Discerning Grace by Emma Lombard is the first book in her new White Sails series. More than just a fluffy romance novel– this author has clearly done her research!
As the first full-length novel in The White Sails Series, DISCERNING GRACE captures the spirit of an independent woman whose feminine lens blows the ordered patriarchal decks of a 19th century tall ship to smithereens.
Willful Grace Baxter, will not marry old Lord Silverton with his salivary incontinence and dead-mouse stink. Discovering she is a pawn in an arrangement between slobbery Silverton and her calculating father, Grace is devastated when Silverton reveals his true callous nature.
Refusing this fate, Grace resolves to stow away. Heading to the docks, disguised as a lad to ease her escape, she encounters smooth-talking naval recruiter, Gilly, who lures her aboard HMS Discerning with promises of freedom and exploration in South America.
What will happen once Grace’s identity is exposed?
Genre fiction is my guilty pleasure, and I have a particular soft spot for historical romance. Discerning Grace was just the escape I needed during this busy time of year. In the evenings, it was a delight to slip between the pages and escape to the high seas.
I’m a fan of Jane Austen and I have many books set around this time period; however, I’ve never read one quite like this before. The age of white sails was an entirely new experience for me. I was able to smell the salty air, feel the deck rocking beneath my feet, and lose myself in a time of adventure.
It is clear that the author did her research, but she presents her nautical adventure in such a way that even a complete land lubber such as myself could become immersed in the world. The entire book felt authentic and I was fascinated to learn what life would have been like on a sailing ship during the 1800s.
Although the novel is a romance, there is much more here than simple fluff. She tackles some serious issues, including the struggles women faced (and still face today) in a patriarchal society. At the risk of sounding like a reading hipster, please allow me to say that books like this one are the reason I love indiebooks. This novel is so much more fun than anything I’ve read from a mainstream press in ages!
This book reminds me of a combination of Treasure Island and Jane Austen. A definite seafaring delight!
If you enjoy feisty heroines, or if you’re just looking for adventure on the high seas, then I highly recommend you set sail with Grace and the crew of the Discerning. You’ll have a grand old time!
Get your copy on Amazon and sail away today! (affiliate link)
*Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.