Midnight Blue

Written by Phoebe Conn
Review by Maggi de Rozario

In the waning days of the American Revolution, an American privateer captures a ship with the pregnant widow of a British officer on board. Captain Christopher MacLeod can’t return Sarah to British-held Charleston, so she remains his prisoner for the duration of the cruise. Sparks fly as two people from opposite sides of the war must co-exist in a tiny ship’s cabin, but a truce is called when Sarah goes into labor during a storm. By the time they reach shore, Chris has grown to love her and her newborn son. But will Sarah overcome her resentment at being held prisoner?

Conn’s period dialogue is stilted in places, and she is fond of having the characters “hiss” non-sibilant words, a no-no in every writing manual. The plot provides believable reasons for conflict between the protagonists in the first section, but once ashore, the tension becomes arbitrary. Some of the history is questionable – I doubt a respectable 18th century woman would wear her nightdress to a picnic, or that people on shipboard would have enough fresh water to wash themselves and their clothing daily. Other naval fiction I’ve read contradicts that fact. The historical romance started well, but went downhill partway through.