Title: Becoming Lady Lockwood
Author: Jennifer Moore
Release Date: July 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: I Am A Reader
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Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she’d never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother’s sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man’s world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry . . . William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia’s marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family’s estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous Lady to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation . . . Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together?
Amelia Becket has enjoyed the sun and relaxed social constricts of Jamaican society. She has put herself fully into making her late mother’s sugar plantation a success, engaged in all aspects of plantation life. She lives alone in her house, as her father is an admiral in the British Navy. Since her mother’s death when she was 10, her father has been to Jamaica only twice, the first time to fight to get rights to the plantation and the second time to have her marry an earl by proxy.
Within the first few pages, I had no love for Amelia’s father. He reminded me of someone I know: wants everything for himself, even if it is his, will contrive any way to obtain what he wants, and uses his power and title to belittle and threaten to help “sway” others decisions. In essence, as self-centered, greedy jerk masquerading as an upstanding man of the British Navy.
But Captain William Drake does not know any of this. He has been sent to Jamaica to collect Amelia and take her to London to settle the suit he has brought against her father regarding her marriage to his late brother. Awkward! Right from the start he is cold and rude, but his right hand man, Sidney, provides the warmth and civility that Drake is lacking. They develop a fast friendship after boarding, as Amelia does with all of the crew…all except one Captain William Drake.
Just as with her plantation, Amelia immerses herself into ship life. She helps out everywhere she can, and does everything but loading and firing cannons. She endears herself to all, and I thought there would come a moment when the crew would turn mutinous against the captain for some silly brained punishment to met out to Amelia, but that didn’t happen.
William Drake is a very astute man. Despite his personal feelings about Amelia’s marriage to his late brother, he does not let that blind him to some of the smaller details Amelia reveals about her life, and he quickly picks up on them and puzzles over them, trying to see the larger picture and understand her relationship with her father. He quickly comes to correct conclusions, and during all of his trying to figure it out, we see a different side of Captain William Drake, a man worthy of admiration, compassion and love.
That is all about to be ruined, as the Captain’s mission orders take his ship and crew of 800+ directly into French waters and danger. Soon they learn that his exact location and mission route was released to the French. There is a traitor somewhere in the British Navy that wants somebody aboard his ship dead, and Drake can’t help but wonder if Amelia is the target.
I loved Amelia Becket. She is the kind of woman who I would want to be friends with, and if I had lived during her time, I think I would be very much like her. She may not be as “refined” as some of the London ton, but she doesn’t need that kind of refinery. She is fine just the way she is, and Captain Drake soon realizes this, too.
There were several parts of the book that I loved. When Amelia takes her first meal with the officers of the ship, it is a dry, dull meal, until she makes a joke at the Captain’s expense. That was the first moment of her acceptance on the ship, which is an unusual thing since having a woman aboard is known wide and far to be bad luck.
Another of my favorite parts was Amelia’s birthday. The officers organized something for her birthday, and the men were very accommodating and sweet about the whole thing. It made me glad that she was surrounded by people who truly cared about her…until Captain Drake walks in because all the men are all late. After dismissing all but one of his crew, he requests something quite scandalous of Amelia for that time. That scene was wonderful to read about, and when Amelia returned to her cabin there was a gift for her. 🙂
This was a fast-paced, intriguing and wonderful read. I would like to see what happens to some of the characters after the conclusion of this book, but I don’t believe it will be a series.
*****About the Author*****
Jennifer Moore is a Passionate reader and writer of all things romance, helping her find balance with the rest of her world, which includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. Jennifer has a BA in linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family. You can learn more about her at authorjmoore.com. The author’s first book, Becoming Lady Lockwood, is a regency romance centered on the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s.
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