I was so excited to read Jennifer Moore's new book, Charlotte's Promise. I love her historical romances and I think this one was definitely one of her best!
Charlotte Bower has suffered through her parents' murder and being kidnapped and sold by Creek Indians. She is determined to escape her captors and find her brother and while it takes longer than she would like, she finally manages it. She cuts her hair and boards a ship bound for New Orleans, the place she believes her little brother has been taken. Life as a sailor isn't what Charlotte expected at all, but she must make it work if she's ever going to find her brother. But will her secret be discovered while they are out at sea? Captain Alden Thatcher knows right away that Charlotte is a woman, but keeps her secret when he realizes she's being sought by men who would enslave her again. But Captain Thatcher faces his own dangers including when his ship is attacked and a crew member goes overboard. The risks intensify the closer they get to New Orleans, and the captain and Charlotte must face the demons of their pasts if there is ever to be a future between them.
I loved Charlotte's character. She was spunky and determined, but had also been through a lot so her spirit was tender. Watching her try to be a "man" was quite funny and it was nice to see her slowly build friendships with the crew. Her relationship with Captain Thatcher makes for a slow romantic build that I truly enjoyed. Captain Thatcher is such a wonderful hero and so easy to imagine. His reactions to Charlotte as Charlie were sweet and I was glad we got to see his point of view throughout the ship scenes. There was a nice twist at the end regarding the captain's affections and Charlotte's quest to find her brother that might surprise some readers, but never fear, we still get a sigh-worthy ending.
I think Ms. Moore expertly weaves in the history surrounding this time period and I loved learning details. Her knowledge and research is stellar and really makes her books stand out. This is a beautiful story of resilience and love and will definitely go on the keeper shelf!
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Here's the back copy:
One year ago Charlotte Bower's life was ripped apart when Creek Indians attacked, killed her parents, and separated her from her young brother—now, she will stop at nothing to find him. After a year of captivity, she has finally made her escape. Her search will begin in New Orleans, where captives were taken after the raid. But how to reach a city hundreds of miles away? As she watches men boarding a waiting ship, Charlotte formulates a bold plan: if it's men they need for the ship's crew, it's a man they'll get. Taking on her childhood nickname, Charlie, it is all too easy to gain passage on the New Orleans-bound vessel. Easy, that is, until Charlie is caught . . .
From the moment he sets eyes on the new deckhand, Captain Alden Thatcher knows one thing for certain: Charlie Bower is no man. But for reasons of his own, he keeps her secret. As their journey progresses, however, the voyage is increasingly ill-fated. With danger ever present, Charlie and the captain find themselves relying on one another in ways they'd never imagined. As they draw closer to her goal, Charlotte is faced with the most perilous adventure of all—an adventure that may risk her heart.