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 Britishand 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.
About the Author
Jody Hedlund is the author of Rebellious Heart, Unending Devotion, The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence and a finalist for the 2011 Carol Award in First Novel. She received her BA from Taylor University and her MA from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She can be found online at www.jodyhedlund.com.
Read an Excerpt
Captured by Love
By Jody Hedlund
Bethany House PublishersCopyright © 2014 Jody Hedlund
All rights reserved.
Michilimackinac Island, Michigan Territory May 1814
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.
Even so, something in the damp foggy air sent a shiver up the back of her neck and forced her bare feet to move faster. The cold mud oozed between her toes, squishing and squelching with each step. She glanced at the dark tangle of bramble surrounding her as if a loup-garou would leap out at her and bare his sharp wolf's teeth.
She knew nothing of the sort could happen. Werewolves belonged only in tales, like the one she'd overheard the raconteur tell the night before. But she couldn't keep from seeing the hairy hunched back, long tail, and pointed ears in every flitting shadow.
Her heart raced, its pounding rivaling one of the duty calls of the fort drummer.
Her secret early-morning deliveries were becoming riskier with every passing day. Especially now that nearly all the islanders were on the brink of starvation. The British soldiers living in the fort were faring even worse. Over the long winter they'd butchered all their horses. And now they were growing desperate.
But danger or not, she had to make her delivery. Her dear friend depended on the meager food gifts she brought every morning.
With one hand Angelique pressed against the threadbare linen of her skirt and steadied the delicate lumps in her pocket. And with the other she dangled two of the trout she'd caught.
A crack of a branch and a low, raspy call pierced the silence, startling her.
She halted and sucked in a breath of the cool May air that hinted of newly bloomed spring beauties and trailing arbutus. She cocked her head to listen, peering through the mist.
Another raspy call came from overhead, and this time she recognized the sound. It belonged to a red-winged blackbird.
A breeze of relief whispered through her. The migratory birds were returning now. And if the birds had made it to the remote northern island, then maybe the supply ships would be able to reach Michilimackinac Island too. At least she would pray the ships would arrive soon, and put an end to their misery.
A twig snapped, and her gaze jumped back to the path. At the sight ahead, she froze.
There stood a loup-garou—the werewolf—half hidden by the mist, blocking her way, feet spread apart, tail poking out behind, and one ear pointing high.
Her blood turned as frigid as the lake water she'd waded in earlier when she climbed out of her birchbark canoe.
The loup-garou growled with a hacking cough. And then he took a swaying step toward her. "Give me your food."
Everything within her screamed to retreat, to disappear into the forest. With her knowledge of the woods, she could easily escape the beast. But fear planted her feet in the mud and refused to release them.
The werewolf lurched forward. With each step he took, his tail strangely changed into a long sword and his ear into an officer's hat that sat at an odd angle, as if he'd put it on backward.
"I know you have food." The words came out slurred. "And I command you to hand it over." He staggered nearer, and the mist seemed to evaporate, revealing an all-too familiar red coat.
This was no loup-garou. This was a menace even worse.
It was one of the British soldiers. The enemy. The starving enemy.
In fact, he was Lieutenant Steele, the quartermaster. And he was exactly the kind of danger she'd hoped to avoid.
She lifted her hand away from the two eggs in her pocket, not wanting to bring attention to her hidden treasure. And she resisted the urge to lay her hand protectively against the thin slice of ashcake and the few acorn shells tucked into her bodice. She could give him the fish if she must, but the eggs and the bread were her prized hoarding of the day.
His hollow gaze fixed hungrily on the trout. In the fog his gaunt face was more like that of a skeleton rising from the grave rather than the werewolf she'd first imagined. "The fish, lass."
"What would Ebenezer Whiley say if he discovered you were withholding some of your catch for yourself?" The question held a threat.
Everyone knew how stingy her stepfather was. Even the British soldiers who came to his tavern and store had learned he dealt a hard bargain. If Ebenezer found out that Angelique was holding back even a few small fish out of her morning deliveries, he'd do his best to stop her, and punish her harshly. Then what would become of Miriam?
Lieutenant Steele's lips twisted into a grin. "Ah, I see you don't want Mr. Whiley to learn about your cheating."
The soldier took another unsteady step. "As quartermaster I've been instructed by the general to help the commissary collect more food for the garrison this morning."
She didn't believe him for a second. With his bloodshot eyes and untidy appearance, she guessed he'd spent the night drinking and was on his way to the North Sally Port, hoping to sneak into the fort undetected.
She'd play along with his game. "Oh, I beg your pardon. In all my hard work this morning, I must have missed the sounding of reveille."
She knew for a fact the drummer and fifer hadn't woken the troops yet. She always listened for reveille. Even though it was played within the fort, the islanders used it as their clock. Ebenezer would expect her back shortly after the sounding.
But if Lieutenant Steele wanted to threaten her, then she'd do the same to him.
They both knew she could report him for being outside the fort. All the soldiers were restricted to their quarters once the fort musicians played tap-too in the evening until reveille the next morning. Breaking the curfew could result in severe punishment.
Only the week before, a soldier had been caught outside the fort after hours. His sentence had been one hundred lashes with the cat-o'-nine-tails. The captain had reduced the lashes to seventy-five when the soldier had pleaded that hunger had driven him out to look for food.
"If you give me the fish," the quartermaster said more soberly, as if he too remembered the recent whipping, "then we can pretend I never saw you and that you never saw me."
She loosened her grip on the string of fish, hesitated only a moment, and then tossed them at his feet. Every muscle in her thin body tensed with the need to escape the moment he bent over to retrieve the fish.
But instead of going after the trout, he lunged at her with a quickness that belied his vulnerable state. His bony fingers circled her arm, and he yanked her against his emaciated frame with surprising strength.
She was too stunned to react.
"I think you're hiding more food." His sour breath fanned her cheek, making her want to retch. The hard bones of his ribs pressed against the thinly wrapped ashcake in her bodice.
She pushed at his chest. His red coat had become threadbare after the harsh winter. His hair was overlong, his face scruffy, and his eyes sunken into what at one time had been a handsome face. He was a sorry sight now.
After two years on the island, all the soldiers were a sorry sight. The winters on Michilimackinac were hard on even the most seasoned islander, much less a thin-skinned, poorly clad British regular.
"We're all hungry," she said quietly. "Please take the fish as my gift. Then let me be on my way."
His grip wavered, but only for a second before tightening again. "Give me the rest of what you have. Now."
"I can't do that."
He grunted and slipped his hand around her neck. His fingers coiled, cutting o# her breath.
With a burst of panicked energy she kicked at him and plucked at his hand, trying to free her neck from his choking hold. But in his hunger-induced delirium, his strength was unshakable.
Her throat began to burn, and desperation dragged at her lungs. She needed a fresh breath, but no amount of twisting or grasping would loosen his clutch and allow the air through.
She could feel her eyes loll back into her head, and a wave of blackness crashed over her.
Was this how she was destined to die? On her beloved island, while fighting over the food she was determined to deliver to her starving friend?
A loud thwack came from behind the lieutenant, and instantly the deathly chain around her neck fell away.
Lieutenant Steele stared ahead blankly and then crumpled to the ground at her feet, sprawling into the mud with a splat.
She stumbled backward and gasped for air, wheezing through her bruised airway and staring at the motionless form.
At a sudden flash in the early morning mist, she ceased breathing.
There behind the lieutenant stood an even bigger apparition, another loup-garou, this one looming fiercer than the last. His long cloak swirled around deerskin leggings and a loose leather shirt. He held an Ojibway Indian club that he'd obviously used on the quartermaster. A single strike with the dangerous round ball on its top often proved lethal.
The apparition toed the lieutenant with his moccasin boot.
Lieutenant Steele groaned, yet he didn't move.
Her rescuer stuffed the club into a belt tied around his waist. It was no ordinary belt, but the special woven sash belonging only to a voyageur.
Angelique's heart gave a rapid burst of excitement. Besides the sash, he also wore weather-worn buckskin, a red worsted cap, and a cloak that was really more of a capote—an Indian blanket coat.
He was a voyageur. There was no doubt about it.
But if he was one of the canoe-paddling fur traders, why was he here now? So early in the morning?
She glanced around the woods that lined the path. Usually when the voyageurs arrived back on the island every spring, they came in great numbers with laughter and singing.
But she saw no evidence of anyone else. The island hadn't had any communication with the outside world since the end of last fall and the onset of winter, when the ice had isolated them as it did every year.
The voyageur started to retreat as silently as he'd approached.
"Thank you for saving my life," she said, unwilling to let him leave just yet.
He nodded but continued to move away.
She had to know where he came from and whether the rest of the voyageurs were on the way. "Wait." She started after him, forcing her feet to move finally.
He held out a hand to stop her from coming any nearer.
"Who are you?" she asked.
He put a finger to his lips. As he did so, for the first time, he faced her directly and the shadows fell away.
She stifled a gasp.
It was Pierre Durant.
Even with the heavy layer of winter scruff that covered his chin and cheeks, she had no trouble recognizing the face beneath. His features hadn't changed much in the five years he'd been gone from the island.
He still had the same dashing good looks he'd always had. The deep, rich brown eyes that had always done funny things to her pulse, the unruly wavy dark hair, and the swarthy skin he'd inherited from his French father.
His legs were long, his shoulders broad. And beneath his Indian coat, his muscles bulged against the seams of his shirt.
Wonder tangled her tongue and made her shy and speechless. She waited for recognition to dawn, for his face to light up at the sight of her as it had so many times in the past.
But his eyes darted to the quartermaster lying prone in the mud and then to the woods that led to the west shore. A flicker of urgency crossed his face. When he glanced at her again, there was nothing in his eyes but irritation, as if she were an interruption he hadn't anticipated.
"I'm sorry, mademoiselle," he whispered tersely, "but I must ask that you speak to no one about our encounter."
Didn't he recognize her? She hadn't changed that much in five years, had she? Her fingers fluttered to her face. She rarely took the time to wash the grime away. She dressed plainly. And she always wore her long auburn hair tucked under her cap, the way Ebenezer required.
But couldn't Pierre see who she was anyway? She was still the same Angelique who had raced him along this very path more times than she could count. The same friend who had climbed trees, and fished together with her, and gathered wild strawberries, and swum in the pond.
The quartermaster gave a groan and stirred.
Without breaking his stare on the soldier, Pierre began creeping backward through the dense foliage, climbing over windfall and tangles of branches.
"Where are you going?" She couldn't possibly let him leave. Not yet. Not without knowing where he'd been, and why he'd come back to the island after so many years.
Once again he held out his hand to stop her from advancing. "Please, mademoiselle. You must pretend you never saw me."
At the coldness in his voice, she halted. So he really didn't know who she was? She fought back a wave of disappointment.
Part of her wanted to blurt out her name, to inform him that she was his childhood friend, that she hadn't ever stopped thinking about him in all the years he'd been gone. And part of her wanted to tell him that since Jean had been forced off the island, she was the one keeping Miriam alive—that if it weren't for her sacrifice and help, his mother would have died by now.
But Pierre was already disappearing into the mist. From the furtive glances he was casting, she had the suspicion something wasn't right, that perhaps he was in some kind of trouble. Why else would someone come to the island before dawn and then attempt to slink away undetected?
She strained to see him and the red of his cap, but the fog swallowed him completely until he was gone. She had the urge to shout his name, but behind her the quartermaster moaned again. She spun and ran from the soldier, hastening down the path, needing to put as much distance between herself and Lieutenant Steele as possible.
In spite of the danger that lurked everywhere, she loved early mornings on the island, when everyone was still asleep, when she could pretend all was well and they weren't in the middle of a war, that they weren't slowly starving to death.
And she loved the spring, with the sweet cool air that came after the ruthless winter, the warmer temperatures that finally melted away the layers of snow and nurtured the island back to life.
If only she had time to linger and enjoy the beauty as she'd done so many times with Pierre and Jean when they'd been younger. But she couldn't dally or Ebenezer would suspect that she did more than fish every morning.
By the time she reached the clearing, the misty meadow, and Miriam's log cabin beyond, Angelique was breathing heavy. Pink tinted the fog, indicating the sun was rising and would soon chase away the mist.
Angelique took a deep breath and tried to steady herself before entering the small home that belonged to her friend.
"Good morning, Miriam," Angelique said, slipping through the doorway of the one-room home.
"You've been running." Through the darkness of the interior, Miriam's reply came from near the hearth. "Is everything all right?"
"Everything's fine." She prayed Miriam would believe her.
From the rustle of straw, Angelique knew that Miriam was already hard at work weaving the hats she would sell to the visitors that came to the island during the summer.
Thankfully, hat weaving was one thing Miriam could still do in spite of her failing eyesight.
Angelique loosened the string of her pocket, holding her breath, willing Miriam to share the news, to tell her she'd seen Pierre.
The rustling stilled, and silence filled the room.
"Something happened," Miriam finally said quietly.
Angelique slipped the eggs from her pocket and placed them on the table. If only the dear woman weren't so perceptive. "Did you have any visitors this morning?"
"Was I supposed to?"
Angelique reached into her bodice and pulled out the ashcake she'd wrapped in a rag. She laid it on the table next to the eggs, then crossed the room and knelt before the dying embers.
Pierre was a louse. Why hadn't he taken a few minutes out of his busy life to visit his mother? That wasn't too much to ask of anyone, was it?
"You can tell me the truth, Angel," Miriam said.
Angelique grasped a scant handful of the shavings and crumbles of bark that covered the bottom of the woodbox. "You're almost out of wood. It's a good thing the nights aren't so cold anymore."
Excerpted from Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund. Copyright © 2014 Jody Hedlund. Excerpted by permission of Bethany House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
All right, for all you non-Michiganders out there, Michilimackinac Island is Mackinac (mack-i-naw) Island which lies in Lake Huron between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. This is one of the things that draws me personally to Jody's books. They are often--not always--set in her home state of Michigan and that's something we share in common. I love the historic look at the state I grew up in, and as a setting it makes a beautiful and intriguing one. Jody doesn't simply use it as a backdrop, but she weaves her stories in and out of an historic event that actually took place there, often using actual names of people who once lived as secondaries into her stories. Besides the pure historic interest in her books, Jody knows how to write romance. Her heroes are always the perfect match for her heroines. Captured by Love was no different. I truly loved how Pierre and Angelique had grown up together and the dimension this added to their love. They had an easy banter between them but also a connection that went deeper than physical attraction. Their shared love for adventure and the land they lived in pulled them both together and apart at times, which was a great and well-balanced dynamic. There was also just enough intrigue happening on these pages to pull you along, curious how these two would make it out of the few scrapes they found themselves in. These trials, both internal and external, leave you at times wondering if Pierre and Angelique will wind up with their happily-ever-after; wondering in a good way because they never felt author-driven or contrived, but a natural part of the story. And, as always, Jody writes in a spiritual journey for her characters that is so very genuine and simply a part of who they are, it never feels overplayed or as a lesson for the reader.Cannot wait for another great read by Jody!
Okay! First off, I must admit... I have been to Michigan's Mackinac Island so this story was already close to my heart before I began reading it! The setting is absolutely wonderful and was brought to life by a very talented Author. Pierre and Angelique, childhood bestfriends, were two very well thought out characters. Pierre's stubborn, slight boastfulness was a very smart twist from the usual hero's and his personal/spiritual journey truly made him endearing. Angelique's quiet strength and stern resolve to be different from her mother will really pull you in and make you connect with her as a character as well. I ached for her. The plot was... phew! Let's just say, these characters sure had it rough! But it kept you wanting to read more and that's what every reader wants... right? Filled with love, faith, and historically accurate details, this was a wonderful story! One you definitely should read for yourself!
This is a captivating inspirational historical romance. Angelique is an incredible main character. She is so well developed and presented that it was very easy to feel a connection to her. Many times throughout the story my heart ached for the way she was treated as well as for the situations he was put in by others. Very early on it was apparent that her heart’s desire was to do the right thing and to treat others with kindness. She is surrounded by a lot of additional character that are very important to the story. The development of these people is just as well thought out. Their characters and personalities are also clearly described. Angelique, Pierre, and Miriam have faith in God that is clearly presented. Both Angelique and Pierre are on a journey in this story where they learn more about God and trusting Him. It was wonderful to go on this journey with them. Jody Hedlund has a wonderful talent for description. It was very easy to form a mental picture of the surroundings and action taking place. It held my attention the whole way through the book. I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion. I highly recommend this book.
Captured by Love is a well written historical fiction as all Jody Hedlund's are. This is the third in the Michigan Bride's series but can be read as a stand alone. Angelique's guardian is very abusive towards her and threatens to marry her off to the highest bidder if she doesn't obey him. She is engaged to Jean but cares for his older brother Pierre. She takes care of her future mother-in-law who is elderly and blind. They are all very poor. It is a captivating story full of hardship, love, starvation,struggles, romance, and faith in God. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
This was a really good book! It captured my interest from the beginning and I read it pretty steadily. The story was gripping and often had me wanting to know what would happen next and how it would all end. I liked the mysteriousness of it and the war stuff, and the romance was sweet, though they focused a little too much on the physical side of things, like kissing, and touching and how gorgeous she was and how his muscles bulged under his shirt. (lol!) But other than that stuff getting to me a little it was a great book! I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my honest review.
After reading three of Jody Hedlund's novels, I can say without reservation that she ranks among my favorites when it comes to historical romance. In Captured by Love, Jody's expressive narrative, rich characterization, rugged setting, and spellbinding romance captured my emotions from the first page and didn't even let go after the last page was turned. For lack of a better term, something that I'll call "the dynamics of three" stood out to me in this story. First of all, Captured by Love is set in British-held Michigan Territory/Mackinac Island during the year of 1814, a very interesting period of America's history and not that familiar to me. Jody certainly made it come alive! It was a time of conflict that involved Americans, British, and Indians - and it was fascinating to see how they played off each other. The rich historical detail that Jody brought in was never boring. And secondly, there was the three-way relationship between Pierre, Angelique, and Jean that gave new meaning to the theme of star-crossed romance. Pierre and Angelique are such strong, vibrant characters that I couldn't help but be drawn to them immediately. Pierre is a voyageur of French-American descent and wild at heart, forever dreaming of adventure. And in following those dreams, he focused on doing exactly what he wanted without consideration of others. Angelique loves the island wilderness and is quite proficient at securing food for Jean and Pierre's mother, Miriam - but it is her caring nature and selflessness to which readers will be drawn. Appealing secondary characters of Miriam and Jean contribute greatly to the story, and I especially loved the friendship between Red Fox and Pierre. Jody also excels at creating romantic tension, and the romance between Angelique and Pierre definitely sizzles. Romance fans will not be disappointed! In his new life of commitment to God, Pierre discovers that God's will doesn't always fit with his desires. One of the predominant themes that spoke to me is that of honor, of trying to do the right thing - and that's not always comfortable, for how easily do we try to find ways to compromise in life? There's another spiritual message that Angelique learned, and it's one of which I constantly need to be reminded - that God is the only sure foundation in my life. The words to this beloved hymn easily sprang to mind: "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." The ending is very satisfying, but I would love to see Jean get his story sometime. Captured by Love is a beautifully entertaining story, one which I highly recommend to all readers. Thank you to Jody Hedlund and Bethany House for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I just finished reading Captured by Love and I really enjoyed this book. I loved the story line and the characters. The story between Pierre and Angelique is a heartwarming one. The author immediately draws us into her book and keeps us interested. I really like to read historical fiction novels and this is one of my favorites. I give this book a 4/5. I was given this book from The Book Club Network Inc., for the purpose of a review and all opinions are my own.
Captured by love, Jody Hedlund’s latest offering was once again a well done, and seemless historical fiction novel that I have come to expect from her writing. I thought that this particular novel did a wonderful job with the historical element and the British occupation of Michilimackinac Island (what we know as Mackinac Isnalnd) in 1814. All of the true to life landmarks and situations that she wove into the story are explained in the back of the book and her “author’s notes” at the end are always my favorite part as I realize the artistry that Jody uses to bring her historical fiction a ring of truth. As a historical fiction reader, I truly enjoy that. But onto the characters- the lovely Angelique with a hard past, an unfaithful mother whose decisions and choices always make her question if she is just like her mother? Her cruel step –father fosters these doubts as he makes sure she is clothed in such a way that no one pays her much mind – plain and everything buttoned up. She lives in constant fear that he will sell her off in marriage to the highest bidder as he had done with her sister. However, Angelique has given her pledge of marriage to a kind friend since childhood Jean, who has since left the Island to go and fight for the Americans. There’s just one problem, she has never really loved Jean in a romantic way, that was more reserved for his older brother Pierre who is a bit more of a rogue. Pierre is that “bad boy turning good” type of character who has been out on the fur trading circuit and lived a bit large. He is that cheeky sort and he is delightfully confident in himself , still falls a bit over his own pride, but a very loveable character overall. Having left the Island long ago to pursue his Fur trading, he is returning to check in on his mother and runs into Angelique. When he left her, she was a young girl, but returning home shows him that she was become a most beautiful grown up woman. Angelique attracts him not just for her beauty and red curls, but the fact that she has been taking care of his mother, who in his absence has gone blind and made things around his childhood farm difficult to keep up with. There are many difficulties for Angelique and Pierre- Angelique’s pledge and duty to Jean, her love for staying on the Island and Pierre’s love for fur trading which would take him far away from Angelique and the Island. Many hurdles to jump over for this couple, make the story unique and interesting. They both in their own way learn to lay down their wants and desires and seek out God’s plan for their future. It was such an interesting contrast as one had to lay down selfishness and the other trying to do things out of duty- a fun story for sure. And as mentioned above- the historical aspect was interesting and played into the story seamlessly. This one is full of romance for sure so for those in for a great historical Christian fiction romance, I think you will really love it. 4 stars This book was given to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Ms. Hedlund just gets better with every new book, and this book is no exception! Angelique long for safety, for security against the changing temperaments of her step-father and his new wife, the hunger, and the British soldiers that wring the colonists dry. When her childhood friend, Pierre Durant comes back to Michilimackinac Island, Angelique is hurt and confused. But as their friendship begins to turn into something more, Angelique finds herself even more confused as she has already promised herself to Pierre's brother, Jean. How can Angelique stay true to her promise when her heart longs to be somewhere else? A well told story, set on Michilimackinac Island during the war of 1812, shows the struggles faced by the families stuck between the British and American forces, with tensions high. I can honestly say that I don't think I ever thought about places like Michilimackinac before and what they went through during the war, but Ms. Hedlund really brought the backwoods community/army barracks setting to life, and I can tll that she put a lot of research into making it so realistic. Angelique was a heroine that I liked from the very start, she was beautiful inside and out, humble and hard working, I loved how she put the needs of Miriam before her own. She was bright, yet vulnerable, and heroine that had me cheering for her from the very beginning. Pierre was a rakishly handsome trapper, hard to read at times, yet with a heart of gold. Overall, this was a fantastic read, and quite possibly my favorite from Ms. Hedlund yet! The characters and their situations were well defined, and I was swept up into the story, not wanting to put it down. Compelling, and action packed, with great romantic tension, this is not a book that you will want to miss! Highly recommend. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."
CAPTURED BY LOVE By Judy Hedlund First off, let me say I really enjoyed reading Captured by Love for many reasons. As I read into the wee hours of the morning, (more than once), first thing I noticed, Hedlund explained words people do not use in everyday conversation – I did not need a dictionary to understand what she was attempting to convey to her reading audience. Captured by Love is full of intrigue, wonder, curiosity, humor, historical fact, and fiction. Set in Historic Michilimackinac Island, AKA Mackinac Island, Michigan Territory, 1814, this is a story of survival, hope and love. Hedlund’s research of the island invokes the imagination to transport you to the midst of the 1800’s battles over an island in northern America, fighting for your life during harsh winters, the hard rule of British soldiers, and the ever prevalent hope of love. As Angelique MacKenzie attempts to sneak food to her GOD fearing, starving, blind, soon-to-be-mother-in-law, not only is she attacked, she also discovers a secret she must keep to herself. Angelique must also appease her abusive step-father. Betrothed to Jean, before he was forced to leave the island, Pierre returns to win her heart. Will she ever get her feelings sorted through and settle down with the man of her dreams. Will the brothers realize, before it is to late what is best for the girl they both love and adore? Watch as Angelique finds out if GOD is real, if HE cares about her and her problems, and as she learns to put her trust in GOD; as Pierre conquers demons from his past, and as his brother, Jean, comes to the realization of what he must do for the woman he loves. I received this book through TBCN for my honest review.
Great new historical novel! Captured by Love is Jody Hedlund’s newest historical novel. I have really enjoyed her other books. So I had high expectations for this one and am happy to say that it surpassed them all! This book is set in 1814 on Michilimackinac Island during the British occupation, something I didn‘t know much about. I loved all of the history Ms. Hedlund included! It never overpowered the story or made it feel like a history lesson, but is skillfully woven in and used to highlight certain events, bringing the setting and time period to life. I also really enjoyed the descriptions, which were understated, giving us a glimpse of what it would look like, but also leaving some things to the reader’s imagination. I loved Angelique MacKenzie! She is such a sweet, loving, down to Earth character, while also being strong, determined, and a bit on the stubborn side. I enjoyed seeing the island, Pierre, and everything else through her eyes. We quickly learn that she attempts to care for everyone, even those she doesn’t particularly like. Even when abused and threatened, she still tries to help others, something I greatly admired about her. Angelique desires to be a woman of honor, something she felt her mother was not. I enjoyed watching her grow and change as she faced circumstances beyond her control and learned to trust in God. Pierre Durant is a great hero and an excellent match for Angelique. He is adventurous and just as stubborn and determined as Angelique. He often has to curb his instinct to walk straight at trouble or head off in search of his next adventure. When he returns home it is with the desire to make amends for the past and show his mother that he is a changed man. Even though he has changed, which we discover as we hear more of the story of his departure, he has even more changes to face. He questions at one point why it is always so painful, when God goes to work on him. I loved watching him mature and his faith increase. I adored Pierre and Angelique’s relationship. They’ve been friends for years, so they have a fun banter that isn’t often found in the more serious historical fiction. I found myself smiling often while reading and just enjoying the dialogue. It starts out with both of them determined to keep their relationship the same, but as they get to know each other again, it becomes something more. I enjoyed their teasing each other, but also the protectiveness Pierre feels toward Angelique, which is surprisingly (and for him, insultingly) returned. They have the kind of relationship that is sometimes called “iron sharpening iron.” They challenge each other and bring out the best in one another, as any good relationship should. I think perhaps my favorite part of the story was the spiritual facet. It is entwined throughout the story, sometimes in the forefront, sometimes in the background, but always there. There are two main themes that I can pick out, as well as a couple other smaller ones. The first is forgiveness, which is what Pierre struggles with the most. He feels unworthy of the forgiveness being offered. The other is trusting the Lord. Both Pierre and Angelique must learn to lean on God and trust Him with their circumstances. My only complaint is that the ending seemed a little rushed and I didn’t like that a couple of the chapters skipped weeks and months (though it is clearly noted). I wanted it to be a bit longer and I would have enjoyed a few more details. But that’s just me nitpicking. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy great historical Christian fiction! I received a copy of this book from the publisher through The Book Club Network for my honest opinion, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
When I pick up a Jody Hedlund novel, I know that she is going to take me on a trip through history. The pages of "Captured by Love" immerse me in Mackinac Island around 1814. Hedlund gives us a broad scope of life on the island through the lives of her characters. The Michilimackinac Island that Hedlund portrays is nothing like the resort area that we picture today; it is a remote island of hardships, starvation, and fighting between the British and Americans. This love story melds with a history lesson that is beautifully portrayed with contrasting shades of darkness and light. "Captured by Love" begins with a confrontation that sets the tone of tension that envelopes the island throughout the story. The struggles become personal when details about Angelique's life are revealed. As a young woman living with a strict stepfather and a suspicious stepmother, Angelique is imprisoned on the island that she adores. Her stepfather, Ebneezer, is definitely one of the sources of darkness in the novel. His treatment is nothing short of cruel, which adds a degree of heaviness to the plot. Angelique's strained relationship with her stepfather is contrasted with her close connection to the Durant family, especially Miriam and Pierre. Hedlund's characterization of Angelique is impeccable, and she quickly becomes a character that captures my interest and emotions. When the dashing Pierre enters Angelique's life, a more vibrant side of her is revealed. Though both of their pasts and presents are riddled with conflict, their interactions add some refreshing fun and romance to the surrounding strife. The path to love is not straight and easy, however, as a love triangle forms between Pierre, Angelique, and Pierre's brother, Jean. Pierre evokes mixed feelings in me as he pursues Angelique. He is charming and complimentary, but often shows a degree of conceit as well. His disregard for the relationship between Jean and Angelique is bothersome as well. Pierre's view of their commitment highlights Angelique's desire to live a moral and godly life, and makes me appreciate her character even more. Despite his flaws, Pierre is undeniably a good character, and one of the few gentlemen introduced in the plot. Hedlund uses Pierre's faults to teach a lesson about faith, honor, and sacrifice. Many of those lessons are taught during the conclusion of "Captured by Love," which is filled with peril and excitement. The emotional journey continues until the very end, and the last pages bring romance to capture our hearts. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Another nicely done historical romance fiction read by Jody Hedlund, set during the war of 1812 on Mackinac Island, Michigan territory, complete with battle scenes, romance, intrigue, and descriptions of life during wartime British occupation. Many historical details are woven in, along with beautiful descriptions of the area. The cast of characters is interesting, with British, American, French Canadian, and Native Americans, all with differing loyalties. Wanted to shake some sense into the main characters, a bit frustrating at times, but the ending doesn't disappoint. A map of the area and a list of translations for French terms would have been helpful, but overall a good read. 4.5 stars
Captured by Love: Michigan Brides Collection, book 3*****by Jody Hedlund It is 1814 in the Michigan Territory and Angelique MacKenzie's life is full of hardships, pain, heartache and near starvation. Her step-father/guardian, Ebeneezer, keeps a constant watch on her to make sure she remains pure and sinless. He punishes her harshly for any perceived inappropriate behavior and threatens to sell her as a wife to the highest bidder as he had done her sister if she does not obey him. The British army has taken control of Angelique's beloved Michilimackinac Island and it's fort. Anyone not willing to sign an oath of allegiance to the British and not the Americans must leave the island. Because of the war, the British within the fort are near starvation and the community as well. Can they survive the winter with the scant amount of food they have? Miriam Durante is a dear friend of Angelique and nearly blind. She lives alone on her farm since her son Jean was forced to leave the island when he refused to sign the oath. Her son Pierre, a fur trader, has been gone for 5 long years. If it were not for the small amount of food Angelique brings Miriam when she can sneak out of her home and the love and care Angelique gives Miriam, she would have died long ago. Angelique is engaged to Jean and they plan to marry once the Americans retake the island and Jean can return home. However, his brother Pierre suddenly returns and the feelings Angelique has hidden in her heart spring forth even stronger. How can she marry Jean when she is in love with Pierre, but how can she break her commitment to Jean? Pierre has returned to find things at home worse than he even imagined. His mother has lost her sight, nearly starved—but for Angelique—and the farm is in need of much repair. He learns that Jean and Angelique plan to marry but his heart wants her for himself. He could easily woo her away from Jean, but how can he do that knowing she loves the island and he has no plans to remain? Could he deceive his brother that way? What of the mission he is on? He can't endanger his mother or Angelique. If his true mission is found out, his life would be in grave danger. Captured by Love is a well written story about real-to-life characters who suffer great hardships, near starvation, romance, war, adventure, danger, unexpected twists and turns, faith—trust in God in all things in their lives (those who believe), forgiveness, and love....all set within historical events. I was captured from the first pages to the last. ~~I received a copy of this book from Book Fun Network and the publisher for my review~~
I absolutely loved this book. Where to begin? First, Jody is a Michigan author (I live in Michigan) and this book is set on Mackinac Island, called Michilimackinac Island in 1814. Mackinac Island is my all time favorite place in the world to visit. I would move there if I could. If you’ve never been to this unique location you are missing out. Anyway, visiting Michilimackinac Island before it became a tourist location was so interesting. The Fort is a prominent feature on the island even now. Jody even got Arch Rock in the book and had the characters sit on it. This is not possible today as it is fenced off but how exciting to think that people native to the island did that. Just last fall my husband and I accidentally found Fort Holmes, the highest point on the island. Before it was Fort Holmes is was called Fort George, as it is in the book. We just visited the island about four weeks ago and took our kids to see this breathtaking view. I loved reading about the work that went into building this fort. Enough about the island, now the wonderful characters. Angelique is a lovely heroine. She doubts herself constantly and fears becoming like her mother. She hides her beauty but Pierre sees the beauty inside her. Pierre is a wonderful, strong hero, everything you want in a hero. Their passion is strong and Jody did a wonderful job of growing their romance until they both admit their feelings for each other. Of course things can’t go smoothly. Angelique is engaged to Jean, Pierre’s brother. My mind kept reeling with what would happen when he returned from the war. Would Angelique follow her passion or her commitment? You’ll have to read the book to see what happens. This book was so good I couldn’t put it down and was up way to late reading this one. If you love historicals and romance and if you want a glimpse of Mackinac Island before it became a tourist attraction, this is a must read! A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
5 * stars out of 5 Historical Fiction I love how Judy weaves history into her novel in such a subtle away that you do not even notice it because the focus of the story is her characters and their real conflicts. I have been to Michigan briefly, and want to explore Mackinaw Island (known as Michilimacknac Island at the time the story takes place) after reading Captured By Love. Fighting in 1814 was done on the ground in a much different way then now, so even as I was living the story of Angelique and Pierre I realized I was living in the past. The story telling is superb, and a page turner as you hurry through to find out just what will happen next. How can a person tell who is friend and who is foe? Who is fighting for the British? Angelique is focused on staying alive in a world where soldiers are desperate for food amidst a blockade. I found the book hard to put down until I had finished reading the last page. I received this book free from Emily Davies-Robinson at Nuts about books and Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romance--and let me say, the romance in this book is exquisite! The story is set on Mackinac Island in 1814. Because of its unique setting and time period, it was unlike any other story I've ever read. The hero, Pierre, is a voyageur who left five years before to seek a career in the fur trading business, but now he's back to spy on the British Army who have overtaken the island he loves. The heroine, Angelique, is forced to live with her domineering stepfather, but sneaks away to take care of Pierre's blind mother, who has become the mother she's always wanted. When Pierre returns to Mackinac Island, neither is prepared for the love that grows between them. Amongst a war, Angelique's betrothal to another man, and Pierre's dangerous work as a spy, they must find a way to overcome the impossible obstacles. I love so many things about Jody's books. Each one gets better and better. She allows her characters to get into so much trouble, you wonder how the characters can possibly overcome all the odds stacked against them! But by the end, you're completely satisfied. She's also skilled at creating a love story so realistic, you ache with the hero and heroine until they are safely in each other's arms.
Caught in the middle of the War of 1812, with a tyrant for a step-father, conniving officers at every turn, and a fiancé that she can never see as more than a friend, Angelique's future seems void of hope. Then enter Pierre, Angelique's childhood friend, brother of her fiancé, and the man she has loved since she was a girl and life becomes even more complicated. After a separation of five years, Angelique has blossomed into a beautiful young woman, though she has tried her best to cover this fact up, but now with Pierre home again everything is changing. Ms. Hedlund hooked me from the very first page until the last. The whole time I was rooting for Angelique and Pierre despite the fact that she had already promised her future to his brother. Pierre was so lovable with his enormous ego, sense of humor, and no shortage of charm especially with the ladies. Angelique was just as captivating with her intense sense of loyalty and protectiveness of Pierre's mother and her kindness with her step-father and his wife despite their cruelty towards her. The setting of Michilimackinac Island was also very unique, with the added bonus that it was occupied by the Brits at this time. If you enjoy stories of romance seasoned with espionage, Indians, and a brave heroine, then this is a story not to be missed! Enjoy, I know I did! I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Initially I was worried when I saw this was book 3 in a series, but that quickly subsided. It works nicely as a stand-alone read. The story takes place in during the War of 1812 on Mackinac Island – a war, and location that I know very little about. I enjoyed learning of the trials people went through during this time, and my interest is piqued to read more from this period of American history. Jody Hedlund writing is filled with vivid imagery and heart-pulling emotion. She does a brilliant job of incorporating historical facts within her fictional stories. I learned so much about Michigan, the 1800s, and the role Mackinac Island played during the war. Angelique is a complex and interesting character. I felt her yearnings to escape her life, and suffered her hardships right along with her. Her faults are realistic, the romance was touching, and I easily sympathized with her. I look forward to reading more by this new-to-me author. Cover: Like Title: Like Publisher: Bethany House Publishers Pages: 368 First Lines: 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. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Review Copy from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Michilimackinac Island, Michigan is the only home Angelique has ever known. She knows the landscape of her beloved island by heart, and goes fishing and visits her friend Miriam whenever possible. It offers a brief reprieve from the scrutiny of her domineering stepfather. Pierre’s work as a fur trader takes him away from the island where he grew up. Upon his return, he finds his mother Miriam ailing and unable to care for the farm, and his brother Jean away fighting with the Americans. Tension is high, as the British expect the Americans to attack to try to regain the island. On the surface, Pierre’s loyalties appear to be with the British. But things are not always as they seem. As Pierre and Angelique renew the friendship of their youth, their emotions and character are tested far beyond what they ever dreamed. Captured by Love is another Jody Hedlund classic – it offers a wonderful plot rich in detail, carefully orchestrated to engage and entertain the reader. Although the characters reside in a different era, they are authentic and relatable, facing obstacles not so different from our own. Hedlund shares a lively and stirring tale full of surprises and adventure, love and redemption. Historical fiction fans will not be disappointed; it’s a great read.
Jody Hedlund is one of my favorites, so I was obviously excited to get my hands on her newest book! Let me tell you, she does not disappoint. This book is pure reading pleasure. Jody Hedlund never fails to pack her stories full of danger, angst, and action. I always have the undeniable need to keep turning the pages when it comes to one of her books. Rebellious Heart still holds its place as my favorite of Jody’s, but Captured by Love is a sweeping story of childhood friends who reunite as adults. Sparks fly between the two as they realize just how much their relationship has changed. The growing attraction they feel for one another complicates their lives, as each has an already determined path planned that doesn’t include the other. Not to mention, Angelique is engaged to Pierre’s brother, Jean. Combined with rich historical detail and a flair for moving the plot forward at the perfect pace, Jody Hedlund has won me over again. Don’t miss this one! *I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*
In similar fashion to the last Jody Hedlund book I picked up, I devoured “Captured by Love” in one long, lazy afternoon. I enjoyed the author’s choice of setting and time period as I previously knew very little about this particular chapter in American history. I do kind of wish I had read the detail-rich Author’s Note in the back of the book before I started the novel, instead of discovering it afterwards. At any rate, Hedlund does a great job of bringing her readers along in the need-to-know history as they’re enjoying the unfolding story. And, this story unfolds rapidly! The two star characters are thrown together right in the opening scene, and romantic sparks are flying pretty much from that point on. For those of you who read romance novels and just can’t wait for that first kiss … that is NOT a problem in this book! The plot contains a multitude of ups and downs, twists and turns, some unexpected and a couple I found a little too predictable. Overall though, “Captured by Love” was a fun book to read and one I will gladly recommend. FYI: I received a free copy of “Captured by Love” from Bethany House Publishers as a part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.
This is an intriguing historical novel. Hedlund ties in her fictional characters with historical figures to give an authentic feel to the story. Angelique Mackenzie lives on Mackinaw Island. The year is 1814 and the British occupy the fort, but it has been a long winter with little food for anyone. This book takes off very quickly and is filled with spies and soldiers fighting, islanders trying to survive, and two brothers who love the same girl. Will Angelique choose to love the quiet, steady Jean Durrant the one she is promised to, or will she follow her heart and continue to love Pierre? Hedlund's opening scene is intense and hooks the reader immediately. You quickly learn who Angelique and Pierre are and their shared history. You hope that Pierre will stay on the island to help out his mother and continue to build the friendship with Angelique, but there is always the question of when he will have to leave to fulfill his spy duties. I enjoyed this book, and the ease with which I was pulled into the story. I was quickly transported back to 1814, I worried for Angelique as her life wasn't easy. She is wrongfully punished, but didn't have a voice back then, which makes me thankful I live in the era I do. I love how Hedlund didn't change historical facts, while I wanted the Americans to win the battle for the island, that didn't happen in the story or in real life. The American's messed up, and this story shows how it might have had an effect on the people of Mackinaw Island. This is a fun story that gives you a glimpse into life on an island. My thanks go to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for providing me a free e-book copy to read and review.
Right from the start, the author drew me into this wonderful story. I was reminded, once again, of how much I love reading Jody Hedlund’s books. From the very first page, as Angelique MacKenzie is walking through a wooded path, I felt like I was there with her…immersed in her world. The characters were so well-written. Angelique is an honorable young woman trying her best amidst very trying circumstances. I love the caring heart she has, even when she has been so ill-treated by her guardian for so many years. And then there is Pierre. He is a great character, as well. He has had a real change of heart and is not the same angry young man who left the island years ago. He has given himself over to the Lord, and is trying to set things from his past right. However, he didn’t expect to fall for the girl he grew up with, and certainly didn’t expect circumstances to be so dire back at home. Pierre and Angelique are characters who must discover for themselves what true faith in God is, and learn to trust that He really is there for them and will never forsake them. Set in the turbulent time of the British occupation of Michilimackinac Island during the War of 1812, this book was a page turner for me. I had trouble putting it down because I just had to know what happened next in the story! There is just so much to this book – danger, intrigue, and love. The romance between Pierre and Angelique is beautiful, while choices that they both must make had my heart feeling as if it was being wrenched to and fro! Captured by Love captured my heart and would not let go. I highly recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
First thoughts: This book drew me in just as completely as Jody Hedlund's other books have. The balance of history, romance and intrigue were as perfect as I've grown to expect them to be. What it's about: It is the story of a young woman named Angelique who lives on Michilimackinac Island during the early 1800's. Times are hard and the people around Angelique are taking sides. The British have invaded the island and if that isn't enough, everyone is starving. Despite this, Angelique risks her own safety to care for a woman who is like a mother to her. When her childhood friend, Pierre shows up Angelique isn't sure what to think. She just knows that she is drawn to him, just like when she was a girl, and that everything around her is more dangerous than ever. What I liked about it: I loved the depth of Angelique's character. She has spunk, yet is a lady and nothing will stop her from doing what she believes is right. I also loved how this story balanced being inspirational and a page turner. What I didn't like: I loved the entire book! Who I would recommend it to: I think anyone who enjoys inspirational and historical fiction would enjoy this exhilarating read. I received a copy of this book from the author and Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.