It's the story of a practical young woman, the illegitimate daughter of a viscount, who's trying to survive in hard times and a lonely ship captain, loyal and dedicated, who always thought marriage was a bad idea for Naval officers at war. It's set in Portsmouth during the time when England's navy was involved in an endless, wearing sea blockade because of the Napoleonic Wars in the Peninsula. Kelly includes vivid detail of the hardship that resulted for both the navy and for the people of the shore town.
Like all Kelly novels, it focuses on regular people. They're not nobility, they don't have magical powers. Miraculous social elevation doesn't happen. Her heroes aren't rakes. Her characters just want good lives and love, and gently, tentatively, with humor, they find what they need.
Her novels make me happy. I'm going to save the next one, The Surgeon's Lady, for a little while longer.