Nichols, Mary, The Captain’s Kidnapped Beauty, (Richmond, Surrey: Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2012).
Title: The Captain’s Kidnapped Beauty
Author: Mary Nichols
Issues: Abduction; Class Differences; Gendered Expectations (Women)
Rescue from an unlikely source!
Abducted and taken aboard a merchant ship bound for India, Charlotte Gilpin desperately searches for ways to escape. The heiress certainly doesn’t expect rescue from the most unlikely of sources—Captain Alexander Carstairs, a man with whom she has crossed swords in the past.
Alex isn’t sure what to make of Charlotte’s claim to have been kidnapped—he wouldn’t put it past this spirited woman to have cooked up the whole thing to avoid her father’s matchmaking. But in the confines of the ship this confirmed bachelor unexpectedly finds Charlotte getting under his skin…again!
This is number five in my Piccadilly Gentlemen’s Club series, in which club members solve crimes in Georgian society. Previously I have featured murder, deception, coining and smuggling. This one explores kidnapping – but it is an unusual kidnapping, which involves sailing the high seas. Captain Alexander Carstairs, recently elevated to Marquis of Foxlees, being a Master Mariner, is just the man for the job.
The ‘kidnapped beauty’ is the daughter of a coachmaker. It was fun researching the coachmaking business, which was once very lucrative; the best coachmakers would have been multimillionaires in today’s terms. Anyone who was anyone needed a coach or carriage to get about, and the richest had more than one – just as today’s millionaires will have several different cars.
Henry Gilpin, father of my heroine, has become exceedingly wealthy in the coachmaking trade. The trouble is that it is trade – and tradesmen were not admitted to the society of the nobility. He is doing his best to find his daughter a titled husband when she is kidnapped.
I would like to acknowledge the help of Clive Gilbert, Chairman of The British Society of Portugal, in researching this book.