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CAPTURED BY LOVE by JODY HEDLUND REVIEWED

Captured by Love
By Jody Hedlund
Published by Bethany House
ISBN#978-0-7642-1049-5
264 pages

Back Cover: 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.

REVIEW: I was quickly whisked into May 1814, Michilimackinac Island, Michigan Territory. I found Angelique; the heroine intriguing, faithful, brave and free spirited. I was hooked from the start. “The dawn mist swirled around Angelique Mackenzie and shrouded the forest trail. She didn’t need the light of day to guide her. She knew every path of her beloved island and could run them blindfolded if need be.”

Angelique loves her home land, and is generous, and sacrificial. Lady Lavinia McDouall tries to make a lady out of her. It reminded me of the scenes from My Fair Lady. Seems Anelique was Miss McDouall’s summer project. She was determined to make a lady out of this hard working girl so she could show off her charity work to her father. This frightens Angelique because of her step-father’s rules and how staying invisible was a safe way to life with an island filled with soldiers waiting for war. Angelique had gone out of her way to be plain. She did not seek any man’s attention; that only meant trouble.

The war of 1812 is brought to life unlike the school history books I had read that put me to sleep. This author pens an engaging story; absorbed in a historical setting that was a work of fiction based on the historical facts. The author says, “Most of the events surrounding the war of 1812 on Mackinack Island happened the way I’ve portrayed them in the book. The British Army and the Islanders faced starvation from Blockades on Several occasions. The Americans really did attempt to reclaim the Island by Invasion at one point and bungled the entire effort.” 

This author masterfully weaves the story to include not only the strain and violence of the British occupation of the Island but the sparks and tension that tug at your heart as Angelique and Miriam wait for Jean Durant to return from war. What a surprise to all when Pierre Durant shows up after 5 years away. She never thought Pierre would return. Her heart had always been drawn to Pierre but now she was betrothed to Jean his brother.  She was surprised by her feelings and how much she had missed him. Pierre and Angelique quickly resumed their verbal sparring as if no time had lapsed. I enjoyed and was caught up in their playful bantering – it was amusing and fun..

Angelique expresses how she feels, “Love without honor is worthless.”…I have to do the right thing…Maybe someday, if we do what’s right, we’ll find a way to be together…

”I’m not waiting for someday, Angelique.” Pierre says.

Angelique was trying to do the right thing. “No matter how hard she tried that winter, she hadn’t been able to unravel Pierre’s presence from deep inside. It was almost as if his essence had woven from deep inside. It was almost as if his essence had woven threads through his heart that she couldn’t pluck out without destroying herself in the process.”

This story is filled with intrigue, anticipation and agony as Pierre and Angelique are faced with horrific situations and emotional turmoil. It had my stomach in a knot as I read about Angelique’s and her step-parents; Betsy and Ebenezer; her engagement to Jean and Pierre’s capture. The tense romantic twist and war tactics had me subconsciously hold my breath in parts. The author didn’t resolve this impossible situation until the last few pages. I honestly didn’t know how I’d like the story if it ended anyway other than it had.

Most characters agonized about doing the right thing and not being selfish. They were willing to lay down their personal wants and desires and seek out God’s plan for their future. All learning to let go and let God have his way in their lives; this was naturally woven into the story. I like how the author let the characters come to this conclusion on their own, “It’s only then they would all have peace and be most fulfilled.”

This story has it all suspense, danger, forbidden love, relationships, Christian drama, exciting action, deep lessons, lust, and physical attraction. This is a deep fun read I highly recommend for enjoyment and for book club. There is so much to talk about.

I received a review copy from The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org 

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

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