Saturday, February 6, 2021

Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks (Book Review)

Arlem Hawk's debut novel is a well-written adventurous Regency-era romance set aboard a Royal Naval ship. I was captivated from the beginning right to the end!

Book Details:

Book Title: Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks
Category: Adult Fiction, 320 pages
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Release dates: January 12, 2021
Content Rating: PG-13 (child abuse, violence, and navy battle scenes)

Book Description:

A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, "George."

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty's Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain's cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the "boy" under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy's secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic's compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Arlem Hawk's debut novel is a well-written adventurous Regency-era romance set aboard a Royal Naval ship. I was captivated from the beginning right to the end, with not a dull moment or lapse in the story. This story is also so much more than just romance. It's about enduring under harsh circumstances while still maintaining integrity.

Georgana Woodall is the daughter of a Navy officer who is mostly at sea. She and her mother suffer under the psychological and physical abuse of her paternal grandmother. When Georgana is fourteen her mother dies, and her father, now a ship captain, whisks her away with him to sea once he discovers the abuse she has suffered at the hands of his mother. For three years she is disguised as his cabin boy, George. Lieutenant Dominic Peyton joins the crew and takes George under his wing, not realizing she is a girl until they start spending more time together.

What I loved most about this book is the character development. Georgana is a 17-year old girl who has lived a hard life both in London with her grandmother and on the ship, working hard as a cabin boy so that the crew would not suspect. She is quiet and meek, but strong and compassionate as she strives to do her part while experiencing the hardships of navy life and bloody battles with enemy ships. Dominic is full of life and love for the sea. He is loyal, kind and so likable with his grins that light up his face. I loved these two characters and how they show strength of character. How they fall in love with each other's personality, perseverance, and determination. 

The author brought to life what it was like to live as a navy officer on a battleship in the early 1800s. I actually did research so that I could better envision the author's detailed description of the ship's parts and decks. (The author has Youtube videos where she discusses historical details, which I found very interesting.) She didn't romanticize this life but rather showed what it was like through the eyes of a young girl who slowly blossomed into a young woman experiencing the joys and pangs of first love. I think this novel would make a great action-adventure romance movie.

I am so impressed by this author's debut novel that she is now on my list of favorite authors of historical fiction. I can't wait to read her next book!

Buy the Book

About the Author:

Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn't writing, Arlem is baking her characters' favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.

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  1. This does sound lovely! I've never been into Regency romans (except for Jane Austen), but I've watched Bridgerton and read the first two books. Think I might just have discovered a genre I actually like. Lovely review and I will keep an eye out for this one.

    Elza Reads

  2. I am so glad that you enjoyed the book, Laura. What a complement to Hawk's writing that she is now a favorite. Best, LA

  3. I love the premise for this story. Lovely review!

  4. You make me want to read this, I'm adding it to my TBR. It sounds like a lovely novel but also, there is the ultimate attraction : ships !! Great review :)


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