A Captain for Caroline Gray
by Julie Wright
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.
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Review by Melissa Dalton Martinez
Fans of regency romance will devour A Captain for Caroline Gray. In this novel, debutante Caroline’s father passes away, leaving her, her sister, and her mother with nothing. Their entire estate goes to their cousin, whose upcoming marriage threatens to make them homeless.
Her mother is taken in by family and her sister manages to find a husband, but Caroline’s wit and sharp tongue have left her three seasons without anyone expressing interest. Now, out of time, she is forced to accept an outlandish proposal: A woman will pay for Caroline to go to India if Caroline will consider her son for marriage.
Left with no other options, Caroline boards the boat for three months to make her passage to India. This is where most of the action take place. On this ship, she faces strife with the other passengers, a mystery that could put the voyage in danger, and an undeniable attraction to the captain himself.
Caroline’s character is a delight to follow as she navigates these challenges coupled with the restraints of her station. She struggles with the unknown—what happens when she gets to India? What if, when they land, she chooses not to disembark? Her banter and sharp tongue not only making her a heroine you will want to cheer on, but a delight to read about.
One of the most underrated parts of the book is her relationship with the other women on the boat. Her temperament often puts her at odds with them, but when they work together, they accomplish great things. This highlights the idea that women have great power to either tear each other down or build each other up.
A Captain for Caroline Gray is a romance that you will devour. I recommend this book for anyone who loves a witty, exciting, clean romance. With both a flair of classic regency authors and all new twists, this is a book you will not want to miss.