Book: Who Is He? (The Southern Seas Series) by Gwendoline Ewinscategories: Book, Adventure, Social Expectations, Grief, Joy, South Pacific, 19th Century Voyages, Regency Romance
Gwendoline Ewinsabout this book: This long novella (32,000 words) virtually wrote itself. It began as a regency romance when a picture suddenly came into my mind of two very young women in virginal white trying to act grown up at a ball while everyone around them was all-knowing and sophisticated.
Hester and Deborah are best friends. Hester, the more confident of the two, has a history of walking into trouble and unwittingly pulling other people along with her. That's what she does with Luke Wainwright, an artist newly returned from an expedition to the Antipodes. According to the stringent rules of their society he compromises Hester by some very minor act. They are forced into marriage and she determines to travel with him when he leaves England.
This is where regency romance ends and historical romance takes over. Luke has booked himself a cabin on a ship bound for the vivid light of Tahiti. He informs Hester she can accompany him - if she wants. More out of pique than anything else she says Yes.
On the arduous voyage they begin to trust one another. As they set up home in a different society with rules totally different from the ones they know, they become friends. And lovers. They experience grief as well as joy. At times they are in paradise, at others in hell.
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