The story begins at the funeral of George, Earl of Haworth who died during a riding accident. His betrothed, Miss Caroline Mirrington grieves the man she’d hoped to marry and worries that the secret she disclosed when he proposed would not be accepted as sensitively by any other man who may wish to marry her.
Captain Nicholas Bonham, brother of the deceased is in disbelief over George’s death and now as sole heir is left with the untimely decision of marrying a woman for financial convenience. After brief deliberation he accepts the offer made by Caroline’s father and agrees to marry her in his brother’s place. There’s an instant attraction between them, though Caroline is weary of fulfilling the intimate role of a wife and Nicholas had hoped to marry for love. She partly discloses her secret to Nicholas and is surprised to find her new husband-to-be is just as considerate as his former brother.
Caroline and the Captain has all the elements of a good novel, packed into a short story of only 60 pages. There’s enough conflict within the relationship to create empathy for the characters and a desire to see their marriage a success. There’s the little mystery sub-plot surrounded George’s death which is soon revealed to be under suspicious circumstances. This ties Nicholas and Caroline closer together when the scope of her past is fully unveiled. This creates suspense and immediacy in solving the problem. Though I did feel Caroline’s emotional difficulties were overcome rather quickly, this is to be expected in the structure of a short story. Nevertheless, I felt satisfied with how the story was paced and how the conflict was resolved. It’s a story I probably would have enjoyed in full-length too.
An entertaining short read which will appeal to historical romance fans and is a great way to spend a free hour in your day.
Free story available on Goodreads, Knox Robinson Publishing and Maggi's Website: