Alison Stuart writes historical romances and short stories set in England and Australia and across different periods of history. She is best known for THE POSTMISTRESS and THE GOLDMINER'S SISTER, stories set in the Victorian goldfields in the 1870s. She also writes historical mysteries as A.M. Stuart and her popular Harriet Gordon mystery series is set in Singapore in 1910. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and a geriatric cat. In a past life Alison worked as a lawyer across a variety of disciplines including the military and emergency services. She has lived in Africa and Singapore and, when circumstances permit, travels extensively - all for research of course!
(This writer is NOT the Alison Stuart who also writes as Kate Tremayne and authored Fateful Shadows, Sin No More, Barefoot Angel, Innocence Betrayed or Loyalty Defiled.)
When Adam Coulter returned to England from France in 1642, he was desperate for peace – the past six years had been hard ones, and he was looking forward to settling quietly on a piece of land and putting the violence behind him. But it wasn’t to be. England was on the brink of Civil War and he was disgusted at the thought of Englishmen killing Englishmen; but was his support to be for the King or with the Parliament?
The cruelty and hatred of his half-brother Denzil toward Adam hadn’t lessened in the years he’d been abroad – if anything Denzil was worse. It saddened Adam, but he couldn’t dwell on it. When he called on his Aunt Joan with an important message, she was delighted to see him after the long absence. But when Adam’s stay of a few days saw the unexpected arrival of Denzil and his younger brother Robin, the family animosity rose to the surface once again.
As war was fought around them, Perdita Gray, along with Joan and Bess found themselves caring for the wounded soldiers – the injuries were horrific but their ministrations kept them busy; their thoughts weren’t far from their friends and loved ones, but they all hoped the war would be over by Christmas. Adam’s thoughts were often on Perdita – but she belonged to another so he would keep his distance – the war would make sure of that…
And Then Mine Enemy is another fascinating journey into the long ago history of England by Aussie author Alison Stuart. Her characters are always full of depth and steeped in intrigue. Adam is a strong character of honour, caring of his men and courteous to the women. I also love the fact that And Then Mine Enemy is the first in the Feathers in the Wind series, and I can’t wait to read the second! Highly recommended.
With thanks to the author for my copy to read and review.
A nice introduction into a new series by one of my favourite historical fiction authors. This one is set in the English Civil War and Alison Stuart as usual presents all the historical facts from the time in an interesting and engaging way. The two main characters, Adam and Perdita are easy to like and they carry the story well. It is an interesting aspect of civil war that neighbour can end up killing neighbour and that a simple shopping trip to the nearest town can result in you being caught up in a major battle. This is all very apparent in this well written book. Oh and by the way, Ms Stuart is not afraid to kill off quite major characters when necessary so there are some very sad bits too! If you like Historical Romance then this book is highly recommended.
Alison Stuart has brought the English Civil War to life in this exquisitely detailed story. Her characterisation is superb and I truly felt as though I were peering at unfolding events through a window in time, with real people going about their business before my eyes. There were so many things to like about this story. Obviously the people, and then the fact that Alison Stuart has made a point which is often lost when events fade into history, and that is in civil war it can be brother against brother, wrenching families apart. As she so very aptly demonstrates, there are good and decent people on both sides of any conflict. This story is not just about war, however. It is very much a story about two honourable, caring people who cannot help but love each other but who are kept apart by a series of circumstances. The emotional upheaval experienced by Perdita (I love that name, by the way) and Adam is excruciating for both. I wanted to hug them, cry for them and make everything right. And Then Mine Enemy is the first of two stories in the Feathers In The Wind series and while you could read and enjoy this one without moving on to Now My Sworn Friend, they were written to be read together and complement each other perfectly. This whole story has been such a joy to read. I can't recommend it highly enough.
3.5 stars. And Then Mine Enemy, the first book in Alison Stuart's new series set during the years of the English Civil War, begins just as the people of England are readying themselves for war. After years of peace and prosperity, men from all walks of life are expected to take up arms and are preparing to march off to face friends and relatives across battlefields with differing loyalties and opinions to themselves. Half hearted, amateurish preparations are underway and Ms. Stuart takes us through the war from when the first fight takes place and moves her story through major skirmishes and battles, date by date. I found this to be a helpful way of explaining unfolding events.
Adam Coulter, a career soldier and mercenary, has returned from the continent after six years to find his country divided. He is immediately summoned to a meeting with his two half-brothers who assume that he will fight alongside them, on behalf of Charles I and is offered a commission in their regiment. From the outset, Adam, who has had enough of fighting over his years abroad, is determined not to get involved and travels on to view the small estate he hopes to purchase and settle down on. En route, he makes a detour to visit his aunt, the only person in his life to ever really care for or about him. The circumstances of his birth have always been swathed in mystery; suffice to say that he did not share the same mother as his legitimate brothers even though he was brought up in the same household, and has always been resented, especially by Denzil, the elder of his brothers. Adam left the country under a cloud after having been involved in an abortive affair with Denzil's betrothed which ended in a tragedy. The animosity between the half brothers has not diminished, especially since Denzil is now married to the lady involved in Adam's scandal. Adam's refusal to fight for the King's cause has only widened the rift with Denzil who had hoped to utilise Adam's not inconsiderable soldiering skills. Adam is an extremely likeable and attractive character, tough and fair and I was drawn to him immediately. In fact the image on the cover of this book is very true to how I imagined him - and it's nice to see a cover that reflects the story for once.
Perdita Gray suffered a degrading and abusive marriage to a much older man of her father's choosing. Now widowed, she is living with distant kin, who happens to be Adam's aunt, Joan. Perdita has just become engaged to Simon, Joan's step-son, whom Perdita likes and respects but does not love in a romantic way. Adam's arrival is a blessing for Simon, who as a farmer has had no experience of soldiering but is expected to lick a band of farm hands and labourers into shape in anticipation of them all marching off to serve their King. Adam agrees to help, although again declines an offer - this time from Simon - to join in the fight for the Royalist cause. Adam and Perdita are quietly attracted to one another although Perdita's respect and affection for Simon keep this attraction very much under wraps. And Adam likes Simon too much to disrespect his hospitality. Having said that, this is an historical romance with the emphasis being very much on the history; readers looking for multiple passionate encounters might be disappointed, but I liked that the author places the history - serious as it is - above all else. Still, the attraction is there, though quietly simmering. At first, Perdita seems cool and unapproachable, and she did not endear herself to me in the way that Adam did, although perhaps that can be accounted for by the suffering she endured in the past.
As the story evolves and Adam becomes involved in the country's civil war despite his misgivings, he bucks the trend of his family, and joins the Parliamentarians. I must say that Adam's capitulation is rather unexpected; suddenly he is explaining that he always believed the King was in the wrong and that he has accepted a commission in the Parliamentarian forces. Yet not long before this, he was adamant he was not getting involved and was on his way to buy his small estate.
I am a very recent convert to this period of history, so cannot say with any real certainty whether Ms. Stuart has her facts right. But as far as I can tell she seems to know what she's talking about and I found it easy to follow and understand the sequence of events as she relays them. One thing she does well is to highlight the horror of civil war; she's made no attempt to glamorise it and the fact that families often fought on opposing sides and met in battle was a terrifying reality. The way each side had to deal with the casualties within their own troops too was really quite horrifying and Ms. Stuart used Perdita on more than one occasion to show how dying and wounded soldiers (from both sides of the war and often lying side by side) had to be treated by civilians, dragged off battle fields with field hospitals set up in barns; it's all brought home with rather horrifying clarity.
As the story proceeds and Perdita and Adam cross each other's paths frequently, their attraction deepens into something more intense and lasting and they have to learn to hide their feelings. However, I did not feel truly invested in that growing love and felt that something was missing, some spark or chemistry between the couple. I couldn't help wondering if perhaps Alison Stuart was so intent on getting the historical facts straight and the sequence of events correct that she did not develop the romance as well as she could have. But in any case, it wasn't enough to put me off and I shall certainly read the next in this series. I'd love to see more of Adam and Perdita and how they cope as a couple who began their life together on opposing sides of this terrible conflict.
I love stories with historical history in them and MS Stuart knows her history and she has such a way with words that the characters and happenings of the time come to life and take you back in time to journey with them and this one is so moving and fabulous.
Adam Coulter returns to England at a time of unrest with the start of civil war where friends family and neighbours fight against each other for what they believe in but Adam is hardened he has led a life that has seen suffering and injustice but he as everyone choses his side and does what needs to be done.
Perdita Gray has been married widowed and now lives with distant family her marriage was loveless and her husband cruel she is now bethrothed to Simon a good man but planning their wedding with a civil war is not easy and things don't go to plan. But when Adam Coulter arrives on the doorstep she as always helps and her life is about to change.
I loved this one from start to finish the written words pull you into the story the characters are like friends and the struggles that these people had to go through back then must have been so hard but wow the strength that is shown by Perdita and Adam is amazing, the good news this is the first book in the series and I cannot wait to find out more about their lives and their love. Thank you MS Stuart for another keep love your stories.
Well....I have read all three of Stuart's Guardian of the Crown novels and enjoyed them very much (all four stars) and was really looking forward to this book. It's not that I hated it or anything but for me, it was just an average read (which I see puts me in the minority with the 8 people who have rated this book thus far). There were certainly things I really appreciate about this author such as her attention to detail and the feeling of authenticity in regards to the language used (more than just a few bloody hells thrown in for good measure). For those reasons, the book deserved at least three stars from me but I was never fully invested in these characters and the story just sort of plodded along. Also, there wasn't much heat to their romance and this book sort of fell into the PG category. The heroine was actually engaged to someone else for much of the book and it wasn't until towards the end of the book that circumstances changed and they could be "together". As I said, just an average read for me.
I started the reading year off with one of my favourite historical romance authors, Alison Stuart, and her December 2016 release, And Then Mine Enemy. I am a total fan, and was super excited to kick off my reading renewal with this book.
People, I tell you, there is no disappointment to be had here. And Then Mine Enemy, the first book in the Feathers in The Wind series, is another utter winner from the pen of Ms. Stuart.
My thoughts on And Then Mine Enemy: At the risk of being entirely repetitive (I say this to myself every time I read one of her books), there is something about the way in which Alison Stuart sets the stage in the opening of And Then Mine Enemy that has a real visual quality. I can just about see the scene in my mind, as clear as the words on the page describe. The battle-scarred former soldier, Adam walking towards a remote inn and into a fraught situation with his brothers, all cold, wet and weary. This set up the story beautifully and had me hooked straight away.
Perdita is another in a long line of wonderful heroines created by Ms Stuart. She’s a survivor, and shows such resilience and strength in the face of war and loss. Adam, the hero of the story, is highly principled – unable to stand by and ignore his conscience. Both have been through the ringer and I found myself hoping for them to find their peace and happiness with each other.
If you are on the hunt for a hot and heavy historical romance, you won’t find that in this book. To be honest, that’s more than OK – the beauty in the relationship between Adam and Perdita for most of the story is that their attraction is unspoken. The tension and chemistry slowly burns, but is nonetheless obvious and strong. Theirs is an emotion-charged connection, where a mere glance can tell more than a roll in the hay.
The attention to detail is evident, and the reality of the situation in which Adam and Perdita find themselves is never lessened or ignored. As it is in civil war, family and friends were on both sides of the battle – with good and bad people in each camp.
Once again, the peripheral characters (both likeable and villainous) help to create a rich and deeply fascinating story. The barely concealed disdain that seethes between Adam and his half-brother, Denzil is really well done. Perdita’s intended, Simon isn’t made out to be contemptible or milquetoast, which I loved.
Based on what was delivered in And Then Mine Enemy, I cannot wait to discover what is in store for Adam and Perdita in book two, which I believe comes out sometime towards the middle of this year.
Intriguing and intricate in equal measure, lovers of historical romance and historical fiction will surely love this tale as much as I did.
A historical saga centered around the start of the English Civil War and the turmoil and unrest that become of the country throughout. You are drawn in to the lives of the characters very quickly, and continue to be enthralled as each new thing happens. Not a huge amount of romance, but it's a great read anyway!
Adam Coulter has lived the ravaged life of war before, so when he returns home to England just to discover the King is ready to start a civil war, he isn't happy. He can't just sit back and abstain, so he joins the side of the Parliament, even though it means being on opposite sides of what family he has left.
Perdita Gray has had her own heartache in life and is happy to be free from a loveless marriage and about to embark on a new one with a man who will spend his life catering to her needs and desires. She doesn't expect to be drawn to yet another man when she meets Adam Coulter.
As the war progresses and family tension is at an all-time high, will Adam and Perdita keep their distance from each other, or will temptation be too strong?
And Then Mine Enemy: A Romantic Saga of the English Civil War (Feathers in the Wind) By Alison Stuart This historical romance takes place back in 1642 during a time of war and hardships. The family is torn apart and now Adam Coulter returns to England and he wants peace but he finds it in turmoil like the brink of the civil war. Perdita Gray has escaped an unpleasant marriage and wants to find peace in England and to find a good man to love. Adam Coulter finds her and he brings with him the reality of war. She was planning to marry Simon but that live changed when she met Adam. Perdita and a few others found themselves tending to the injuries of the wounded soldier who fought in the war. A war they all hoped would be over by Christmas. Alison Stuart brings her characters to life in her writing and it will not disappoint you. This is the first book in the series and can’t wait to read the 2nd book when it comes out.
And Then Mine Enemy by Alison Stuart is a gripping, intense historical tale where we meet two headstrong, vibrant protagonists, Perdita and Adam. Set in 1642, the story gives us a glimpse into an era where war and chaos disrupted the lives of many. But to experience Perdita and Adam’s journey through vivid, picturesque prose only shows Ms. Stuart’s skill as a storyteller!
I interrupted reading The Winter Prince to finish Stuart's latest, which I had started reading on Wattpad (thank goodness it's on my kindle now). The setting is the very beginning of the English Civil War, which divides family loyalties and makes enemies of brothers. Adam Coulter, returning from the German wars to peacefully settle in England, is reluctantly drawn into the political conflict, as well as into family conflict. He meets widowed Perdita Gray who is betrothed to his aunt's stepson. Stuart has the knack of conveying the horror and sadness of war, while at the same time writing an exciting story. And the Winter Prince (Rupert)? No worries, he makes a cameo, but pivotal appearance in this book, too, which is book one of a two volume story.
Take history, add Perdita Gray a widow who lives with family after a cruel loveless marriage. Next add Adam Coulter who returns to England, at a time of the start of the civil war. He knows what he feels and must do even though he has gotten bitter over time. Perdita plans to marry Simon but in times like this things change and when she finds Adam on her doorstep helping him may change even more. Ms. Stuart has done a great job putting love in this time of war. A great read for everyone.
And Then Mine Enemy by Alison Stuart is the first in the Feathers in the Wind series and it is an excellent depiction of the 1640’s and the Civil War that waged in England during that period. The detail is extraordinary, the language is authentic and the characters are amazing.
The story is about Adam Coulter and Perdita Gray finding love and some happiness despite the ugliness of war. I recommend this book to all historical romance lovers.