Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Jennifer Moore - Becoming Lady Lockwood

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?

Comment: I got interested in this book back in 2015. I no longer remember where nor why but after finishing the book I guess it was because I've read somewhere it would feature an enemy to lovers sort of plot and I tend to enjoy those. 

In this story we meet Amelia Beckett, a young woman who married my proxy to a man her father had chosen but now that her "husband" is dead she can live a more independent life in her plantation in Jamaica. However, her life changes when her late husband's brother, a captain in the navy, comes to get her back to England where her father, also in the navy, has demanded she get there so the issue related to the inheritance of her husband is settled. Amelia has no need to have her husband's money as she is an heir from her mother's side but she complies only to get things solved and she can return back to her beloved Jamaica.
While on the ship, Amelia faces many adventures, including a brave and daring rescue from french ships and attacks. But while in England, are things going to be solved as easily as Amelia has imagined? And will she simply forget captain Drake, the next lord Lockwood, a man she comes to cherish?

This is my first book by mrs Moore and of course I had no idea how I would enjoy it - or not. This is also a short book, my edition doesn't quite reach 200 pages and I can only assume it was a well thought detail because some situations just didn't feel as well inserted in the plot as they could have.

This is what some label as a "clean romance" and the most risqué scene is a kiss if I remember correctly. I have nothing against clean romances I'm not certain the inferred scenes of understanding and the inner thoughts of the main characters can be elements good enough to convey love as strong as apparently defended by the characters. Clean romances can be as romantic and strong as explicit ones but I must say i didn't feel totally convinced.

The plot of this story has many situations I feel could have been solved better. Or at least faster but since most of the plot is spent in a ship, well, that is an acceptable delaying tactic.
The reasons why Amelia travels and why she has doubts are kept hidden enough to make the reader expectant but somehow the way things are dealt with don't feel as well explained, at least not o the point one thinks the course of action taken was the only possible thing to be done.
When things finally are resolved and the main protagonists can accept their feelings for one another I had the feeling nothing major was accomplished and there was a certain lack of impact in everything.

The romance is sweet, Amelia seems to be the smartest person alive, except when it comes to a man's feelings of course, she is kind and brave and she manages to deceive a ship of french officers and sailors and all that while maintaining her composure.
The relationship with captain Lockwood had all the ingredients to be great: she was his brother's sort of widow, they felt some attraction to one another that considering the situation was funnily dealt with animosity, they would spend time together in a ship, etc. but even accepting this wouldn't be a story filled with sexual tension scenes, I think the progress of their feelings could have been done better.
Captain William Drake is a dedicated officer, he is only leaving his duty because he must assume another and he wants to make things right when it comes to his brother's money and estate and so on. I've never really connected with him for some reason so I didn't feel as invested in the relationship as a whole. Nothing wrong with either main character but... quite bland, both of them.

I liked some details about the life in the ship, about the way each individual is an important piece of a whole... but the elements directly related to the plot weren't all very fascinating.
I'm not certain I'll read another book by the author but perhaps one day...
Grade: 6/10

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