What a great book! This is my 2nd Betina Krahn book (first was the super "Husband Test") and she is quickly becoming a favourite! This Victorian battle of the sexes was such delicious fun!
Celeste Ashton has just published "The Secret Life of Dolphins" amid much fanfare, and controversy. The (all male) scientific community is torn between denouncing her outright (she's a woman for heaven's sake, not a trained scientist!) and a salacious curiousity to see this woman who claims to sail, swim with dolphins and who boldy writes about the mating habits of the creatures. The fact that the tabloid press has dubbed her "The Mermaid" has not helped her credibility in this regard.
Titus Thorne is a stuffy, pompous, repressed Professor of Ichthyology at Oxford who's made a name for himself by exposing quacks and charlatans. When Celeste is invited to speak to the Zoological and Oceanographic Societies, he is there to challenge her. She then challenges him to come to her seaside home and observe and verify her findings. He hesitates, but ultimately, reluctantly, agrees.
From the moment he arrives in Pevensey Bay, Titus's world is turned upside down. Celeste's approach to her research is so foreign, unorthodox (and frightening) to him. And her grandmother and her friends from the Atlantean Society surely must be quite mad! And things are not going well for poor Celeste. She knows full well that Titus thinks she is a fraud, her Nana is not helping matters with her talk of Atlantis, but worst of all she cannot seem to summon her dolphins!
Eventually the dolphins make their appearance, and Titus's world once more tilts. The fascinating creatures, not to mention the equally fascinating and alluring Celeste, are beginning to have a strong, transforming affect on Titus. And Celeste is equally smitten - he's so intelligent and handsome and so adorably, easily shocked. Their romance progresses well until the Atlantean Society sticks it's nose in and unwittingly drives Titus away. But back in London, Titus sees some of Celeste's dolphins looking sickly and mistreated. What has happened? How did they get there? He must get to Celeste - together they must try to save them.
Great story! Between the old Oxford Dons pushing Titus out of his comfort zone, the Atlantean Society's rituals, even the dolphins themselves, Titus and Celeste don't stand a chance. They're meant to be!