Victoria Cornwall is on the blog today with the second in her Cornish Tales historic series, this one set after the first title, yet using the atmosphere, customs and unique flavor of Cornwall and its environs. While the first title, The Thief’s Daughter, felt very Poldark (and was of the same time), here Cornwall uses her unique voice to craft characters that are compelling, more modern and wholly intriguing in
The Captain’s Daughter
Janey Carhart has been working in service since the death of her mother and sisters to fever, and her father’s (a merchant sea captain) from grief. Her only living relation, her uncle, blamed her for the loss of her father, and placed her in service as soon as she came to his guardianship. A well-to-do middle class girl, educated as both a woman of her time would be with her father’s peculiar insistence that she also have access to ‘boy’s subjects’, Janey is a bit of a misfit. Not well to do enough to be with the titled, too well educated and mannered to be a servant. But, in service she is, and the opportunity to become a lady’s maid, even at her young age of 20, is her desire. The lady of Boswenna Manor is older and blind, desiring a companion that will care for her, read to her and describe the world she cannot see with flair. Janey’s own personal style, position and looks all spurn jealousy and snitty behavior from the housekeeper, and suspicion (and trickery) from the maids. But, while lonely, Janey discovers a sort of friendship with the lady of the house, loves being at the edge of Bodwin Moor – and frequently explores the area around the Manor house as she walks her ladyship’s dog.
But things are not entirely smooth: Janey finds herself disconcerted and flustered by the sight and attention from Daniel Kellow, a farmer whose lands border Boswenna and his manner and forthright stare have her shook. In turn, she is intrigued (and more than a bit flattered) by the attentions shown her from the son of the house, James Brockenshaw, and finds herself dreaming of the possibility (however slight) that her position and lower birth may not matter. Despite several well-placed warnings, and the obvious (to everyone) mercurial and spoilt nature of James – she’s still intrigued until he takes liberties and she is only saved by the appearance of Daniel. From that point on, Janey is convinced that James is to be avoided, and somehow, she has disturbed Daniel and their butting friendship is at risk.
Back and forth, with fortunes and futures put in danger and lost, Janey is steadfast in her desire to be ‘the good one’ and ‘do the right thing’. But when James, drunk and angry attacks and rapes her, shattering her sense of security and surety, and the house is set to be sold to pay off debts – she is stuck with multiple problems. No job, a reputation soon to be ruined with the birth of a child, and her only option the workhouse: she is saved from horrors by an unusual offer from Daniel – marriage. See, Daniel has never been able to forget her – or stop wanting her, despite the fact they always seemed to be at odds. Now, to keep her close (and safe) he’s hoping that providing her with safety, security and his name, in the little hodgepodge family he has built will strengthen what he never had, and return to Janey the family she lost.
Like the first book, and with a surprise moment of ‘aha’ that references Janna, the story here gives us characters to love and hate, a late-blooming series of tense moments that effect future and happiness, the growth of Janey, the reliance of Daniel on his connection to Janey and his desire for her, and the small moments of growth that allow her to find her voice as she realizes she is worthy of asking for and demanding consideration and respect are wonderful. Daniel is sweetly gentle, a surprising thing from a man who is more comfortable with acts that show he cares than the words. A great opportunity to see some of the societal changes in the area, as well as capturing the unique beauty that is Cornwall, the story can be read alone without issue, but is a solid companion to the first.
Title: The Captain's Daughter
Author: Victoria Cornwall
Series: Cornish Tales #2
Also in this series: The Thief's Daughter
Genre: Historical Romance, Setting: Britain, Victorian
Published by: Choc Lit
Published on: 3 October, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
Sometimes you need to discover your own strength in order to survive …
After a family tragedy, Janey Carhart was forced from her comfortable life as a captain’s daughter into domestic service. Determined to make something of herself, Janey eventually finds work as a lady’s maid at the imposing Bosvenna Manor on the edge of Bodmin Moor, but is soon caught between the two worlds of upstairs and downstairs, and accepted by neither, as she cares for her mistress.
Desperately lonely, Janey catches the attention of two men – James Brockenshaw and Daniel Kellow. James is heir to the Bosvenna estate, a man whose eloquent letters to his mother warm Janey’s heart. Daniel Kellow is a neighbouring farmer with a dark past and a brooding nature, yet with a magnetism that disturbs Janey.
Who should she choose?
Or will fate decide?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: