Book Review: Discerning Grace by Emma Lombard

The Details:

Discerning Grace by Emma Lombard
Published: 22 February 2021
Publisher: Emma Lombard
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 372
Available: Paperback

My Review:

Reviewers Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The plot in brief: (No spoilers) Grace Baxter is surprised, unhappily, to find her unpleasant parents have agreed to her marriage to a rather despicable old man. His behaviour towards her makes it clear that she cannot marry him. So, she does a runner. Where does the well-bred daughter of a Lord run to in 1826? Why to sea, of course. Disguised as a boy, she signs on as a ship’s boy on the HMS Discerning. Adventure, the handsome Lieutenant Seamus Fitzwilliam and love await.

The Characters: Grace Baxter is not your usual 19th century young woman. Educated, outspoken, bold and adventurous, she is far from the compliant and dutiful daughter. Readers will be surprised as she struggles to keep her identity a secret on a ship full of men. Lt. Fitzwilliam is exactly what you’d imagine a British Naval Officer to be. Handsome, intelligent, honourable; he quickly develops a soft spot for Grace. They squabble and irritate each other but it is clear that each is smitten. The ship’s crew is full of interesting characters who round out book. You’ll so find yourself cheering them on.

The History: Author Lombard has done her research, the narrative rings true with the sights and sounds of London, the docks and life aboard a sailing ship. I enjoyed the nautical setting and the descriptions of sailing round Cape Horn and the mapping of the coast of Tierra del Fuego.

The Writing: Well written and well edited this book zips along at a steady pace. Grace and Seamus keep us turning the page as the story escalates in action and suspense.

Overall: I enjoyed this seagoing story. The history is fun and the characters engaging. I look forward to more adventures with Grace and Seamus.

Rating: I give this book ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 Stars


  1. Great review, detailed without giving the plot away.the story looks interesting, will look to add to my “to be read” list


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