When circumstances leave her penniless and alone in London, Rosalyn Bernay takes refuge as a dresser behind the scenes of Gilbert and Sullivan's long-running HMS Pinfore. Army sergeant Nate Moran has been filling in backstage until his brother is back on his feet, but he yearns to be back with the regiment. He recognizes Rosalyn's naivety and offers her a friendly hand. The two have potential to become more than friends, but he is leaving for India soon, and her heart has been captured by the theatre. Will their dreams pull them in opposite directions?
With a new author (to me, anyway), I'm never sure exactly what to expect, but I enjoyed this book. Rosalyn is fairly naive, yet resourceful--which comes in handy when her naivety gets her into trouble. Nate is a kind, gentle hero, still battling his own demons, yet a quiet, protective presence. It's both entertaining and faith-filled.
The theatre plays a major role in the story, and the people that make it up are neither wholly selfish nor whitewashed to perfection--just people, both good and bad, and often a bit of both. While some practices have changed with technology, it's funny how much hasn't changed behind the scenes. It was interesting to read about the background of Gilbert and Sullivan's productions, including the secrecy revolving around Pirates of Penzance and the tactics used to keep the rights to their own productions from being pirated.
Not everything is wholly wrapped up, but nothing major is missed; there are two more books to come, at which point I imagine more will be addressed. I look forward to learning more about Rosalyn's sisters, Julia and Cara!
Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free e-book; I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
1. The Captain's Daughter
2. The Heart's Appeal
For those who love Gilbert and Sullivan, I'd also recommend Murder at the Mikado, a 1930's murder mystery revolving around the title production.