Charlotte Gray: Book Review
Before I begin this review I want to say that I was sent this book by Victoria Chatham to give my honest review. This book is the second book in the Those Regency Belles trilogy.
Title: Charlotte Gray
Author: Victoria Chatham
Publisher: Books We Love Publishing Inc
Publication Date: 2021
Charlotte Gray discovers her home ransacked, her father missing, and a dark and dangerous stranger, Benjamin Abernathy, waiting for her. He had promised to take care of his friend’s daughter if anything befell him and must now follow through with that promise.
With no other options, and despite her misgivings, Charlotte becomes established in the stranger’s home as governess to his nephew and niece. Benjamin doubts her ability to cope with the two young hellions but is quickly reassured as he recognizes the sharp mind behind her blue eyes. But is it Charlotte’s mind he falls in love with, or her delectable body?
With Charlotte hunted for the knowledge she is suspected of possessing and Benjamin, for the threat he presents, danger stalks them. But the smugglers and spies behind the threat have no chance against this duo, who will go to any lengths to protect the secrets they each must keep.
As I write this review I will be trying hard to not spoil anything about this book. However, sometimes that is hard when explaining why you like or dislike something so I apologize in advance if I do ruin something about the story. In order to avoid ruining anything I try and keep these reviews short and to the point.
To begin I really loved this book, I love the mix of romance and mystery. I thought that Charlotte was the perfect mix of brave while still mildly naïve (to a point, really). Benjamin is the perfect mix of protector while still not changing anything about Charlotte. He really loved her the way that she is.
This book opens with a rather alarming scene that Charlotte's "father" Issac is missing and her house has been ransacked. She is then whisked away by a man she does not know but he is a friend of her "father". Benjamin (her father's friend) sends her to his home far away from where she grew up and she becomes the governess to his niece and nephew. As the chapters progress, Charlotte learns a little about why she had to be whisked away and she learns some stuff from Benjamin in order to stay safe at his home. Benjamin figures that the people who took her father will be after her next. You don't get an update on Issac until chapter 9, so for the first 8 chapters it is simply Charlotte learning what is going on (to an extent, Benjamin doesn't really tell her a lot) and she is getting to know the children.
I loved that as the book went on Charlotte realized that she had feelings for Benjamin but didn't really think too much about them. Shortly after you find out what has happened to Issac, Charlotte and the children are kidnapped and taken away to an unknown location. They escape and are found by one of Benjamin's friends in the forest. Finally, after an amount of time that I couldn't decern Benjamin arrives at the friend's house and takes Charlotte and the children back to his residence where a surprise awaits the children. Shortly after this surprising turn of events Benjamin makes the comment that he is keeping Charlotte and she doesn't really think that he is telling the truth but I can tell by the context that she is hoping that he is. You also find out that Issac is recovering at a friend's house and that makes Charlotte very happy as she finally knows what has happened to him. At the end of Chapter 18, Benjamin says:
"Forgive me for being forward, Charlotte, but if I don't kiss you now, I will not sleep tonight."
By this time I realized that even with the light flirting Benjamin has been doing throughout the book he really does have feelings for Charlotte.
As the book finished I loved that the story really progressed quickly. There is a plot to finish off the task that Charlotte had to do while at the same time protecting Charlotte. Benjamin worked hard to keep her safe during this plot but things happen and she, unfortunately, ends up kidnapped again, but this doesn't really last that long as she escapes and ends up back in Benjamin's arms as he comes to the rescue. They end up back at the friend's house that was taking care of Issac and it is there that while Issac already knew of the attachment between Benjamin and his daughter he really acknowledged it.
I am going to finish this review off with a quote that I really liked from this book. I think that it really showed how brave Charlotte was during her ordeal, but at the same time, she really tries to be a proper lady.
"I know exactly what you mean, Sir George," she snapped, " and the answer is no, I do not have Issac Protheroe's precious maps. in fact, I wish I had never heard of them. I am tired of being bullied for them and dragged from pillar to post by those who think I have them. Look at me." She spread her arms and looked down at her torn and dirty dress. " Do you think I enjoyed being abducted, soaked in seawater, covered in sand and dust, hiding out in a filthy wagon all to preserve myself? And now you can do no more than sit there on your damn horse looking down your nose at me asking about maps?" She stopped for a breath, suddenly conscious of the intrigued silence from the dragoons lined up behind Sir George, several men who she supposed were in his employ, and Talland, who worse as big a grin as Benjamin. "I am not going to apologize for my outburst either, " she finished, tossing her head and making her dishevelled curls dance. - pg 295-296
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I hope you enjoyed today's review and that you will check out some of the older ones that I have done.