Being a resident of Nova Scotia and a big fan of Deborah Hale, I couldn't wait to read The Bride Ship, and I have to say I was not left disappointed in any way, shape or form. Deb had to go a long way to knock one of her earlier books, The Carpetbagger, from the top spot on my favorites list but I think The Bride Ship may have just accomplished that.
From the opening scene and the challenge to a duel (of chess no less!), to the clash of personalities, it was wonderful to read along as Jocelyn and Sir Robert's story unfolded.
And hello, could there be a better hero than Sir Robert? Deb has created a deeply honorable and thoroughly loveable hero who resonates long after you've turned the last page. Sir Robert is one of the good guys. Oh I know, lots of women have a thing for the bad boys, but me, I've always liked the good guys, and you can't get any better (gooder...?) than Sir Robert. I just have one question - where are all the Sir Roberts in real life, huh, because I'd really like to get me one of them.
But not to be outdone, the heroine is no slouch either. Jocelyn Finch has learned the fine art of turning lemons into lemonade and she's done it with a feisty determination and sense of humor that leaves poor Sir Robert unsure of whether he's coming or going. She sneaks past his strict moral exterior in ways even he is unprepared for and the result is both touching and comical.
This story kept me riveted from the first page to the last page. I couldn't wait to get home from work each day to find out what happened next. The setting was superbly done and the secondary characters thoroughly engaging (I loved Duckworth!). This book is definitely going on my keeper shelf! The only compliant I had about the book was that it ended. I found myself slowing down at the end because I wasn't ready to leave the characters behind.
Although, Sir Robert did mention he had two younger brothers...