Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: Captured By Love by Jody Hedlund

Book Details:
Title: Captured by Love
Author Jody Hedlund
2014, Bethany House
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Book Summary:
Michigan Territory, 1814
A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger discover firsthand the high price of freedom.
The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.

My Review:
I love, love, love Jody Hedlund's books. My favorite part of her novels is that she takes a period of time and delves into the historical facts and integrates them beautifully into her books. This book was no exception to that. 

The author really brings to life what it was like for not only the soldiers on the island of Michilimackinac Island, but also the islanders who called it home. During much of the time of this book, the whole island is starving for food with the soldiers taking more than their share. You also get a look at what island life was like during the early 1800's and soldiering - on both sides. Another thing I learned a lot about was the voyager- or fur traders during this time. The alliances they made with the Native American's or didn't and what that meant for their business.

Of course, then there was the story part of this novel. This book was told from the POV of Angelique MacKenzie, an orphaned girl who is being raised by her rather mean step-father and Pierre Durant, an islander who left his mother and brother behind to become a fur trader. He is working as a spy for the American side.

When Pierre comes back to the island he finds his mother blind and his brother gone - kicked off the island because he wouldn't renounce his American citizenship. Angelique is the one taking care of his mother - when she gets the chance. Pierre and Angelique are drawn together despite all the turmoil going on on the island. 

I mostly liked this story. It was well-written and interesting, but I had a bit of a problem with Angelique. She had been in love with Pierre her whole life, but when he left, she betrothed herself to his brother. When Pierre returns, so do all her feelings, but I have serious issue with the way she went about the whole love triangle business. I don't understand how she could be so caught up in herself that she would disregard another's feelings. I don't want to give too much away, but I felt that it was out of character for her. She turned a bit flaky and stupid in my opinion as the book went on. 

Overall a good book with a lot of history. I was a little disappointed in the story for the reason I mentioned, but if you like historical novels, this is probably a good bet.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

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