Special Feature/Excerpt: A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright

I have really enjoyed all of the titles I have read from Shadow Mountain Publishing! They put out proper historical romances and almost every single one I have read is full of romance and chemistry between the characters. This book sounds like it’s going to be no exception from the excerpt I just read. I plan on reading this one later this spring because it looks so good!

If you are a fan of historical romances but prefer them sweet over sultry, then anything from this publishing house promises to satisfy you! Author Julie Wright has written a number of books and has won awards for her romances which means she’s a seasoned writer with proved experience in the romance genre.

I am so excited to be part of this blog tour for her upcoming novel and like I said I plan on reading it this spring! Keep reading today for a sneak peak into this novel with an excerpt below. Also be sure to follow along on the blog tour as there are a few more excerpts to check out as well!

Summary

Regency London

Caroline Gray’s third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it’s because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.

However, her family’s dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn’t work, Caroline cannot return home.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the Fishing Fleet, he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.

The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip’s first night’s dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.

The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.

Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother’s wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met, thus securing a future for her and her mother, or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?

A Captain for Caroline Gray Excerpt 5 

“She’s quite intelligent; do you not agree?” Peterson asked. The two of them were alone on the forecastle, checking 5heir course in the stars. They were two weeks into their journey with the weather holding strong with wind and, thankfully, no storms.

“Yes. Intelligent. So intelligent that she’s gone fishing for a husband in a land where she will likely die of disease.” Thomas hated how surly he sounded.

“Oh, don’t start on the topic of husband hunters being the ruin of a perfectly good shipping business.”

“You only refuse to entertain such topics because you know it to be true. A woman who has to resort to such measures is no woman I would want.”

“So no to that lady. Pity.”

Thomas knew why he, personally, thought it was a pity. He liked her against all reason and sense, and to find himself attracted to such a woman went against everything he wanted.

“Why is it a pity?” he asked, curious as to why his lieutenant felt any sort of despondence in the matter.

Peterson gave a sheepish look. “I’d rather thought the woman would make a good match for a friend of mine.”

“I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m not looking for a wife.”

Peterson laughed outright. “Are you so arrogant you think the friend I meant was you?”

“You don’t have any other friends. You’re too old, and the crew is too terrified of you to think of you as a friend. I’m the best option you’ve got.”

Peterson gave a snort, turned his face toward the sea, and breathed deeply of the evening air. “I hope you don’t think you’ve complimented me and are now waiting for some show of gratitude.”

“What’s the point of being friends if we have to compliment each other all the time?” Thomas checked his pocket watch but slid a sideways glance and a half smile toward Peterson, who was also smiling.

“So no to Miss Gray for you. But we should marry you off soon before you become old and impossible like me.”

“Being like you would not be so bad. You’re a well-informed

man who refuses to make time for nonsense.”

“That’s why I’d set my sights on Miss Gray for you. She’s nothing like the others.”

Truer words had never been said. And it was the reason he felt so especially vexed in the matter.

Peterson continued. “Tonight, she began the most lively discussion regarding Volta’s battery. I confess to having been quite ignorant of the matter, but not any longer. She told me this man, Volta, could create energy from salt water and . . . maybe it was gold? Copper? Some shiny metal or another.” He laughed at himself. “All right, so maybe I am still ignorant on the matter, but she was most engaging. The man who marries her will never find himself bored.”

“No. I expect not,” Thomas mumbled. He caught sight of Ursa Major and wished she’d told him what other constellations she knew.

Back in bed that night, he read through some letters from home and wondered what his mother would think of Miss Gray. Peterson reported that the other women acted quite nervous and scornful when Miss Gray spoke, proving them to be rather uninteresting. His mother liked interesting women, and Miss Gray was the only woman he’d met who fit the bill in a good way. Mercy, but how many had he met who were interesting in a less-than-favorable light?

Not that it mattered what his mother would think as she would have no opportunity to meet the lady. For all the women who flirted with him each voyage, he refused to budge. It was his policy to never enter into any kind of flirtations with the lady passengers. His reputation as one who made certain the young ladies arrived safely to their destination made his ship the first choice of many mothers of society. It was good for his business even if it wasn’t good for his nerves.

Still, he believed his mother would like Miss Gray quite a lot. Though Thomas’s mother had not taken her education to the lengths Miss Gray obviously had, he knew his mother to be a woman of great intellect.

The two women would have been friends.

But the lady had her own path, which meant she was none of his concern. But she made him think that perhaps he was wrong to not spend more time in port. He should take the time to meet eligible young ladies. If he had taken the time while he’d been in Bristol, perhaps he would have met Miss Gray when she wasn’t a passenger—when she wasn’t a violation of policy or principle.

He shook his head and put his mother’s letters away as if that would help him put his thoughts of Miss Gray away as well.

After almost a week of strategic avoidance, he felt up to the challenge of facing the lady again. He even believed he welcomed the opportunity, if only to prove to himself that he had overcome the little stumble of weakness she had managed to discover in him. He purposely went out on deck after the breakfast hour when he knew the majority of his fashionable passengers preferred to take their exercise. And yet, the day he decided he welcomed her presence, she never showed up on deck—at least not where he could see.

But he’d been busy with keeping his ship on course and running smoothly. It’s not like he’d actively sought her out as he looked over the ship. That’s what he told himself every time he lifted his eyes to scan the working crew and the wandering passengers. He was determined to not feel disappointment when she failed to appear.

You will see her at dinnertime, he told himself.

He had to prove that he could be in her company without gawking like a schoolboy, that he was quite in control of himself.

But he couldn’t help remembering the last day he had seen her—the day she’d been talking to Black—when she smiled up at the sails and the wind and sun tangled together in her dark hair.

Maybe Black had been accurate and it was bad luck to bring women aboard. He scanned the deck again. She wasn’t there. He snapped the box closed on the chronometer and received a curious glance from his watchkeeper for having invaded the space of the chronometer in the first place.

Bad luck indeed.

Chapter 5, pages 56-60

Advanced Praise

  • “A charming historical romance in which smarts and sass are vindicated.”— Foreword Reviews
  • “…a delightful, not exactly traditional Regency romance. Teen readers will enjoy this adventurous journey with its proactive heroine and exotic settings.”— Booklist, starred review
  • “An unconventional woman finds herself at home at sea in this stirring Regency from Julie Wright…This adventure is sure to entice fans of historical romance.”— Publishers Weekly

AUTHOR BIO

Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen and has written over twenty novels since then. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me, and she is a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.

She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

She hates mayonnaise.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

 | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

THE BLOG TOUR BLURB

Join the virtual blog tour of A CAPTAIN FOR CAROLINE GRAY (Proper Romance Regency), Julie Wright’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel March 1 – 28, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard an English ship bound for India.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

March 01       My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)

March 01       Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

March 02       Storeybook Reviews (Review)

March 02       Lu Reviews Books (Review)

March 02       Bookworm Lisa (Review)

March 03       Probably at the Library (Excerpt)

March 03       Our Book Confessions (Review)

March 03       Lady with a Quill (Review)

March 04       The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)

March 04       Fire & Ice (Review)

March 05       Literary Time Out (Review)

March 05       Among the Reads (Review)

March 06       Books and Socks Rock (Review)

March 07       Encouraging Words (Excerpt)

March 08       So Little Time… (Review)

March 09       For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)

March 10       Laura’s Reviews (Review)

March 10       My Bookish Bliss (Review)

March 11       Heidi Reads (Review)

March 12       Reading with Emily (Review)

March 13       The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

March 14       Silver Petticoat Reviews (Excerpt)

March 15       Austenesque Reviews (Review)

March 16       The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)

March 16       Greenish Bookself (Review)

March 17       Inkwell Inspirations (Review)

March 18       A Darn Good Read (Review)

March 19       Relz Reviewz (Review)

March 20       Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

March 20       Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)

March 21       Jorie Loves a Story (Review)

March 22       From Pemberley to Milton (Review)

March 23       Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

March 23       Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)

March 24       Captivated Reading (Review)

March 24       Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)

March 25       Roseanne E. Lortz (Review)

March 26       Cup of Tea with that Book, Please (Review)

March 26       Randi Loves 2 Read (Review)

March 27       Library of Clean Reads (Review)

March 28       The Bibliophile Files (Review)

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP

| DESERET BOOK | GOODREADS

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