Star-Crossed by Linda Collison
Summary (from the back of the book): Patricia Kelley has been raises a proper British lady - but she's become a stowaway. To claim the estate that is rightfully hers, she must travel to Barbados, hidden in a merchant ship.
The plan works - for a time. But soon Patricia is discovered and is torn between two worlds: the dignified realm of the ship's officers, and the rough company of sailors. These worlds offer her two different futures, and two different paths to love.
Note: This is no fault of the author's, obviously, but I still feel the need to mention it because - well, I need to vent. Pages 201 to 232 were missing. Not because they'd fallen out or anything. My copy was almost brand-new and there was no gap where the pages should be. They were just GONE. Oh, and I'm slightly crabby, so I'm going to kinda mean, and maybe spoiler heavy. Sorry about that.
Review: What happens when you put a sixteen year old girl on a ship with a hot guy just a bit older than her? She ends up marrying a thirty year old man, of course. What were you expecting? I absolutely hated that she did that. Okay, I get that back then you didn't have very many options as a woman, but seriously, how about some loyalty to the man you claim to love, maybe be willing to tough out the hard times with the people you care about? Nope. Instead, she married a doctor.
Okay, I'm done that now. It was a good book, all in all. Most of the characters were pretty interesting and well-enough thought out (although there were a couple who showed up after the missing pages who I had no clue who they were, and then they were gone, so that was a bit confusing), even though at times one character could easily be replaced by another, and Patricia annoyed me a bit... more than a bit sometimes.
The plot rocked for the most part, but I've honestly read it before, except for closer to the end, when she actually joins up with the army, disguised as a man, of course. If the author had explored that more, it would have made the book deeper in a way, grittier, maybe.
I know I'm bringing this up for the second time, but seriously, seventeen year old sleeping with a thirty one year old - EWWWWW. And illegal in most places in this day and age. Historically accurate, yes, but still EW.
Conclusion: I'm going to give this one three and a half roses, points off for missing pages and pedophilia, but a good story none the less. Ones I'd read first would by The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi and With a Silent Companion by Florida Ann Town first.
Peace and cookies,