The King's Man


By Alison Stuart

Publisher : Smashwords

ABOUT Alison Stuart

Alison Stuart
Alison was born in Kenya and emigrated to Melbourne at the age of ten. She studied law at Melbourne University and has worked in a variety of areas as a lawyer, including the military. In 2000 she moved to Singapore with her husband and sons and for three years was able to pursue serious,  More...


London 1654:  Kit Lovell is one of the King’s men, a disillusioned Royalist who passes his time between cheating at cards, living off his wealthy and attractive mistress and by plotting the death of Oliver Cromwell. Fleeing a sadistic and ambitious suitor, Thamsine Granville is alone, penniless and friendless in London. She has her own reasons for wanting Cromwell dead and when she hurls a piece of brick at his coach, she finds herself unexpectedly in the arms of Kit Lovell.

Far from the world weary, benevolent rescuer that he seems, Kit plunges Thamsine into his world of espionage and betrayal. The world Kit has carefully built up begins to unravel as the plotting takes a serious turn and his own life is now on the line. Neither had he planned on falling in love with Thamsine Granville and when Thamsine falls into the hands of her vicious suitor, Ambrose Morton, Kit is torn by his loyalty to his master and his love for Thamsine. In rescuing Thamsine, Kit makes one last gamble and loses. The price he has to pay is the hangman’s rope…

How did I come to write The Kings Man? It began with a chance sentence in Antonia Fraser’s wonderful biography of Oliver Cromwell, Cromwell, Our Chief of Men, (Antonia Fraser, published Panther Books Ltd. 1975) where she describes how a “Miss Granville” hurled a brickbat at Cromwell’s coach. I found no other reference to “Miss Granville” or indeed any explanation as to why she found it necessary to hurl a piece of broken brick at the Protectoral coach, but further reading plunged me into the murky world of “The Ship Inn” Plot and “Gerard’s Plot” and the story became substance. While Thamsine Granville may have her roots in a real character, Kit Lovell is entirely fictional. The Ship Inn did exist, although Jem Marsh and his sisters are also fictional. Most of the other characters that move in and out of the story are very much historical fact, including the French Ambassador’s English mistress and the impossibly French, Baron de Baas (who was himself, the brother of Dumas’ D’Artagnan) as are all the plotters - even those of dubious reputation such as Henshaw and Wiseman and the notorious Colonel Bampfield and of course, poor Fitzjames, found drowned in the Thames estuary with incriminating letters in his pocket! It is not a period that I am aware of that has been much addressed by the fiction writer, but what fun! I really enjoyed bringing the dry text of the history books to life with the, at times, almost comical antics of the plotters. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more interesting cast of characters. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

"The King’s Man is a lovely story set in a period of history I knew little about prior to reading this book. The author does a splendid job of setting the scene and giving the reader a bird’s eye view into England just after Cromwell took over. It was not hard to see how difficult life must have been for those nobles who lost everything. Ms. Stuart even manages to make Kit loveable, in spite of the fact that he does some pretty reprehensible things. I admired Thamsine’s ingenuity in outsmarting those around her who wished her harm. The characters are so real they seem to leap from the pages. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys allowing the written word to take them away to other times and vistas!"
5 CUPS:  Coffee Time Romance
July 2007

(March 2008)

The King’s Man heralds the start of an exciting career for a wonderful new historical romance novelist: Alison Stuart. Richly woven, intriguing, passionate and riveting from page one, if you like reading historicals, you’ll absolutely love this! ....

The King’s Man is an absolutely terrific historical I just couldn’t put down! Alison Stuart is a master storyteller who has written a story that’s fast-paced, enthralling, passionate and absolutely impossible to resist!

FOUR STARS:  Ecataromance Reviews

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