Only A Captain Will Do

Excerpt

“I see you do not remember me, Captain.”

Christina knew her response was ill-mannered, so it surprised her to see Jason’s eyes alight at her bold affront rather than squint in anger. He looked like he wanted to chuckle, but instead he apologized, “No, forgive me, though how I could forget such a lovely face as yours, I do not know.”

His roguish manner and glib speech broke through the embarrassment that had caused her to lose her temper. Feeling assuaged, she replied in kind to his apology. “Do not be severe on yourself. I was only eight when we met ten years ago, and I should not harbor any ill will for you not remembering.”

“But, you do,” laughed Jason.

“Aye,” grinned Christina. “But nothing more than an iota.”

“Well, I apologize most heartily and hope you will honor me with your name once again.”

“Propriety dictates a common acquaintance introduce us.” 

“But you forget we were introduced ten years ago.”

“You will think me a hoyden when your memory of me returns, Captain, for even then we were not formally introduced.”

“Never, your name, please.”

“I am Miss Christina Rothsborn, Captain Brentwood, daughter to your papa’s solicitor.”

For a moment, Christina's embarrassment grew again, thinking he still did not remember her at all, but then she saw recognition in his eyes and a smile stretch his face.

 

Only A Captain Will Do Discussion Questions

1. What do you think of Stephen Rothsborn's decision to place his daughter in the care of Lady and Lord Dewksbury? What effect, if any, did it have on shaping Christina into the person she became and how do you think she would have been different if Stephen had kept her in his own household to raise. Give examples.

2. Dewksbury is portrayed as an unyielding guardian. What do you think of his relationship with Christina, both as a child and adult? Did it surprise you to learn he had cultivated a relationship with the Earl of Marksby for Christina's benefit?

3.How did Stephen's tolerant nature towards his daughter help form her character? Do you believe it was his natural nature to be tolerant or manifested from giving over his guardianship of her to another. Give examples to support your answer.

4. The ton were very prejudiced against anyone born outside their sphere and did not consider Christina a "lady" because she lacked title and wealth. Identify scenes where and how the manners of a lady were relevant. In today's society, what constitutes a lady, or is the term extinct? Is there any correlation to how a lady behaves today versus the 1800s?

5. Couture was a class identifier and aristocrats judged a person based on what they wore. Identify scenes where clothes marked class distinction or created assumptions about characters.  As a society, are we guilty of judging someone by what they wear?  Explain.

6.  Women's "sensibilities" were protected in the 1800s. Men and women were careful in what they said, especially to an unmarried lady. Where in the story did this type of caution occur and what do you think prompted the censure: consideration or arrogance? Does it happen today, or do men and women discuss all topics openly? If not, what topics are too discreet to discuss, especially in mixed company?

7. An unmarried lady's virtue was highly guarded by both rules and chaperonage. Identify scenes where a lady's reputation was placed at risk by ignoring society's rules on behavior. How did these rules protect a lady's virtue?  Are they in use today?  If so, which ones?

8. Does the Queen's acknowledgement of Christina change her life? If so, how?

9. What propels the duke to change his opinion of Christina? Did it happen immediately or over time. Explain.

10. Was Captain Brentwood just in breaking his betrothal with Christina? Did you like the way the story ended and who she would marry?

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