Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Scandal To Remember-Elizabeth Essex

A Scandal To Remember
Elizabeth Essex
St. Martin’s Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9781250044587

In 1815 Portsmouth, England, Charles Dance reports to intoxicated Captain Muckross of the Tenacious as the First Lieutenant on a two year South Seas science expedition.  Looking at the vessel, Dance concludes the present state of the ship is a quick watery grave; made worse by a drunken crew and captain, and two other officers in which one is way past retirement age and the other is very green.  Finally when the by the book former war veteran believes matters could not turn uglier, conchologist J. E. Burke arrives; the J stands for Jane.

At sea Dance takes charge of running the Tenacious even as the mutinous crew resents a female on board as women are a harbinger of doom for a ship.  Both he and Jane are taken aback by their attraction to each other.  While she tries to focus on science, he attempts to concentrate on them keeping afloat.  Meanwhile others want to send the scientist and the officer to a watery grave.

The fifth “scandalous” Reckless Brides Regency romance (see Almost a Scandal and A Breath of Scandal) is an entertaining High Seas adventure starring opposites-attract couple.  Jane proves her skills beyond shells and Charles recognizing her abilities when they are in dire straits by supporting her taking charge during a life-threatening scenario by not playing macho hero.  Elizabeth Essex authors an excellent historical.

Harriet Klausner

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