If you need your appetite for reading wet again, then try out this new book that’s rolling in on the tide. Lily by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver is an excellent book about a girl (Lily) who buys a boat to try to escape from her aunt and uncle, and society. When she finds out that she only owns half of the boat, and the other half is owned by Blake Matthews, a gambler, it gets interesting.
Lily Catherine Anderson and her sisters Camellia and Jasmine are orphans sent to live in Charlestown, South Carolina with their Aunt Dahlia, Uncle Phillip, and grandmother. Lily’s parents and family used to live a life on the river, living on a steamboat, before an accident took her mom and her dad left them. Now Lily is in Charlestown, and she is having a hard time trying to fit into society. Plus, her aunt and uncle are trying to get Lily married off to a really old guy, and she’s only eighteen. At the beginning of the book, we see Lily meeting Blake Matthews when a pickpocket steals her purse and falls into the water. Lily asks the closest person to rescue him, and we connect the dots later to see that was Blake. Within the first week that Lily was with her aunt and uncle, they take her to a ball on a steamboat and she meets Jean Luc Champey, a son of the wealthy steamboat owner that Lily later does business with.
Blake Matthews runs a gambling boat. He docks in the harbor and claims to play an honest game. Once he has been in that harbor for a while or makes somebody mad, he will move on to the next one. Now he’s looking to buy a bigger boat to use.
Jean Luc Champey has finally been trusted enough by his father to get the deed to a boat. Well, really the deed to 49% of a boat, The Hattie Belle. He goes out that night, looking to gamble for some more money since he has a knack for gambling. He runs across Blake Matthews’s boat and is intrigued by his “honest game” reputation. Well into the game he lets his guard down and loses his boat to Blake. Jean Luc is worried about facing his father, because with the first thing he trusted to Jean Luc, he gambled it off the same night.
Blake goes to claim the boat, is mad to see he only owns 49%. Lily’s grandfather dies, and she takes her dowry from her grandmother and buys a boat. When she goes to claim it, she sees other people on the boat and finds out by looking at the fine print with the man in charge of the boat that she only owns 51% of the boat. They, Lily and Blake, fight over the boat and what it will be used for.
Meanwhile, Jean Luc is trying to find a way to woo Lily so he can get her part of the boat. But for Lily, she seems oddly immune to his charms, and seems to be fascinated by Blake.
Thanks to Net Galley and Barbour publishers for letting me review this book! It was excellent.