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Shipmate: A Royal Regard Prequel Novella

Shipmate: A Royal Regard Prequel Novella

4.8 5
by Mariana Gabrielle

The heavy hands and sharp tongues of Bella Smithson’s family have left her almost too timid to converse with a gentleman, much less conduct a husband hunt. Unfortunately, her overbearing aunt and managing cousin are determined to help her escape her black-hearted father and brothers.

Thanks to the Prince of Wales, retiring shipping magnate Myron Clewes


The heavy hands and sharp tongues of Bella Smithson’s family have left her almost too timid to converse with a gentleman, much less conduct a husband hunt. Unfortunately, her overbearing aunt and managing cousin are determined to help her escape her black-hearted father and brothers.

Thanks to the Prince of Wales, retiring shipping magnate Myron Clewes has an ever-growing fortune, a fresh-minted peerage, a brand-new flagship, and an impossible set of requirements for a bride. Not least, she must be willing to leave England and everything she knows, possibly for good, in less than two months’ time.

Bella’s Happy-Ever-After in Royal Regard had its origins in a Happier-Than-She-Expected with her first husband, Baron Holsworthy, who gave her the confidence to steady her sea legs, take her life by the helm, and command her own voice, empowering a shy, young girl and unlikely adventurer to grow into one of King George IV’s trusted advisors.

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Mariana Gabrielle
Publication date:
Sailing Home
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456 KB

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Meet the Author

Mariana Gabrielle (aka Mari Christie) is a professional writer, editor, and graphic designer in Denver, Colorado, who writes mainstream historical fiction, Regency romance, and poetry. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Writing, summa cum laude and With Distinction, from the University of Colorado Denver.

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Shipmate: A Royal Regard Prequel Novella 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Teri_D More than 1 year ago
I started this book in the morning and kept reading until it was finished. It was that good! Bella and Myron have finally come home after 15 years of traveling the world. Myron, the much older husband, is not well and wants to ensure Bella's future and happiness. He sets about choosing her next husband, which fascinated me. I can't think of another book that had that particular story line. The story moves very quickly and left me wanting more at the end. I am hopeful that Mariana continues with this series!
dfosterbooks More than 1 year ago
This prequel to Royal Regard gives a wonderful insight to the life of Bella Smithson prior to her true HEA. The daughter of an intolerable drunk baron with equally abusive brothers, Bella enjoys living with her Aunt, Uncle & cousin at least when her father forgets about her existence. Having had an awful start to her 1st London season, “knowing” she is not a beauty Bella only hopes for someone to take her away from her father & brothers and care for her. Newly minted peer, shipping magnate Myron Clewes is searching for a bride. Not just any bride but one that will leave her family & everything she knows for a life at sea. Spotting Bella at a party he thinks he might have found the one. After a whirlwind courtship, Myron is speaking with Bella’s uncle when her father makes an appearance. Shocked & disgusted with the way the man treats Bella brings out Myron’s protective side & knows he must get Bella away. (He’ll be shocked further once they have set sail.) What follows is a sweet, comfortable love story. Although not the type to sweep the girl off her feet is a love of mutual admiration. Myron helps Bella develop the strength & determination to voice her opinions & to stand up for herself. This is the first book of Mariana Gabrielle’s that I have read & have completely fallen in love with her writing. Having this insight into the character gives a new understanding of where she came from & what drives her in Royal Regard. Was so into the story that I had to immediately start Royal Regard. A definite add to my favorite author list!!!
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this prelude, an introduction to some of Mariana's characters. Bella grew up under a great deal of violence and degradation. It kept her under a semblance of control, but her heart wanted more. Her savior comes in the guise of an older man, Myron, who sees that she can be more than she thinks she is capable of. He recognizes her strength and ability to make a good match for him. This story kept me enthalled and I look forward to the next step in Royal Regard.
Jutzie More than 1 year ago
Shipmate by Mariana Gabrielle A Royal Regard Prequel Novella Miss Isabella Smithson hasn't had a very easy life. The daughter of a cruel man and sister to brother's no better than their sire, she lived with her relations. Her aunt may have never struck her with her hand...but instead, with her tongue lashings. And then...it was decided she would marry and sail off with her new husband. Myron Clewes, Baron of Holsworthy loved traveling as a sailor. Now that Prince Regent had made him a baron and given him land, he needed a wife and the desired heir. It was time, he was older, after all. Bella is shy until she is aboard the Amelia. A stronger woman emerges as she travels away from England. Away from her family. In the next book, Royal Regard, the reader can get to know Bella more as she and Myron return to England after fifteen years of travel. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to more from this series. 'Tis Her Season, Bella's cousin Charlotte's story, and where we first meet Bella. This is in the boxed set of Mistletoe, Marriage and Mayhem.
Aleen1 More than 1 year ago
Since this was the first story that I have read in this series, I'm glad I started with the prequel. I was not familiar with the characters, but it allowed me to get a fresh perspective on their backgrounds and personalities. This story is definitely different than a common romance. Matter of fact, there wasn't too much romance to be had for poor Bella. I couldn't help feeling sorry for her. Being labeled a wallflower and constantly reminded by her own family members that she is ugly, makes Bella shy, distant, and nervous around others. Eager to marry her off to anyone willing, her family forces Bella to attend gatherings. Bella's overbearing Aunt Minerva certainly is one that is not pleasant to be around. But she has no choice as the Effingale's have generously taken Bella in after her Father's many nefarious actions. It seems that Bella is harassed on both sides. Mentally and physically. She sees her savior in Baron Holsworthy, a much older man recently promoted by the Prince and ordered to find a wife. "His greying hair was long, loose, and wild, and the lines on his face were deep, as though they had been carved with a chisel. Much older-perhaps even older than her father..." Baron Holsworthy is not the typical hero that I'm used to and I was feeling apprehensive for Bella. Their relationship is not a wild romance. No real attraction, but more of a mutual respect. The Baron, needing a wife to take with him to sea and Bella needing a husband to take her away from her family. However, I believe that it's the Baron who finally brings out the strengths in Bella. In instances away from her family, she finally finds her voice. The first instance is when she is called before the Prince to be assessed of her capability to be the Baron's wife. "If I can speak to the royal family of England, I suppose I can learn to speak to anyone." Bella continues her journey on the ship as a married woman. It presents to her more instances where her strength is tested and she continues to grow as a person. My thoughts: I really enjoyed this story. However, I was not too fond of the Baron. He did show his sweet side but there was an underlying temper in his countenance. His outlook on love was a little bleak and only that of producing an heir. "Your only duty to me now is providing me a strong, healthy wife as soon as possible. As such, I will delay the pursuit of an heir for the nonce." Bella comes to accept that there is no passion but she does have a good protector in the Baron. She is definitely in a place a lot better than where she was. I do hope love finds her. Her story is not over yet.