Author: Elizabeth Essex
Series: The Reckless Brides #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (MacMillan)
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Bold, brazen, and beautiful, the Reckless Brides refuse to play by society’s rules of courtship. But—come hell or high water—they always get their man…
For generations, the Kents have served proudly with the British Royal Navy. So when her younger brother refuses to report for duty, Sally Kent slips into a uniform and takes his place—at least until he comes to his senses. Boldly climbing aboard the Audacious, Sally is as able-bodied as any sailor there. But one man is making her feel tantalizingly aware of the full-bodied woman beneath her navy blues…
Dedicated to his ship, sworn to his duty—and distractingly gorgeous—Lieutenant David Colyear sees through Sally’s charade, and he’s furious. But he must admit she’s the best midshipman on board—and a woman who tempts him like no other. With his own secrets to hide and his career at stake, Col agrees to keep her on. But can the passion they hide survive the perils of a battle at sea? Soon, their love and devotion will be put to the test…
When I requested this from NetGalley, I was craving some historical romance. This one also got me with its beautiful cover. But sadly, the book wasn’t nearly as exciting as the cover or the blurb promised. *sigh* I don’t think I’ve ever had so much trouble finishing a book. I read 3 books between when I started and finished this book.
The best part of this book is Sally. She’s courageous, confident, and loyal. Her happiness is also infectious. A number of times I felt myself swept away by her excitement at finally serving on a ship. Ms. Essex clearly conveyed Sally’s love for the sea and a lot of the times I felt like I was there on the ship with her.
Col didn’t stand out to me as much as Sally. Stoic and aloof, I didn’t really connect with him. I liked reading about how other people saw him rather than about his thoughts. He mostly obsessed about Sally, but without doing anything. I give it that he’s super smart and ambitious, but he just wasn’t exciting, or wild, or fun. Mostly he’s too serious for me.
The problem with this book is that it’s dreadfully slow. There’re a lot of ship terms thrown about and a lot of the day to day running of a ship. There’re pages spent on what Col is ordering people to do and what Sally is doing on the ship. Honestly, I skipped a lot of those because I just wasn’t interested.
With all the pages spent on the navy, the romance lacked development. While Sally and Col were “friends” of sorts, I never felt a strong connection between them. Then, suddenly, as soon as they were alone, they were having sex. I thought they moved way too fast, like a parent lol. I never saw their relationship develop to the part where sex came into the equation. Very little sexual tension happened before they suddenly jumped to be together.
Usually, I like my historical/regency romances happening in the ballroom with the gossipy ton, with a titled lord pursuing his lady, but I’ve also enjoyed reading about wayward ladies finding their adventures somewhere else. Almost a Scandal had adventures plenty, but not the romance. I didn’t hate this one, but there’re definitely better historical romances out there.
*Thanks to St. Martin's Press for providing a review copy. All opinions expressed are my own. I am not being compensated for this review.