The Captain's Daughter
London Beginnings series, Book 1
June 6, 2017
Bethany House Publishers
Warm-Hearted Victorian Romance Brings 1880s London to Life
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.
“Delamere’s inspirational elements are subtle; her historical references include George Muller’s orphanages and Gilbert and Sullivan. This is a well-crafted, well-researched historical romance.”
“Jennifer Delamere has combined her interests in Victorian life, theater, and orphanages into an engaging historical romance. While the streets and neighborhoods of 1880s London, their people, and their lifestyles are brought vividly to life, it is the staging of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas that captures our imagination. The workings of the theater are blended well into the plot.”
Historical Novel Society Reviews
“I was immersed immediately. . . . The author puts her passion for Gilbert and Sullivan operettas into her behind-the-scenes theater descriptions and uses her knowledge to build the situations through which Nate and Rosalyn learn about God, life, and love.”
All About Romance
“The author does a great job of pulling the reader into the characters’ emotions and circumstances. Recommended for fans of historical romance and inspirational novels.”
RT Book Reviews
What would happen if Mr. Huffman took her back to Russet Hall to face wrongful accusations of theft—or worse, what she would have to do to buy his silence—she could not allow herself to imagine. Not if she wanted to keep her courage….
The railway station was busy. Sidestepping a young boy trying unsuccessfully to lead a very large dog, Rosalyn made her way to the ticket booth. The clerk sitting behind the iron grill was an older gentleman. His gaze skimmed past her, perhaps looking for her male escort. Realizing she was alone, his eyes returned to settle on her. “Where to, miss?”
“When is the next train to Bristol?”
He sent a quick glance to the schedule on the wall next to him. “Seven o’clock.”
Rosalyn hesitated, looking toward the station gate as she considered whether she could afford to wait for three hours. Down the road she saw a puff of dust rising. There was no reason to suppose it was Mr. Huffman, of course, and yet she kept staring, straining her eyes as she waited for the vehicle to crest the rise.
Moments later, Mr. Huffman’s carriage came into view. She also—thankfully—heard the whistle of an approaching train.
“What train is that?” she asked the clerk.
The old man frowned. “You don’t want that one if you’re going north. It’s going south—bound for London.”
“I’ll take it,” she said, pulling money from her reticule.
This would work. It had to work. Surely she had not gone through all this for nothing.
She took the ticket and turned away from the booth. As she set off for the crowded platform, Rosalyn kept her back to the station entrance. She sidled up to a group of two men and three women standing together, chatting excitedly about the things they were going see when they got to London. Rosalyn did her best to blend in, to appear as though she were traveling with them.
The train came to a stop, its brakes squealing, smoke and steam pouring out in all directions.
“Miss Bernay! MISS BERNAY!” The imperious voice of her former employer carried across the crowded platform. Rosalyn did not turn, hoping he would think himself mistaken.
“MISS BERNAY! Come here!”
Why was he not advancing toward her? Rosalyn turned to see that he’d been stopped by a burly gate attendant. Mr. Huffman gestured, pointing in her direction, but the guard held his ground. He directed Mr. Huffman toward the ticket counter, clearly telling him he must buy his own ticket before he could access the platform.
Rosalyn waited impatiently as a large family with several toddlers and seemingly endless baskets and bundles exited the railway car before she could enter it. When the carriage door was clear, Rosalyn ran up the two steps and inside.
She took a seat by a window facing the train platform, unable to look away. Surely Mr. Huffman would not attempt to drag her off the train? Did he have the authority to do so? Would anyone here listen to him?
She waited anxiously as seconds ticked away. It seemed as though time itself was suspended, the large hand on the station clock refusing to move. Yet inexplicably, he did not reappear at the gate. Where was he? Had he given up that easily?
In a moment, she was able to guess the reason for his delay. An elderly couple, moving very slowly, hobbled through the gate. Perhaps they’d been at the ticket counter, holding up Mr. Huffman’s ability to buy a ticket. The train whistle blew. It was about to leave. Rosalyn’s heart leapt with joy at the sound.
The platform guard hurried forward to help the elderly couple onto the train, closing the door sharply behind them just as the train began to pull forward. Rosalyn craned her neck as the train gathered speed, to keep the platform in view for as long as she could. She had just enough time to see a frustrated Mr. Huffman race onto the platform before the train left him and the station far behind.
As the countryside became a blur, Rosalyn pulled her gaze away and looked down, surprised to see that her hands were trembling. She took several slow, deep breaths, trying to get her heart rate and her breathing back to normal. For better or worse, she was on her way to London.