Erica Anderson's Reviews > Castaway Dreams

Castaway Dreams by Darlene Marshall
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's review
Jul 27, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-reads, medical-theme-fiction, regency-era-romance, keeper
Read from July 26 to 27, 2012

Just bought this on the strength of a review at All About Romance. IMHO, there are simply not enough gruff naval surgeon characters. For some reason, Napoleonic-era surgeons are always gruff. And Scottish. Which is just fine by me. Ahem.

Anyway, I whipped through this book in a day and a half. It was an excellent way to procrastinate on a rainy day ("I'll read just one more chapter!") Although there's a lot of adventure in this story, Castaway Dreams is really a character-centered romance. I knew I would like the hero, but the heroine surprised me. She begins the book as a ninny, and she irritates the hero to no end. But she's never stupid. There's a difference, and Marshall knows where the line is.

All the high seas tropes are here--shipwrecks, pirates, tropical islands where one is forced to wear banana leaves, smuggling and, of course, the all-important signal fire. There must always be a signal fire. Some suspension of belief is required, especially in the last twenty pages of the book, but I was willing to go along with the author because I enjoyed the characters so much.

This is historical romance with something of a traditional Regency feel. There are a few sex scenes. No ballrooms, though. The older, gruff hero matched with a younger, naive woman reminded me of some of Carla Kelly's books, particularly Marrying the Royal Marine. The heroine here is also smart and plucky. And Alexander Murray, the surgeon hero, makes me fantasize about being shipwrecked myself. Me-ow!

This is a keeper for me, despite the over-the-top pirates and, IMO, unnecessary drama at the end. If Marshall had ended the book about twenty pages earlier, it would be perfect. So, my rating is a 4.75. But I rounded up. : )


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