Title Discrimination Aid:
Marrying the Captain: He’s sick, she’s pretty.
Marrying the Royal Marine: He’s pretty, she’s sick.
The Surgeon’s Lady: Everyone’s sick, she’s pretty, his bedside manner is excellent.
I love a back catalogue to make my way through and Carla Kelly does not disappoint. The Sisters Trilogy focuses on the three born-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-blanket daughters of Earl Ratcliff. Each of the women – Nana, Laura, and Polly – finds herself involved with a member of the Royal Marines during the Napoleonic Wars. Not just a bonnet and corset layered over a contemporary story (not that there is anything wrong with that), Kelly’s books have strong historical elements and make the reader feel genuinely immersed in a specific time and place. I even looked up “Regency navy sailor’s quarters”, “Royal Marine“, and assorted similar terms in hopes of gaining a better understanding of the heroes’ lives. Never say romance novels don’t teach one anything.
Marrying the Captain:
Nana Brandon has no dowry and does not expect to marry. Years ago, her otherwise absent and disinterested father tried to sell her to the highest bidder to pay his debts. Literally walking away from everything she knew, she returned to her grandmother and has lived with her since. Content, although admittedly often hungry, helping to run a failing seaside inn, it’s about five years into the fight with Napoleon and Nana’s town has a constant turnover of sailors as their town is the one into which ships sail for dry dock repairs and revictualling; nonetheless, they are not doing well until Captain Oliver Worthy is sent their way. Suffering from a common sailor’s complaint (no, not an STD, a throat infection), Oliver needs a place to stay and recover while he drags himself back and forth to the repair yard.