Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Marrying the Captain

Marrying the Captain
by Carla Kelly

(Harlequin Historical Series #928 / Kindle edition / ASIN B001OERNHO / 0-373-29528-6 / 978-0-373- 29528-9 / January 2009 / 288 pages / Kindle $4.32 / Mass Market Paperback $5.99)

Reviewed by Dr. Al Past for PODBRAM

Marrying the Captain hardly needs a review from me. There are already abundant reviews of it at, and the author, a veteran writer of something like forty titles, is a popular and proven producer of Harlequin and Signet Regency Romances, as well as others. I decided to undertake it because it was a known quantity: I have read quite a number of Ms. Kelly's novels, and I know them to be well written, well plotted, and reasonably entertaining. I had an ulterior motive: this would be the second novel I had read on my new Kindle 2, the Amazon ebook reader, and, as a reader and POD author myself, I shall offer a separate commentary on some possible ramifications of the Kindle phenomenon to readers and authors, if not to technophiles.

Marrying the Captain, as I expected, was entertaining and competently plotted and written. The main plot line was evident from the opening chapters: a spunky but illegitimate young woman, cast off by her noble father and now with few prospects and working in a nondescript inn in Portsmouth, England, during the Napoleonic wars, comes in contact with the captain of a frigate, a seemingly dour young man, old beyond his years, who is determined never to marry. Anyone with a quarter ounce of sense knows these two will somehow end up marrying each other. The question in this sort of book is always how it will happen. Usually it happens at the end, but to my surprise, in this case it happens near the middle. Other conflicts develop, and these lend interest to what otherwise would be a conventional romance.

Fans of historical romances, Signet Regency Romances, and the like (and there are many), will find this book not dissimilar to others of the type. In my case, as a longtime reader of C. S. Forester's Hornblower series, Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin series, and hundreds of other "days of fighting sail" volumes, as well as being a Navy veteran myself, I have to quibble with some of the historical details. But these are minor, not likely to derail enthusiasts of the genre, and ultimately not worth elaborating.

I do think the book is priced rather too high, but that is a matter for the discussion of the Kindle, and ebook, philosophy, which I shall deal with separately.

See Also: A Carla Kelly Fan Site
Carla Kelly's Bibliography
Carla Kelly's Wikipedia Page

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