Song from the Sea
Normally, a book like this would be way too sweet for me. I’m not that sentimental, but I can get all teary-eyed over a basket of puppies, and Song From The Sea was the book equivalent of a big-eyed puppy.
Callista Melbourne’s father has promised her to Harold Carlyle, the son of a friend. Callie doesn’t want to marry Harold, but her father is dying and she really has no choice, so she leaves the Greek isle of Corfu where she has grown up and sails to England.
In England, Adam Carlyle, Marquess of Vale, is out to kill himself. Heartsick over the deaths of his wife and son, he plans to row out far, far into the sea and jump overboard. He is rowing out far into the sea because he wants a long time to elapse before his body is discovered. That will keep his heir, who is – you guessed it – Harold, from inheriting the title till Adam’s body is found. But as Adam rows out into the storm, he hears a young woman singing from the deck of a ship, then sees her fall. Being a chivalrous sort, he can’t let her die, so he postpones his suicide for another day.
Callie wakes up with no memory of who she is. The Vale servants all fuss over her and adore her. She quickly sees that Adam is deeply unhappy, and being the cheerful, loving sort, she reaches out to him. Adam begins to soften toward Callie, and when odious Harold and his evil mother recognize her, he marries her.
Song From The Sea has a lot of elements I normally don’t like in my romances. Callie is one of those airy-fairy New Age girls in a period setting, which normally drive me to distraction. It has an amnesia plot, a slooow moving middle, a couple of cardboard villains, and colorful servants who fuss around Callie and call her poppet. Callie has sex without once thinking of the consequences, and during her first sexual encounter when she sees Adam’s penis, she wonders… well, I’ll get to that. But despite all its problems, Song From The Sea is earnest and endearing and I liked much of it despite myself.
Callie is… well, she’s good. She’s kind and loving and manages to heal Adam’s wounded soul. As for Adam, he begins the book determined to be depressed and suicidal, but he can’t resist Callie.
Okay, it’s a sweet book and it’s inspirational too. Adam lost his faith in God when his wife and son died and he and Callie talk a lot about this. Kingsley makes the connection between faith and love in a non-sectarian way, and as Adam’s love deepens, his faith in God returns.
I can’t gloss over some of the book’s problems, though. The middle drags. Harold and his mother are two of the silliest, most cardboard villains I have ever seen. Callie goes from shy virgin to sex machine at warp speed. Oh, and when she sees Adam naked, she wonders how she will be able to accommodate “his magnificence.” Hmm, never heard it called that.
Oh well, call me a sucker for sweetness and sentimentality, but Song From The Sea got to me. I may not be ready to collect Precious Moments figurines, but I am going to give Katherine Kingsley another try.