Book Review: The Heiress at Sea by Christi Caldwell

About the Book:

Title: The Heiress at Sea

Author: Christi Caldwell

Page Length: 331

Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Publisher: Montlake

Synopsis: Perpetually unattached Lady Cassia McQuoid has accepted her fate as a spinster. But how can she be expected to lead a life confined to drawing rooms and royal balls when there’s a vast, exciting world to explore? Cassia can find but one solution: she masquerades as a thrill-seeking lad and stows away on a ship bound for open waters. Adventure awaits. So does notorious privateer Nathaniel Ellsby.

Nathaniel doesn’t want to be the Duke of Roxburghe. Instead, the second-born son relishes his freedom to do as he pleases: pursuing enemy ships in service of the war effort. But when his older brother dies, Nathaniel embarks on one last mission before he fulfills his ducal duties with an arranged marriage. That’s the intention, at least—until he discovers that his woefully green deckhand is a fetching but vulnerable woman in disguise.

Nathaniel’s new mission is to protect Cassia from the perils of the sea, both above and below the water, by sharing the close confines of the captain’s quarters. As roiling emotions turn to love, Nathaniel and Cassia realize the greatest risks—to the Crown, to their futures, and to the heart—still lie ahead.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

This is such a fun and entertaining historical romance. It’s been a while since I’ve read a historical romance that primarily takes place at sea, and I forgot how much I enjoyed them. The Heiress at Sea has an amazing swashbuckling setting, layered and compelling protagonists, and a swoon-worthy love story with fantastic (and comical) banter.

Cassia has never been to sea, and she is ignorant of the rules, restrictions, superstitions, and terminology used by sailors. This causes a lot of confusion and frustration, as well as some downright funny moments. When Cassia is revealed as a woman, it also creates some major conflicts in the story, as her reputation and physical safety are in jeopardy. Nathaniel becomes her protector, and he takes his job seriously. As frustrated and bewildered as he is by Cassia, he is also so drawn to her.

The relationship between Cassia and Nathaniel is fantastic. What starts as a very antagonistic, hidden identity and gender situation, turns into an opposites-attract, grumpy/sunshine battle of wits, and I loved every comical, frustrated, and laugh-out-loud funny second of it. They have THE BEST banter, and their verbal sparring is perfection. It’s funny and smart, and the way they misunderstand each other is hysterical.

Cassia is a chatterbox, which is the total opposite of Nathaniel. He is very practical and reserved, and he holds people at arm’s length. Cassia is passionate and emotional, and people are drawn to her exuberance and optimism. Cassia always has a smile on her face, while Nathaniel appears emotionless. However, with each other, they are able to explore other sides of themselves – her wanderlust and his feelings of intimacy and connection as well as moments of fun and levity.

I also like that Nathaniel starts to see people and relationships differently. He has very strong feelings about his parents, and I think his time with Cassia makes him see both of his parents and their marriage in a new light. People show love in different ways, and once Nathaniel realizes that he is forever changed.

I loved the story. It’s fun and funny, and there’s some action, suspense, and danger on a high-seas adventure and governmental mission. The secondary characters are great, especially the ones that become friends with Cassia, and the final declaration is super swoon-tactic. I also am intrigued by Cassia’s brother and his best friend and am curious if we’ll see more of them in future books. Fingers crossed!

Thanks to NetGalley and For providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The humor.
  • The setting.

Favorite Lines:

Her eyes glittered and sparkled in a way he’d not known eyes could. In that way the poets whose works his former tutors had insisted Nathan read had written of, and in a way that Nathan had believed was utter rubbish because eyes didn’t shine. Only to be proven wrong in this moment, by this woman. For her eyes did. They glittered like a thousand stars within the vast night sky.

Damned if that sunny smile on her full red lips didn’t leave him with a greater warmth than the bright morning sun beating down on them.


  • hidden identity
  • opposites attract
  • high seas adventure
  • touch her and you die
  • grumpy/sunshine

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Heiress at Sea by Christi Caldwell

  1. I don’t know why, but I love the dressed up and tried to pass for cabin boy thing in some historicals. It’s always so much fun.

  2. I haven’t read a good stowaway woman story in a very long time. I like the idea that there is adventure and romance as well as humor. Excellent review, Julie.

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