Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
An escape from a brutish employer in eighteenth century England to a new life in America is supposed to be the saving of Eleanor Morgan. But this escape may not be so safe when a debt forces her to marry Samuel Heath, a widowered father (and rumored murderer) in The Captive Heart by author Michelle Griep.
Besides the author’s rather lyrical style, Samuel may be my favorite aspect of this novel. Though he turns out not to have the thick beard I was expecting, he’s mysterious, gruff, protective, and impish, falling in love in a way that isn’t starry-eyed or sappy. And I liked Eleanor as well, a good mixture of fire and vulnerability. She isn’t a tiresome weakling, but neither is she so terribly sharp that she cuts up everyone around her. The story’s romance is intense but not overdone, and the passion here doesn’t feel “plastered on” just for sensational effect. It feels gradual and earned.
Now, the last third of the book started to lose me. I didn’t quite get a grip on the British/Native American politics, and I was a little disappointed once I saw that the building tension there wouldn’t be resolved in this novel. It allowed more time for Eleanor to turn a bit into the type of jealous and somewhat bratty character I don’t find as interesting.
Also, her reasons for the sudden, “180 degree” kind of decision she makes toward the end don’t feel like strong enough reasons for a turn that drastic, then and there. It’s almost as if the story just needed a final big problem from which to create an ending.
Nevertheless, it’s a nice, healthy helping of historical fiction that I think many other ChristFic fans should enjoy. I’ll be on the lookout for the sequel I’m sure must be coming.