Charm School - Calhoun Chronicles, #1 Author:Susan Wiggs Isadora Peabody is the brilliant but socially inept sibling in an otherwise perfect family. And although she struggles to fit into Boston society, her awkwardness dooms her to repeated failure. Fate intervenes when she learns that a sea captain, Ryan Calhoun, is in need of an interpreter for his next voyage to Rio. And despite Ryan's adamant opp... more »osition to hiring a female interpreter, Isadora gains a berth on his ship, thanks to a little blackmail.
Life aboard ship and away from the strict confines of Boston society finds Isadora losing weight, gaining confidence, and blooming like a rose. She befriends the motley crew of rough sailors, and in turn, they become a charm school of sorts, tutoring her in gracefulness--which comes in handy when climbing the rope rigging--dancing, and friendship. Isadora's transformation fascinates Ryan, but he is determined to stay away from her for he has secretive, dangerous plans. Unaware of Ryan's interest, Isadora struggles with her growing attraction to the reckless sea captain. But before they can resolve their feelings, prior commitments surface and endanger their chance of finding a happy future together.
The Charm School is a tale of the evolution of two complicated people and the powerful love that binds them. Wiggs skillfully peels away the layers that conceal the real Isadora until the transformation from misfit to confident woman is complete, while Ryan develops from a wild, rebellious southerner into a man who can overcome impossible odds to reach his goals« less
Interesting story but a bit longwinded. Boston spinster Isadora is withdrawn, invisible & miserable in her life. In a pique of revolution, she signs on a ship bound to Rio as a translator, and her transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan is what the story is all about. The substory of slavery & redemption is a plus, but I found myself skipping through the book just to finish it.
gooseberry reviewed Charm School (Calhoun Chronicles, #1) on
Helpful Score: 2
A very likable heroine - an intelligent, well read, badly dressed woman, completely out of her element at home but blooming during the long sail to Rio. The hero, however, though handsome and charming, was harder to like. Ah, well - to err is human. And he is very human.
I enjoyed the details about sailing. The author did her research well and also fit it into the story in an interesting way.