The Road to Alexander – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, this review is an extra sneaky special one for a couple of reasons. The first is that I lost track of how many Blog Tours I signed up for because there were so many books that sounded interesting on offer!

And secondly, I love ancient civilisations and I’m fascinated by how others see them and then convey them to others in their books.

Story overview

With this one we start of in the future, roughly 2300 (I don’t remember exactly), where time travel is possible to the point where they send one person once a year to go back in time to interview someone famous. Only problem with this is that you can’t do anything to change history in any way otherwise your time there will be erased.

So our main character Ashley is sitting in the chair preparing to travel back to interview Alexander the Great before he went and conquered all the way to India. As she’s sitting there waiting for the storm and for the time travel to occur, we learn a little bit about her life up until then. And boy does it not sound pretty!

After a not so successful interview of Alexander the Great, Ashley walks back to where she came in ready to be taken back to her own time. Only problem is, Alexander decided he liked her and wouldn’t let her go and inadvertently stopped her from returning to her own time. And this is where it starts to get really interesting!

Up until this point it’s been kinda standard kind of time travel going back in history kind of themes. But now we’re solidly back in Alexander’s time with no possibility of getting back to the future, but every possibility of being erased from history forever. From this point I really felt for Ashley. It’s one thing to keep a secret for 20 hours, quite another to do it for a lifetime. Especially when she doesn’t know the customs or languages.

My thoughts

As we progress through the book, we start to learn why Alexander was so determined to travel east and conquer everyone in his path. But remember this is a work of fiction, not fact! I found it easy to get wrapped up in the story and found myself wishing I could travel back in time to see the world as it was then. But the sad reality is if that technology does
get invented, it won’t be in my lifetime.

There were quite a few points in the book where Ashley’s relationship with Alexander made me wish she could tell him everything. To see how he’d react to that kind of news. I can’t even begin to image how hard it would have been keeping your entire history before you met someone a secret would be. I’m pretty sure my partner knows pretty much everything about me, including how much credit card debt I stupidly wrack up!

As I creeped towards the end of the book, I began to wonder how we could possibly get back to the point in time where the prologue was set. And I got my answer when I finished the book and it said, “End of Book 1”. So bad news was, I didn’t get all the answers I wanted. Especially to the driving force of the story. But the GOOD news is that there will be a second book! Yay! Hopefully I get to participate in that tour too!

Thank you for taking the time to read another review today and I hope you enjoyed it, on Monday I will be reviewing Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow.

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.

She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Second Chance at the Ranch – Maxine Morrey

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed my review of Miao-Shan on Monday. If you haven’t already gone and gotten a copy, I urge you to do so! All authors put so much work to have their novels published, so I can’t imagine how much harder it’d be for new authors. 

Today’s review is one that I couldn’t pass up for a few reasons, but the most compelling was wanting to know how the Aussie outback was portrayed by someone who I don’t think has any links to Australia.

Story overview

The story starts with Hero on a modelling set with a headache just wanting to leave. My first thought reading this was that I’d gotten myself stuck in a stuck up models story. But I was quickly proven wrong when she stands up for an assistant the photographer tries to fire.

In any event, we find out that her sister is engaged to an Aussie sheep farmer. Unfortunately, he’s based outside of Adelaide, so she’s going to be moving there away from Hero. And of course, Hero just has to be at the wedding!

Obviously, she meets someone there, and kind of has a thing going on for a while. But not in the way you’d expect. In fact, she get’s scared and runs home to London.

This is where the first really pivotal (in my opinion) thing happens. Like I saw it coming, but even then it really was emotionally draining reading that part of the book. Trust me. When you get to this point in the book; you’ll know. It hit’s you that hard that you just know.

And this is where the “Second Chance at the Ranch” comes into play. I can’t say it was successful though. Some people are just too stupid to let this attempt be successful. But this time Hero didn’t have the opportunity to control the situation like she did last time. And this is where I felt the drama ramping up.

My thoughts

Seeing that the title of the book tells us a second chance is involved. I assumed Hero already new someone at the ranch and so going back was the second chance. For that reason, if you thought the same as me, you’d be wrong!

I got closer to the end of the book I kept checking how much further I had to go. I kept seeing the percentage left getting smaller and smaller. And I kept wondering how we’d possibly get the second chance playing out properly.

Final thoughts

As an Aussie, I feel like I need to say that some of the descriptions of our outback really confused me. I’ve actually travelled to the outback a couple of times and the location, people and customs were completely lost on me.

Typically speaking if you live on a “station” in the Aussie outback you’re a good couple of hours away from the nearest town. And their local town sounds like it’s within 30 minutes of the station. By comparison, it sounds like it’s set in a town the size of Alice Springs, which is more like a city.

And I say this because I’m fairly certain that Coober Pedy doesn’t have a hospital. At least if it does I don’t remember seeing it or any signs pointing in it’s direction. So it honestly left me wondering where the hell this town and station could be set. Where could this town be set where Adelaide is the nearest airport and city, has the typical outback red dirt AND has a town big enough to have a pub with a beer garden and a hospital.

This one just went over my head a little but the town still sounded lovely! Also, country folk talk more bogan than this book suggests and we don’t really say “G’Day”. So there were a few things that just didn’t sound quite right to me.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow on another Book Tour. 

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten.

As time went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a local history book on Brighton. However, novels are her first love.

In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her first romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words loves to read, sew and listen to podcasts. Being a fan of tea and cake, she can (should!) also be found doing something vaguely physical at the gym.