Saturday, March 20, 2021

Review: "A Captain for Caroline Gray" by Julie Wright

As you may have noticed, I've become a huge fan of Regency romances in the last year, especially ones published through Shadow Mountain Publishing's Proper Romance line. Really falling for Regency romances has been one of the pandemic's highlights for me. (Turkish TV shows are another, but that's a post for another day!) Anyway, when I had the opportunity to read Julie Wright's new Regency, I jumped at it! 

Regency London

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?

Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (March 2, 2021)

A Captain for Caroline Gray has given me just what I've come to expect from the Proper Romance line: an engaging plot, likeable main characters, and a sweet romance. 

Caroline Gray and Captain Thomas Scott meet when she boards his cargo ship to India, along with several other ladies who hope to find husbands there. 

Though this is a romance, it's a slow one, as Thomas and Caroline don't spend much of the novel together. I found that I didn't mind, though, as I so enjoyed the other aspects of the novel, like Caroline's friendships with the other women on board.

I did find the conflict to be a bit overblown - Thomas's reaction to Caroline's situation seemed a little excessive - but otherwise I really enjoyed the progression of this novel. The romantic tension between Thomas and Caroline wasn't excessive, but I did find their relationship to be believable.

I also really enjoyed the action once the ship arrived in India - that was the point when I really started flying through the pages.

Fans of Regency romances with a twist (because of the setting being mainly on the ocean and in India) and those who appreciate lighter romance are sure to enjoy this novel. 4 stars.

Read my review of Wright's Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's (4-1/2 stars).

Julie Wright
wrote her first book when she was fifteen and has written over twenty novels since then. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her books
Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me, and she is a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.

She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

She hates mayonnaise.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher. 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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