The Captain's Girl by Nicola Pryce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cornwall 1793 - As the French Revolution threatens the stability of England, so too is discontent brewing in the heart of Celia Cavendish. Promised to the brutal Viscount Vallenforth, she must find a way to break free from the bounds of a life stifled by convention and cruelty.
Inspired by her cousin Arbella, who just a few months earlier followed her heart and eloped with the man she loved, she vows to escape her impending marriage and take her destiny back into her own hands. She enlists her neighbours, Sir James and Lady Polcarrow, who have themselves made a dangerous enemy of Celia's father, in the hope of making a new life for herself.
But can the Polcarrows' mysterious friend Arnaud, captain of the cutter L'Aigrette, protect Celia from a man who will let nothing stand in the way of his greed? And will Arnaud himself prove to be friend... or foe?
Set in Cornwall in 1793 with the backdrop of the French Revolution this has more than an passing resemblance to the Poldark series. Vividly atmospheric describing the harsh often unforgiving Cornish coastline I could picture Demelza staring out to sea waiting for Ross to come back from France.
After reading this book I discovered that this was the second book in a series, this didn't matter, you can read these both stand alone I believe and the fact I hadn't read the first didn't stop me enjoying this one.
The heroine if you will is Celia Cavendish who has been promised in marriage to Viscount Vallenforth a brutal and cruel man who she vows to run from. With the help of her neighbours Sir James and Lady Polcarrow and their friend Captain Arnaud they plot to help her get away. Good believable characters of the time, lovely atmospheric scene setting (I could almost feel the salty sea spray in my face) and nicely constructed story.
Not a fan normally of historical novels but I do have an affinity with Cornwall so this kept me happy. A good read - 4 stars I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.