The latest First Reads Goodreads giveaway novel this pedometer geek reader read was an e-book of Shelley Kassian’s A Heart Across the Ocean. This was the first time to have read this author, but the historical time period and setting was similar to another historical romance that this reader read. This is the extended review of Kassian’s novel.
A Heart Across the Ocean
By Shelley Kassian
Published by Shelley Kassian, 2108
Set during the time of the settling of New France, this is a historical romance novel about a young Parisian woman who is escaping her past and the soldier who catches her. Traveling across the Atlantic to find a husband, Madeleine Bourbonnais is beautiful, but she carries a secret within. She barely survives the overwhelming seasickness that occurs on the way over, leaving her weak. So weak in fact, that she ends up falling into the arms of a captain, Julian Benoit. Suffice it to say, she makes quite an impression on him.
Julian Benoit is a second son in a time where he won’t inherit a title so he becomes a soldier, making his fortune in the new world. He is engaged to Catherine, who has no plans to leave Paris so he has finally given up all hope of marrying his beloved. His commander has mandated that his soldiers marry one of King’s daughters (filles de Roi), who are women of good breeding but few prospects (read: money). Providing each of these women with a small dowry, the king ensures that New France will be settled. Enter Madeleine, who literally falls into his arms.
The pair begins to court, but she has a secret that could affect their growing relationship. She keeps trying to tell him, but never finds the right opportunity until the day of the wedding. Once he finds out, will be abandon her? Or will this become a love match?
It is a romance without graphic sex scenes. What intimate moments there are, are tender and sweet. The love story builds slowly, but is worth the drawn out tension between the pair.
There are a few misused words in the text and off turns of language (words used in a different way), but it didn’t distract too much from the story…an example: the word prodigy should have been progeny.
As mentioned above (and coincidentally), there is another romance Heaven in His Arms, written by Lisa Ann Verge, that features a King’s daughter, who travels to New France in hopes of marriage and starting a new life.
This reader found the historical nature of these two romances to be fascinating as this was never addressed in any of the history classes taken through the years. While I was taught about Jacques Cartier’s exploration of this area of the Americas, most of the focus of history lessons from this period turned to the English settlers and the subsequent founding of the nation.
The two stories are different, and yet very similar. Both were enjoyable, and this reader would not hesitate to read another by either of the two authors