What happens to those soldiers, who after years of fighting for the gods of war, come home to a world that has changed greatly? Those soldiers whom are at loose ends and sometimes lost souls looking for a purpose as they lay down their arms for peace? Carla Kelly has a way of telling a story that is so down to earth for the reader, from the hardships that the characters to face that are very relatable to her humor that will always make you laugh to the pains that will make you cry. Reading The Admiral’s Penniless Bride, I felt like I was sitting down with a friend I haven’t talked to in ages, as we talk about our triumphs and woes. The pace of the story was like an easy conversation between friends as we follow Admiral Sir Charles Bright and Sally Paul, both at loose ends in life and souls lost on land after years of fighting and fighting to stay alive. Charlie has fought for the gods of war all his life, now finally retried from the Fleet, is being forced to settled down by his very nosy sisters. At the end of his rope he arranges a MOC, but when the party he intended to marry doesn’t show up, he’s at a lost at what to do now to get his sisters off his back, until he looks across the taproom and sees Sally Paul. Sally has lost a lot in her life, from her family’s support when she married to her husband killing himself when he was charged for something he had nothing to do with and later with the death of her son. Sally has lived day to day as a Lady’s Companion, just trying to keep her head above water. She comes to town for work, only to be shooed away when the lady she was supposed to be a companion to dies. With only enough money for a cup of tea, Sally is at the end of her road in what to do, until Charles Bright walks into her life. Which starts off as a deal of a MOC, blossoms into two people at loose ends finding a home with not only each other but helping others find a home as well. A home full of love. Kelly’s characters are always of the working class, and more often then not soldiers. Charlie has been at sea very much all his life, and doesn’t know quiet what to do now on land. He’s at a lost, until Sally comes into his life as a guide. Charlie has such a huge heart, and when someone is in need, he acts quickly and asks questions later, that will be a problem for him later on…. With his wicked sense of humor, how he can pretty much do anything his hook of a hand and buying a house that was once a pervert old Earl’s brothel home by the sea, he has a lot of work cut out for him. Through his meetings of people, and helping those in need. Charlie finally finds his land feet, and his purpose in life after War. Charlie isn’t your caveman male who has to have it his way, he’s kind and giving and understanding. He knows when to back off and when to plan his attack. His relationship between Sally and him, blossoms slowly making the reader see how much they come to mean to one another, and they come to complete each other. Sally has had her punches in life, her shame over her husband suicide and her own grief she has shared with no one of the death of her son. Sally was such a strong character, as she opened her arms and heart to anyone in need. She set Charlie on the right course for a purpose in life, and Charlie healed her broken heart, with his wit and his crazy house he really needed to redo! She always had many ghosts in her past that blocked her from her full happiness with Charlie. One I could understand why she held back and another have told the truth up front to save her grief along the way. Sally bought a lot of people along with Charlie to the new home, at the time she didn’t see it as a home, but grew to feel and know along with Charlie the home they built. The true bump in the road I had overall with this book was the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING. Some authors can pull it off, not this time. When the truth of Sally’s past come to light, Charlie’s act first ask questions later became a problem. It felt really out of character the way he acted, it made me mad that after everything he learned about Sally he would act the way he did and while it didn’t last long as everything came to light and he did get pretty much a kick in the nuts for the way he acted, this lead to a type of closure for Sally. The ending turned out to be very sweet and left with a big smile on your face. With Kelly I’ve never been disappointed with any of her works and with this sweet romance, it became another keeper for me from this always-amazing author.