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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
Olivia Cantarell is a woman with a dilemma. Her father is dead, and she is left in possession of his shipping company. She was raised in the business and could take over. But in eighteenth-century London women cannot involve themselves in such trades. Her options are few. Her genteel aunt urges her to sell the company or marry but Olivia enjoys her work and is loath to give up her freedom for housekeeping, as marriage would necessitate. She is also thirty years old, past marriageable age and not a beauty.
She is surprised then when she receives attention from two eligible men. Captain Marcus Easterday has only business in mind initially. He helps Olivia as she navigates the male-dominated shipping industry. But her strength of character and intelligence captivate him. Unfortunately, the roguish but charming Ambrose Hawkins has his sights set on Olivia and her property. Sabotage, kidnapping and a compromising situation lead Olivia to consider an offer from Captain Easterday. Torn between her business and safety, between the exciting Hawkins and the trustworthy Easterday, Olivia must decide her future.
Captain Easterday’s Bargain is an interesting, well-written historical romance. Kathleen Buckley captures the atmosphere of eighteenth-century England perfectly. All the characters are believable and most of them feel realistic, like historical people. Olivia is strong and independent and Captain Easterday is very likable. Even Hawkins was rather sympathetic at times. The descriptions are captivating and evocative, bringing the settings to life. This book is a fun and exciting read for anyone looking to pass a lazy afternoon.