SHIPWRECKED WITH THE CAPTAIN - Diane Gaston
The Governess Swap, Book 2
Ireland to England - 1816
Governess Claire Tilson is aboard a packet ship bound from Dublin to England, where a she's to be governess to two little girls who have lost their parents. Onboard, Claire meets a woman who could be her twin, Lady Rebecca Pierce. The two women form a quick friendship and trade clothes immediately, intent upon fooling the other passengers. When morning dawns, they are still dressed in the other's clothes when they are forced to abandon ship.
Captain Lucien Roper is on deck when lightning splits the ship apart. He is swept overboard with Lady Rebecca Pierce in his arms. Hours later, clinging to a floating piece of debris, Lucien wraps himself and the lady inside a piece of sailcloth, and prays they both survive.
When an unconscious Claire awakes, she's in the arms of a strange man! In an amnesiatic state, she remembers nothing of the shipwreck or her life prior to this morning, and now Captain Lucien Roper says she is Lady Rebecca Pierce, sister of the Earl of Keneagle. Clinging to merely a piece of wood in the middle of an endless ocean, a frightened Claire needs conversation to keep her fear at bay. She hopes that as Lucien speaks, a memory will burst into her mind, and so for the next several hours the British Naval Captain (and, as Claire discovers, also a war hero) tells her of his life, leaving out the part about her/Rebecca's family bringing his to near ruin. Nearly forty-eight hours later they are rescued by a fishing boat, but it's three long weeks before they disembark back in Dublin.
When Claire Tilson is SHIPWRECKED WITH THE CAPTAIN, her only link to the past is the tiny velvet reticule she carries. She worries if the woman Lucien told her about, a governess, survived. And she is frightened when her brother arrives in Dublin only to berate her and demand that she gets to London immediately and marry her betrothed, Baron Stonecroft! The Earl throws a purse of coins at Claire/Rebecca and casts her out of his life. Determined to protect her, Lucien hires a young couple, Ella and Cullen to accompany them to London, then on to Bath, where they have learned Lord Stonecroft is in residence. Claire is confused and feels quite out of sorts. She is increasingly uncomfortable dressing in these fine clothes and having a maid at her beck and call! It is as if she's a stranger living inside her/Lady Rebecca's body!
SHIPWRECKED WITH THE CAPTAIN is a very special story! The second/final novel in Diane Gaston's The Governess Swap Miniseries , (see review for book one, A LADY BECOMES A GOVERNESS, July 2018), this book stands alone, but trust me, you really want to read both!
Claire has lived in a state of utter confusion ever since she awoke next to Lucien. And now, after meeting Baron Stonecroft, her skin crawls at the thought that she must marry this man. He is stuffy, overbearing, and twice her age! Resigned to accepting her fate, she moves into his house and accompanies him and his sister, Miss Attwood, to the constant round of parties the Lord insists they attend. Claire is thankful that Lucien is almost always attending the same functions. As for Lucien, he never allows Claire to get too far out of his sight. He feels she still needs his protection. And there is also that little matter of his being in love with her!
Claire and Lucian are a wonderful pair and SHIPWRECKED WITH THE CAPTAIN is chock full of sparkling secondary characters as well. As readers walk the path with Claire and Lucien toward their destiny, the pages are swathed inside a delightful story of passion, romance, and danger when Claire is confronted by a stalker: a red-headed man from a past life she does not recall. Wrapping up the tale and giving us closure for both books are the Viscount Brookmore, and the real Lady Rebecca Pierce! Do not miss SHIPWRECKED WITH THE CAPTAIN!