Title: Secrets of the Realm
Author: Bev Stout
Synopsis: Blamed for her uncle’s death, fifteen-year-old Annie is on the run. Knowing the perils she will face on the streets of eighteenth century London, she disguises herself as a boy. Her life on the streets is cut short when she becomes Captain Hawke’s cabin boy. Not only must Annie work alongside the Realm’s motley crew of outcasts and gentlemen, she must also keep her superstitious shipmates from discovering she is a girl. Annie vows she will never leave the Realm, where dreams are chased, shattered lives can mend, and secrets are stowed like keepsakes in an old desk drawer. But when her past catches up with her, can she return to the Realm? More importantly, will she have a choice?
Star Rating: 5 of 5
Review: I received this book in exchange for an honest review, but after reading the book, I would have gladly picked this up myself! Normally I’m not a huge fan of stories set at sea, but there was something about the synopsis of this book that caught my attention. I had decided to read a few chapters a night until I finished the book, but I wasn’t expecting to finish the book over a weekend, I simply could not put the book down.
The story started simply enough, a young girl starting out on an adventure, but the more you read about Annie, the more you love her, root for her, and want to see her saved. Annie is everything you want a strong female character to be, plucky, smart and full of life, she doesn’t back down, from anything or anyone. As the story progressed, I started to long for a little more romance, but the story-teller knew better, everything was exactly as it should be. No rushing, no overt scenes, just simple and a natural progression to the action.
I admit that when the story ended, I was sad… I wanted more! I can’t wait to see what happens next to Annie, Capt. Hawke, Mr. Montgomery and Abigail. Annie made me long for the sea, and for an indoor kind of girl, that’s an accomplishment. I look forward to following this authors work, she’s opened my mind to new experiences and I can’t wait to read more.