Caroline Gray's third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it's because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.
However, her family's dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn't work, Caroline cannot return home.
Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the Fishing Fleet, he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.
The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip's first night's dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.
The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.
Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother's wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met, thus securing a future for her and her mother, or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?
Is there ever any reason to be happy that you had dental work done and now your face throbs, so you don't feel up to doing anything productive? If you have this book waiting to be read, then yes, there is. If I had to actually put this book down to go do the "gotta-do's" I would have been sad. Instead, I got to curl up on the couch and read the entire thing in one day. So yes, I highly recommend this book. It is well-written, and completely drew me in to the story. My heart broke numerous times for Caroline, but I was also in awe at her strength. Tom, Mr. Black, and Lieutenant Peterson were fun characters to get to know as well. Even some of the catty women were intriguing. I really have no desire to live on a ship for months at a time, but I'm always drawn to books that take place in that setting. And I'm always a sucker for a good "enemies to friends to even more than that" story as well, so this book was perfect for me.
This was an entertaining story with a fiery main character. It's hard to understand the whole "taking a ship to another country for a husband" idea. Marriage was just so different back then. Anyway, Caroline's unique personality (for the time) and her head-butting with the captain created tension that made for a fun read.
There was a bit of whiplash that happened after our main characters realized their true feelings for each other. And, in some ways it felt like two stories with the change of setting once they arrived in India, but it was all wrapped up nicely in the end.
I am really loving this Proper Romance line from Shadow Mountain. I know that the book I'm about to delve into is going to be clean (I can share any of these books with my teenage daughter, and I've been slowly converting my 10 year old daughter as well), but they are going to be well written and entertaining as well. I love that they cover different genres that I can choose from when my mood demand something different. A Captain For Carolyn Gray is a great addition to this line of books. It's well written, has great characters, and is a story that I have no hesitations in recommending to others.
Publication Date: 3/2/21
Hardcover ISBN: 9781629728469
Retail Price: $15.99
Page Count: 336
Regency Proper Romance
Cover Art: © ILINA SIMEONOVA / Trevillion Images
Book Design: © Shadow Mountain
Art Direction: Richard Erickson
Design: Heather G. Ward
Source: We received copies from the publisher. All opinions expressed are our own.