Whenever I am feeling cheated by the amount of straight MEH or so-so books, I choose a book that I know for sure will not disappoint me. And that is the case of any book by Carla Kelly. This author is amazing! Any reader who likes to read clean regency romances should try at least one of her books.
The reference to the title is so sweet. I love Hannah's list (even if it may be a bit childish) but specially because it has such a big impact on Captain Spark, who from the beginning is a sweetheart. I am not usually a fan of historicals that take place in a ship; it can be risky, making the heroine the only female aboard. But this was not a pirate ship, but a royal navy one, and she was not completely alone, as she had a childhood friend with her. I loved that she was able to make herself respect and cared for from all the crew, without being "so nice" -like it happens sometimes in Regencies, when authors try to make her heroines the best woman all the other guys ever met.- I liked that she was able to enjoy her time on ship, and that she made herself useful without having to behave so miss-ish.
Two negative points: 1) the age difference. Daniel may have been twice her age. And he pointed that out several times, saying she is a child. I know that it was normal in the period, but it was more obvious because Hannah was too innocent sometimes, too naive. 2) Hannah was a Quaker. I honestly thought that she was making fun of that manner of speaking at the beginning of the story. All the "thee" and "thy" was too biblical for me. No idea why Daniel find it so appealing.
And also, it was a first time that Carla Kelly makes a predictable kind-of-misunderstanding almost at the end of the book, the kind of twist that makes both lovers separate with the heart broken, the over-used "I love you but I can't be with you". Although I honestly thought that Hannah would have to give up so much for Daniel, and he, nothing. He would even put his country over her (which is realistic, but come on, this is a romance, be more romantic).
As expected, because it happened before, the ending was a bit abrupt. But I enjoyed the whole book, and I felt sympathy for Hannah when Daniel dumps her, and I enjoyed every single kiss they shared (which were a lot more passionate than I am used to in her novels).