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Miss Whittier Makes a List

Miss Whittier Makes a List

5.0 9
by Carla Kelly

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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


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 ...

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Everyone, go out and buy Miss Whittier Makes a List. Right now …. Ms. Kelly always brings an extraordinary magic to both the prosaic and the unusual."

-Jean Wan, All About Romance

"Regency fans who like superior, well-written romances and the Age of Sail will enjoy this book. This reprint from 1994 by a multi-published, award-winning author will be a treat for those who have not already read it."

-Historical Novel Society

Miss Hannah Whitney is the youngest child--and only daughter--of a Quaker family of Nantucket, Massachusetts. She's on her way to Charleston, South Carolina, where her brother Hosea has opened a branch of the family mercantile. She plans to help her sister-in-law when the new baby comes. Hannah's on board a ship out of Boston that is stopped and boarded by men from a British frigate, the HMS Dissuade . The captain impresses British deserters, as well as two Americans, to fill the empty slots in his crew caused by an attack by a French war ship. The captain doesn't sail away, however, until he gets a sharp dressing down from an angry Hannah. Hiding his amusement, he warns the Americans to watch out for the French, and then sails away, allowing the American vessel to continue on. But the Yankees are not out of danger yet. Their ship is later attacked and sunk by the French, who didn't bother to identify their target as American neutrals in their war with the British. All are lost but Hannah, who survives thanks in part to her father for teaching her to swim, and a grate from the ship for her to float upon. She is alone in the sea. Some time later, a thirsty and badly sunburned Hannah comes around to face the stern captain of the Dissuade . It appears she has been rescued from the sea and is on her way to England.

Captain Sir Daniel Spark runs a tight ship with a disciplined crew. He began his naval career at ten years and worked his way up. He is hard but fair; perhaps along the way he's forgotten how to smile. Hannah is not a meek and mild Quaker lass, and even before she recovers from her ordeal, she's annoying the captain. Anything can happen in the weeks that follow their planned voyage to England. Time will see Hannah peeling potatoes and climbing the rigging to the look out, and that's the easy part.

Two people could hardly be more different--the captain has none of the desirable traits in a husband that are on the list Hannah made at the start of her voyage. And yet this innocent maiden and the man of war begin to see the good in each other. Not that anything would ever come of that.

I wish I had the words to really give the flavor of this remarkable novel. I can start by saying that I had a smile on my face almost through the whole of it. Hannah is the most delightful creature who never hesitates to speak her mind. The captain is stern and reserved, and while no one could honestly call him a softy beneath it all, we begin to see the whole man. Still, there appears to be no future ahead for the two, even after they survive more dangers. Their personalities and lives, their nationalities and cultures are too far apart.

Even with a suspenseful plot, MISS WHITTIER MAKES A LIST is a fun book. Many minor characters add entertainment and sympathy to the whole. I highly recommend this lovely tale to you.

Carla Kelly has always been a favorite Regency author, and plans are in the works to bring out more of her out of print Regencies and historicals in both print and digital formats. Lucky us!

--Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today

"Carla Kelly's Regency Romances are always superb and a timeless delight."

-Romantic Times

Product Details

Coffeetown Enterprises, Inc.
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.58(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The impressed seamen were quickly bundled over the side and hauled up onto the other deck. Captain Winslow dropped to his knees and wept, his head in his hands. It was more than Hannah could bear. She jumped up again and ran to the British captain, who waited to reboard his vessel. She grabbed his arms and tried to pull him around.

"Thee cannot do this! Have we no rights?" She tugged his arm, but he was anchored fast to the deck and would not budge.

"You have no rights," he said quietly. "None whatsoever. You belong to an impertinent nation that will soon be a failed experiment. Let go of my arm."

She did as he said and wiped her streaming eyes with her sleeve. "I wish thee to hell, sir," she said, her voice as quiet as his and more fierce.

"Well I won't go, Miss Spitfire," he replied.

To her utter amazement, he grabbed her by the mass of hair on the back of her neck, hauled her close, picked her up, and kissed her. Her feet dangled off the deck and she grabbed onto him to take the pain off her hair, while he kissed her once, and then again more thoroughly. She clung to him, her head on fire, and tried to speak, even as he kissed her a third time, completely in command of the situation. Wild-eyed with fury, she stared at him, noting even in her rage how improbably long his eyelashes were. His eyes were closed, and he seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.

And then it was over. He set her back on the deck and released her hair. "I haven't had that pleasure in two years," he said softly. He stepped aside quickly in case she should strike out. "May I add that you needn't improve upon a fine thing?"

He sprang to the railing, his arm draped gracefully in the rigging to maintain his balance, and then leaped across the space between the ships as his men laughed and cheered.

"Release the grappling hooks," he ordered, and then looked at his first mate, who wiped tears of laughter from his eyes. "Wear the ship, Mr. Lansing, lively now."

As she watched in total humiliation and stunning fury, the sailors on the opposite ship grinned at her and released the grapples from the Molly's mutilated railing. The vessels moved apart quickly.

Meet the Author

A well-known veteran of the romance writing field, Carla Kelly is the author of thirty-one novels and three non-fiction works, as well as numerous short stories and articles for various publications. She is the recipient of two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America for Best Regency of the Year; two Spur Awards from Western Writers of America; two Whitney Awards, 2011 and 2012; and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times. Carla's interest in historical fiction is a byproduct of her lifelong study of history. She's held a variety of jobs, including public relations work for major hospitals and hospices, feature writer and columnist for a North Dakota daily newspaper, and ranger in the National Park Service (her favorite job) at Fort Laramie National Historic Site and Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site. She has worked for the North Dakota Historical Society as a contract researcher. Interest in the Napoleonic Wars at sea led to a recent series of novels about the British Channel Fleet during that conflict. Of late, Carla has written two novels set in southeast Wyoming in 1910 that focus on her Mormon background and her interest in ranching. You can find Carla on the Web at: www.CarlaKellyAuthor.com.

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Miss Whittier Makes a List 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story! I hadn't read anything by the author previously, but really enjoyed the characters and setting details. Felt like I was on the high seas for a few days!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story. It was very well written with characters that were thoroughly enjoyable. There were wonderful twists and turns to the story. This has to rank up there as one of my absolutely favorite Carla Kelly books. It has been a very long time since I have cried during a book. It was a beautiful love story.
Anonymous 11 days ago
No sex though lots of passionate kissing - but not overly descriptive. Truthful but mostly dignified. Nice character development, loads of excitement, and a realistic happily ever after. I liked that the author spent a quarter of the book examining how two such different individuals could wed their lives together. Overall a well balanced book. Easy and fun but with substance. Also, one of the most detailed Napoleonic navy books I've read, which I really enjoyed. Wish I could climb into a lookout...
cbman More than 1 year ago
Love this book, one of my all time favorites!
srbSH More than 1 year ago
fierce sea battles, sinking ships, being under house arrest, escaping, defying authority, traveling to England to deliver an important secret document, and more. An irrepressible 17-yr-old, Hannah Whittier, Quaker, is traveling via her uncle’s brig to Charleston from Boston to help with her brother’s new baby. Seasick and bored, thinking about changes in her life and what kind of man she would want for a husband, Hannah begins a list – some surface (e.g., good looks) some deep (e.g., character). But the list is forgotten when the ship is captured by a British frigate whose imperious Captain impresses Hannah’s cousin Adam Winslow as well as other seamen onto his ship. Furious, Hannah tells the captain off, but he prevails; not only that, he kisses her (!) soundly before he leaves and cautions her uncle about French patrols in the American waters. [Napoleon is at war with England]. His warning unheeded, the Molly Claridge is blown from the waters by the French, and Hannah is thrown into the sea where she clings to a grate from the ship, the sole survivor. Several days later, severely sunburned, dehydrated and bruised, an unconscious Hannah is fished from the ocean by none other than the odious Capt. Daniel Sharp. The story is loaded with details of shipboard life and preparations for conflict. Hannah being Hannah starts to help: tending the wounded, peeling potatoes, climbing the rigs to be lookout for enemy ships. She can be counted on to help, but not necessarily to follow orders. Her sunny personality and bravery affect everyone, especially the not-so-evil much older Capt. Sharp (echoes of the May/September protagonists in Marian’s Christmas Wish). The love story is terrific and ultimately turns on one of the items on Hannah’s list!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, as well. It will rank as one of my favorites from Carla Kelly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great regency romance! I loved the British Royal Navy captain encountering an American Quaker miss. I was so enthralled with the story, I read the whole book in one sitting. Carla Kelly is a gifted story-teller and adds so much to her stories by including historically accuate details. I rank her with Georgette Heyer, and, dare I say it, Jane Austen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was sure I would like this story, but i stated to read it and enjoyed it, coodles to the author for writing a good story