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Reviews of A Woman of Spirit

Book Number 1  in the Redwoods series

previously titled  - An Independent Woman

It is often a spur-of-the-moment decision that can become a turning point in life. So it is for Kitty Morland, a young woman in London in 1878. When she yields to temptation one fateful day, the consequences of her action force her to flee to Australia, hoping to join her brother.

On the other side of the world, she meets two men–William, an expatriate English aristocrat, and Rufe, a charismatic Colonial entrepreneur involved with trading in diamonds and in the goldfields.

Beautiful and spirited, Kitty needs all her courage and determination to survive the ordeal of marriage to William, a bullying husband. When he is drowned it leaves her alone to give birth to a daughter and to run a timber-cutting business in a male-dominated era that considers a woman only as an obedient homemaker and bed-warmer.

When she is offered a chance at love and happiness with Rufe, will she make the right decision?


A Review of A Woman Of Spirit- previously titled An Independent Woman

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An Independent Woman is a wonderful and unique historical romance. If you like Victorian era historical romances, you will love it, the twist is that over half of it takes place in Australia.
Cheated of her birthright and trapped in a time and place where women have few choices, and women of limited means almost none, Kitty Morland finds herself time and again pushed into actions that do not fit her heart or her soul and from which there is no turning back. From Victorian England to the new world of Australia through the fight to defend her new home and her future, Kitty stands as a woman ready to face all odds with her head held high knowing that the only real choice is to protect to people she loves.
Forced to flee Victorian England, Kitty and her mother board a ship to Australia to join her brother Robert. On the pleasant journey to the new land, Kitty meets two men who will affect her destiny, Rufe Cavanaugh, an attractive Australian who is rumoured to be almost engaged to the lovely daughter of his travelling companions, and William Barron, the stodgy son of an English aristocrat who has eyes only for Kitty.
Pressured by circumstance into marriage with a man she does not like, much less love, she moves to beautiful new home, Redwood, in a wonderful but isolated land. When she challenges sense his of superiority, he reminds her that by law she is no more than a possession, and unknown to her he is gambling his money away. Without the dominance and disapprove of his mother to hold him in check, her husband’s insecurities shift from arrogant reserve to a bullying cruelty, possibly even to insanity.
From the journey to the new world through the struggle to defend her new home and her future, Kitty stands as a woman ready to face all odds with her head held high to protect those she loves.
I do not usually read historical romances, but after reading Kate Loveday’s contemporary Australian romance, Inheritance, I wanted to know if her other works was as good. I think there is there is a richness to her writing. She may be Australia’s answer to Barbara Taylor Bradford.
I have only one complaint, the second book in the Redwood Series is not out and will not be for a while.
Note: I seldom give 5 star ratings because I am comparing these books to the best I ever read. This is a 5 star recommendation.

Jeannie Jackson - Reviewer  
****

Review of A Woman of Spirit - previously titled An Independent Woman

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Well-written and well-told, with colourful characters and finely drawn scenes, this is a book that will sweep you back to the Victorian era of 1878 and immerse you in the changing fortunes of the headstrong young Kitty Morland.
When you first meet Kitty, the loss of her family's fortune and the death of her father have reduced her to servitude in a grand house in Victorian England. Never one to accept defeat, she secretly takes an impetuous step that promises to give her financial independence, but only if she is not discovered by her employer and the authorities. With her mother, she escapes by ship to colonial Australia to make a new start. Unfortunately, her actions have consequences that follow her to the new country and she agrees to a disastrous marriage to a wealthy aristocrat in order to guarantee protection for her mother and herself. Her loveless marriage takes her to Redwood, a remote property on the banks of the Myall River, where she falls in love with the land and also with the attractive Rufe Cavanagh.
This is a story of a woman pitted against the ruthless powers of the Victorian age - a legal system that denied a woman's right to her own property if she married and a social structure that expected a woman to submit to even the most bullying of husbands. But Kitty is not the sort of woman to easily admit defeat. With great courage and intelligence, she carves out a new life for herself, though not without tragedy. In the end, she achieves a bitter sweet triumph that will both surprise and satisfy the reader.

Review by Jacqueline Winn  - Australian Author

*****

Review of ‘A Woman of Spirit - previously titled ‘An Independent Woman’ written by Kate Loveday

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I have to say that I was captivated from the start. After the first couple of pages I was totally sucked in and could not put the book down. Having said that it is only right and fair to say that ‘Historical’ is not a genre that I would choose to read, in fact, I avoid it at all costs!


Yet this book is not what I expected – not at all. It’s a story that is set in the earlier part of Australia’s history and although the formality is there, with people addressing each other as ‘Miss Morland’ or ‘Mr Cavanagh’ the story is totally absorbing.


Kate Loveday writes beautifully, in a free-flowing, easy to read style. Her writing is pleasantly descriptive and the reader can see the setting of each scene as easily as if they were in the book themselves.


The characters are real and it is easy for the reader to develop a fondness for some and at the same time, a dislike for others. The end of this book leaves me begging for more – what better way to leave your audience? While a ‘happy-ever-after’ ending would have been the normal way to go, I’m pleased that Kate Loveday has chosen another.


Knowing Kitty Barron as I do, I completely understand the reasoning behind her decision and while I feel sad for her, I agree with her choices. A woman like Kitty will hopefully thrive, despite whatever she faces. I cannot wait for the next book in the trilogy!


If you missed ‘Inheritance’ – the debut novel by Kate Loveday then go find it! It was a wonderful read, also beautifully done and I am pleased to see that Kate has continued to develop her fantastic style. With writing like this Kate Loveday’s future looks great!


Once again, I have pleasure in awarding Kate Loveday the maximum ‘5 Stars’ for her latest book, ‘An Independent Woman.’          She may well be Australia's answer Barbara Taylor Bradford.”


Sarah Cook - Reviewer & Freelance Editor  Author of Australian Fiction   


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