Series: Captivating Captains #3
Authors: Catherine Curzon &
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Length: 214 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
When Captain Pendleton needs an emergency fiancée, who better to turn to than his male best friend? After all, for Amadeo Orsini, life’s one long, happy drag!
Captain Ambrose “Pen” Pendleton might have distinguished himself on the battlefield at Waterloo but since he’s come home to civvy street, he’s struggled to make his mark.
Pen dreams of becoming a playwright but his ambitious father has other ideas, including a trophy wife and a new job in America. If he’s to stand a hope of staying in England and pursuing his dream, Pen needs to find a fiancée fast.
Amadeo Orsini never made it as a leading man, but as a leading lady he’s the toast of the continental stage. Now Cosima is about to face her most challenging role yet, that of Captain Pendleton’s secret amour.
With the help of a talking theatrical parrot who never forgets his lines, Orsini throws on his best frock, slaps on the rouge and sets out to save Pen from the clutches of Miss Harriet Tarbottom and her scheming parents.
As friendship turns into love, will the captain be able to write a happy ending for himself and Orsini before the curtain falls?
Reader advisory: This book includes mention of PTSD.
Captain Ambrose Pendleton (Pen) had long desired to pursue the life of a playwright in the theatre despite it not being what most would consider a worthy profession of the son of a wealthy coal baron. But he had such a way with words and loved the easy life of the stage—a place where his own personal desires could perhaps have more chances at coming true. However, Pen’s father was now bent on marrying Pen off to the daughter of an American coal baron in order to build his own financial empire and see his son follow in his footsteps. Too bad if Pen thought he didn’t want to move to America, if his father had his way he would be married and setting sail within just a few weeks.
During his last few days of freedom, Pen meets up with the one man who was never far from his mind since the idyllic summer they had spent together in their youth. Amadeo Orsini had captivated Pen from the start and no amount of time could change the feelings he had for the actor. Now Amadeo spent his time on stage as the mysteriously beautiful Cosima—a character Pen had written early on in a delightfully masterful play. When Amadeo hears of the impending nuptials and the two men rediscover the passion they had for each other but had kept hidden, he hatches a plan to save Pen from the clutches of the Americans. Now all Pen has to do is marry Cosima and they can live happily ever after as man and wife/man.
What a marvelous novel Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead have added to their Captivating Captains series. Each one is a standalone and I must say that this one, The Captain and The Theatrical has definitely made me determined to read the first two in this fun and sassy trio of books. Taking us back to a time in history where arranged marriages were the norm and sons did as their fathers demanded, the authors give us a delightful twist to the idea of true love and attraction. Only in this era could a man get away with dressing and acting as a woman and fool everyone around them.
If you are looking for realism this may not be the novel for you. Instead this love story is built on whimsy and clever thinking with two men dreaming impossible dreams that they are determined to make come true. There are a few twists and turns in this story that make the secondary mystery thread exciting to read. The Americans are pure evil and I love the way that Pen’s mother assures him that maybe not all Americans are bad seeds. I will admit to not liking Pen’s father very much but when his back story is revealed and his reasons for hating theatricals is divulged I really understood why he acted as he did and instantly forgave the man.
Amadeo/Cosima was undeniably the scene stealer in almost every chapter. Clever and witty and bent on saving his precious Pen, the character was deceptively genteel while hiding a backbone of steel. I was so relieved when the declaration that saw both men realizing they felt the same about each other came early in the novel and made them partners in crime instead of victims. It was so fun to watch them hoodwink everyone around them.
The Captain and The Theatrical by Curzon and Harkstead is a delightful romp full of mystery and intrigue. A historical piece with a fun twist and just the perfect end of summer read.
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