I found this book a struggle for several reasons. For a start, I felt the whole thing was over-explained, especially in the first few chapters. It slowed the pace monumentally and sometimes made it difficult to keep my head in the book. This was especially the case early on with some scenes that spoke about the lead character's faith. There were prayer points in the middle of conversations so often that I found it distracting. There was also a little too much internal monologue going on.
Also, the author seemed to have created more characters than she knew what to do with. Emilie was given a cracking opening scene, only to almost disappear for the first half of the book. Viola was another character who did little, as was William. While these characters were necessary for the plot to work, most of the time they just said an occasional line, or were referred to as being 'below deck' (as we're on a ship for a lot of the book).
I found Jean Gayarre's character inconsistent. He is prevented as loving initially, but then, why does everyone run away? Does Emilie really know her father so little not to have worked out certain things about him? Andre seems to be brought in for no other reason than to be the token 'bad guy'.
Also, so much time is spent with Josiah and Isabelle looking lovingly at each other and to-ing and fro-ing about their feelings. Not an unusual thing in a romance, but sometimes these conversations happened in the middle of moments when they probably should have been doing something else, especially since Josiah is the captain of a vessel. Also, I'm really tired of books that have lovers leave messages for each other with someone, expecting it to be delivered correctly and without any problems. Here's one thing for everyone to learn from this: if you love someone and want to tell them something, please do it face to face! :-)