CAROLINE AND THE CAPTAIN
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. Review Since high school, Regency romance has been one of my favorite subgenres of romance. Although it may be an illusion, this time period appears to be a more innocent, romantic time than our current day and age. (Just as medieval times do.) Of course, this isn’t true, but it still holds that mystique. Unfortunately, over the past several years, finding good Regency romances has become a challenge, which is why I was delighted when I found Ms. Andersen’s Caroline and the Captain. Captain Nicholas Bonham is an alpha hero, but in the best possible way. Yes, he’s arrogant and commanding (some of that is the time period), but he’s thoughtful and caring. Unlike some alpha heroes, he doesn’t run all over Caroline because “he knows what’s best and what’s best for her is what he wants.” He’s come back from the war because his brother George has died in a riding accident and is dealing with not just grief, but disbelief that George died so young and the financial state of his childhood home is in shambles. For any other man, it may drag him under, but, for Nicholas, his nature won’t allow that to happen, even if it means marrying a stranger who happens to be his brother’s fiancée. Miss Caroline Mirringham has her own problems. Before George’s death, her future was figured out for her. Marrying the gentle George worked perfectly for her battered spirit and made her father happy. Although beautiful in her own right, too much has happened for her to see it. Nicholas is not safe like George. He stirs all kinds of emotions and cravings that scare her. Ultimately, they will bring her happiness, but until they can do the dance and learn to trust themselves and each other, their relationship will continue to cause grief and stress for both of them. While I believe that most readers will figure out her secret fairly early in the book, I’m not going to discuss it in this review. You must read the book to discover it for yourself. (smile) Ms. Andersen has set the stage for a traditional Regency romance with a few untraditional elements. You have a hero, a heroine, and a bad guy that eventually shows up and helps the hero and heroine realize what they could’ve lost and how important it is to grasp happiness when they can—in true romance fashion. The author also throws in some situations that were probably much more common during that time than we care to believe, or admit, could have happened that give a depth to this otherwise delightful, straightforward romance. The one thing I disagree with Ms. Andersen about is the price. This novella worth more than the ninety-nine cent price tag. So, before she changes her mind, you better snatch up this deal while it’s available.