Sunday, June 25, 2017

"The Captain's Daughter" by Jennifer Delamere

While many historical romances feature women starting over again in a new place, what sets The Captain's Daughter apart is its setting—the London theater scene.

Warm-hearted Victorian romance brings 1880s London to life.

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he's glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can't wait to leave behind.

The opening chapters of The Captain's Daughter find former lady's companion Rosalyn fleeing from her employer's roguish husband, mistakenly winding up in a brothel, losing all her belongings, and accidentally finding a job at a London theater. And that's all really just set-up to the real story about Rosalyn's life at the theater and her romance with Nate!

I wish the pace at the beginning of the novel hadn't been quite so frantic because the rest of the story felt pretty slow to me. I also felt that some of the resolutions (with Rosalyn's employer and with Nate) were a little too neat and convenient, while other plot lines (involving the woman who ran the brothel and the mystery of what happened to Rosalyn's father) were dropped completely.

I did enjoy Rosalyn's interactions with Nate, and his family was fabulous—especially his brother Patrick and sister Mary. I definitely felt the draw between Rosalyn and Nate, and I enjoyed watching them get closer to one another.

The highlight of this novel for me was the time spent at the theater. HMS Pinafore is playing at the theater Rosalyn and Nate work at, and Gilbert and Sullivan even make cameo appearances in the story! The novel is set during the writing and early production of Pirates of Penzance, and "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" ran on a loop through my head basically the entire time I was reading this book.

While The Captain's Daughter wasn't an "unputdownable" read, I did enjoy it, and I especially liked the unique theater setting. 3 stars.

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Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, "An Heiress at Heart," was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, "A Lady Most Lovely," received a starred review from "Publishers Weekly" and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

Find out more about Jennifer at

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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