As promised, a review of a Castaway Dreams, by Darlene Marshall, a book that I read on a whim. Aren't whims fun?
The setting is the Atlantic ocean in 1817. Alexander Murray is a surgeon on a British Navy ship. When he meets fellow passenger Daphne Farnham, he quickly dismisses her as brainless and flighty. But when circumstances force him to be responsible for her, and when the two end up shipwrecked together, Alexander finds that there's more to Daphne than he ever suspected. Daphne trusts the dour doctor implicitly--until it becomes apparent to her that he is much younger and more virile than she initially thought. The attraction is mutual, and a love affair begins--but will it survive outside of their island paradise?
My goodness, this book is fun! Who doesn't occasionally think it would be nice to escape to an abandoned tropical island--especially with the right companion? Marshall does an excellent job at creating that grand adventure feel.
I liked Alexander. He's overly serious, but we are given enough background information on him to understand why. I like that he has a profession that he's fought hard for and cares about deeply. It's a nice relieve from the dukes and earls I often see in historical romance.
The banter between Alexander and Daphne is snappy and fun. It's an opposites attract kind of romance, and it works in so many ways. They have great chemistry, both sexually and in their ability to work together. I really love seeing a hero and heroine team up to achieve a goal--in this case, basic survival.
Daphne is easily my least favorite type of heroine--fairly shallow, naive, and at times just plain stupid. Unfortunately, she really is the perfect character to offset Alexander, so I can't entirely fault her. But there where some moments of "Oh my God, no one is this dumb!" accompanied by shaking of my Kindle to try to make the ignorance stop. The worst was when Alexander was trying to pretend she was his wife, for her own protection, and she couldn't figure out to play along. At that point, I was pretty sure she deserved to be eaten by cannibals.
Fans of action driven historical romance--this one is for you! The romance is hot, the writing is smart, and the plot is just plain fun. 4 stars.