About the Book:
She was in the wrong place…
Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…
He found her at the wrong time…
Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.
Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?
When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: The Other Miss Bridgerton: A Bridgertons Prequel
Poppy Bridgerton is happy that the season is over, her second without making a match. Though there were gentlemen interested in her, and she did receive a proposal, she didn’t even like any of the men enough to consider marriage. She’s now visiting with a friend, and on this day has managed to leave her maid behind to explore the coast on her own. She finds a hidden entrance to a cave, and curiosity sends her inside. She discovers that there are crates stored inside, and much to her chagrin, two apparent smugglers discover her. The somewhat befuddled smugglers force her back to their ship and present a bound and gagged Poppy to their captain.
Captain Andrew James Rokesby is masquerading as a privateer, using his shortened name of Andrew James, as he secretly serves the crown. He is about to embark on a mission to Lisbon, when two of his men bring him Poppy. Though he doesn’t want to hold her captive, he can’t release her until the items stored in the cave are picked up by the appropriate government people. He sees no choice but to take her on the journey to Lisbon.
The situation gets even worse, as Andrew learns that his temporary prisoner is a Bridgerton. His family estate borders the estate of her Bridgerton cousins. In fact, his brother is married to her cousin, and it’s amazing that they have not met socially before. Andrew realizes that if he is unable to cover up this journey, they may be forced to marry.
Though the sea journey to Lisbon is less than a week, in that short time, Poppy and Andrew recognize a kindred spirit in each other, and grown to know each other very well. Their initial conversations are mostly a battle of wits, but soon the biting comments become more of a teasing nature. They try to out-quote Shakespeare to each other, and one-up each other with their repartee. Though Andrew is very sympathetic to Poppy’s boredom at being forced to remain locked in his cabin, he knows he must keep her away from his men, a superstitious lot, to keep her safe. He finally relents one night, when there are few men on deck, and takes Poppy above so they can view the stars together. This is a particularly beautiful scene, showing how in sync they have become, and how Andrew is doing his best to give Poppy a taste of adventure.
When they arrive in Lisbon, Andrew once again goes against his better judgment, and allows Poppy to come off the ship. After his official business is taken care of, he takes Poppy on a tour of the city, showing her things she would never have otherwise seen. Their beautifully developing love is brutally halted, as an unexpected violent encounter ends up separating them, and sending Poppy home with no knowledge if Andrew is alive, or even where she would begin to search. (She still is not aware of his full name and identity.)
THE OTHER MISS BRIDGERTON is one of those rare books where I fall equally in love with both the hero and heroine. Poppy is a very intelligent woman, inquisitive, but not annoyingly so. She loves puzzles and soaks up facts like a sponge. She does want marriage and a family, but is not willing to settle for a man who won’t respect her intelligence. When she became aware that there was no escaping her captivity on the ship, she didn’t become hysterical, or disobey the captain’s orders, yet she didn’t fear or kowtow to him.
Andrew is a true gentleman, though one with a wicked wit. He is regretful of possibly being the ruin of Poppy, but is willing to marry her, if the need arises. He takes his duties seriously, but lately has been thinking more and more of retiring from his secret service and having a permanent home. He has a kind heart and a protective nature, as shown by his treatment of Poppy and his crew. Andrew is true hero material.
Most of THE OTHER MISS BRIDGERTON is the journey to Lisbon, with Andrew and Poppy getting to know each other. I do so love books that develop this way, as I truly felt that I got to know this couple, and I could feel they were genuine soul mates – a term I don’t generally like, but it seems appropriate here. Underneath all the things that they have in common is that simmering attraction, one that Andrew is determined not to act on, until the time is right. I truly loved reading this book, and became totally invested in this couple and their happiness. I highly recommend THE OTHER MISS BRIDGERTON for readers who enjoy character driven romance, genuine emotion, and some smileworthy moments, leading to a heartwarming resolution. ~Rose