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The Charm School by Susan Wiggs
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The Charm School (1999)

by Susan Wiggs

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Ugly duckling Isadora signs on as a translator on skipper Ryan's voyage from Boston to Rio. Ryan is convinced that Isadora won't last the voyage, but she charms the crew and is a formidable companion even for him. ( )
  nancynova | Apr 4, 2016 |
  fromjesstoyou | Mar 21, 2016 |
This book takes places in 1850s Boston which is not a place or time period I usually choose for my historical romances. I was intrigued by the "ugly duckling" story line, and it paid off. It was really a joy to watch Isadora go from mousy, bumbling and invisible (but smart and funny) to confident, bold and comfortable in her own skin. I loved the voyage to Rio, and I am glad the voyage back to Boston was glossed over. I also liked the fact that the two main characters not only hated each other (mostly) on sight, but didn't immediately fall into one another's arms. Sure, it's all fairly predictable, but it's a romance novel. And great fun to read.

( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
A period romance set in the Boston of 1851. An ugly duckling young woman, a swashbuckling sea captain, almost formula but still an entertaining read. ( )
  wareagle78 | Jan 28, 2014 |
If there were any flaws in this story, I was too caught up in the characters (particularly the heroine) to notice what they were. ( )
  MoriahJovan | Sep 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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The real offense, as she ultimately perceived, was her having a mind of her own at all.
--Henry James
The Portrait of a Lady
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Being invisible did have its advantages.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0778325040, Mass Market Paperback)

Setting: Boston and Rio de Janeiro, 1851

Sensuality: 7

Isadora Peabody is the brilliant but socially inept sibling in an otherwise perfect family. And although she struggles to fit into Boston society, her awkwardness dooms her to repeated failure. Fate intervenes when she learns that a sea captain, Ryan Calhoun, is in need of an interpreter for his next voyage to Rio. And despite Ryan's adamant opposition to hiring a female interpreter, Isadora gains a berth on his ship, thanks to a little blackmail.

Life aboard ship and away from the strict confines of Boston society finds Isadora losing weight, gaining confidence, and blooming like a rose. She befriends the motley crew of rough sailors, and in turn, they become a charm school of sorts, tutoring her in gracefulness--which comes in handy when climbing the rope rigging--dancing, and friendship. Isadora's transformation fascinates Ryan, but he is determined to stay away from her for he has secretive, dangerous plans. Unaware of Ryan's interest, Isadora struggles with her growing attraction to the reckless sea captain. But before they can resolve their feelings, prior commitments surface and endanger their chance of finding a happy future together.

The Charm School is a tale of the evolution of two complicated people and the powerful love that binds them. Wiggs skillfully peels away the layers that conceal the real Isadora until the transformation from misfit to confident woman is complete, while Ryan develops from a wild, rebellious southerner into a man who can overcome impossible odds to reach his goals. If you like swashbuckling adventure, fascinating characters, vivid settings, and surprising plot twists, this wonderful novel will be just your cup of tea.--Lois Faye Dyer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Deemed a social outcast, Isadora Peabody finds herself on board the Silver Swan bound for Rio de Janiero and captained by dashing Ryan Calhoun--a man who transforms her into a passionate and spirited woman.

» see all 2 descriptions

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