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Castaway Dreams by Darlene Marshall
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Daphne is on her way home to England from Jamaica. She is quite happy to flit and flirt about the boat and pretty much all men are pleased with her. Except for the Scottish surgeon Alexander. He has an intense dislike of Daphne despite having very little contact with her.
Even though Daphne has lead a privileged life of not having to really learn or to do anything for herself besides being a fashionable lady she has a strong desire to be useful and to learn.
Daphne and Alexander end up shipwrecked alone on a Bermuda island where they fight to survive and get closer to each other.
Shipwrecks, pirates, battles, abductions, and more all with a little dancing bichon Pompom as Daphne's faithful companion.
A very good read that easily kept my full attention. ( )
  SweetLiar | May 5, 2016 |
I totally loved this book! I've read all of Darlene Marshall's previous books, but this one takes the cake! It is simply wonderful! Story of stodgy older navy surgeon, Alexander Murray who finds himself shipwrecked and stranded on an island near Bermuda with Miss Daphne Farnham, who he considers to be the most useless and dimwitted society miss he has ever had the unfortunate pleasure of being stuck with. Of course, his opinion changes drastically over time and I loved every word of this endearing romance of how two complete opposites fall in love. It had everything: steamy sex, humor, and an excellent plot line that kept me interested with top notch writing and research to go with it. Very, very clever story, a tour de force for Ms. Marshall! Who would have thought curmudgeonly Dr. Murray would turn out to be such a sexy hero? But of course on second thought, why should I be surprised? He's a Scot with red hair (with a bit of gray thrown in for gravitas). A keeper, though I'm not crazy about the cover... ( )
  ktleyed | Dec 3, 2012 |
Seeing the ugly side of life and too much of death has made Alexander Murray a serious man. He values people and things by how useful they are, and Daphne Farnham with her endless chatter about hats and frills is the most useless person he has ever met. She also has a smile lovely enough to distract even a grim Scottish surgeon. When her wellbeing on a ship sailing from Jamaica to Britain is trusted to him, he knows he’s in trouble. Shipwreck doesn’t help the situation. Alexander and Daphne find themselves stranded on an island. All they can do is to survive and wait for a ship to arrive – a ship that might bring them salvation or possibly pirates.

Alexander Murray was first introduced in Darlene Marshall’s Sea Change. You’d think these two books are very much alike, but they’re not. The difference is in heroines: where Charlie Alcott was a series woman with occupational ambitions, Daphne Farnham is a happy-go-lucky heiress with an eye for pretty things. Daphne may be unwisely carefree and even silly, but what I love about her is her capacity and will to learn. Alexander makes her want to be useful. I love how she imagines being the one people turn to if she someday falls into another shipwreck. I love how she loves life and all its pleasures, be they ornamental or physical by nature. I love how she learns to see that indeed her serious doctor sometimes smiles.

Daphne makes Castaway Dreams a fun read – but it’s the authoress who makes it a fairytale, and that’s what this book is in the end. It’s not just a Happy Ever After she writes; it’s a Perfectly Happy Ever After, and personally I don’t think the obstacles were challenging enough to make it worthy – especially a certain captain was underused. Structurally the book is one of the tightest I’ve ever read: not a single thread is left untied. Even the smallest, silliest things matter, but those things being something like Daphne dotting her i’s with hearts is a step towards the fairytale land. The book is very funny and that’s great, but the downside is the emotional distance that humour creates between the story and the reader. Still, I enjoyed this novel immensely and will undoubtedly read more from Darlene Marshall in the future. ( )
  julienne_preacher | Jul 4, 2012 |
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Alexander Murray spent his lifetime dissecting bodies, trephining skulls, and seeing gray matter splattered across the decks of warships.
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A grumpy doctor,
a brainless fashionista,
screwball comedy.

(Darlene Marshall)

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