Monday, June 09, 2008

The Charm School, Susan Wiggs

Title: The Charm School
Author: Susan Wiggs
Published: 1999, Mira
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 6.5/10

Okay, this might be my shortest review ever. The inclination to blog is patchy lately, that's for sure. I think it has to do with it being summer. (And sooo freaking hot! Yuck.) Anyway, I bought this one because I've been meaning to try Wiggs and Wendy mentioned that Mira was reissuing this older historical of hers.

From the publisher:
An awkward misfit in an accomplished Boston family, Isadora Peabody yearns to escape her social isolation and sneaks aboard the Silver Swan, bound for Rio, leaving it all behind.
Ryan Calhoun, too, had a good family name. But he'd purposely walked away from everything it afforded him. Driven by his quest to right an old wrong, the fiery, temperamental sea captain barely registers the meek young woman who comes aboard his ship.
To the Swan's motley crew, the tides of attraction clearly flow between the two. Teaching her the charms of a lady, they hope to build the confidence she needs to attract not only their lonely captain's attention, but his heart, as well. For everyone knows that the greatest charms are not those of the formal lady, but rather the possibilities of a new world build on love.
Liked it, but didn't love it. I usually like shy heroines, and this one was a good, well-developed one. It's an ugly duckling story--Isadora starts out extremely awkward and plain, and loosens up once she's away from her family and the confines of society. I didn't really buy the way the crew helped train her as a lady though; what sort of sailors know how to do hair and speak like an aristocrat?

Anyone have an opinion on the rest of this series? The next one appears to be The Horsemaster's Daughter, about Ryan's brother, Hunter.


Wendy said...

I liked this one, but didn't love it. Now I did love The Horsemaster's Daughter. Quite a bit. All that being said though? It's been ages since I've read either of these books. I should probably do a reread to see if they "hold up" for me....

Jace said...

I rated this one 4 out of 5. I enjoyed the lead characters and their chemistry, but there were some implausible elements - like the sailors you mentioned (they were just too nice and decent), and the ending was too pat.

I thought the side story on Journey was great. I really enjoyed his deep friendship with Ryan.

I wanted to read Hunter's story but haven't got around to it yet. ;)

Rosario said...

Well, it's been ages since I read The Charm School, so all I can say is I liked it then. Who knows how I'd like it now. The Horsemaster's Daughter was meh for me. I liked the first half, but then the second was a really boring supernanny plot.

nath said...

Got this one in my TBR pile, but I kind of lost the will to read it ^_^; ah well...

li said...

I saw this in the bookstore and really liked the cover - the few pages I read didn't convince me though. Am glad I passed on it now.

Kristie (J) said...

I liked this one better than The Horseman's Daughter. I remember this one - but not so much the other one.

caitlin said...

Hi...I haven't read this one, but I do enjoy the Susan Wiggs books surrounding Willow Lake. I usually like my stories with a little more excitement to them, (other than the sex part - lol) but these books really are good.