Friday, December 11, 2020

A Castaway In Cornwall By Julie Klassen

A Castaway in Cornwall
by Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764234224

Believe it or not, I think this is the first launch team I've been on for Julie Klassen!! I've reviewed her books, but never been on one of her teams!! I'm incredibly thankful for being given the opportunity to participate with her. I was sent the book to help facilitate my review.

Summary:

Set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers, Laura Callaway now lives with her uncle and his disapproving wife in North Cornwall. There she feels like a castaway, always viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong. 

While wreckers search for valuables along the windswept Cornwall coast--known for its many shipwrecks but few survivors--Laura searches for clues to the lives lost so she can write letters to next of kin and return keepsakes to rightful owners. When a man is washed ashore after a wreck, Laura acts quickly to protect him from a local smuggler determined to destroy him.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the survivor, they discover he has curious wounds and, although he speaks in careful, educated English, his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Despite the evidence against him, the mysterious man might provide her only chance to discover the truth about her parents' fate. With danger pursuing them from every side, and an unexpected attraction growing between them, will Laura ever find the answers she seeks?

My Review:

It was so wonderful to travel across the pond to visit Cornwall. Julie Klassen has such an amazing way of bringing the reader into the 1800s! I'm always transported to somewhere in England (and this time France) that I just have to visit! Cornwall, England anyone?

I don't know if this is the right thing to admit or not, but I will read a Julie Klassen novel and never bother to read the back because she's one of my favorite authors. I always know I'll get what I'm hoping for, which is to be whisked away into historical romance!

I really liked getting to know Laura Callaway. Being an outsider to the ways of the Cornish, you know that she is blazing her own trail and while she wants to respect their way of living, her "upcountry" upbringing seems to set her apart. Which, when she's faced with rescuing the man who has washed ashore, instead of leaving him to die as Tom Parsons would've preferred. Now that's a fella who isn't likable at all!

As always, Julie writes the leading men in such a way that they're mysterious and dashing all at once. She certainly knows how to make them irresistible. Not only to the leading ladies, but I know we readers enjoy them just as much! hahahaha I mean, she writes about this shipwreck survivor and I don't think any of us would mind running into him in a dark alley. :) I don't want to give too much of this guy away since not much is known about him from the summary!

It was really easy to feel incredibly disconnected to the "not so family" family Laura ends up living with. I was so thankful for the character of Eseld. She actually ended up being one of my favorite characters. As timid as she is to follow her mom's orders, you can tell there's a stubborn streak laying deep inside her.

Of course the story comes with bad guys who are slippery buggars who seem to weasel their way out of horrible situations. The louts! 

I'd like to point out all of the research the author has done for this story. It is truly mind boggling to me everything they have to learn and study to make the story not only come to life, but be true to the history. I can't even begin to imagine putting in that much time simply to write a novel. We're definitely the ones who win in the end. I had no idea about Jersey. Never even heard of it until this story. And sakes alive, I know absolutely nothing about boats, but it was fascinating to read about how different ships can get through different levels of water.

Also, now I want to read the books that she quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I don't know about you, but I've never wanted to visit Cornwall, but do now. Obviously it would be a 2020 version so maybe not as Klassen as I'd like it to be.

I know with how the book ends we wouldn't get to have a stand alone story about one of the supporting characters, but I really ended up liking Treeve. He's a friend of Laura's who is constantly trying to either flirt with her or get a rise out of her. While he seems to be questionable at times, I really ended up liking his character.

As a side note, the cover of this book (front, side, and back) are absolutely stunning. I don't know that I've ever seen a pearlescent book cover, but this one has it and it's really unique. The designer did a beautiful job!

About the Author:

Julie Klassen (www.julieklassen.com) loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.

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