LADY ADEL’S CAPTAIN
LORETTA C. ROGERS
ISBN (10) 1628302798/ (13) 1628302790/ Print-9781628302860
June 6, 2014
The Wild Rose Press
Marriage of Convenience, Victorian
Rating: 3 Cups
A lady by upbringing though not by birth, Adel Fitzhugh is a subversive young woman with a fiery temperament. Faced with the prospect of being married to an undesirable, older lord, Adel finds herself in desperate need of a miracle. That miracle arrives with a group of storm-weary travelers seeking shelter, among which are Captain Liam O’Shea and his young daughter Mary Katherine. Recognizing the opportunity before her, Adel offers her services as a governess to Captain O’Shea, and agrees to travel with Mary Katherine to Ireland while the captain serves in India. She is surprised; however, when Liam presents her with an additional proposition: a marriage of convenience for Mary Katherine’s sake.
Bound for India on a five-year tour of duty in the Queen’s service, Captain Liam O’Shea is hesitant to leave his daughter behind in Ireland. Who knows what fate might befall his beloved Mary Katherine at the hands of profiteers? When headstrong, beautiful Adel Fitzhugh offers her services as a governess, Liam takes the proposal one step further: a strategic marriage. If Liam should die in India, then Adel will have legal rights over Mary Katherine which she would not otherwise have as a mere governess. If Liam does return, then Adel may file for an annulment and continue with her own life. What Liam does not consider is that he might develop feelings for Adel in the process.
Despite time and distance, Liam and Adel fall in love. Adel busies herself with being a mother to Mary Katherine, and with restoring Liam’s home, Mautagh Manor, which has been badly damaged in a fire during its master’s time away. But a bloody battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857 sees Liam badly wounded and nearly dying of infection. When he returns to Mautagh Manor he is a changed man, and tries to push Adel away. He is unsuccessful, for Adel is not so easily dissuaded from taking care of the man she loves. In the end it is an accident which nearly kills Adel that makes Liam realize his feelings, and that he cannot lose her.
I wavered on how to rate this book. While the premise was intriguing, I found the delivery weak. Several of the major plot points were glossed over. They could have worked if they had been better developed, but because they were not, they felt like convenient, contrived ways to move the characters along through the plot. Also because of this, I did not feel the connection between Adel and Liam, nor did I identify with either character since there was not enough insight into their thoughts and feelings. I did like the pace; each part moved well and kept me reading. There is also some very good, vivid, descriptive writing that really made me feel like I was in the book, living the story. For those reasons, I give it three cups. But I am compelled to add the caveat that you have to be willing to overlook the issues with the book’s delivery in order to appreciate the ways in which it shines.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More