The Covert Captain: Or, A Marriage of Equals - Jeannelle M. Ferreira

Recommended to me on Tumblr, The Covert Captain starts out with a relatively familiar storyline - penniless ex-soldier meets older sister of his commanding officer, who has long despaired of getting married, together they fight crime - but with a twist. In this case the twist is that our ex-officer, Captain Nathaniel Fleming, is not quite what he appears. Nathaniel is, after all, actually Eleanor and ran off to join the army after a family tragedy. 

 

The book itself rattles along at a decent pace and the revelatory moment happens far earlier than I expected would be the case. Nathaniel is pretty happy with his life, lack of money excepted, and doesn't really go looking for the romantic entanglements that he ends up within. Likewise, neither he or his former commanding officer have emerged from fighting Napoleon unscathed.

 

A couple of minor quibbles led to me knocking off a star - firstly, that at times it wasn't always immediately easy to tell character voices from each other (to the point where I had to flick back and try to figure out who was talking) and, secondly, one particular scene that really didn't work for me when what is supposed to be a prize racehorse is getting exercised on Rotten Row and subsequently meekly adjusts to being a replacement carriage horse on demand. 

 

In some ways, however, it felt as though there was a little too much plot being shoehorned into the story (hello, unexpected abusive sibling!) in the hope that if you throw everything against the wall then something will stick with the reader? Still, it's an enjoyable enough book and I'll keep an eye out for further from this author.