aka The Frazzled Mom
Warm-Hearted Victorian Romance Brings 1880s London to Life
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind..
When given a choice between several fictional books, it was initially the title that caught my attention. My assumption was that this might be a seafaring novel of sorts. One glimpse at the cover told me something completely different: a romance novel. Meh. I may not be big on romance novels, but I have read them from time to time, at least those set as historical fiction. The Captain’s Daughter is just that, historical fiction. During Victorian England, at the time of Gilbert and Sullivan, the story of Rosalyn unfolds. Having lost her father at a young age, Rosalyn, and her sisters, had grown up in an orphanage. The interesting thing is that the George Müller orphanage mentioned in this story had actually been a real place.
Due to some misunderstanding and subsequent trouble, Rosalyn was forced to flee her current employment and landed in London. Being unfamiliar with the city, she found herself in dire straits. Unsavory characters aimed to take advantage of her and it was difficult to discern the good from the bad. Touching on the dangers of sexual exploitation, there’s a close call for her until she finds her way to a theater and the group performing Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.
Jennifer Delamere’s story is a fast read. Seriously. I finished this book in three days and that’s unheard of for me. I tend to be a slow reader (I blame my kids, lol). But this was a light, enjoyable read. That isn’t to say there’s not a good story within. Some might be put off by the mention of God or of Rosalyn’s faith, but that’s the character. She trusts in God to provide for her and, as the story goes, we find how despite the bad, good can come out of it. Book one of London Beginnings, thankfully the author doesn’t leave us with a major cliffhanger, so rest assured that you won’t be angry at unresolved story line come the end of the novel. Still, I believe it will leave you wanting to learn more of Rosalyn, Nate and the rest of the characters.
For readers who enjoy historical fiction, for those that like a little romance, but not as far as 50 Shades, I highly recommend this book. It’s a great read for the summer, while relaxing on vacation. Grab a copy, a chair and sit yourself down at the beach (or lake). While basking in the warmth of the sun, with an iced beverage and a cool breeze, enjoy reading the journey of Rosalyn Bernay.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”