“The Captive Heart” by Michelle Griep grabbed me from the start. Coming to America from England aboard a small wooden ship (according to our standards today) was frightening enough for our heroine, but enduring the sickness and storms, unwashed bodies, starvation rations and no guarantee that their new masters would be kind to them would have caused me to jump right overboard and take my chances with the sharks.
The time frame of this novel is 1770 near Charlestown. America is still a British stronghold and the Sons of Liberty are beginning to become more aggressive.
Eleanor Morgan has been put in a dangerous situation by her amorous employer and his wife is determined to see that Eleanor has a future ahead of her. She gives her money to be able to leave England and go to America. She is going to be sold as an indentured servant upon her arrival in the Colonies.
Samuel Heath is a backwoodsman, a widower with a small child, and needs someone to help him look after her. The only thing he can do is marry this woman from England because it would not be proper for her to accompany him to the wilderness alone without the benefit of marriage. He has not been completely honest with Eleanor though. He is not particularly welcome in the town and there is talk of him having murdered his first wife. Ellie also finds that he leaves for days at a time and there is a clandestine way that he does not tell her anything. She has to learn for herself how to live in the wild.
All this is just the beginning of a very adventurous novel, teeming with secrets, betrayal, threats of war and the beginnings of a true loving relationship between Ellie and Samuel. I thought that this book was very well written, the characters well defined and the time period of the novel was extremely intriguing.
I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Barbour Publishing.