Historical fiction is not usually a genre I tend to pick up and read, but I am so glad I did. ‘Discerning Grace’ by Emma Lombard, has it all. Family drama, betrayal, adventure, comradery, suspense, and love. What more could you want in a good read? The book is the first in ‘The White Sails Series'. So, you have been warned. If you read this book, you will be waiting eagerly for books two and three.
The author takes us back to London in the 1800’s, where we met our protagonist. Young Grace Baxter is full of spunk, and decides to flee from her lot in life after discovering her family has promised the disgusting slobbering Lord Silverton her hand in marriage.
She flees disguised as a lad, and subsequently finds herself being lured aboard the HMS Discerning by a charismatic recruiter named Gilly. It’s the perfect disguise, and she agrees, as she has nothing to lose. She already has Gilly fooled, so why not? Once aboard, she meets handsome Lieutenant Seamus Fitzwilliam, who is second in command.
Grace is headstrong and more than capable of keeping up with her fellow young men on the ship. Only problem is, her identity and gender are revealed, when she is punished, pants down, waiting to be flogged in front of her fellow seamen.
Seamus quickly vows to protect Grace from harm, but is she the only one who needs protecting?
For lovers of adventure, romance, intrigue, and period drama, this book is for you. Emma has created engaging characters, unsuspecting twists and turns, romance, and heart stopping adventure on the high seas. If you are a fan of historical fiction, I highly recommend this well written, and entertaining book that will have you turning the pages. I am happy it is the first of a series, as I wanted more.
You can see the author has done her research. Every single detail in this wonderfully crafted story, effectively transports the reader into a 19th century rollicking adventure. I promise you this book will not disappoint.
I give it 5 stars *****