Friday, May 16, 2008

Beau Crusoe - Carla Kelly


Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe--a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous!

Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence--until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past--but what secrets was this glorious man hiding?

This was my second book by Carla Kelly. My first one was The Wedding Journey. I found that the two are similar because they both deal with very different subjects from what we are used to in regencies. The Wedding Journey approached the problems of the army during the Peninsular Wars and this one deals with surviving a trauma (a shipwreck and having to survive on a desert island).

In fact both the hero and the heroine have some problems to overcame. The heroine has run away to marry as so the whole family has been shunned by society and her sister hates her now that she is back home, a widow with a young son.

James Trevenen, or Beau Crusoe, meets Susannah Park when he is invited to stay at her parent's house by her grandfather when he arrives in London to receive an award. Susannah's grandfather wants to match make the two of them which he doesn't hide from Trevenen and that Trevenen tells Susannah. They immediately decide they will not fall in love during the two weeks they will spend together but in truth a bit of an attraction starts showing when the idea is planted.

At the same time Trevenen is busy changing the live of every other of Susannah's relatives. Her parents get closer, her sister falls for one of his acquaintances that she nurses to health. In fact this part of the story was quite light with Trevenen lying to everyone so he can do good deeds.

The story also has a serious side as Trevenen seems to be suffering from something like post-traumatic stress disorder in which he sees ghosts and has nightmares constantly. It will take Susannah's strength who finds out what really happened after the shipwreck and tries to heal him.

The story was really well written and the plot was really interesting and original. My only problem with it was that I felt the was some lack of magic, it wasn't as light and witty as the light moments promised and it wasn't as serious and complex as the serious parts demanded.

Grade: B

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