Juliana was not going to be a token that her father could marry off to whomever he wanted without her consent. Instead, she made plans to dress like a boy, as well as her maid, and work her way across the Atlantic Ocean to Portsmouth and Jeffrey.
Jeffrey had said that once he made his fortune he would send for Juliana but after two years, Juliana has run out of time. With no money, she had no choice but to either whore or work for her passage. As a virgin, work was the choice.
She almost made it, too. Only one more week and they would have been into port but when a fellow deckhand attempted to pull down Juliana’s pants, she reacted like a girl and slapped him. Now, she’s found out and the captain must set her punishment.
Captain Price is a stern but fair man. He knows that the only women allowed onboard are either the captain’s or whores for the crew. Though he admires Juliana’s determination, he must punish her starting with taking her sexually in front of his crew. Afterwards, he’ll see about making a bargain with her.
Juliana is shocked that Captain Price didn’t really take her and even more thankful that a storm blew in. Now, she must make another choice, entertain Captain Price however he wants or put her maid, Bess, in her place.
She’s dreamed of Jeffrey for years so why does she now feel drawn to the captain? Will she be able to keep her virginity for Jeffrey? Or better yet, will she even want to?
Though fairly short, Ms Sinclair seems to put a lot of story into very few pages. The action never stops and the character development just grows. Before you know it, you’re engrossed with the story and suddenly, it’s over leaving you dreaming of what could come next.
The characters are extremely well developed for so few words. You get a real sense of Juliana’s home life and why she felt she had to leave. Captain Price has morals and standards that he lives by and by reading his daily journal, you learn about his desire for Juliana and his desire to do what is right.
From sudden storms to pirate fights to finally getting to shore, this was not a quite voyage. Actually, this story takes place in the last week of the voyage which makes me wonder what happened before this week! With so much happening, you might think that the story would feel rushed or crowded but that is not the case. Instead, it feels possible and even probable.
Though there are spots that I would have liked to see more developed, such as when Juliana finally finds Jeffrey, I pretty much would not change a thing. I really enjoyed this story and wanted it to continue. I thoroughly liked the characters. I found life on ship was interesting.
I firmly recommend this story. It would be perfect for that rainy afternoon or whenever you want to meet up with a handsome sailor.
Captain’s Private Journal, May 30, 1790
My heart pounds hard in my chest as I think of her—the lass awaiting me, naked in my cabin as I commanded. She was discovered masquerading as one of my seamen, yet I am still appalled at myself for demanding such a lewd price for her passage. But when I looked into her eyes—wide, but somehow beckoning—I was filled with a need deeper than any I’d ever known.
For her. For Julianna.
Can I truly touch her and taste her and satisfy my lust on her without taking the maidenhead meant for another? I am a man of impeccable self-control—an asset that has redeemed my family and ensured I’ll not become my wayward father. Then what has taken hold of me? Each moment, the urge to go to her and steal away all that rightfully belongs to another man grows more irresistible. I must touch her. I must hold her. I must drive myself into her…
I must not.