Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Review - Beau Crusoe

Title: Beau Crusoe
Author: Carla Kelly
Publication Date: March 2007
Genre: Regency
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm

I usually don’t read category romances because they are too short for my taste. I decided to give this one a try because over at AAR, Robin Uncapher recommended it as her top choice for this year’s buried treasure. Also, when this book was first released, a lot of people had a positive reaction to it. After reading the book, I too have to agree with them.

Susannah Park, a widow who has been shunned by society, has been asked by her Godfather Sir Joseph to escort James Trevenen, a ship wreck survivor during his stay in London. During the two weeks in which James is awaiting his award for his paper on fiddler crabs, he somehow manages to land himself, multiple times, in unusual circumstances where he ends up playing the hero and becomes known as “Beau Crusoe”. All the while, he is being haunted by a ghost and feels more like a coward than a hero.

Kelly’s writing style reminds me somewhat of Georgette Heyer; the way the characters converse most especially. I am no history expert but, it seems to me, that’s how they would talk if I was to go back in time. This makes the book seem more genuine, but it can also be difficult to understand. For example, some of the subject matter seems so subtly expressed. This is an interesting book though. The internal struggle that James has with himself throughout the book could have made for a very dark story, not to mention the horrors James went through when he was shipwrecked. Yet Kelly manages to keep the book from feeling too oppressive with more light-hearted escapades interspersed throughout the story. Susannah and James are well suited to each other and Kelly does a wonderful job of developing their relationship. Susannah has her own issues that she has struggle with too. They make a well balanced pair. I liked this story. It is subtle yet still poignant. I didn’t rate this story an A because I like a bit more passion in my romance. It was still a very enjoyable read and would I definitely recommend it.


Jace said...

I have this book in the TBR for so long. *sigh* I'll have to try to read it for the AAR Poll.

Jill D. said...


I had heard a of good things about this book but didn't get around to reading it until just now, mainly because of the "sweet" factor. But I have to say, I am really glad I did read it and I went through it pretty quickly too. I don't see how you couldn't like it, because both Savannah and James are great characters.

Jennie said...

I discovered Carla Kelly only recently, but I'm now a huge fan. She does such a good job of dealing with weighty topics, but still keeping the overall tone light-hearted. This is one of her darker books -- what happened to poor James haunted me a bit! I'm still working my way through her backlist. My favorite so far is Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand.

Brie said...

I haven't come across this book yet, but I'll be on the look out for it now. Sounds interesting.

Jill D. said...

Jennie, hmmm... I think I might give Mrs. Drew Plays her Hand a try. Kelly's writing style is refreshing when there are so many wallpaper romances out there.

Brie, I am a member of paperback swap. I don't know if you are familiar with this book trading website or not, but I got Beau Crusoe from them. You might want to check them out if you haven't already.