Persuaded to Sail is the third book of the Jane Austen’s Fighting Men series by Jack Caldwell, and it is a compelling story with everything a sequel to Persuasion should have: adventure at sea, intrigue, some mystery, a strong Wentworth and a bit of romance between the newlyweds.
In this sequel, Captain Wentworth is called for another mission with the Laconia shortly after his wedding, but instead of leaving Anne ashore, he decides to take his wife with him until his final destination: Bermuda. The only set back Wentworth wasn’t expecting is the secretive guest he is to take with him to Madeira, a portuguese island in the Atlantic. This guest will bring not only some intrigue and suspense to the story, making the reader question his every word and action, but also cause some jealousy in Captain Wentworth, which was a detail I absolutely loved! There is nothing better than a jealous Frederick Wentworth, is there?
Because most of the action occurs aboard the Laconia at sea, there are several references to the navy’s expressions and procedures, and I was delighted to learn a little more about this world while reading the book. Jack Caldwell’s writing is simple and appealing, and even someone who doesn’t know much about these topics can easily follow the story and the dialogues. That is not an irrelevant feature, and keeping it informative yet alluring is not an easy task, so I have to highlight the writing style of the book which was one of the aspects I loved the most.
Persuaded to Sail focuses mainly on Frederick Wentworth, but it also features several characters from other Austen novels. Some only have cameo appearances, but others have a bigger role in this story, like William Price and Margaret Dashwood. Bringing these characters to the story, mixing their lives as if they were all part of the same society, and making connections that are innovative, yet perfectly believable, made the story richer and much more interesting. I absolutely loved learning more about William Price, and I wonder if I’ll ever see him in another novel by Jack Caldwell. Persuaded to Sail was the first book of this series I read, but I loved this style so much that I am now tempted to read the other two.
Anne Elliot has an important role in this story and I loved seeing the progression of her character, learning of how she adapted to life on board a navy ship and watching her gain the respect of the crew, but Captain Wentworth has a special place in my heart and I loved the portrayal Jack Caldwell did of his character. On Persuasion we only see him in his role of gentleman, but on the Laconia he is a Captain, and seeing him in this new role was very exciting, he was everything I expected him to be and more.
The ending of the book was somewhat unexpected which is always a plus in a novel, and the fate of some of the Elliot family members will give readers a great pleasure, I am sure.
Overall, Persuaded to Sail was an absorbing book that kept my interest from the beginning until the end. Despite the fact that most of it takes place in a confined space, it is action-packed, and even though we cannot consider this a romance novel, it does have many romantic moments between Frederick Wentworth and Anne. I believe all readers who love Persuasion will like this novel and I highly recommend it to those who cannot get enough of Regency historicals.
You can find Persuaded to Sail at:
and on Kindle Unlimited