Predictable and disappointing…
For those still interested in hearing about what I’ve recently read and my thoughts on it, here’s another instalment…and as you can no doubt tell from the title of this post, it definitely wasn’t a great book.
Note, all my reviews tend to contain at least minor spoilers, though I do try to keep them to a minimum…..
Book details: Caroline and the Captain: A Regency Novella by Maggi Andersen (link goes to Amazon UK, though it can of course be found elsewhere) This one isn’t exactly clean, though there’s no overt smut.
My Rating: 2 stars.
Summary: Captain Nicholas Bonham of Wellington’s Peninsular Regiment, the 52nd Light Infantry, returns from fighting the Napoleonic wars to see his brother laid to rest. A skilled rider, George’s death remains a mystery, as does the parlous state of his finances. Debenham Park must be sold unless Nicholas can find a swift solution.
George’s former fiancée, Miss Caroline Mirringham, harbors a secret. She has trusted no man except her father and George, and now considers her future to be a desolate one. When her father proposes that Caroline marry Nicholas, she is filled with dread. The captain is nothing like his amiable brother. He looks altogether too strong and harsh. He would demand far more from her than she could give.
After spending a good 20 minutes carefully composing the review for this book, my browser crashed and I lost the whole thing, so this is my second attempt, and as a result it will no doubt be shorter, and less eloquent;
I found this book on the whole to be short (though it is a novella), lacking in depth, and somewhat disappointing, and having read several of Ms Andersen’s books previously, I know she’s capable of far better.
The plot itself was entirely predictable, I knew exactly who the “bad guy” would be for instance, long before we were told there definitely was one. I didn’t warm to either of the main characters either, since I was barely given a chance to do so, or a reason to either really. The h was pretty insipid, and other than a single scene where, after being told by her father that he’s suggested to her deceased fiancés brother that he marry her instead, where she is almost rude to the H, she pretty much blends back into the woodwork. As a result she might as well have been a background character for all the impact she made on me, leaving me not really caring when we reached scenes later that should have been emotional.
The H was equally two dimensional. After returning home following the death of his brother, he takes a quick look at the family finances, and agrees to the match with apparently little thought, or care. He’s far more concerned with how his brother died than in his intended, and as a result their supposed romance seemed more like an afterthought, than a key part of the story.
I know it’s not easy building a relationship in so few pages, but I’ve seen it done before, both by other authors, and in fact by Ms Andersen herself, so to see so little of it here was indeed a shame. The main reason I think this book didn’t work for me was this lack of depth, and a tendency to “tell rather than show”, meaning we’d jump forward a couple of weeks and suddenly they’re married, then another week’s passed and they’re apparently closer, but we see nothing occurring to show why or how. As a result, when she finally allows him into her bed, and later when she admits she loves him, I was probably more shocked then the H was.
Overall this was disappointing, and although it wont automatically stop me from reading her books in the future, it will certainly make me think twice before spending my cash on the next one.
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