Caroline Gray would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid, which is why she is still unmatched after her third season in London. Her family’s threadbare finances leave Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend is willing to consider an engagement to her.
Captain Thomas Scott loves the open sea as much as he despises the three-month, twice-yearly trip his ship makes as he ferries young English girls across the ocean. He can’t imagine what family would allow an innocent young woman to be matched up with the Englishmen of questionable reputation who work and live in India.
But when Miss Gray boards the HMS Persistence, all of Captain Scott’s plans are upended. Miss Gray’s fiery spirit can’t be contained, and he is shocked and secretly delighted at her boldness—and her beauty. But the rest of his passengers aren’t so kind.
Caroline finds herself an outcast among her peers, but Captain Scott becomes an unlikely ally. They share the same passions and interests, creating an undeniable attraction. But they both know any relationship between them is impossible. After all, Caroline has obligations to fulfill in India.
Caroline has until the end of the voyage to decide if she is going to marry a man she has never met or be brave enough to love a sea captain who just might break her heart.
I've read a few books in the last little while set on a ship during this time period. It's amazing to me that authors can take a setting with so little diversity and make it into a full length novel. This one does eventually end up in India but not until the end.
Caroline is an interesting character because she doesn't really in with "society". She is beautiful and brainy too. It's a great combo but not for her forced society. Watching her constantly question herself and force herself to be someone she was not was hard. It made me sad just like it made her sad. It makes me really grateful for those kind of women who didn't conform but forged ahead to pave a new path for women in society.
This story progresses slowly and gently. The bit of excitement at the end was a nice change from the more placid pace of the rest of the book. I wish there would have been more to the ending or maybe an epilogue. I felt like it cut off pretty quickly once the final resolution came. Overall, I liked it. 3.5 stars
Content: mild peril, kissing
- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the author:
JULIE WRIGHT was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s lived in LA, Boston, and the literal middle of nowhere (don’t ask). She wrote her first book when she was fifteen. Since then, she’s written twenty-five novels and coauthored three. Julie is a two-time winner of the Whitney Award for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me and is a Crown Heart recipient. Her book Death Thieves was a Whitney finalist.
She has one husband, three kids, one grandbaby, one dog, and a varying amount of houseplants (depending on attrition).
She loves writing, reading, traveling, hiking, snorkeling, playing with her family on the beach, and watching her husband make dinner.