"Captain of My Heart" is an engrossing, tempestuous love story focusing on a dashing Irish privateer and a defiant, brassy young woman. Pulling away from a standard setting, Danelle Harmon set her novel on the sea and shores of New England, in 1778. A wonderful approach and it is apparent, to the reader, this author is familiar with the area and its history.
Captain Brendan Jay Merrick, late of the British Royal Navy, arrives in the New England town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. His mission is to authorize the building of a magnificent schooner, but his destiny is the daughter of the man who will build Merrick's dream.
Mira Ashton rollicks through life. She has her horses and cats, the freedom to do as she pleases, and enough curse-words to rival a sailor. Her mission is to be the sharpest gunner aboard her brother's ship, but her destiny is to compete for the love of Brendan Merrick, and her competition is the proud and lovely "Kestrel" - the wondrous schooner.
Meeting Mira Ashton and her family for the first time is a challenge to the reader. Mira is an unrefined, vulgar, little creature. She defies her father, fights with her brother, and makes the reader wonder - where is this going? However, if the reader rides out the initial emotional storm, the reward is worth the effort, for Danelle Harmon finally begins to write a wonderful story. The author mesmerized, this landlocked reader, with descriptive words about sailing and the turbulent sea.
Yet, the author didn't survive the ocean voyage. The novel's ending leaves the reader wanting for plot completion. When I turned the final page, I felt like Harmon shoved me over a coastal cliff. Her pushing words? "Time to move on."