down!!! And now….I’m dying to get my hands on the first instalment of the series!! 5 glittering stars for this book! I highly recommend this edgy read.

***

Having read Dangerous Liaisons and been bowled over by Michael and Lizzie’s antics, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Illicit Passions. The answer is more of the same only better. Yes, there is a lot of sex, and it has a controversial storyline, but the author tells the story so well, it all seems acceptable. Basically the story is about a theatrical family and their amazing lives. It reminded me of Jackie Collins, Jacqueline Susann at the their best. It’s a bit of a posh soap opera but it’s so well done, you wouldn’t know it. I must congratulate the author on a super novel. Looking forward to more.

***

I had read and thoroughly enjoyed ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, the first ‘Royal Command’ novel, so I was fairly confident that I would enjoy this sequel too. As it happens, I think ‘Illicit Passion’ is even better! Time has passed and Michael and Lizzie, who were teenagers at the start of ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ are now in their fifties. Their children Lisette and James are now in their thirties and the younger children, Harriet and Kit are eighteen and Greta, the youngest, is eleven. One of the most satisfying things about these two books has been observing the characters and their relationships change as the years have passed.

All members of the Marsh family, plus a few new characters, have their moment in the limelight in this book, as the relationships and sub-plots cross back and forth. This makes for a very varied and interesting read, but somehow everything still remains very close-knit, moving the story forward.

I don’t want to provide spoilers, but suffice to say the story has a few twists and unexpected developments.

Two characters in particular stood out for me: Harriet, with her storyline, is very well written as her moods and plans veer believably back and forth, chopping and changing her mind, hardly surprising on the journey she undertakes. And James Marsh, a boy in the first book, has really come into his own as the Laird of Kinloch and developed into a strong character.

Will there be a third book? I don’t know, but there’s still plenty of potential in this family…

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Book One in the series, Dangerous Liaisons, is a Romance Finalist in the Independent Author Book of the Year Awards. Book details:

Lizzie, daughter of a wealthy Scottish laird, inherits a secret diary first owned by Margaret Tudor. Decoded entries reveal treason, the birth of a lovechild whilst Margaret was married to a reigning monarch, and a message: I direct and beseech my heirs to find love where they may. Lizzie meets Michael, a charismatic wannabe actor from the backstreets, and they fall in love. Lizzie contrives to influence a famous impresario, Clement, to cast Michael in the lead of a new musical in London’s West End. The global smash-hit leads to worldwide concert tours, leaving Lizzie to bring up two children alone. She passes the diary to their daughter, Lisette, who is influenced by Queen Margaret’s manipulative, self-seeking granddaughter. When Lisette is eighteen, Clement casts her in a musical opposite her superstar father, sparking dangerous passions and betrayals. Can Lizzie outwit the paparazzi or will the scandal of adultery and incest end in tragedy for them all?

Website – http://www.rebeccabrynandsarahstuart-novels.co.uk

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