Read first chapter excerpt hereMichigan Territory, 1814
It is near the end of the War of 1812, and 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. Not only that, but she is engaged to be married to Pierre's younger brother Jean, and now she must choose where her love and her honor lies.
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.
Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund was a sweet and enjoyable read that captured me from the first page. I was immediately drawn into Angelique's life as she struggled to take care of Miriam Durant, to find food for herself, and to stay out of the way of her step-father's cruel eye and punishments. Pierre was a welcome breath of fresh air to their lives as he returned a new man, redeemed and changed for the better. He brought happiness and laughter to both women (and to the reader) as his antics were both amusing and charming. The reader did not know the old Pierre, but I could imagine his past life, and I was glad that he had changed and was continuing to try to live a more Christian life, following after the Holy Spirit's guidance even as new failures occurred. I also enjoyed how he interacted with Angelique, how he protected her from others, and how he sought to make her feel beautiful and worthy the way she was. Angelique was a sweet girl who I was glad to see become more carefree as Pierre reentered her life even while she struggled to trust him again and to find the line between friendship and betraying her brother. Both Pierre and Angelique made poor decisions at times, but it was refreshing to see characters that were not perfect and owned up to their mistakes afterwards.
The plot line of Captured by Love was very well written, and it contained a good mixture of mystery, danger, suspense, and romance. There were a couple unexpected occurrences in the story, and there were also times when I was not sure what was going to happen between Pierre, Angelique, and Jean. I also appreciated the history that surrounded the characters in the story. The War of 1812 is a subject I am not very familiar with, especially what happened near the Great Lakes in Michigan as American citizens found themselves under the rule of the British again. I also enjoyed all of the descriptions of the island and the surrounding area, as well as the lives of those who were voyageurs and traded furs for a living.
Overall, I found this novel to be very informative, exciting, and enjoyable, and I would highly recommend Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund to any reader who enjoys a good historical romance. I received this novel for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.