Disguised as her father’s cabin boy to escape her cruel grandmother, Georgana Woodall must decide if she can give her love to the dashing Lieutenant Dominic Peyton. Doing so would tie her to the sea and the navy’s world of war and uncertainty forever, but can she give up this ray of sunshine for a predictable life on shore? (x)
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I had fully intended to read and review this before its publication date…but then the whole coup thing happened. But I’ve finally finished, and I can say wholeheartedly that I’ll definitely read more of Arlem Hawk’s books in the future!
I really liked George/Georgana as a character. So often these days, people think a strong female character has to be physically strong and tough, but that’s ridiculous. Not only that, but it’s kind of misogynistic in a way because it’s basically saying that, for a woman to be strong, she has to be physically strong like a man. That just ain’t so, my friends. Women can be strong in many ways. Yes, we can be physically strong, but we can also be emotionally strong. This girl disguised herself as a boy for THREE YEARS on a ship in the 1800s. Do you know how hard that would be on you? Imagine having to hide the periods! I think I’d be discovered in about two days. Georgana is resilient. She faces scrutiny from the men and boys on the ship every day but finds ways to make it more bearable, such as by drawing. And it’s not just the men. Her grandmother was horrible, as well. Her whole life consisted of finding ways to protect herself before she ever set foot on a ship. In the end, she saves the whole crew with her wit and courage! This girl is a force to be reckoned with, and Hawks did a great job with her character.
Now onto Dominic. He is such a good hero. He faces his own struggles in this novel as he tries to figure out how he wants to live the rest of his life while still being there for his mother—and later Georgana. He’s steadfast, a good person in general, and strong leader who cares about those under his command and protection. He’s literally willing to die for Georgana and her father, even when he doesn’t think he has a future with her. Overall, he’s just so sweet toward her, both when he thinks she’s a boy and when he knows she’s not.
My only qualm—and it’s a tiny one!—is that I didn’t like how Georgana’s father acts toward her before the end of the novel. It seemed out of character to me, and it felt a little jarring. But hey, we can’t like everything.
I have a few of Hawk’s novellas downloaded on my Kindle, so I plan to get to them sometime this year. I highly recommend following her Instagram; you’ll learn lots of interesting stuff!