Caroline Gray would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid, which is why she is still unmatched after her third season in London. Her family’s threadbare finances leave Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend is willing to consider an engagement to her.
Captain Thomas Scott loves the open sea as much as he despises the three-month, twice-yearly trip his ship makes as he ferries young English girls across the ocean. He can’t imagine what family would allow an innocent young woman to be matched up with the Englishmen of questionable reputation who work and live in India.
But when Miss Gray boards the HMS Persistence, all of Captain Scott’s plans are upended. Miss Gray’s fiery spirit can’t be contained, and he is shocked and secretly delighted at her boldness—and her beauty. But the rest of his passengers aren’t so kind.
Caroline finds herself an outcast among her peers, but Captain Scott becomes an unlikely ally. They share the same passions and interests, creating an undeniable attraction. But they both know any relationship between them is impossible. After all, Caroline has obligations to fulfill in India.
Caroline has until the end of the voyage to decide if she is going to marry a man she has never met or be brave enough to love a sea captain who just might break her heart.
7 Random Facts on Research, Characters, Plot and Author: A Captain for Caroline Gray
1. Women really did cross oceans to finds husbands. They were called the Fishing Fleet women. The Fishing Fleet began at the end of the seventeenth century when the East India Company began shipping women from England to India to marry their officers. The title of “Fishing Fleet women” is used as an insult as it was used to refer to women who had to go out “fishing” for husbands. By the time of this fictional setting of 1820, the East India Company had removed itself from the business of finding husbands for their officers, but women still made the journey when their prospects at home were slim. There is a lot to admire about a woman with the courage to leave home and country to find her future in a distant land.
2. Working on this book required a lot of nautical know-how. My naval-captain-father, Walter Peterson (who plays the character of Lieutenant Peterson), was only too happy to impart his knowledge on a grateful daughter. Anything that might be wrong in regards to the ship is not the fault of the captain, but of the author.
3. There is a hidden Nathan and a hidden Alison in every book I write. Sometimes they get big characters to play and sometimes they only get a single mention. It’s always fun to hide the Nathan and Alison and to get feedback from readers when they find them.
4. A Captain for Caroline Gray is the first regency novel I’ve ever written, but I have been an avid fan of the genre for many years. I loved being able to move into the time and language in a setting that is not often used in the regency genre!
5. Living on a ship makes for tight quarters, but they sure do utilize every inch of space they are given! They even have a carpentry shop and a doctor’s cabin for when repairs of ship and crew were necessary.
6. Caroline’s ability with art allows her to get into spaces a lady would not normally be allowed which gave her opportunities to become friends with members of the crew and allows the reader little glimpses into those lives that are sometimes not thought about in the regency time.
7. Captain Scott might seem gruff and unrelenting when it comes to a person’s word by modern day standards, but this is at a time when one’s word was their honor and one could be challenged to a life-threatening duel over something as “trifling” as a man’s word. Not saying that deceptions didn’t occur, because of course they did. These are people we’re talking about here, but there is something admirable about a person who values the honor of their word.
About the Author
Julie Wright has written 25 novels, is a two-time Whitney Award winner for best romance, and is a Crown Heart recipient. The American Library Association listed “Glass Slippers, Ever After, and Me” in their 2020 top ten best romances and A Captain for Caroline Gray in their 2021 top ten best romances. She loves writing, reading, traveling, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.
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