Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Title: Beau Crusoe
Author: Carla Kelly
Publication Date: March 2007
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.