Rogues and Rebels by Jo Field

I have to say I was disappointed with this book.

Synopsis:

BOOK 1 OF THE TAWFORD CHRONICLES: A STORY OF INTRIGUE, PASSION AND BETRAYAL IN THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR. Devon, September, 1642: Charles I has raised his standard and declared war on Parliament. The South West is in danger of being lost to his cause. It is imperative that the King’s men continue to fight on. On the Somerset marshes, Roundhead soldiers capture a vagrant carrying vital information, but he is not what he seems. He is ALEXANDER DYNAM of TAWFORD. Deadly with a blade, a master of disguise and a Royalist spy. Widely and wrongly believed to be the bastard son of his guardian, Viscount Westley, he has to cope with learning the truth of his parentage and accepting that he cannot reveal his feelings of love for Ellen, the woman everyone thinks is his aunt. As the country spirals into bloody civil war Tawford buries his frustration in acts of reckless courage and debauchery and faces dangers that go beyond the Royalists’ struggle for supremacy in the South West. Somebody wants him dead, but who? And why? What is the secret of his identity and does it hold the key? Seeking help from Cobb, leader of a band of outlawed Exmoor gypsies, and the lovely Arabella, an accomplished actress and spy, Tawford is drawn inexorably into a tangled web of intrigue, murder and deceit that carries him and his faithful band of followers from Exmoor to London, to Cornwall in service of the King.

There were a lot of characters, and I just could not remember who was who and who was fighting for which side. It was a descriptive book which made me laugh in places, but the story took a while to get going and sometimes it was too descriptive and graphic, leaving violent images in my mind. This book was a let down I’m afraid.

Humble Pie (Quick Reads) by Gordon Ramsay

I have just finished Humble Pie (Quick Reads) by Gordon Ramsay

 

Amazon synopsis:

Everyone thinks they know the real Gordon Ramsay: rude, loud, driven, stubborn. But this is his real story! In this fast-paced, bite-sized edition of his bestselling autobiography Ramsay tells the real story of how he became the world’s most famous and infamous chef: his difficult childhood, his brother’s heroin addiction, his failed first career as a footballer, his fanatical pursuit of gastronomic perfection and his TV persona – all the things that have made him the celebrated culinary talent and media powerhouse that he is today. Gordon talks frankly about: / his tough childhood: his father’s alcoholism and violence and the effects on his relationships with his mother and siblings / his first career as a footballer: how the whole family moved to Scotland when he was signed by Glasgow Rangers at the age of fifteen, and how he coped when his career was over due to injury just three years later / his brother’s heroin addiction. / Gordon’s early career: learning his trade in Paris and London; how his career developed from there: his time in Paris under Albert Roux and his seven Michelin-starred restaurants./ kitchen life: Gordon spills the beans about life behind the kitchen door, and how a restaurant kitchen is run in Anthony Bourdain-style.

/ and how he copes with the impact of fame on himself and his family: his television career, the rapacious tabloids, and his own drive for success.

I was a bit surprised by this book. I had no idea what to expect, and I knew nothing about Gordon Ramsay at all. He is very open and honest about his childhood, which seemed horrible, experiencing domestic violence and poverty. However, he does not dwell on the issue to gain sympathy. He is honest and then moves on the story. His rise to fame wasn’t easy but he is someone who has worked very hard, and often for no pay, to get to where he is today.

 

He explained restaurant ratings well, and he has broken a few records. I had no idea how many restaurants he owns, but he has a little empire it seems. He is honest and open, he gives his opinion about what he likes, how he works, what he wants in his kitchen and he defends his friends, such as the Beckham’s.

 

Having read this and seen how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into making him, I have a lot more respect for him. He has come from nothing to having restaurants and media success all over the world, quite an achievement.

 

This was a Quick Read so was only 83 pages. I didn’t feel I missed out not reading the longer version though, this was detailed, fast paced and easy to read.

 

My only complaint would be his bad language, which does some through in the book. However, that isn’t really a surprise!

 

A good read

8/10