Beloved Castaway

Fairweather Keys Series #1

Christian - Romance - General
297 Pages
Reviewed on 03/21/2009
Buy on Amazon

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

The lives of Captain Josiah Carter and Isabelle Gayarre were entwined by fate. Both were escaping certain captivity at the hands of the same man. Isabelle was a runaway slave. Her father sold her to a brutal old man, determined to use her in any way he wants. She deceptively bought passage on the Jude. Her abiding faith in Jesus Christ gives her strength and courage to persevere the trails that await her. Josiah’s father was cruel. Rather than allow the old man to abuse his younger brother; Josiah stole him away. Josiah struggles with faith issues. Together the young couple faces danger at sea and the enticement of forbidden love.

Beloved Castaway has an action-filled plot. The characters are endearing as they struggle to survive. History comes alive in this tale. Kathleen Y’Barbo demonstrates the saving grace of God in this beautifully written love story. Beloved Castaway is a historical swashbuckler sure to please fans of Christian romance.

Michelle Sutton

Now this is my kind of historical fiction book! The romance in Beloved Castaway totally rocked! And the kisses were to die for--very well written. There is nothing more exciting than a forbidden love story, and this book has it all. Even some edgy stuff. The heroine's mother was quadroon and from New Orleans and thus she was born a slave. The hero was the captain of the ship she sailed on. The way the hero treated her initially (not knowing about her heritage) made me cringe, but then things turned around. This story truly inspired me like Christian fiction should.

I won't give away the storyline, but this was also a deeply spiritual book. It shows the power of living the way Christ commands us to, and the effect this way of right-living has on non-believers. And the ending has the absolute coolest twist I've ever read. But don't read the last chapter first, or you will ruin the book. You don't want to miss this treat, so don't cheat yourself out of a great experience.

My last thought... The cover is pretty but also kind of dark, so it isn't one I would normally pick up in a store to read. But the story within it's pages will brighten your day, so take a chance on this one. Trust me, if you love romantic tension and some awesome Christian fiction with sizzle, this novel will definitely float your boat.

Lacy J. Williams

Secrets abound in this story of two lonely hearts on a voyage to freedom.

Josiah Carter is willing to risk everything for his brother's sake. After spiriting the boy away from their father, whom he sees as a tyrant and a fool, he sets out as captain of the Jude.

But to make it out of port with the barely-seaworthy vessel, Josiah must take on a paying passenger he knows nothing about. When the woman's promise of gold seems to be false, he struggles with the decision to help her or to save his own hide.

Isabelle Gayarre couldn't change the life that she was born into, but she is determined to change her future, no matter the cost. Her half-sister, Emilie talks her into seeking refuge from those who would do her harm, and Isabelle takes passage on Captain Carter's boat. But Isabelle never dreamed she would start to have feelings for the handsome Josiah.

Can Isabelle keep her past a secret, or does God intend her to reveal the one thing that could change both her life and Josiah's forever? Will Josiah confront his true feelings about God, or keep running from the Father who wants to draw him near?

I had never read anything by Y'Barbo before, and now I wish I'd found this author sooner!

The hero and heroine in this novel practically step off the page and into your life - they are so real. Excellent characterization and well-written dialogue, plus good use of internal dialogue that doesn't hop around between characters keeps the reader right in the action.

Good pacing, adventure and a great ending are also reasons to love this book. Highly recommended!


I had high hopes for this book. I found it choppy and confusing at the beginning. The writing did not seem to flow to me. I gave it a three because I put it down to read something else and haven't finished it yet. I will try to pick it back up but just am not sure that it will ever get finished.

Janice A. Thompsom

In her recently released novel Beloved Castaway, author Kathleen Y'Barbo offers readers a timeless story of love, intrigue, action and new-found faith on the high seas. I found myself caught up in the lives of the characters and swept away by the romantic elements. More than anything, I loved the fast-paced plot, which kept me riveted. (By the way, I read this novel in the tub and found myself wrinkled and pruned beyond recognition upon its completion.) Five stars for this great new story from one of my favorite authors!

Chandra Lynn

There was a time when being born into the wrong family meant the difference between a life of ease and one of bondage. Kathleen Y'Barbo enchants readers with this time in history in her book, Beloved Castaway.

Isabelle Gayarre, the illegitimate daughter of Jean Gayarre, was raised in New Orleans by a maid she called Mama Dell. Isabelle was trained for one thing, to become a bondservant to the man who purchased her when she became of age. Isabelle's free spirit rebels at the idea of being enslaved to Hezekiah Carter and risks everything, even her life, on one chance for freedom. She books passage to abolitionist England on the Jude under Captain Josiah Carter.

Josiah Carter needs Isabelle's fare to escape New Orleans and his father. Isabelle's presence on the ship becomes both a distraction and a godsend to a man who long ago turned his back on God.

Two people trying to escape, one from his past and the other from her future, travel the seas and battle fires, storms, faith, and love along the dangerous Fairweather Keys. When the Jude crashes into the reefs, it appears hope is lost. Isabelle's search for freedom from bondage is as elusive as Josiah's for freedom of the tormented soul. Will Isabelle's strong faith and Josiah's new found faith be enough to carry them when the rest of the world falls apart?

This was the first of Kathleen Y'Barbo's books I have read. I was intrigued with her ability to make history and the geography come alive as I read. I could almost smell the smoke from the fires and feel the sand on the shores. Her characters are endearing and I had to wipe a few tears away as I read. I highly recommend this book.

Delia Latham

New Orleans, 1814: A not-so-respectable man makes a hasty decision. From that fateful night until spring of 1834, a young slave girl suffers the consequences.

Determined to reach the abolitionists in England, Isabelle Gayarre makes a deal with a disreputable sea captain for passage aboard his not-quite-seaworthy vessel, the Jude. She's desperate to find freedom, and willing to give everything she owns to obtain it. Josiah Carter and the Jude are her only hope--aside from her strong faith in a loving heavenly Father.

Captain Carter doesn't quite trust the beautiful woman, but his desperate need of the money she offers him to spirit her away from New Orleans forces his hand. The deal is made, sealing them both into a dangerous and possibly deadly voyage through tumultuous waters.

More than one soul seeks redemption. More than one secret crouches within the ship. More than one cruel and heartless man rushes in hot pursuit of the Jude. And more than one heart is held captive by an unexpected and seemingly impossible love.

Beloved Castaway offers heart-tugging romance, intricate historical detail, and a tightly woven storyline. It's a gripping tale of suspense and intrigue, with a shining thread of romance woven ever-so-expertly throughout. The characters live and breathe, and make their way unerringly into the reader's heart.

Kathleen Y'Barbo weaves a beautiful, expertly written tale of love on the run, and paints a heart-warming picture of God's amazing grace and redemption. This one's for the keeper shelf!

M.K. Bullock

Isabelle Gayarre is determined to reach abolitionists in England. To that end, she risks her freedom and her life on this voyage aboard the Jude. Josiah Carter, captain of the vessel, is fleeing from his father and from God.
During the ill-fated voyage on a treacherous sea, Isabelle and Josiah battle storms, fire, and deceptions. Reluctantly, they fall in love, but their romance is ill-starred. For Isabelle is a runaway slave and can never be his. Unless God produces a miracle to save them, their lives and love are doomed.
The fascinating historical setting combines with colorful, complex characters to entrance and entertain.

M. P. Merritt

Kathleen Y'Barbo has done an amazing job of taking the reader from New Orleans to the Florida Keys in an exciting journey on the open seas.

Although, I typically don't read historicals, I was immediately drawn into the story and loved the characters. Ms. Y'Barbo has created richly drawn characters who make you turn pages to see what will happen next!

Highly recommend this read.

Louise M. Gouge

Historical author Kathleen Y'Barbo has written another delightful novel, Beloved Castaway, in which "a stormy romance rages along the Florida Keys." Mistaken identities, broken families, forbidden romances, struggling faith, and adventure on the high seas come together to keep the reader turning the pages from beginning to end. Seldom do I finish the last page of a book with happy shivers running down my spine and tears in my eyes. Beloved Castaway is one such book.