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Synopsis

In the early 1800s, seventeen-year-old Hannah Whittier is traveling by ship down the coast from her Quaker home in Massachusetts to her brother’s house in Charleston, South Carolina. To while away the dull hours, Hannah composes a list of qualities she wants in a husband. Boredom will soon be the least of her worries. First the Molly Claridge is boarded by the British frigate, H.M.S. Dissuade, and forced to turn over any supposed Englishmen. Later the American vessel is blown out of the water by a French man o’war. After a long, harrowing day clinging to a grate and battered by the sun, Hannah is fished out of the water by the Dissuade and forced to sail toward England with the British crew and its imperious yet devilishly handsome captain, Sir Daniel Spark. Proper young Quakeress Hannah locks horns with salty Captain Spark, who expects her to carry her weight by helping their cook and keeping watch. The captain has none of the qualities on Hannah’s list, so why is she so drawn to him? Could it be that loyalty and valor are more important than mild manners and patience? Hannah learns that Captain Spark has fought valiantly in England’s naval battles against France, and she sympathizes with his weariness in the face of so much death and destruction. Captain Spark in turn values Hannah’s lively spirit and positive attitude. And, despite her tanned skin and cabin boy attire, Hannah presents quite a temptation to the captain who has been too long at sea. Now, if only they can make it to England in one piece ....

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