Hey, Isobel! I'm here from my review thread :)
First off, I think your characters are all wonderful. They're all believable and realistic. So I don't think you need to worry about that so much.
And I'm just going to answer your author's note question. You gave the exact amount of background information without shoving it all in our faces. I quickly read the first chapter and you did it extremely well in that one as well! You have a knack for giving just the right amount of information without overwhelming us. Good job!
So, you asked about Thierry's plan. In my honest opinion, I think he's over-dramatising it but you have explained that in the chapter. I think he should just grow a pair and ask her the truth - but politely, of course. I understand how it's probably necessary for the plot but it's so unnecessary for Thierry. Also, I think it's a bit ridiculous he expects Alicia to do it within a day and a half but there you go! A silly boy who's made a mistake. :p
However, I think you've written it well. It is unnecessary for Thierry but I am eager to read on about it. I want to see how it all pans out, which is good because you've managed to engage your audience!
I think Alicia is quite selfish. I understand why she'd want the whole business to herself but everyone needs a partner. Again, you wrote it extremely well and we understand that she is selfish for wanting all of Jordan & Parsons but she's driven by her career and family so we are able to understand WHY she wants this. Although, I have a feeling it's more because of Albus Potter that she wants the whole thing. She probably just doesn't want to share it with him. :p
Although I did think it was quite ballsy of her to ask Nick to ditch his plans with Molly for her own gain. I understand that she's desperate but she's very focused on herself rather than others. And especially since you've portrayed Nick as a person trying to rectify his mistakes, I think it's extremely unfair for her to ask him to do that. I'm glad he said no, though.
So yeah, Alicia's selfishness was definitely not too subtle but it wasn't glaringly obvious either, which is good. It fits in effortlessly with the story and we aren't distracted by it.
Nick is an interesting character. I would have never thought the son of Dennis Creevey would be a criminal. And it's obvious Alicia is fond of him because he seems like that he is a pretty good (and useful, especially in Alicia's business) friend to have.
What's even better about Nick is that you've made him wanting to change for Molly but he still is willing to commit crimes. And you've also shown that he pays for his crimes and he doesn't get out of jail without any consequences. Which is good.
I think he's popular with your reviewers because he seems quite likeable - even though he IS a criminal. :p He's just really intriguing and I also want to know more about him. Like why was he in jail? What did he do to finally land there? How did he cope in jail? You get my drift.
All in all, this was an excellent chapter. You write very well and I didn't notice any grammar or spelling errors, which is an added bonus!
Anywho, I hope this review was helpful. It was my first time leaving a proper, helpful review so I was a bit nervous typing it, haha!
Feel free to request again! :)
- Kayla :)
Author's Response: KAYLA ♥ So sorry about how long it's taken me to respond to this review, I assure you I'll be more prompt answering in the future!
Oooh thank you, that's great to hear! It's great that you find them believable and realistic since that's what I was aiming for! ^.^
That's a fabulous thing to hear, I'm really glad you find the background information just the right amount because I don't want to overwhelm readers with the info but at the same time this isn't one of my mysteries so I don't want any gaps in knowledge particular since these are all people Alicia's known for ages so finding out things about them isn't really a possibility since it's information she's supposed to know already!
I'm aware that Thierry's plan is convoluted, but what I wanted to highlight is how a relatively simple situation (telling Piper he's unsure and wants a DNA test before any announcements are made or he gets involved) is avoided by doing things the difficult way, bribing people, employing Alicia and breaking into the Ministry instead of sitting down and having an open, honest adult discussion. Some people just insist on making things harder for themselves, and Thierry is one of them :P
It's great that you're engaged with the plot though because I do want to know that what happens to Thierry as a result of making stupid mistakes will actually be interesting to read of all "blah, this is boring, whereas the Albus/OC love?".
Some people can run businesses themselves -- Alicia probably could, since she doesn't need Albus as a partner for his skill or anything like that, he's only there because she can't afford to buy the other half of the business from her parents (getting 51% of it for free was more than enough really) and I'm really pleased you think she's driven by her career because sadly I don't see much of those women in the fanfic that I've read. You're quite right though -- she's more indignant at /Albus/ being her partner than having a partner!
Absolutely! She tends to speak now, think later and even then she could probably come up with some sort of justification for asking Nick that question (for example, if he didn't help, she'd go ahead with the job, get arrested with the others and then Nick wouldn't have a job) but it's great to see that you interpret her personality and actions so well! (Can you take this story off my hands and finish it for me so I have one less WIP? :P)
That is fabulous to hear, thank you! ^.^ Haha, Dennis doesn't really have an enormous amount of respect for the Ministry after spending a year on the run and then Colin dying and I think Nick and his siblings picked up on that attitude a little, though of course Dennis doesn't approve of Nick throwing his life away by getting caught. In my headcanon, Dennis is all like "the world can go to hell" after Colin's death and of course his ex-wife is going to have an influence on Nick too.
As for why Nick was in jail and what he did to take the fall for Alicia, and coping in jail -- all of that will be revealed throughout the novel. I can't give you spoilers here, sorry! ;)
Thank you so much for all of your amazing compliments! Your review was definitely helpful and for a first one it was fabulous, so thank you Kayla! ♥