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Journey now to Mackinac Island where...
A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds.
Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.
Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel. While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story.
But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?
More from My Heart Belongs in Series...
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss: Priscilla's Reveille by Erica Vetsch (January 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmella's Quandary by Susan Page Davis (March 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze (May 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (September 2017)
About the Author
ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
Read an Excerpt
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island
By Carrie Fancett Pagels
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2017 Carrie Fancett Pagels
All rights reserved.
Mackinac Island, Michigan Monday, June 3, 1895
Maude Welling's twelve-year-old brother, Jack, raced across the waxed wood floor of the soda shop, straight toward her, then skidded to a halt.
"Greyson's back!" His loud pronouncement caused several people seated at nearby tables, to cease their conversation and look up.
Perched atop an oak stool at the counter, Maude choked in surprise on her cherry phosphate and struggled to maintain her balance. Finally, he was home — and she would see him face-to-face. She pushed the frosted glass away and grabbed the napkin from her lap and wiped her mouth, dread and excitement comingling in her gut. She looked down to inspect her white cotton pin-tucked bodice.
Finding a tiny spot above her waist, she frantically dabbed at the crimson dots. "I need some seltzer water, quick."
Al spritzed some seltzer on a clean white cloth and passed it to her.
"Thanks." Luckily the red stain began to blot up. "There. That's better."
Hands shaking, Maude slid her uncle's reconciled account records across the marble counter to him. Soon Father would allow her to resume handling the Winds of Mackinac record keeping, once she was married to her childhood sweetheart. "Your books are all in order now, Uncle Al."
He winked at her. "You need to get to the dock."
Beside her, Jack shifted from foot to foot, his jaw muscles twitching. She realized that he hadn't said another word since coming into the shop.
Something was wrong. Maude's sweetheart had returned to Mackinac Island. Everyone should be smiling, happy for her. Even Maude's own hands perspired, as they did when she was afraid, not when she was excited.
Jack drew closer and tugged at her muttonleg sleeve. "Sis, he's got someone with him — real pretty redhead."
Maude stiffened from the top of her pinned-up hair, down to her tailbone. No word from Greyson in over a month. She glanced at her bare left hand. Snapping her mossy-colored short capelet up from the coatrack, she draped it across her arm.
"What would you know, Jack? He was probably just being polite to someone."
Jack scowled. "Yeah, right. Thought he was gonna marry you — not some old carrot top." Her brother ran out into the street, the bell ringing as the glass-paned door slammed shut.
Maude exited the soda shop, lifted her skirts, and crossed the busy street to the wharf, dodging carriages and piles of manure the horses had left and the street sweepers had yet to clean up. Her phosphate fizzed inside her gut. She pressed a hand over her mouth, feeling the cherry-red liquid churning. Removing her hand, she pressed her lips together and strode toward the docks. When a chill, stiff breeze greeted her, she wrapped her capelet over her shoulders and tried to button it as she walked, but the large buttons wouldn't cooperate. She pulled the garment close, overlapping the front and hugging herself tight.
Maude gasped for breath as she wove among the passengers at the dock. She spied Jack as he ducked behind one of the narrow whitewashed wood buildings that trailed onto the waterfront.
Arrivals chattered happily as they clustered around their luggage in the center wood platform on the boardwalk that surrounded the dock. Liveried men, all in various colors denoting their particular inn, toted the boxes off and hoisted them into the baggage drays bound for the hotels.
Maude moistened her lips as she spotted her old beau, so handsome in a suit she'd never seen before. Greyson stood beside a huge black-leather trunk, which was banded by contrasting brown straps. Adjacent to him stood a slim woman with red hair — just as Jack had said. Sucking in a breath, Maude waited for the tightness in her chest to ease. Relax. Breathe slowly. Inhale in, then exhale out.
As the porter pushed the luggage toward one of the island's cabs, Greyson turned and looked directly at Maude. Then flinched. He said something to his companion and pulled the young woman in Maude's direction. Maude froze; her feet glued to the boardwalk like the green-flocked wallpaper newly hung in their parlor.
Jack popped out from behind the dockmaster's building. He squinted at the red-haired woman as he often did insects he was about to secure inside a mason jar. The woman snapped her fan against Greyson's arm, and he ceased dragging her.
Now the young lady floated along the wide wooden planks of the walkway, her gauzy confection of a dress billowing in the light lilac-scented breeze. Lace, embroidery, and glistening tiny beads seemed to cover the entire fitted bodice. A House of Worth gown — one advertised in the latest edition of Harper's Bazaar. Maude glanced down at her simple blouse and skirt — a country bumpkin's clothing compared to this woman's elaborate attire. Maude had ceased wearing mourning and had been so happy to wear something with color again. But now, she wanted to run home and don her black frocks to hide.
Everything within her urged Maude to flee, even as the duo edged closer to her.
"Maude?" Greyson raised his tall hat, golden hair glistening beneath the midday sun.
When they were children, she and Greyson had enacted a play about the French Revolution. Why did she suddenly feel as though he was about to take her hand and haul her off to the executioner?
A tremor twitched the young woman's full lips as she linked her arm through Greyson's.
Standing several feet back from the couple, Jack pointed at the stranger then turned to address Maude. "See, I told ya so!" Heat seared Maude's cheeks as her brother raced away toward the park across the street. She turned and watched him go, wishing she could chase after him.
When she turned around, Greyson's companion narrowed her eyes and scanned Maude from her scuffed boots to her white blouse tucked into her wide-banded skirt, lingering on her waistline, which was, thankfully, very slim. "Greyson, aren't you going to make introductions?"
When he responded, wind from the lake rushed past Maude's ears, obscuring what he said, except for " ... Anna."
Once again, the young woman withdrew her arm from Greyson's grasp. As the young woman minced toward Maude, swirls of titian hair dipped beneath her wide-brimmed hat.
Extending a lace-gloved hand, a glittering bulge visible on her left ring finger, the woman offered a tight smile and a challenging stare. "I'm Anna Luce — Greyson's wife."
Heartbeats hammering in Maude's chest escalated, reminiscent of the months of incessant noise from the construction of the Grand Hotel eight years earlier — when Mother had wondered if their inn would survive with such competition.
"I ... I see. ..." But she didn't, as her vision faded slightly.
Surely even Mrs. Luce, Greyson's mother, didn't know, for she would have told Maude. What would the poor woman think when she discovered her son was now married to someone other than Maude?
Greyson extended a hand, but she recoiled.
Maude forced a breath and exhaled as slowly as she could, waiting to calm her nerves. Betrayal knifed her gut, and she clasped her hand to her stomach.
She strode from the dock, her heel catching on an uneven board. She yanked her heel free. Two angry tears spilled, and she wiped them away with the back of her hand.
"Maude!" Greyson's voice trailed her.
"Let her go, darling," his wife urged.
And against the backdrop of island breezes, birdsong, and carriage wheels, Maude heard Greyson walking out of her life, with Anna.
* * *
Ben Steffan pulled at his starched linen collar, anxious to leave the White Star Line steamship behind. Painful memories of a different voyage rushed over him. Yet this time, he stood aboveboard, not in steerage. Ahead, Mackinac Island, an emerald jewel, lay nestled within Lake Michigan's azure velvet. Even from miles out he spotted the clifftop outline of the Grand Hotel, his destination. Pristine beauty. No wonder the wealthy flocked here each summer. Perhaps even Roosevelt, who had urged Mackinac's National Park status, might be spotted. But Ben wasn't here for a political or social column, despite being the society columnist for the Detroit Post.
Soon they moored. Two other gentlemen, who'd appeared as nervous as Ben was trying to not be, moved alongside two young ladies and offered assistance disembarking the ship. Was their aim on the island to find a wealthy wife? Ben would have to draw upon all his observational skills to spot the targets for his article. Despite his qualms about this charade, if he hit pay dirt with this story, Banyon may finally make him assistant editor. And he could finally afford to support a wife, should he ever have time to court someone.
The scent of engine smoke dissipated as Ben merged into the crowd heading off the dock. A winsome brunette bumped into him, wafting the scent of musky flowers. As Ben met the woman's gaze of open appreciation, his cheeks warmed. Apparently well-dressed "Friedrich König" was worthy of appreciation. His boss had outfitted him at a gentleman's store in Detroit, and Ben's transformation was quite complete.
No. How well he knew that one's character — one's heart and soul — wasn't altered simply by donning fine attire. If only the young women who read his exposé might realize the same.
Around him, the crowd separated into jagged queues that edged toward a line of carriages stretched seven deep. Gold embroidered letters "GH" glistened in the sunlight on one surrey's red topper.
He strode forward, not wanting to miss his conveyance. Almost there, a bronze-haired beauty with wet rosy cheeks, whirled toward him and ran smack into his chest. When he grabbed her shoulders to steady her, he looked over her shoulder and caught the glimpse of familiar faces behind her. Greyson Luce and Anna. What were they doing here? The couple moved away toward a small one-horse carriage.
Shoulders stiffening, Ben took one step back from the woman in his arms.
"I'm very sorry, miss. Ich habe dich nicht gesehen." Obviously, something had distressed her, and from the looks Anna and Greyson cast her way, they had something to do with it.
The young lady before him stood erect as a queen, her tiny cape fluttering in the breeze, hands now fisted. Corkscrew curls trailed her long neck, which was streaked with angry red. Despite her angst, here was a woman of fortitude. Or had she thought he'd insulted her in German? He lapsed into his native tongue when stressed.
"Of course you couldn't see me. I plowed right into you."
"You speak German?"
"A little." She sniffed, and Ben offered her his handkerchief. She accepted the linen square. She kept her head lowered, shame etched on what little he could see of her features.
Dressed in plain but well-made clothes, she appeared to be an islander. Something about her called to his heart. He didn't trust in emotions — he was a journalist, and facts were what mattered. But right now, he longed to understand how she felt. Must be the island air and the boat trip unsettling him.
"Miss, is there anything I can do to help you?"
A deep blast from the ship's horn startled him. His shoulders jerked against the constraints of the tailored jacket, but she appeared unaffected by the intrusion.
For a split second she raised her pretty amber eyes, tears spilling down her flushed cheeks. Just as quickly she lowered and shook her head.
Focus, Ben. Pay attention to your job. He needed to get to his carriage.
"Excuse me, miss, but I must get to my lodgings." Ben drew his straw boater low over his eyes.
"Yes, please don't let me keep you." With that, she lifted her skirts and moved swiftly away from him.
He'd not even introduced himself. He was Friedrich König now, wealthy industrialist, and headed for the Grand Hotel. He recollected his conversation with his editor, and could almost smell the man's pipe smoke and the scent of paper fresh from the press. His editor, Banyon, hadn't mentioned Anna and Greyson would be on Mackinac, yet he knew of Ben's "friendship" with Anna.
A slow sizzle, like tinder catching in the fireplace, began to burn. Was Banyon setting him up? He rubbed his chin then headed toward the line of carriages, now thinning, as one after another of the drivers directed the horses to pull their conveyances away from the curb.
Ben moved on to the loading area.
A strongly built black man dressed in full livery, his wide gait steady, approached. "Grand Hotel, sir?" "Ja."
"Name, sir? I'll get your baggage." He pulled out a pad of paper and a short pencil.
"Friedrich König." If he kept saying it, maybe he'd even believe it himself.
* * *
The stranger's compassion unnerved Maude, as had that glimpse of admiration she'd caught in his eyes — even though her face had to have been red with humiliation. It was as though God had allowed her that tiny moment of kindness to assuage the pain Greyson's betrayal had delivered.
Even early lilacs couldn't entice her attention as she strode on the curving wood walkway toward the Winds of Mackinac. Woodsmoke from chimneys nearby tickled her nose. She didn't bother to wipe her cheeks, for more tears would follow. Angry, rage-filled tears. When Father found out about Greyson's marriage, he'd sell the inn, and then ...
Seagulls swooped overhead and squawked. She longed to screech along with them — to throw back her head and rail at the injustice of having Greyson marry another. Oh God, why me?
You refused him.
She sniffed. She'd not really refused him — she'd asked for clarification. And then his letters dropped off. He'd never sent word that he was courting another woman, much less about to marry her. Two-timing scoundrel.
Maude continued walking alongside Lake Michigan. Sunlight dappled the azure water as sailboats' canvases unfurled. She belonged here with a sense of connectedness that was in her blood. She and Greyson were Mackinac Islanders: year-round residents, not some tourist or seasonal visitor. Not a stranger — like Anna.
Not a stranger like the man who'd held her at the wharf. The best marriages were those formed by long-term relationships and mutual respect and friendship, Father had insisted.
How had Greyson managed to woo and win a wife in such a short time?
Greyson's accusation from their last private encounter, at Christmas, echoed in her mind. "You never loved me. Not as a woman loves a man she wants for a husband." He'd certainly pressed that point enough for her to know it was true — she'd always pulled back from his rather frantic kisses and embraces.
Sadie Duvall's warnings — were they true? "He's after one thing, Maudie — and it isn't what you think." And what did that mean?
After she arrived home, Maude went to their private parlor, seated herself at the Baldwin piano, and poured herself into a favorite Tchaikovsky piece, her fingers pounding the instrument as though she could overpower the discordant melody in her heart. But to no avail. She ceased the melancholy piece. Tentatively, she began to play the strains of her own composition, this song full of crescendos more hopeful — of finding one's own true love. She pulled her tingling fingers from the piano, as though the inanimate object discerned her ambivalence. Why did her thoughts continue to drift off to the stranger rather than to her childhood sweetheart?
She rose and arranged her skirts before moving toward the fireplace. Soft footfalls announced their new maid — her friend Sadie's sister. Although it sometimes seemed awkward to have her friend's sister in their employ, Maude was happy the girl received steady pay and was safe, fed, and warm every night.
Bea Duvall set down a box of cleaning supplies and rags near the hearth. "She fired her, Miss Maude."
"What?" She'd not yet grown accustomed to Bea's cryptic messages. "Who fired whom?"
"Sadie's been fired. She's looking for a job."
Maude reached an unsteady hand out to the back of the nearby divan. "Mrs. Luce can't ..."
"You go tell her that, then." Bea huffed and commenced polishing the revolving mahogany bookcase near the wall. "Greyson's wife, the new Mrs. Luce, fired her. Too bad you weren't her."
* * *
The Grand Hotel's porch stretched several football fields long. Ben forced himself to not gawk. He affected a blasé air as he approached the building. Gleaming alabaster white, it nestled high on the hill overlooking woods and verdant fields. Pavilions punctuated the lush grounds here and there like Bavarian Easter eggs nestled in rye baskets. A folly built at one end of the lower park was meant to entice sweethearts, no doubt. Would he find himself entangled there with someone who believed he was the wealthy Friedrich König?
Excerpted from My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels. Copyright © 2017 Carrie Fancett Pagels. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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
Having lived in Michigan for almost half my life, I've been to Mackinac Island several times. Whether for a family day trip, anniversary weekend getaway, or company "mystery trip" to the Grand Hotel, I can't get enough of the island. So, when this book came out this summer, I had to get it! This was a great read to bring along with me on my family's camping trip to northern Michigan. A ferry ride to the island wasn't in the budget this year, but this book provided an inexpensive "trip" to Mackinac. Pagels' descriptions were so realistic that it felt like I was there, even though the story took place more than 100 years ago. (A trip to the island always feels like stepping back in time.) Not only does the setting strike a chord with me, but my journalistic background drew me to the "newsy" side of the story. Not that I've ever gone undercover or ever wish to, but I could relate to Ben and felt for him in his dilemma on how to cover his story without hurting the woman he loves. In the end, I fell in love with Maude and Ben, and can't wait for their story to continue! This was the first book I've read by Pagels, as well as in the "My Heart Belongs" series, but it will definitely not be the last!
My Heart Belongs Belongs On Mackinac Island where you have the best historical stories story. This book makes you vision the best historical story. this book Makes you vision deep dark detail the community, the garments, the feeding etc. Now that is an incredible author. that is an artist. The author setup such boundless mysteries throughout the book and then as well she writes some major twits and turns - this is one major book - this is one major book - up and down - side to side - but there were health problems over doing the money thang, fortunes, love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control - GOD is leading the pack - there when they ca;; - Amen ? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and NetGalley; all the Opinions expressed in this review are all my own.
From what I've read, this book is a part of a series. I haven't read any of the other stories in the set, so I would say this can stand alone. Do I dare admit that I hadn't ever heard of Mackinac Island before hearing about this book? I thought maybe it was a fictional place, but have since discovered that it's anything but made up and now, it's taken a place on my bucket list of places to visit. Pagels does a great job of bringing this island to life. The story starts out with an immediate heartbreak, which bonded me to the island's sweetheart, Maude, from the get-go. A slight mystery blankets the plot, while a growing romance starts to blossom, but it's the characters that truly won me over. The unique situations they each found themselves in and the scrapes they work themselves out of really caught my interest, especially with Maude's younger brother, Jack. I loved the way the relationships were all inner-connected and the way the characters worked through issues to arrive at the ending. This is a great read for those who enjoy Historical Fiction with a dash of mystery and romance. I felt like I was sitting in the island breeze and savoring a phosphate, and really enjoyed my stay within the pages of this book. Content: mild romance; mild+ religious elements. *I received a copy through Netgalley, which didn't influence my opinion in any way.*
Well, Carrie Fancett Pagels has given me the travel bug....I'd never heard of Mackinac Island and now I'm dying to visit there and see the buildings and scenery. Maude had every right to love the apparently enchanting island and to do everything within her power to keep her family's inn safely within the family and the Mackinac Island community. It was my desire initially to become a journalist for a newspaper so I read with intrigue of Ben's position as spy to cover a story with such authenticity. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the My Heart Belongs series. The book is full of such vivid description that I felt as if I were actually walking along with the characters. I felt such compassion for Ben and Maude. Both of them seemed to be in positions where they felt they were at risk of losing so much. Maude feared losing the inn and her home and Ben feared being discovered at the Grand Hotel. I give this book a rating of 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers. I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Barbour Books. All opinions of this review are mine and mine alone.
A beautiful story of romance with history and life lessons woven throughout. I enjoyed the different characters and the mystery that was surrounding each one. As secrets were revealed I became more and more intrigued. Some characters started out a bit rogue until I became aware of their story and was won over. I loved Jack! I love his vivacious personality that helps the story move along and certainly made me smile. The author did a wonderful job with the descriptions of the different settings, not just the island but the hotel and home settings. I really was heartened about how the locals stepped forward to look after each other in that they didn't want anyone to be taken advantage of. As I read I learned things weren't always what they seemed - kept me turning pages straight through to the end.
Carrie Fancett Pagels aptly transports us back in time to 1895’s Mackinac Island, Michigan, in My Heart Belongs in Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring. Maude Welling, her father and her little brother Jack are all still grieving the loss of their mother/wife, though each in very different ways. Maude is more determined than ever to take over the reins of Winds of Mackinac Inn, her father is just as determined she won’t and Jack is determined to become the fastest runner in the United States. Ms. Pagels descriptive language leaves you feeling the sounds and sights of Mackinac Island, from the grandeur of The Grand Hotel to the impoverishment of the maids. As you read, you feel as if you have truly stepped back in time to a very different life and era. Plus, interspersed throughout the book are tidbits and gems of mystery, love and betrayal. I enjoyed reading another of the My Heart Belongs collection, and the fact it was written by Ms. Pagels made it even more enjoyable. I received this book from the author through NetGalley and Barbour Publishing. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
My Heart Belongs series is a great series to read! If you haven’t read any of them, I recommend you check them out! This book is located in my home state and having been to Mackinac Island numerous times, I could smell the water and the horse poo, see the bikes and the Grand Hotel and it felt really personal to read this. To be around the island, on the water and on the mainland was really something that I could see happening. I enjoyed the characters as they were well-developed. There was some mystery and intense moments and happy endings are the best. A favorite part in the book for me was when the leading female is made aware that the leading man is waiting for her and she’s quick to jump up and prepare herself. Her maid says, “I thought that might put some rise in your shine!” I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and Netgalley and was under no obligation to post a review.
This was a quick read with a delightful story of a girl who faced her fears and went after what she wanted. Maude loved running her family business and was determined to see her dream come true. The characters were real and there was a budding romance throughout the book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I love Mackinac Island. (Pronounced Mack-en-naw) I've been going there since I was a child. And who didn't fall in love with the island watching "Somewhere in Time"? It's a magical place. So I couldn't wait to read another book set in one of my favorite places. Maude Welling is an island native from a long line of island natives. Her mother and her grandmother were both strong women who worked hard managing their businesses, which in turn employed a great many people. With her mother and grandmother gone, Maude expects to inherit Winds of Mackinac, the hotel her family has owned for generations. But her father is against her running it alone, and her fiance just returned to the island ... with a bride. Ben Steffen came to Mackinac Island in search of a story that would establish his newspaper reporting career. What he didn't know, was that his boss had set him up to settle a personal score. Posing as someone he's not, he falls for the beautiful island girl who was jilted by her suitor. But how can he pursue her while posing as someone he's not? This story is full of twists and turns and unexpected characters. The island itself plays a huge role, with the sights, smells, and sounds coming through behind the scenes. Well worth reading!
She won't leave and he can't stay... Carrie Fancett Pagels once again pens a sweet historical romance set in the lush Michigan landscape. I've been following the My Heart Belongs In... series since the first book, each new location has been fun and fascinating, and I was excited when I saw that Mackinac Island was going to be featured. I've been fascinated by the place since I first read about their interesting rules on transportation... My Heart Belongs On Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring is a fun and fairly quick read that brings just before the turn of the century Michigan to life. The story is populated with quirky characters who all have their own agendas, and secrets. Add in a realistic portrayal of the frictions that happen between visitors and residents in a town dependent on tourism, a hint of mystery, plenty of romance all around, and you get a light, pleasant, read. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
This book by Carrie Fancett Pagels captured my imagination from the moment I started reading. The story centers around the Welling family and their extended family members who also live on the island. The book opens with Maude, the daughter of the family, eagerly anticipating the return of her fiance to the island. Unfortunately, he does not return from the island alone. Instead, he returns to the island with a surprise – he is already married. As Maude races away, she literally runs into Ben Steffan, who is on the island undercover for the newspaper he works for in Detroit. This book contains intrigue, adventure, twists, turns and plot twists that definitely keep a person’s interest. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
Oh my goodness! I felt like I was walking down the streets on Mackinac Island, smelling the horses, dodging the bikes as I took in the incredible views! Our heroine, Maude, is a determined, hardworking young lady who is hoping to take over the running of the Winds of Mackinac, an Inn that has been in her mother's family for generations. However, there seems to be some misunderstanding about that.... An unrequited love, a newspaper reporter traveling incognito and housekeeping at the Grand Hotel are just some of the story lines woven together in masterful fashion by author, Carrie Fancet Pagels, who has outdone herself yet again.
I enjoyed this book so much. The beautiful Mackinac Island makes the perfect setting for this endearing historical romance. The author makes full use of the unique geographical features on the island and its beautiful views. That includes the abundance of lilacs which fill the air with its fragrances, even today. The story begins the moment Ben Steffan lands on the island and literally runs smack into Maude Welling at the docks. She looked upset and perhaps a bit angry. She apologized as she hadn't seen him in front of her. Then she turned and rushed toward the village where he assumed she lived. He continued his stroll, to assume the persona of a wealthy industrialist, Freidrich Konig, he was trying to portray. He had a job to do. But when he looked up from the lovely brunette he had run into, he spotted two people he had known in Detroit. He hoped they didn't blow his cover. Maude continued down the street completely disoriented. Not only had she suffered the loss of her mother a year ago, but now she'd lost her fiance. She had expected Greyson's arrival so they could wed and run her family Inn together. But without notice, he arrived on the docks with his wife! How was she to run the inn herself? Will her father now fulfill his threat to sell it and move down state? She didn't want to leave the island. Could this day get any worse? The author writes a tender love story that is much more than a casual summer read. She includes a touch of mystery, some duplicity on both the characters' parts, not a few misunderstandings, heroic action, a bit of a twist and great character development. Both Ben and Maude have reached some crossroads in their lives. Both are attracted to each other, but have secrets that could stop their relationship developing before it even begins. How the author resolves this conflict is heart warming and life affirming. I especially enjoyed the touches of historical events where the men in the community must be prepared at a moment's notice to become a rescue team in case there is a shipwreck or collision in the icy waters surrounding the island. At one point, the author uses one such event as a means to draw Ben and Maude together in spite of their determination to back away. What a great story. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the Barbour Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Carrie Fancett Pagels captured my interest and imagination from the start with the beautiful setting on Mackinac Island. Her descriptions of it show her knowledge and appreciation for the area. She has obviously done her research well. I’ve now put Mackinac Island on my bucket list of places to visit. The main characters, Maude and Ben, were realistic and endearing, although I wanted to shake them a few times. I loved finding out about the customs and everyday life of the island people and visitors during the 1890s. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels looks at life on Mackinac Island, Michigan in 1895. Maude Welling's mother has passed away and her father is running The Winds of Mackinac Inn. Even though the inn has been part of her mother’s family for generations and always passes down to the woman in the family, Maude’s father refuses to let her run it without a husband. She has to do something to prove to him that she can do it. Otherwise, her father will sell the inn. Maude secretly gets a job as a maid at The Grand Hotel in order to prove that she is capable of running her family’s inn. Journalist Ben Steffans is on an undercover assignment. Posing as a wealthy industrialist, he is pursuing a story about impoverished men chasing wealthy women. Maude and Ben form a tender friendship but as Ben digs deeper, he uncovers secrets and scandals that could destroy their growing love. When I was offered the opportunity to review a book based on Mackinac Island, I knew that I had to read it! I loved the descriptions of Mackinac Island and The Grand Hotel. The characters are fun and the story is filled with faith, romance, mystery and intrigue thrown into the reader’s escape into a simpler time and place. If you like to read historical details about places of interest, I highly recommend this Historical Christian book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
This is the first book I have read by Carrie Fancett Pagels but it won't be my last. I really enjoyed getting to know Maude in the pages of this book. Maude's Moorings painted such a lovely picture of life on Mackinac Island in the late 1800's. Interesting characters fill out the story line. I breezed right through the book and found myself hoping there will be more to come. Mackinac Island is on the list of places I would love to visit one day. This lovely story made me want to move it up on the list.
What a beautiful story with deep descriptions of the unique life on the Island! I have been there before and know that she did her research of its nuances and loyalty of the natives. I felt like I was walking around with the characters and experiencing all the same emotions with them. Maude certainly has a conundrum to straighten out in her life. Ben is just doing his job. Both have crossed paths and now have more to think about! Mystery, suspense, romance and greatly developed characters make this a page turner. Life on the Island is like nothing else – only an Islander can understand it. I certainly kept turning pages to find out if Ben made the cut!! You will love this hometown story! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
A cute historical book worth reading.... My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island Maude's Mooring By Carrie Fancett Pagels Maude Welling is determined to convince her father to allow her to take over the family's inn - one that has been in her mother's family for generations. But her father is insistent that she be married before taking over the Winds of Mackinac Inn in any capacity. But Maude's hopes for marriage are soon dashed with her intended's change of heart. But Maude is determined to prove to her father that she can handle the responsibilities by taking a position with their competition as a maid. But working as a maid isn't as easy as it appears. Meanwhile, Ben Steffans has come to Mackinac on assignment - pretend he is a man of means while searching out prospectors who are in pursuit of well-to-do heiresses who will elevate not only their social standing but their economic standing as well. Ben's biggest obstacle to fleshing out his story - finding island locals willing to talk to an outsider. But more is going on at this summer destination than anyone could possibly imagine and before long Maude and Ben find themselves caught up in the stories that they have woven. But when the truth comes out will the damages be too great to undo or will these two hurting people discover that there was something better for them all along? My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring is a delightful escape into a time, while not simpler, that was less encumbered by technology. What's fun about this book is that my great-great-grandmother lived not too far from here at the time - it is interesting to know what her world was like. So if you like sweet historical fiction with a dash of romance and mystery thrown in give this one a look-see. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring was entertaining, informative, and enjoyable. The moment I read the first page I was drawn in and could not wait to see what would happen to the characters. Maude and her family are made me feel I could go visit the island and imagine life as it was once. I enjoyed reading this story and learning about the history of lesser known parts of America. I hope there will be a sequel out soon.
This historical fiction takes place at the famed vacation spot of Mackinac Island in the late19th century. The Grand Hotel on the island and is the place where men would come in the summer to try to find rich wives. The story centers around Maude Welling, whose family has owned the Winds of Mackinac Inn for several generations, always being passed down to the woman in the family. Maude’s mother has passed away and her father is presently running the inn. Maude anticipates that she will inherit it and be the one to run it. However, her father refuses to let her do that unless she is married. She has anticipated marrying her long-time beau, but when he returns to the island with a wife on his arm, she sees life take a completely different turn, and her father threatening to sell the inn. She feels she has to do something to make her father realize she is quite able to handle running the inn without a husband, so she secretly takes on a job at The Grand Hotel. While working there, she formally meets Ben Steffans, who has come to the Grand Hotel as an undercover journalist, ,to get a story on about how the men come to find rich wives. We see many interactions between numerous characters in the books when Ben is trying to gather information for his story. He continually runs into many of Maude’s relatives on the island who run different businesses and he continually runs into Maude and comes to like her very much. Will their friendship develop to a point of love and marriage, or will the deceit of Ben’s undercover work keep them apart. This was an interesting book, however, I felt there were too many characters to follow. I would recommend it to those who enjoy reading historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island is a beautiful historical story of love, secrets, disappointments, heartaches, and finding and trusting God's will. The author did a great job of bringing the characters and their circumstances life. I truly didn't want it to end! This is the second book, I have read of this author and I definitely plan to read more! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
When I saw the opportunity to review a novel based on Mackinac Island I knew I had to read it! This romantic novel set in the late 1800’s is a good 'curl up with a cup of coffee' kind of read. Having been to the island many times myself, it was fun to picture what it might have been like as the story unfolds during those years when the Grand Hotel was new and many of the old houses that now stand on the bluff were just being built. In the story, the iconic lighthouse is also in progress. When an accident occurs involving two ships due to fog and no lighthouse, you begin to imagine just how hard life was for those navigating the Great Lakes and how the islanders had to always be prepared to rescue the victims of weather, and hardship. This romance is pretty standard but the details of the hotels and the day to day activity were what caught my interest. Carrie captured the attitude of the islanders and their closeness well. It is a different world from the one I live in and I found it fascinating to read about. If you like the historical detail about places of interest you will find this book and no doubt the others in this series worth checking out. Carrie named her main character after her grandmother who was born in 1895 when this story takes place. Another fun fact is that the author worked on the island as a young girl and as a result was able to capture the atmosphere of the island as it might have been those many years earlier. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. I was under no obligation to post a review. It was a pleasure to share this title with those who have a love for places that represent the past.
I loved this book. was so enjoyable and a pace on my list to visit. Seems like one big family on Mackinac Island. Maude Welling's wants nothing more then to live her life on Mackinac Island married to Greyson and running the inn as man and wife. Greyson comes back to the Island but married, So now her father refuses to let her run the Inn on her own and is threatening to sale. She has to do something to prove to her father she can do it without a husband. Going to work in at the Grand as a maid she should be able to pull it off. But... Ben Steffans journalist is working undercover to get a story on men seeking wealthy women to marry just to get their money. But meets a maid while staying at the Grand that he is very attracted too. As he is digging for the story he wants other can be hurt . What will he do? Can he write a story that can give him fame and a better job position and while at it ruin the lives of others? Great story well written by Carrie and the characters are great. They are well developed as is the story. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
I loved Maude. This is such a fun story. I love Ben and Jack also. This has some fun and romance . It would be hard to think that your father doesn't trust that you can run a business. There are a few twists and turns in this book and everyone learns a few life lessons by the end. I received this book from Barbour publishing for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels is part of a series by different authors published by Barbour Books. Set in the mid 1890's, the author takes us to a vacation where the main character, Maude, lives with her family, who owns the Winds of Mackinac Inn. Her father is adamant that she not run the inn after the death of her mother, though it has been in her mother's family for generations. Maude gets a job as a maid at the Grand Hotel, mainly to prove that she is capable of running her family's inn. Her father is not in agreement that she should run it, so this job is very important to her. She finds that it is an undaunting task and it changes the way she treats her own maids at the inn. She had been engaged to marry, but her fiance returns to the island...already married. This leads her into a determination NOT to depend on a man during her life which is distressing to her father. There were many twists and turns throughout the novel, but keeping the characters straight during the first half of the novel was difficult. Since I had previously read several of the "My Heart Belongs" series, I wanted to keep reading it, but found it difficult to remember minor characters. The writig style of Carrie Fancett Pagels is a bit more formal than other novels in this series, and it didn't keep my interest as others did. I was a bit disappointed.