The White Sails Series, Book 1
by Emma Lombard
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 22 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 20 Jul 2021
As the first full-length novel in The White Sails Series, DISCERNING GRACE captures the spirit of an independent woman whose feminine lens blows the ordered patriarchal decks of a 19th century tall ship to smithereens.
Wilful Grace Baxter, will not marry old Lord Silverton with his salivary incontinence and dead-mouse stink. Discovering she is a pawn in an arrangement between slobbery Silverton and her calculating father, Grace is devastated when Silverton reveals his true callous nature.
Refusing this fate, Grace resolves to stow away. Heading to the docks, disguised as a lad to ease her escape, she encounters smooth-talking naval recruiter, Gilly, who lures her aboard HMS Discerning with promises of freedom and exploration in South America.
When Grace's big mouth lands her bare-bottomed over a cannon for insubordination, her identity is exposed. The captain wants her back in London but his orders, to chart the icy archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, forbid it. Lieutenant Seamus Fitzwilliam gallantly offers to take Grace off the fretting captain's hands by placing her under his protection.
Grace must now win over the crew she betrayed with her secret, while managing her feelings towards her taciturn protector, whose obstinate chivalry stifles her new-found independence. But when Grace disregards Lieutenant Fitzwilliam's warnings about the dangers of the unexplored archipelago, it costs a friend his life and she realises she is not as free as she believes.
DISCERNING GRACE is historical women's fiction that will appeal to fans of Claire Fraser from Outlander and Demelza Poldark from Poldark—in other words, fans of feisty historical female leads. It is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Discerning Grace by Emma Lombard is an absolutely beautiful work of historical fiction! It checked many of the critical boxes I look for in historical-fiction that make it an engrossing and pleasurable read! This novel boasts a strong female protagonist in nearly impossible situations, but does what she needs do! A cast of interesting characters described to impress upon the reader’s mind with clarity, descriptive backgrounds and places, smart witty dialogue, and a lovely twist at the end that I didn't see coming! This and more makes it one of my favorite reads of 2021, having been captivated with the main character (Grace), and the plot from first page to last. I have not read anything from this author prior to reading/listening to this novel, but Emma Lombard is on my radar and I’ll be sure to check out her other works, including books 2 and 3 that follow in this series. I love her writing style - it’s Impeccable, and there is no foul language. Absolutely 5 STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ My thanks to NetGalley, the Publisher, and Emma Lombard, for an advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own. #DiscerningGrace
A story about two people who find each other in the most unusual of circumstances. Grace is a strong character who doesn't back down from what she believes in. The rapport between her and the crew is really well written. Seamus got on my nerves a bit with how highhanded he could be. But his character does evolve. There was a twist at the end that I didn't see coming. Overall a fun sea faring adventure story.
Grace Baxter has always been considered what one would call a willful child and as an adult she is definitely not submissive to her parents rule. After overhearing her parents trading her to a odious lecher she changes herself into a young boy. Grace ends up on the ship of Lieutenant Seamus Fitzwiilliam who she knows and has a crush. However, this is a surveying vessel and is going into some dangerous waters. Grace ends up exposing who she is and things change not only between her and the Lieutenant, but to some of the nastier crewmen. This book is fascinating in the descriptive writing and the sealife of young boys who were traded to work on the ships. The book kept evolving just enough that you wanted to know more. I didn’t know that there was going to be a book two and so I was disappointed in the ending, but overall I definitely would recommend this book. I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.