I have read about Bride Ships to Canada and Colonial American Tobacco Brides but I didn’t know about the women who chose to venture to India to seek a husband from the English officers and merchants there. Most of this book was set on the ship Persistence whose Captain is Thomas Scott. He is a bachelor seeking to change his vocation from ship captain to investing in cargo and settling down. Caroline Gray books passage to India in search of a possible marriage match after a cousin takes over the family estate. She is willing to stay in India but has promised her mother she would marry for love.
The ship voyage was realistic and interesting with moments of dangerous excitement in a storm. The real peril awaits them on land. The author captured the essence of English conversation and class distinction and aptly portrayed the inner conflict of both Caroline and Thomas. She showed their softer side in their concern for young Tom, a cook apprentice.
Check out this book for a clean, historical read.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
4stars and a clean read.
Caroline Gray finds herself with no other option but to accept her mother's proposition to sail to India for the sole purpose of a possible marriage match to one Captain Barritt. With three unsuccessful seasons under her belt, it seems to be the only logical choice for her. Even when she is told that if the match does not pan out, there is no way for her to return.
That sounds rather risky to me! I would not want to be stuck in a foreign country I know nothing about and the Captain even less about. What if they don't suit? What a quandary Caroline finds herself in, and she blames no one but herself. If only she could be the coy, complacent lady of society, she wouldn't be in this predicament. But she's much too thirsty to learn about the world and much too curious for her own good. In a time period when it's a curse to be such a lady and even shameful to not make a love match in the first season, she finds herself without any other options. She puts on a brave face and sails to India, thus leaving everything she knows to embark on an adventure that she has no idea what the outcome will be. I love her strong characteristics and her determination; it's what helps her face an unknown future and make the best of a situation.
As for Thomas Scott, Captain of the Persistence, I found him to be likable, strong leader. His love for the sea shows in how he treats his crew and provides for the needs of the passengers aboard his ship. Even though he has a certain disdain for the women who seek passage to India for the sole purpose of marriage, he still treats them with the respect they deserve. After meeting Miss Gray, his heart turns towards the romantic direction....much to his vexation! These two certainly were very stubborn and sparred with words more than once. But that just intrigued the Captain even more. In spite of any effort on their part, a wary friendship develops and eventual love blossomed....even though Caroline has promised to give Captain Barritt a chance. Another quandary in a story already full of unpredictability.
It was interesting to learn about the “Fishing Fleet”, of which Thomas Scott was Captain of. Women were sent from England to India to marry officers, thus the term “fishing” for men came to be...and a title that was very distasteful for the time period. I enjoyed reading the Author's Note at the end and learning a piece of history that I never knew about. Don't skip reading it! It's fascinating, informative, sets the tone for the story and the reason Caroline embarked on her journey in the first place.
In conclusion, I enjoyed A Captain for Caroline for the historical accuracy, the characteristics of each person, the intriguing plotline and the romantic ending. I read an advanced reader copy, but have learned there will be an epilogue at the end in the final copy. This will add even more to the story, in my opinion! Being part of the Proper Romance group, this is a clean historical read that I think any fan of this genre would enjoy.
*I received a complimentary copy and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone. *
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?
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· Title: A Captain for Caroline Gray (Proper Romance Regency)
· Author: Julie Wright
· Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
· Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (March 2, 2021)
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.
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