Review: Brake Failure by Alison Brodie

You’ll probably notice that this is my second post about this book this month.  This is because I was contacted by the author months ago and asked if I was interested in reviewing the book, which I said I was.  The review was planned for the publication date which was originally last year, but moved to yesterday but by the time I found out the date had moved I had already signed up for the blog tour.  Hearing that, I decided to do both and just give the book and the author a bit of extra promotion so read on to find out what I thought of the book and if you missed my blog tour guest post you can find it here.


Blurb:  “Is it too late to tell him you love him when you’re looking down the barrel of his gun?”

Ruby Mortimer-Smyth is upper-class English, rigidly brought up to marry a man from the pages of Burke’s Peerage. She knows the etiquette for every occasion and her soufflés NEVER collapse.

She is in control of her life, tightly in control. Until …she ends up in Kansas.

Ruby believes that life is like a car; common-sense keeps it on the road, passion sends it into a ditch. What she doesn’t know is, she’s on a collision course with Sheriff Hank Gephart.

Sheriff Hank Gephart can judge a person. Miss Mortimer-Smyth might act like the Duchess of England, but just under the surface there’s something bubbling, ready to erupt. She’s reckless, and she’s heading for brake failure. And he’s not thinking about her car.

With the Millennium approaching, Ruby gets caught up in the Y2K hysteria. She joins a Survivalists group, who give her a gun and advise her to stockpile basic essentials. Accordingly, she bulk-buys Perrier, Gentleman’s Relish and macaroons.

Ruby, far from home, is making Unsuitable Friends and “finding herself” for the first time. She falls in with a gang of Hells Angels and falls foul of the law. At every turn, she comes up hard against Sheriff Hank Gephart, whose blue eyes seem to look deep into her soul. She desperately wants him, but knows she can never have him.

She’s angry at the emotions he arouses in her. Pushed to her limit, she bursts from her emotional straightjacket.

As the clock strikes midnight of the new Millennium, she’s on a freight train with three million dollars, a bottle of Wild Turkey and a smoking gun.

What happened to Miss Prim-and-Proper? And why did she shoot Mr Right?


My Rating: 4.5/5

Review:  I really enjoyed this book.  I will admit that when I was asked if I would consider reviewing it I wasn’t sure and I took a bit of time to think about it.  The book blurb appealed to me but I have read a few books with appealing blurb that were disappointing and didn’t live up to their promises.  This is definitely NOT one of those books.

This is a story of a period of Ruby’s life.  We follow her from her marriage to Edward when she also found out they would not be moving to Paris as originally thought, but to Kansas which proves to be quite a shock for Ruby.  The story starts with Ruby missing after a bank robbery on New Years Eve and then moves back to the time, a few weeks previously, when she got married.  It then proceeds to move between showing us the Sheriff’s department trying to find Ruby and showing us her life over those few weeks and how things changed for her after her move to Kansas. This could be confusing but because the author has clearly separated these two parts of the story it isn’t.  As we watch Ruby’s life as she adjusts to living in  Kansas we also watch her change from someone who is prim and proper and cooks for hours just to prepare one meal, into someone who is quite different (and a lot more fun!). While the old Ruby is not horrible or nasty or anything like that I do much prefer the newer version and it was fun watching her change and discover all these new things that she hadn’t known about or perhaps never considered before.

I’m not going to say more about Ruby because that would give away too much about how she changes but I will say that she is an enjoyable character to read, before, during and after her new self emerges.  The other characters, and there are quite a few, are well-written and leap off the page at you whether they have lots of energy or are just dull and boring, either way they are all clearly defined and despite there being quite a few of them it never gets confusing or muddled as to who is who.  This is something that can be tricky to achieve, some authors don’t, but here it is done very well indeed.

This story is fun. It’s a bit of a joyride watching the two parts of the story unfold and Ruby discover her new self.  She has so much fun doing it, even when she gets into trouble that you can’t help but enjoy it with her.  I really enjoyed reading this, it’s a light and easy read but very well written and quite different from the books I usually read.  I would highly recommend this if you want something different, the best thing I can think of to describe it is Thelma and Louise, that film had serious moments in it and didn’t shy from the consequences of their actions but was a great film and this is a great book.  Definitely one for anyone who wants to try something a little different.  I mainly read ‘chick-lit’ and crime fiction and I think this would appeal to readers of both genres.  I’m glad I took a chance on this book and will definitely be reading more by this author.





3 thoughts on “Review: Brake Failure by Alison Brodie

  1. Thank you Sandra, for your 4.5* review of my novel Brake Failure. I know romcom is not your usual sort of read, so I am thrilled that you enjoyed it so much. I really appreciate you doing TWO posts for me. xx


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