When I reviewed With You Always in this space I thanked the author, Jody Hedlund, for resisting the impulse to place historical characters into the romance. I can’t thank Jennifer Delamere for doing the same.
The Captain’s Daughter is set in Victorian England, 1879 to be specific, and has cameo appearances by Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan as much of the action takes place at the theatre where HMS Pinafore is being performed. I have mixed feelings about the blending of fact and fiction, probably exacerbated by the inability of certain politicians to determine which is which. However, I laid aside my prejudices in the matter, and must admit the interjection of the historical Gilbert and Sullivan and their operettas did not detract from the plot, and maybe even added to it.
Certainly it added a little bit of colour to a fairly standard plot. In a romance you can expect boy to meet girl and the path of love to have a few hiccups along the way, if that isn’t mixing my metaphors a bit much. For any author the challenge is making the characters likeable and the hiccups believable. I have little use for someone who insults my intelligence as a reader.
I let this book sit for a while after reading, choosing not to write my thoughts immediately. If I had I would probably have made some nasty comments about using Gilbert and Sullivan instead of creating someone new for the book. On reflection though, I think I liked this one, with the caveat that it is a romance.
The heroine, Rosalyn, seems unusually naïve, even for a Victorian orphan. Then again, Delamere did her research and I didn’t, so I will trust her on this one. Using a real orphanage was a nice touch, I learned some things I didn’t know before, which I have mentioned before is one of the reasons to read historical fiction.
The hero, Nate Moran, is the type of person most of us aspire to be, yet he is no stereotype. A genuinely nice guy, not perfect, but trying to do his best. What more could you ask? You root for him to get the girl, even as you have that nagging suspicion that the other, flashier guy will sweep Rosalyn off her feet.
As a male, romance novels aren’t my preferred reading material. I think I have mentioned that before. The Captain’s Daughter is the first in a series called London Beginnings – and I wouldn’t rule out reading subsequent volumes. Fans of Victorian era London will like this one.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”