Only one woman can confirm his innocence, and release him from the torments of his past.
Determined to throw off the shackles of her convict past, Charlotte Oliver accepts her employer’s marriage proposal, even though she does not love him, and together they board a refitted whaling schooner bound for Sydney to begin their new life.
But life has a way of disrupting plans, and during the voyage the Zephyrus undergoes a mutiny. Captain Christian Charity loses his ship, but he also risks losing so much more. Charlotte has in her possession a tiny blue bottle and an Angel coin. On their own, they mean nothing more than a keepsake, but to Christian, they could mean everything – a past remade and a future with love.
Téa Cooper is one of few authors writing historical romances set in Australia, and it’s such a pity there aren’t more of them! I really enjoyed this book. It deals with convicts and the dangers of life on the sea, and the founding of colonial Australia (well, a few decades in!).
There’s so much about the lower classes of the nineteenth century that is fascinating – and lends itself to adventurous historical romances. Of course it doesn’t exactly fit the fairy tale the big publishers are looking to sell, but having read a few working class Victorian era books in a row, I’ve got to say I really enjoy them.
Australian history is more turbulent than people give it credit for, and I loved the action and adventure of this book. Even more, I loved the mystery. Things didn’t exactly go in the direction I was expecting them to!
The only thing I had a problem with was that there were a few scenes where I thought the secondary characters were becoming a little bit too clichéd – a bit too evil or too something or too something else.
Oh, and the cover does NOT match the image of the man I was given in the story (sun-bleached hair??).
On a final note, what a change to have a book written in British/Australian English! I did a (happy) double-take every time I saw a word spelt the way I’d been raised to spell it!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.