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Beau Crusoe (Historical Romance)

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Shipwrecked! Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe, a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous! Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up Shipwrecked! Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe, a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous! Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past, but what secrets was this glorious man hiding?


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Shipwrecked! Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe, a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous! Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up Shipwrecked! Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe, a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous! Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past, but what secrets was this glorious man hiding?

30 review for Beau Crusoe (Historical Romance)

  1. 5 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    She smiled, and James felt his heart turn. Lt. James Trevenen spent 5yrs marooned on an island. Susannah Park married below her station, had her husband die before she even gave birth, and has been ostracized ever since. Maybe because I recently read one of her books, this felt like a Balogh with some Milan. Y'all, the tongue-in-cheek humor and wit is top notch here. This is also told mostly from the hero's pov, which helped to give it a fresh spin. "Maybe it's this way, son---when we hav She smiled, and James felt his heart turn. Lt. James Trevenen spent 5yrs marooned on an island. Susannah Park married below her station, had her husband die before she even gave birth, and has been ostracized ever since. Maybe because I recently read one of her books, this felt like a Balogh with some Milan. Y'all, the tongue-in-cheek humor and wit is top notch here. This is also told mostly from the hero's pov, which helped to give it a fresh spin. "Maybe it's this way, son---when we have no choice, we may as well be brave." James has PTSD from what he had to do to survive and thinks he is haunted by another survivor of the original shipwreck. James' story of survival is spread out throughout the story until we get the ultimate grizzly details of how he became the lone survivor. It's rough, disturbing, and courageous stuff to read and I enjoyed how the author didn't shy away from James' emotions. He was a hero who was witty, courageous, strong, utterly capable, and kind; he's a sexy one. Susannah plays a little bit of second fiddle to James but her calm, vulnerable, and solid demeanor made her a perfect complement to him. Her family dynamics were a secondary character that wonderfully filled this story with even more emotions and relationship nuances. I'm also not the biggest fan of children in stories but Susannah's son Noah was a fun character and their relationship and the one that develops between Noah and James was delightful. The romance between James and Susannah started off as smoke that slowly but surely was tended into a sparking burning pleasing fire. They were such a lovely engaging couple to follow along with. The wit provides a lighter tone while James feeling haunted and Susannah coming back from scandal with society and her family (Susannah and her sister's relationship brought a tear to my eye at the end) provide the heavier emotional load. The secondary characters here add a lot and show how much a story can be enhanced when giving attention to the details. This was a refreshing, engaging, and just plain lovely story. As she stood watching, he turned and blew her a kiss. You're a rascal, she thought.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lyuda

    3.5 starsJames Trevenen, a naval officer, spent 5 years as a castaway on a tiny, uninhabited island after a shipwreck. As a means of staying sane, he studied a unique species of crab and wrote a treatise on his findings. Now, back in England, James is about to be presented a medal by the Royal Society for his work. Susannah, a widow with a young son, endures a reclusive life on her parents' estate, until Mr. Trevenen, is foist upon the family by a friend. If you are a Carla Kelly fan, beware it’s 3.5 starsJames Trevenen, a naval officer, spent 5 years as a castaway on a tiny, uninhabited island after a shipwreck. As a means of staying sane, he studied a unique species of crab and wrote a treatise on his findings. Now, back in England, James is about to be presented a medal by the Royal Society for his work. Susannah, a widow with a young son, endures a reclusive life on her parents' estate, until Mr. Trevenen, is foist upon the family by a friend. If you are a Carla Kelly fan, beware it’s not her usual story. It’s both funnier and more disturbing than the ones I read. And for these who care, it’s not a clean regency. There are many humorous moments at the beginning that left me laughing out loud but the mood became more serious and unsettling as the hero's tale of survival is slowly revealed. His sufferings didn’t end with his rescue from the island but continued with a full blown PTSD -irrational fears, panic attacks, and an inability to function at times. I thought this was well and realistically done. James is a true star of the story. Despite his harrowing experience and dark secrets, his sense of humor shines through. He is clever, mischievous but kind when dealing with some secondary characters. His blossoming romance with Susannah is rewarding. Their delightful banter and playfulness at the beginning turns into a great deal of courage and loyalty they both needed towards the end. Although I liked the story, there were some aspects that I found problematic. The portrayal of secondary characters was often too grotesque, some of the plot lines were resolved way to easily and convenient. Overall, a good story - funny but disturbing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jaya

    I have such mixed feelings towards this book. There were parts in the story which were remarkable while at times I was bothered about a few incidents and their treatment. Nevertheless I am going with 3.5 stars for sheer ingenuity and novelty of the plot.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Al George

    Uh....someone sure had better come pick me up off the floor Nope. I cannot even begin to explain just how damn good this novel is. My eyes were glued to the pages. GLUED! Carla Kelly where have you been all of my life? Setting / Time / Genre: Regency Series: No Sexy times: Barely. Mentions. Not exactly behind the door, and I guess I should mention some descriptions and references to sexy times, but I'm not exactly calling it even close to graphic. Plan on reading more by the author: Omigawd yes! F Uh....someone sure had better come pick me up off the floor Nope. I cannot even begin to explain just how damn good this novel is. My eyes were glued to the pages. GLUED! Carla Kelly where have you been all of my life? Setting / Time / Genre: Regency Series: No Sexy times: Barely. Mentions. Not exactly behind the door, and I guess I should mention some descriptions and references to sexy times, but I'm not exactly calling it even close to graphic. Plan on reading more by the author: Omigawd yes! Fan girl. Synopsis Hero is marooned on an island, rescued, wins scientific award for studying these wee crabs that kept him from losing his mind during his five year forced vacation and has a serious case of the hauntings and, well, let's call it like it is, PTSD. As in this is serious serious. Not good. This man carries the weight of many. And we have a heroine who is the brunt of some bad things. And we have her cray family. And we have a bored London looking for the next best thing. Enter Beau Crusoe. Heroine: Mrs. P, Suze and so much more. Patient, kind, caring, devious in a mischievous way. Loving mother. Savior. Hero: Mr. Trevenan (sp??), Beau Crusoe and James. Damaged. Delightful. Dishonest with the best of intentions. Read for the toucans and you will understand. Heartbreaking. Beautiful. Why it did or didn't work for me: Knocked me to my knees. This author must have taken her MIGHTY WRITER pills when sitting down to craft this book. Can you say "turn of phrase"? Carla Kelly's eloquence when telling this story is beautiful. And her story is breathtaking. It's an adventure. It's fresh. It's different. It's a smile maker. There is not a wasted bit of anything. Not an extra character who didn't need to be there. Not a silly dandy who wasted the reader's time. Read the book and you will understand just how important it is to have just the right pink to bring in to fashion this season. I loved this book. Love Love Love Love. If you read this, I do hope you love it as much as I. I'm out

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    11/8/20 - Just finished rereading this and raised the rating to 5 stars. This book is such a pleasure to read, so full of characters you want to spend time with. There is also real humor here, along with serious subjects and situations without easy answers. I highly recommend it. Beau Crusoe surprised me by being a serious look at PTSD. James had been shipwrecked on a deserted island for 5 years after being set adrift in a lifeboat with four other men after their ship sank. As the book progresses 11/8/20 - Just finished rereading this and raised the rating to 5 stars. This book is such a pleasure to read, so full of characters you want to spend time with. There is also real humor here, along with serious subjects and situations without easy answers. I highly recommend it. Beau Crusoe surprised me by being a serious look at PTSD. James had been shipwrecked on a deserted island for 5 years after being set adrift in a lifeboat with four other men after their ship sank. As the book progresses, the story of what happened to James and the other men is slowly revealed. We do know fairly early on that James is a troubled man, with several idiosyncrasies due to his trauma. There is humor in the book, as well as gentleness, but the book is not a lighthearted historical romance. Susannah makes a wonderful counterpoint to James, and has quiet strength without seeming too perfect.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lady Wesley

    Another great Carla Kelly love story! And unlike many romances, the story is told primarily from the hero's point of view. James is haunted by his experiences after being shipwrecked and stranded five years on a deserted island. He studied the native crabs on the island, wrote a treatise, and now has returned to London to be awarded a medal by the royal society. Through a series of humorous adventures, he becomes known in society as Beau Crusoe, and all of London wants his company. He, however, Another great Carla Kelly love story! And unlike many romances, the story is told primarily from the hero's point of view. James is haunted by his experiences after being shipwrecked and stranded five years on a deserted island. He studied the native crabs on the island, wrote a treatise, and now has returned to London to be awarded a medal by the royal society. Through a series of humorous adventures, he becomes known in society as Beau Crusoe, and all of London wants his company. He, however, would rather spend time with Susannah Park, his London host's goddaughter. That host is in ill health and has fobbed off James on Susannah's family. (And here the real-life renowned botanist Sir Joseph Banks plays a major role.) Both James and Susannah are damaged, yet both are brave, resilient, and full of good humor. The secondary characters are deftly drawn, and each one serves a definite purpose in the overall plot. This is a beautiful love story between two very real people. Highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mei

    Oh... oh... what a lovely, lovely, lovely story!!! I loved everything about this little gem! The writing, the humor, the characters!!! The hero, James, was shipwrecked and survived alone on a deserted island and after five years save by missionaries. Now returned to England he's awaded a medal and he comes to London to receive it. What makes the hero a wonderful man is his disposition! He's a man of action: nothing is impossible for him! Even if it is ridding a household of tucans, or saving cats f Oh... oh... what a lovely, lovely, lovely story!!! I loved everything about this little gem! The writing, the humor, the characters!!! The hero, James, was shipwrecked and survived alone on a deserted island and after five years save by missionaries. Now returned to England he's awaded a medal and he comes to London to receive it. What makes the hero a wonderful man is his disposition! He's a man of action: nothing is impossible for him! Even if it is ridding a household of tucans, or saving cats from the tree-tops! The heroine, Susannah, is also very lovable. At the beginning she's a "ruined" Gretna Green runaway. She's withdrawn, shunned by the ton and living in a disorganized household where the father is completly absent (he's a brid watcher/breeder/collector), the mather is empty headed, the sister is a hateful harpy... And in that household James is given room.... You can all immagine all the wonderful, funny and not so much things that can happen there! :) A little gem is what this story is! Wonderfully written with non stop action and endearing characters both main and secondary! If you have a change to get your hands on it, I'm sure you'll love it too!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    I actually really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but it seriously went south about two thirds of the way through. The following things ruined it for me: - I was actually rolling with the implied cannibalism because, well, that's something that probably would have happened during a shipwreck. It's also unique, and I like unique elements in my romance novels. What I really couldn't deal with was the fairly graphic flashback to the actual cannibalism. That's not what I read romance for. - The ch I actually really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but it seriously went south about two thirds of the way through. The following things ruined it for me: - I was actually rolling with the implied cannibalism because, well, that's something that probably would have happened during a shipwreck. It's also unique, and I like unique elements in my romance novels. What I really couldn't deal with was the fairly graphic flashback to the actual cannibalism. That's not what I read romance for. - The characterization of of the villainess. I should have known it would not go well from her first mention, where the hero compared her genitals to roast beef. Then she showed up and it was just all slut-shaming, all the time. Lady Audley was a caricature with no redeeming qualities; she was simply defined by her hunger for cock and revenge. Defining a female romance novel antagonist by her rampant sexuality is a cop-out and is frankly disgusting to those of us who admire sexually confident women. - This seems like nitpicking compared to the other two, but the way that the heroine found out the hero's big secret seemed like a betrayal of trust. When one party in my romance has a big secret, I want them to become comfortable enough to share it with the other party. I don't want the other party to go dig up the answer themselves. - As the book got closer and closer to the end, each plot point seemed more and more ludicrous. What started as a lovely, if someone odd, romance novel had ended as a farce. Carla Kelly's other books for Harlequin are some of my favorite romance novels, and I was really disappointed to read this older title. It left such a bad taste in my mouth that I might not be picking up another of her books for a while.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    DNF @ page 58. I don’t think I’ll like this one. Thought I’d give it a try, but I have a feeling that OW are going to feature too prominently in this one. After perusing some one star reviews, it turns out that I’m right. The H thought about her too much and there are later scenes where (view spoiler)[ the OW tries to seduce the H in the current timeline (hide spoiler)] . I don't care how witty the banter is or how sweet the slow burn romance between the MCs. The strong presence of the OW ruins DNF @ page 58. I don’t think I’ll like this one. Thought I’d give it a try, but I have a feeling that OW are going to feature too prominently in this one. After perusing some one star reviews, it turns out that I’m right. The H thought about her too much and there are later scenes where (view spoiler)[ the OW tries to seduce the H in the current timeline (hide spoiler)] . I don't care how witty the banter is or how sweet the slow burn romance between the MCs. The strong presence of the OW ruins it all for me. Just personal preference. See review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lu

    Beau Crusoe is a very interesting story of a man that spent five years alone in a island after his ship sank and spent his time studying a new species of small crustaceans. When he was finally rescued and returned to England, his treatise on the new animals got him a medal from the Royal Society. Traumatized by memories and nightmares, he ends up staying as a guest in the house of Mrs. Suzanna Park and her parents while waiting for the medal ceremony. His practical nature helps her family build som Beau Crusoe is a very interesting story of a man that spent five years alone in a island after his ship sank and spent his time studying a new species of small crustaceans. When he was finally rescued and returned to England, his treatise on the new animals got him a medal from the Royal Society. Traumatized by memories and nightmares, he ends up staying as a guest in the house of Mrs. Suzanna Park and her parents while waiting for the medal ceremony. His practical nature helps her family build some bridges between themselves and society, and in the meantime, Suzanna’s sweetness and friendship helps him face his demons and find peace. Unlike other CK books, this book has a moderate level of steam and some explicit content.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jane Stewart

    3 ½ stars. Sweet romance story. Kept my interest. Secrets are eventually brought forward. STORY BRIEF: James was in the British Navy. The ship hit coral and sunk. James was the sole survivor and lived on a small island for five years. For something to do he studied the crabs. Missionaries discovered him and brought him back to England. He published a book about the crabs and will receive a medal for this scientific work. James is invited to stay with Lord and Lady Watchmere in London for two weeks 3 ½ stars. Sweet romance story. Kept my interest. Secrets are eventually brought forward. STORY BRIEF: James was in the British Navy. The ship hit coral and sunk. James was the sole survivor and lived on a small island for five years. For something to do he studied the crabs. Missionaries discovered him and brought him back to England. He published a book about the crabs and will receive a medal for this scientific work. James is invited to stay with Lord and Lady Watchmere in London for two weeks while waiting for the award ceremony. Susannah is also living with the Watchmeres, her parents. She eloped seven years earlier with someone inappropriate (her social inferior) and has been shunned by society ever since. Her husband died. Now she is raising her son Noah alone. REVIEWER’S OPINION: This is a pleasant experience. The best parts were James’s lies. When interacting with silly people or people with odd problems, James tells lies which have good results. James is haunted/tormented by things from his five-year episode (PTSD). He keeps those things secret from Susannah. This is the overall mystery which eventually gets resolved. I liked that he never lied to Susannah but simply told her there were secrets he intended to keep private. In most romance stories the heroine is the main character. But here it is James. He needs healing. Susannah’s role is more of the kind and understanding person who helps James. Not much is done with her character. The sex scenes are more about showing character and story than being sensual. DATA: Story length: 288 pages. Swearing language: moderate. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 6. Total number of sex scene pages: 4. Setting: early 1800s England. Copyright: 2007. Genre: regency romance.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aneca

    Shipwrecked! Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe--a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous! Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence--until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past--but what secrets was this glorious man hidin Shipwrecked! Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe--a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous! Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence--until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past--but what secrets was this glorious man hiding? This was my second book by Carla Kelly. My first one was The Wedding Journey. I found that the two are similar because they both deal with very different subjects from what we are used to in regencies. The Wedding Journey approached the problems of the army during the Peninsular Wars and this one deals with surviving a trauma (a shipwreck and having to survive on a desert island). In fact both the hero and the heroine have some problems to overcame. The heroine has run away to marry as so the whole family has been shunned by society and her sister hates her now that she is back home, a widow with a young son. James Trevenen, or Beau Crusoe, meets Susannah Park when he is invited to stay at her parent's house by her grandfather when he arrives in London to receive an award. Susannah's grandfather wants to match make the two of them which he doesn't hide from Trevenen and that Trevenen tells Susannah. They immediately decide they will not fall in love during the two weeks they will spend together but in truth a bit of an attraction starts showing when the idea is planted. At the same time Trevenen is busy changing the live of every other of Susannah's relatives. Her parents get closer, her sister falls for one of his acquaintances that she nurses to health. In fact this part of the story was quite light with Trevenen lying to everyone so he can do good deeds. The story also has a serious side as Trevenen seems to be suffering from something like post-traumatic stress disorder in which he sees ghosts and has nightmares constantly. It will take Susannah's strength who finds out what really happened after the shipwreck and tries to heal him. The story was really well written and the plot was really interesting and original. My only problem with it was that I felt the was some lack of magic, it wasn't as light and witty as the light moments promised and it wasn't as serious and complex as the serious parts demanded. Grade: B Publicar mensagem Guardar como rascunho

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ruthie Knox

    Wow, I really loved this book! One of the best I've read in a long time -- so original, and I love the light tone the author has taken to deal with some pretty serious subjects. This is a totally wonky, charming, convincing, compelling read. Everything a historical romance should be. Wow, I really loved this book! One of the best I've read in a long time -- so original, and I love the light tone the author has taken to deal with some pretty serious subjects. This is a totally wonky, charming, convincing, compelling read. Everything a historical romance should be.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Spencer

    Not my very favorite Carla Kelly book, but I still really loved this unusual little story. I wrote a DIK review over at AAR back in 2007. Here's the link: http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookRev... Not my very favorite Carla Kelly book, but I still really loved this unusual little story. I wrote a DIK review over at AAR back in 2007. Here's the link: http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookRev...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Schmerica

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While I'm all for reading about cannibalism in most contexts, it turns out there is a distinct limit to how much I am willing to tolerate in my romance novels. While I'm all for reading about cannibalism in most contexts, it turns out there is a distinct limit to how much I am willing to tolerate in my romance novels.

  16. 5 out of 5

    kate

    Lots of angst. An insipid heroine. A hero whose got bats in his belfrey but has an amazing aptitude to solve other people's problems. A grossly disgusting ghost. Plus the real and imagined cannibalism made for an unpleasant read. Not what I expected from a Carla Kelly book. Dissappointed. Lots of angst. An insipid heroine. A hero whose got bats in his belfrey but has an amazing aptitude to solve other people's problems. A grossly disgusting ghost. Plus the real and imagined cannibalism made for an unpleasant read. Not what I expected from a Carla Kelly book. Dissappointed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diane Close

    I don’t normally read romance novels, let alone “historical” ones supposedly set in the Regency period, but when a friend sent me this one (thanks Melissa!) and described it as being a hysterical hot mess full of OMG and WTF moments, I knew I had to make an exception! Oh yes, this lived up fully to its billing! I actually received my copy a year ago, but devoured it (pun intended) over the cold winter break. I agree with my friend’s original review that this must’ve been written on a bet, and add I don’t normally read romance novels, let alone “historical” ones supposedly set in the Regency period, but when a friend sent me this one (thanks Melissa!) and described it as being a hysterical hot mess full of OMG and WTF moments, I knew I had to make an exception! Oh yes, this lived up fully to its billing! I actually received my copy a year ago, but devoured it (pun intended) over the cold winter break. I agree with my friend’s original review that this must’ve been written on a bet, and add that it must’ve been published on a dare too! Holy crap, what a mish-mash of concepts and words! I knew I was in for a treat when the second chapter practically opened with: “He looked around to see the innkeeper bringing out a roast of beef, all steaming and cunningly sliced so the tender, moist pink interior winked at him like… Oh, God, and now he was thinking of Artemesia, Lady Audley, with her legs spread wide, eager to seduce him after they left the miserable fever harbor of Batavia, prepared to cross the Indian Ocean.” (view spoiler)[ Our hero has newly returned from being shipwrecked for five years on a deserted island some where in the South Pacific. During his time alone he produced a monograph on one of the crabs of that island, which has now been received with great acclaim, resulting in scholarly recognition at a ceremony he must attend in London. There he meets and falls in love with the widowed daughter of his eccentric host family, and generally bops around London and their palatial mansion solving all sorts of personal crises through both deception and brawn. Like some PETA fanatic, he sets captive toucans “free” in the heart of London, without a thought or care for their welfare, probably to perish. He constantly refers to the widow’s older sister as ugly, and when that woman finally does fall in love he waxes poetic at the incredulity of it all, given her unfortunate bad looks. He turns out to be just as prejudiced and snobbish as the clique of “tons” that he claims he can’t stand, but we are supposed to forgive him because he’s secretly flawed himself. In perhaps the book’s biggest failing, he can’t keep his dick in his pants for the life of him, and we’re supposed to forgive that failing simply because he’s a man. True, it’s supposed to be an opportunity for sex with no strings after five years stranded alone, and our hero eventually figures out the true lay of the land (pun intended), but I’d expect that would “temper” his “member” the next time he and this woman meet but no...sproing!! (Rolls eyes.) The best part of the book, and the cause of many WTF moments, is the appearance of the supposed cannibal ghost that haunts him and provides our hero’s Secret Big Flaw. In reality, this ghost is a great way to depict the PTSD that plagues our hero, being the only survivor of the shipwreck that stranded him at sea, and the lengthy boat ride with four others, that ultimately stranded him on the island, alone. As the others succumb to the elements and the sea during the lengthy time on the water, the remaining survivors take to cannibalizing the dead bodies to survive. One of them, our eventual ghost, relishes these “meals” more than the others, and that depiction haunts both our hero and us throughout the novel. Normally our hero is a man of action, in keeping with the character of a Navy man used to making snap decisions at sea, but then suddenly he’ll be overwhelmed in social situations that trigger his PTSD, often requiring our heroine’s intervention to alleviate the crisis. Even then, these moments are often played for their humor rather than their horror, (hide spoiler)] and that’s the ultimate summary of this book: a mix of horror and humor, against a background of romance, with so many OMG and WTF elements that, like a celebrity car wreck on a major highway, you simply can’t look away.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gaile

    Shipwrecked James Trevenen survives five years of isolation on a south seas island before being finally rescued. Unfortunately the ghost of one of his dead shipwrecked mates follows him all the way back to England where he finds himself rescuing so many from distress he becomes known as Beau Crusoe. Widowed seven years Susannah Park lost her husband to cholera in India. Her embittered sister blames her for her being on the shelf instead of her own looks. (It is a great disaster for a plain sister Shipwrecked James Trevenen survives five years of isolation on a south seas island before being finally rescued. Unfortunately the ghost of one of his dead shipwrecked mates follows him all the way back to England where he finds himself rescuing so many from distress he becomes known as Beau Crusoe. Widowed seven years Susannah Park lost her husband to cholera in India. Her embittered sister blames her for her being on the shelf instead of her own looks. (It is a great disaster for a plain sister to have a beautiful sister but the beautiful one, Susannah is no longer being received) Having written a treatise on crabs and asked to give a speech in London, Beau Crusoe finds himself putting up at Alderson House where Susannah also resides. Susannnah's godfather asks James to do him three favors. Then the fun begins.Either Susannah or her sister intend to fall in love. The other characters also finds themselves doing things they didn't intend to do except Lady Audley who bears a grudge. (I wonder where the author thought of that name anyway!!! Did she ever see the play???) The ghost continues to follow James around and give him nightmares. Susannah's small son, Noah also adds more glee to this book. Highly recommended!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    This is my first book by this author and I decided to check out some of her books after the amazing review of one of this author's other books, The Wedding Journey, on SBTB. My library didn't have that one so I gave this one a shot. I really was taken aback when I realized this was so much more than a mere romance. The author has saddled our poor hero James with PTSD and survivor guilt from a most horrific shipwreck, 3 weeks at sea adrift in a longboat with 4 other men, and then 5 years on a des This is my first book by this author and I decided to check out some of her books after the amazing review of one of this author's other books, The Wedding Journey, on SBTB. My library didn't have that one so I gave this one a shot. I really was taken aback when I realized this was so much more than a mere romance. The author has saddled our poor hero James with PTSD and survivor guilt from a most horrific shipwreck, 3 weeks at sea adrift in a longboat with 4 other men, and then 5 years on a deserted island. Susannah is a beautiful mother, widowed when her husband died in India, she is trying to hold her own and make her own money to support her son. She is kindness and gentleness and safety to James and he cannot help but fall in love. Poor James refuses to tell the entire story of what happened once the men on the longboat start to die, in spite of the fact that he sees their ghosts and has night terrors as well. At times sweet and funny, then heart wrenchingly horrid, I can see why some reviewers didn't care for this book. This is no fantasy about Dukes and ladies in beautiful ball gowns. I couldn't stop reading this book, even when I knew what James' horrible secret was. I enjoyed the differences in this book. For me it was a B -.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Froggie

    I'm never a fan of anything Robinson Crusoe. Fortunately Slow Me didn't realize the implication of the title at first. Otherwise, I might not have picked up the book. The first part earned more than a few chuckles from me and once or twice LOLs as well. Then things went dark and I hit one of those unputdownable hills and read it all in one swoop. Carla Kelly's books always shine the light on life's harsh reality, which is not typical in Regency Romance. Do not mistake this one as light historica I'm never a fan of anything Robinson Crusoe. Fortunately Slow Me didn't realize the implication of the title at first. Otherwise, I might not have picked up the book. The first part earned more than a few chuckles from me and once or twice LOLs as well. Then things went dark and I hit one of those unputdownable hills and read it all in one swoop. Carla Kelly's books always shine the light on life's harsh reality, which is not typical in Regency Romance. Do not mistake this one as light historical by any chance. The romance is believable and the PTSD mystery well-explained. However, I felt that the book could have been a lot better. But it lacks the something that distinguish a good book from a great book. I wish could have been ...heavier? or lighter? I can't decide. But it didn't hit the nail on the head squarely enough for both aspects. 3.5 stars

  21. 4 out of 5

    Renae

    I really thought I would enjoy this more. It's a Regency Cast Away story, dealing with what would have happened if a deeply traumatized Tom Hanks had tried to rejoin life among the ton. Kelly's portrayal of the titular Beau Crusoe (aka James Trevenan) was nuanced and complicated, and I liked that the heroine in this book was a disgraced single mother, rather than a perfect young society miss. Yet, and yet: the writing wasn't good. The Kindle book was poorly formatted, and in addition, I just don' I really thought I would enjoy this more. It's a Regency Cast Away story, dealing with what would have happened if a deeply traumatized Tom Hanks had tried to rejoin life among the ton. Kelly's portrayal of the titular Beau Crusoe (aka James Trevenan) was nuanced and complicated, and I liked that the heroine in this book was a disgraced single mother, rather than a perfect young society miss. Yet, and yet: the writing wasn't good. The Kindle book was poorly formatted, and in addition, I just don't care for the way Kelly writes third person. I also felt that this was a complete slog to get through, which is strange for a category romance. The prose didn't flow as it should have.

  22. 5 out of 5

    victoria.p

    Ugh. The only one of Kelly's books I haven't liked. It just didn't work for me on any level, except for Susannah's reconciliation with her sister. That I really liked. Ugh. The only one of Kelly's books I haven't liked. It just didn't work for me on any level, except for Susannah's reconciliation with her sister. That I really liked.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susannah Carleton

    Entertaining with wonderfully ordinary yet complex characters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I like Carla Kelly for her clean but character driven stories, so I was pretty stunned by this one. It was very raunchy. I would not recommend it at all.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bithi

    Good.

  26. 4 out of 5

    ρυηүα [Punya Reviews...]

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book... for more, visit Punya Reviews... Beau Crusoe would be my second book by Carla Kelly. Initially, I had no intentions of doing a full review. But after finishing the book, I felt compelled to do one. I read some, mostly negative, reviews that gave me all sorts of mixed feelings about this book. I HAD to see for myself how much of it was true... well, TBH, some were true but I’m glad that my feelings aren’t as ambi My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book... for more, visit Punya Reviews... Beau Crusoe would be my second book by Carla Kelly. Initially, I had no intentions of doing a full review. But after finishing the book, I felt compelled to do one. I read some, mostly negative, reviews that gave me all sorts of mixed feelings about this book. I HAD to see for myself how much of it was true... well, TBH, some were true but I’m glad that my feelings aren’t as ambivalent as I feared it’d be. I loved it actually despite everything. James Trevenen, a son from an untitled but relatively wealthy family, went to sea at 10. Never did he ever imagine that at 21, he’d be faced with an experience that’d change his life forever. James is not your regular tall, dark (or fair) and handsome Romance hero. He’s rather quite ordinary to look at, though he’s got a pair of beautiful green eyes and a mischievous personality that catches your attention instantly. He lived the life of a true sailor, until one day when his ship, the Orion, sank. He and 4 other of his mates were dumped on a boat, with him holding the ship’s log as James was the highest ranking officer among them. As per Marine rule, he needed to record day to day activities on that log no matter what.......... After a month at sea, barely alive, James finally washes ashore; a small tropical paradise that eventually became his prison. There wasn’t anyone else on that island. Once he realized he’s now indeed a castaway, James learned to live as best as he could without any other resources but what the island had to offer. After 3 years, he gave up any hope of ever being rescued. He was sure he’d live and die here, without anyone ever knowing his fate. He continued recording his daily activities as best as he could, considering his circumstances. Then one day, after 5 long, lonely and miserable years, James is finally rescued by a missionary ship that somehow noticed the smoke coming from the island. In all these years, the only thing that kept James from going mad were Gloriosa Jubilate, a type of tiny crab species that he named himself. James researched their life cycle out of hopelessness, to keep something to occupy his mind. The result was a treaty that he was able to write after his return. James’ treaty was ardently accepted by the Royal Society of science and he’s nominated for the running year’s Copley medal. Although he could’ve asked for the medal to be send to his home at Cornwall, James decides that he’d visit London anyway. He’s also supposed to be a guest at the Alderson House, where Sir Joseph of the Royal Society has made arrangements for him to stay the duration. We experience a bit of James’ mischievous character on his way to London. He meets a silly fop named Sir Percival. There was a fire in that inn, at his room and James saves him. It was nothing serious that required anyone’s attention, or so James told himself but still, Sir Percival deemed him as his savior. This made him the fop’s latest obsession. In return, James earns an invitation to his townhouse in London, the promise of a superb tailor and a grand entrance to the London society. Sh!t load of good it did for him though. At Alderson House, we met our h, Susannah. Though living in her own parents’ home, she’s obviously not very welcomed there. Susannah did something 7 yrs. ago that changed her life too, and not for the better. She eloped with her father’s assistant, and then went to India with him. It ruined her family’s reputation, also her elder sister Loisa’s chance of a come out. Her husband died very shortly after their marriage. A despondent Susannah returned to England only to find herself pregnant. She now has an almost 7 yrs. old Noah, a very energetic boy. Her father is an eccentric guy, a bird watcher, while her mother is a vapid, society woman without any personality at all. And Loisa harbors a strong bitterness towards Susannah that she never forgets to show, either to her or her boy. Not a happy family. One day, they learn that Sir Joseph, who lives nearby, is sending over a guest to stay at theirs. After receiving the news of James Trevenan’s immediate arrival, Susannah visits Sir Joseph and his wife. I loved every scene in this house, seeing how loved she and Noah was there. Susannah starts reading the treaty on Sir Joseph’s encouragement and immediately falls in love with the writing of the author, though his artistic side leaves much to be desired. As no one at her home is willing to take on the responsibility of a guest, Susannah is set as his escort. And she can’t wait to meet him in person! Incidentally, Sir Joseph is also Susannah’s godfather. He loves her like the daughter he never had and she’s most welcomed in his home, along with Noah, any time of the day. Susannah is also regularly doing botanical paintings for him, as England’s Navy brings new flora into the country from around the world. This gives Susannah a way of earning a few shillings of her own. Not that she’s destitute and without food, but the way things are at her home, she wants Noah to have a better future. Pretty early in the story, when James was introduced, it was hinted that he was plagued by bad dreams... maybe even something more sinister. He sees someone, a vision or a ghost, whatever you call it. And it wouldn’t leave him be. James can’t sleep at night because he’s always there as if to taunt him. It was obvious that James had PTSD from his experience. But what I didn’t know was the extent of his psychological trauma until I read on... After his arrival at Alderson House, James seeks out Susannah Park as per instruction. And for the second time in his life, James is struck again, this time by Mrs. Park’s grace and beauty. He can’t help but fall for her on spot though he knew this might not be wise. I can say the same for Susannah, though her change was more subtle. But that attraction was always shimmering between them. After a chat with Sir Joseph, James is saddled with some responsibilities which included doing something about Loisa and marrying Susannah. James and Susannah become companions in a very short time because of the kind of connection they seem to share right from the start. And they sure had a laugh over the marriage thing! After all, who falls in love in two short weeks (the duration of James’ stay), enough to get married, right? At the course of the story, James becomes famous throughout London, something he didn’t want or even encouraged. Yet fate seemed to have a very different plan for him. We can also thank that fop, the arbitrary of fashion, Sir Percival who was responsible for naming James ‘Beau Crusoe’; the name that was now on everybody’s lips. Wherever he went he’d garner attention the moment someone recognized him, and that incident would be the talk of the town. For James, those things were nothing after what he’d suffered for 5 years, yet the ‘silly’ London society seemed to be abuzz about his ‘bravery’. That, also, brought some unwanted trouble at his doorstep in the name of Lady Audley, the married woman he’d had the bad luck of knowing on his journey back to London. With whom he had an affair with. From the beginning, James’ thought would turn to this woman and what they’d done throughout the journey. TBH, I absolutely despised every single mention of it. It’s as if James couldn’t stop thinking about all the sex he had with her which just made me uncomfortable. James wasn’t relishing it as a conquest since he was the conquest in fact. And he wasn’t particularly proud of it. James broke it off before leaving the ship and hoped never to see her again. He didn’t know that London would bring him so much mixed emotions; a ray of hope as Susannah, those unwanted attentions and praise that he didn’t want and Lady Audley’s animosity for being cut by a complete ‘nobody’, though shagging that nobody was not a problem for her. She didn’t take it well since she’s the one drops her lovers and not the other way round, threatening James before they parted ways. It seems now she’s ready to dish out whatever is on her devious mind. Honestly, I didn’t know what to think of James after that revelation. But it was also apparent that he’s actually a good man who is suffering badly from those nightmares. Each day, the more he gets to know Susannah, the more he fell for her. And Noah is already a fan. By now we’ve been introduced to his clever mind (he wouldn’t have survived his ordeal otherwise IMO), as he manages to solve some ongoing happenings in Susannah’s family. James is determined to see through the ‘responsibilities’ that Sir Joseph appointed him with. There was no doubt that both men had Susannah’s wellness in mind. The nasty toucans in the Alderson House that Noah was afraid of were gone already. At one point, James was also able to rescue one of the missionaries who became his friend in that ship. He was rather in a bad shape, ill with malaria. Don’t think I have to mention that Beau Crusoe’s rescue efforts was the news of the day. But Sam was so ill and James was so grateful for his help that he had to do something. It also gives him an idea that’d take care of another responsibility. Appoint Loisa as Sam’s nurse! From his conversations with her, James decided that Loisa simply was alone. That nobody ever needed her in any way. So he made sure she felt needed. When she jumps to help Sam, even Susannah is amazed since she had no idea what magic James keeps weaving to bring about those changes around her! I’d like to talk about Loisa here because she was one of the characters that garnered my respect. At first though, I disliked her because of the way she treated Noah and Susannah. But the more I read about her, the more I understood where it was all coming from. Loisa was always marked as the ‘plain sister’; someone with bug eyes, ruddy complexion and a stout body in comparison to Susannah’s tall, curvy body and blonde beauty. I even disliked James’ comparison, his too blunt thoughts on Loisa that bordered on rude. I believe Loisa never heard a good thing about her, not to mention that her so-called plain looks never brought her any marriage prospect. When people around a person is so judgmental, reminding them over and over again that they’re less than perfect, I can’t blame that person for the bitterness welling up inside. Loisa, as we find later, is very smart with a strong personality. She is straightforward in her conduct and honest to boot. And she has a good heart. I totally saw why she was so bitter about Susannah’s elopement. She obviously wanted to be married, and the ruination saw that she never does. She was utterly lonely with nothing to do. Maybe she showed her feelings in a wrong way but she wasn’t a bad person as we, again, soon find out. As the story progress, James’ PTSD becomes unmanageable. He begins seeing the ghost, now we know a man named Tim Rowe who was one of the unfortunate inhabitants of that boat, even in broad daylight. And he’s always holding a human body part, either eating it or offering it to James. I was shocked, stunned and horribly sad when I realized the implication of this. It becomes so apparent that Susannah begins noticing James’ pale face, awkwardness as if something was scaring him. By then, she has begun to care for this man who, in all the wrong ways, felt just right. He was all in all fun, a survivor with a brilliant mind. And he was so natural with Noah that Susannah knew he’d be an excellent father. But he won’t tell her what happened to him on the boat or afterwards. Yet, at night, when she’d hear him moaning or talking to someone, Susannah would be worried. A feeling of complete helplessness would wash over her, not knowing what to do. At one point, she also comes to learn of Lady Audley, though James would’ve never told her, he was so ashamed. It was at a party that Sir Percival threw. That vile woman wanted to seduce James again. She probably would’ve won out but this time, James resisted. Unfortunately, the woman had already managed to do what she wanted. She knew Susannah was smitten with James... her perfume on him wouldn’t make it any easier for them. As it was, Susannah was unhappy. Knowing Lady Audley’s reputation with men, she already guessed that James had some kinda relationship with that woman, yet it hurt like the b!tch. But what did he feel for her actually? Does she have any claim on him to feel hurt? Susannah had no idea. I should’ve hated James for it, most especially if he slept with that vile woman. But the despair I felt coming off of him after he realized that b!tch’s actual intention, it just broke my heart. Though he’d been with women in various ports, James was no player and certainly not a sophisticated socialite, so he had no idea the kind of trouble someone like Lady Audley can wrought. He was not a rake IMO, though Susannah termed him as such on various occasions. I couldn’t even imagine 5 lonely years without human touch, and then suddenly, finding it in someone, willing, even if not the best choice for a lover. I could imagine him gorging on this just for the sake of it. It was not a game, not simple lust but a mixture of everything that he’d missed. I just couldn’t bring myself to hate him or blame him for he’d suffered so much. And now, James was plain distressed that Susannah would be disgusted, and that his one ray of sunshine would be gone from him. Already I saw that, in little ways, James showed his dependency on Susannah’s caring nature. He craved it with his everything. He wanted the right to hold her, kiss her, cherish her, yet he had to settle for her calling him James instead of Mr. Trevenen. Often, he’d be distressed if she, for some reason, won’t call him James. Those little incidents spoke volume to me, just how much he needed Susannah in his life. Though he tried to hide Tim’s unwanted presence by putting up a brave face, doing mischief but it was becoming apparent that he couldn’t anymore. That night, after the ball, though Susannah was mad, when she heard the sound of someone talking, she instantly knew it was James. She found him the other day, cowering at the corner of his room, as if in a trance. And she knew whatever plagued him was far more terrifying and deep seated than she can even imagine. When she goes to check up on him, Susannah finds James on her doorstep, intent on saving her from any harm coming from his ghoul. This is why I always liked Susannah. Though she was the quiet type in comparison to Loisa’s bold personality, she never hesitated to act. Even when James seemed to be a raving lunatic, she knew in her heart he needed help, and apparently no one but herself cared enough to do so. I loved that she didn’t hold onto the grudge. Instead, she comforts James by letting him into her bed, by holding him through the night, at one point wishing that he’d make love to her. I can’t tell you how much I loved that scene, my heart breaking for James’ suffering. Susannah knew that to help James she has to know what happened to the boat, and to Tim Rowe. And the only way she can do it by reading the logs James surrendered to the Admiralty House as he wouldn’t confide in her. With Sir Joseph and Loisa’s help, Susannah finally reads the horror story of James’ survival; how after weeks on the sea, he and other 2 men were forced to eat parts of one of his dead comrades. That though he and the other man couldn’t continue, Tim seemed to have formed a taste for human flesh. That he later becomes a threat to his life........ But there was no account of what happened to Tim. Even sad and horrified, Susannah knew that she needed to know that part. She also understood that James needed to tell his story to set his mind free of this curse. Maybe then, he can have some peace. Susannah will make sure that James knew he’s not alone in this fight anymore. TBH, I can go on and on about this book. There were many so scenes that touched my heart, even when I was annoyed or shocked, even when I felt nauseated while reading the brutally honest narratives of James’ horrific ordeal. I’m pretty sure I’ve never read another Romance novel where the hero was forced into cannibalism to survive and I thank the author for not glossing over it. Even through all his faults, James was one of a kind hero. He felt responsible for not doing enough to save his mates as he was the officer in charge. That guilt, the trauma of what he’d suffered both in and out of that boat, morphed into his PTSD. Then he didn’t think he was good enough to have someone like Susannah, though he craved the crumbs of her affection like the air he breathes. I’d emphasize here that though my initial feelings for him was ambivalent, much like Susannah, the more I read on, the more I became extremely protective of him. She proved to be just the one that James needed. The last couple of chapters were especially good, just as I hoped things would turn out to be. To my utter delight, even Loisa found love in Sam. I didn’t want the story to end just then because I wanted more. I was nevertheless happy that James was finally able to hold Susannah in his arms. It provided him with an amount of peace and happiness that he never thought he’d ever find in this life. Apparently, all they needed were those two weeks. Tim’s restless spirit left him at last, and even after all he’d suffered, James hoped that the poor guy found peace too. After all, who can you blame for an ordeal like this? Providence? Bad Luck? Faulty mechanism? There’s just no real answer for a question like this. 4 stars for our Beau Crusoe. I’m determined to read more Carla Kelly book in the near future.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Teri-K

    When I first started reading this book I was surprised it's not more popular, though I find many of this author's books under rated. For about the first third I was was enchanted and compelled. Having read Robinson Crusoe as a child, I was fascinated by the idea of how a man who spent 5 years shipwrecked on an island by himself would feel coming back home. Your values have to have changed, and so many of the things you'd longed for would be different in real life. I liked the way this book explo When I first started reading this book I was surprised it's not more popular, though I find many of this author's books under rated. For about the first third I was was enchanted and compelled. Having read Robinson Crusoe as a child, I was fascinated by the idea of how a man who spent 5 years shipwrecked on an island by himself would feel coming back home. Your values have to have changed, and so many of the things you'd longed for would be different in real life. I liked the way this book explored some of those ideas. Then it fell a bit out of my favor. For totally explainable reasons, the hero ends up telling some whoppers, and I became a little uncomfortable with him. At the same time he started rescuing people, cats, etc., and his actions are blown out of proportion by the people involved; that part of the book felt almost slapstick. Add in a Regency-style romance, and the story pacing rather awkward, but still enjoyable. It would have remained so if the hero's nightmares had not become more and more explicit, and grisly. (view spoiler)[ While lost at sea he ate the flesh of a dead man, and one of the men in the boat turned full cannibal and killer and now haunts his dreams chewing on leg bones and such. (hide spoiler)] And mentioning explicit, the author adds in some very explicit sex scenes, in his memories. That's a lot going on for one book! I persisted, though, and liked the way the story worked out. So, even though I think it would have been better if some of the subplots had been slimmed down, I still enjoyed it. And it's definitely not just like all the other historical romances out there!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Larissa Lyons

    Carla Kelly has long been a favorite, with many of her older Signet Regencies having prime real estate on my Keeper Shelf. But it wasn't until this book, Beau Crusoe, that I found a total and forever favorite from her. The beginning paragraph alone seduced my senses (being much saucier than most things I've read from Kelly), and from there, the story just piled on one unique character and situation after another. I've never been one to rehash a plot in a review, too easy to spoil things in my opi Carla Kelly has long been a favorite, with many of her older Signet Regencies having prime real estate on my Keeper Shelf. But it wasn't until this book, Beau Crusoe, that I found a total and forever favorite from her. The beginning paragraph alone seduced my senses (being much saucier than most things I've read from Kelly), and from there, the story just piled on one unique character and situation after another. I've never been one to rehash a plot in a review, too easy to spoil things in my opinion, but let's just say from the moment I met the lead characters, my heart ached for each. From the crazy bird to a certain oceanic species of crab, there are certain references and focal points of the story that remain with me always. I own two copies. One to keep and one I loan out. Read it!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Langholff

    Carla Kelly does it again! Picking up a book by Carla Kelly is always a sure bet. The characters are well defined. One cannot help but be totally drawn in. As our hero struggles with ghosts of the past, you long to be the heroine, to sooth and comfort. To help him find the lost memories, and absolve him of his self-induced guilt. It is important to note that her heroines frequently understand the circumstances of their unease. The fact that they can accept, love and forgive the hero shows the dep Carla Kelly does it again! Picking up a book by Carla Kelly is always a sure bet. The characters are well defined. One cannot help but be totally drawn in. As our hero struggles with ghosts of the past, you long to be the heroine, to sooth and comfort. To help him find the lost memories, and absolve him of his self-induced guilt. It is important to note that her heroines frequently understand the circumstances of their unease. The fact that they can accept, love and forgive the hero shows the depth of both characters and the circumstance surrounding them.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nightwitch

    Another touching romance from Kelly with a hero and heroine it is easy to root for. The details regarding shipwrecks were well-done and the heroine's family were obnoxious without being overly so. I think this one was marred by the presence of a stereotypical nymphomaniac villainess, though, which was what kept it to three stars for me - just unnecessary, and out-of-place amidst all the three-dimensional secondary characters. Another touching romance from Kelly with a hero and heroine it is easy to root for. The details regarding shipwrecks were well-done and the heroine's family were obnoxious without being overly so. I think this one was marred by the presence of a stereotypical nymphomaniac villainess, though, which was what kept it to three stars for me - just unnecessary, and out-of-place amidst all the three-dimensional secondary characters.

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