The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart

by Michelle Griep

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Overview

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

The wild American wilderness is no place for an elegant English governess

On the run from a brute of an aristocratic employer, Eleanor Morgan escapes from England to America, the land of the free, for the opportunity to serve an upstanding Charles Town family. But freedom is hard to come by as an indentured servant, and downright impossible when she’s forced to agree to an even harsher contract—marriage to a man she’s never met.

Backwoodsman Samuel Heath doesn’t care what others think of him—but his young daughter’s upbringing matters very much. The life of a trapper in the Carolina backcountry is no life for a small girl, but neither is abandoning his child to another family. He decides it’s time to marry again, but that proves to be an impossible task. Who wants to wed a murderer?
 
Both Samuel and Eleanor are survivors, facing down the threat of war, betrayal, and divided loyalties that could cost them everything, but this time they must face their biggest challenge ever . . .Love.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634097833
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/01/2016
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 510,123
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog "Writer off the Leash" or visit michellegriep.com

Read an Excerpt

The Captive Heart

A Novel


By Michelle Griep

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2016 Michelle Griep
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63409-785-7


CHAPTER 1

London

February 1770


My precious Lord;
My only hope;
My Saviour, how I need You now.

Eleanor Morgan repeated the words, over and over, scrubbing her fingernails more vigorously with each repetition. Prayer was always better than blood. Perhaps if she focused on the simple child's verse she taught her charges, she wouldn't feel like heaving. She bit her lip, trapping a scream behind her teeth. A merciless idea. Better had she cried out at the unfairness of it all, for now blood wasn't merely under her nails. Saltiness warmed the tip of her tongue.

A rap on her chamber door stopped her scrubbing. The nailbrush clattered into the basin, her heart into her stomach. Before she could think, she turned and snatched one of the brass candlesticks off the bureau. Hot wax spilled onto her skin, the pain barely registering. Duke or not, this time she'd do more than scratch the man's face. Lecher. Beast. She raised the makeshift weapon, the flame extinguishing as the door swung open.

A tiny woman in a lace wrap entered. Eleanor choked. The candlestick slipped from her hand and crashed to the floor.

My precious Lord;

My only hope ...

Duchess Brougham's gaze darted to the rolling candlestick, then back to Eleanor's face. One of her brows lifted.

Eleanor rushed forward and sank to her knees in front of the woman, not caring to grab a dressing gown to cover her shift. Why bother? Humiliation was cloak enough. "Your Grace, I swear I did not encourage your husband's advances. Please, you must believe me. I would never —"

"Rise, Miss Morgan." The lady waited, a single furrow marring her forehead, until Eleanor stood on shaky legs. Was that compassion on her face ... or resentment?

Duchess Brougham sighed, long and loud, as if she might expel whatever demon anguished her soul.

Eleanor knew she ought say something, but all her words dried up and blew away like the last leaf of autumn.

Slowly, the lady's mouth curved into a fragile smile. "Did you not wonder, Miss Morgan, why we have had four governesses in the space of a year?"

Eleanor grimaced. She would have inquired had not pride muddled her thinking. The position of governess in a duke's household didn't seem nearly as prestigious anymore. La, what a foolish dolt she'd become.

"You'll never aspire to anything higher than a trollop, girl."

The sting of her father's prophecy slapped her with more brutal force than she'd dealt her employer. She lifted fingertips to her own cheek, coaxing out a whispered confession. "I assumed lack on the part of the other women, Your Grace, and for that I am woefully repentant."

Duchess Brougham's eyes glinted with an odd intensity. "The lack is in my husband. I had hoped that this time ... for you see, the children dearly love you ..." Her voice cracked, and she shook her head. "It is a sorry business, but there is nothing to be done for it. For your sake, Miss Morgan, you should leave. Now. Walk out the door and do not come back."

Leave? The word made as little sense as finding the undressed duke in her bedchamber earlier. Eleanor wrapped her arms around herself, gaining what comfort might be found in the action. If nothing else, perhaps it would hold together her grip on reality. "But it is the middle of the night, Your Grace. Where am I to go? I have no relations, no one to —"

"You do not understand the severity of the duke's anger." Though a head shorter than Eleanor, the lady grew in stature as she lifted her chin. "You have done more than rebuke him. He shall have to account for the scratches on his face at the club tomorrow. The passions grafted onto wounded pride are the most inveterate, and my husband's appearance is his pride. At best, the duke will see you never again work in England. At worst ..."

She didn't finish the sentence. She didn't need to. Just last week, Eleanor had heard the downstairs help gossiping about the fate of young Joe. For naught but a cross look at the duke, the lad now resided in a holding cell at Newgate on a trumped-up charge of thievery.

Eleanor retreated to the side of her bed and sank onto the counterpane, grateful to the mattress for holding her up. All her dreams of becoming London's finest governess had just been yanked from beneath her, the unfairness of it staggering. Fresh tears burned tracks down her cheeks.

"There, there, Miss Morgan." The duchess took a step toward her, then stopped and clasped her hands. Though Eleanor longed for a comforting touch, the woman would approach no closer. She had already breached propriety by coming to Eleanor's chamber.

Drawing in a ragged breath, Eleanor gave in to a moment of self-pity, hating how weak she was in light of the lady's strength and dignity.

"Do not despair so." The duchess's words were quiet. Intimate. As if she were speaking as much to herself as to her governess.

Eleanor looked up, surprised to see the lady's eyes glistening with unshed tears. Indeed, the woman's face was a portrait of misery, and why not? How awful it must be to live with an unfaithful husband.

"Now then." The duchess sniffed, her shoulders straightening with the movement. "I have a cousin in Charles Towne, Mr. William Taggerton. I shall send him a missive, posthaste, recommending you. Lord knows his children could use a proper education in that uncivilized land. Book yourself passage, and I shall have him meet you with the fare once you land. The Colonies are the best I can manage on such short notice."

The Colonies? Eleanor swallowed back a sour taste. The tales she'd heard! The sideshows she'd glimpsed of savages and ruffians and wild animals. This was where she would spend the rest of her days? A shiver charged across her shoulders, leaving uncertainty in its wake. But besides a beggar's cup — or debtor's prison — what choice did she have?

None. For a moment she nearly gave in to opening the cage door to a wild hysteria. But truly, what would that accomplish other than possibly attracting the duke back to this chamber?

Sucking in a breath, she stood. So be it, then. If that were her fate, she'd do her best to not only embrace it but to conquer it. Mayhap across a sea, in a land of foreigners and anonymity, she'd finally be successful at blotting out her father's words. Indeed. She would be a success or die in the trying.

"I thank you for your kindness, but ..." She paused and angled her head for a clear view of the lady's face. "Why? Why do this for me?"

The duchess smiled. "You are a rare one, Miss Morgan. I have appreciated your candor, spoken with such grace and humility. An exceptional trait in a servant. You, I shall remember."

Blinking, Eleanor fought another round of tears. Had anyone ever been so kind? "Thank you, Your Grace. Neither shall I forget you."

"Pack up your things and ready yourself to leave. I will return shortly with a note of reference."

The duchess departed before Eleanor could think how to reply. In truth, though, what more was there to say? She relit the candle and tucked her two spare gowns into her traveling bag. By the time the lady returned, Eleanor had dressed haphazardly, slipped into her mantle, and tied her hat ribbon tightly beneath her chin.

"Here is the note, and also some money." The duchess stood in the doorway, holding out her hand. Creased and folded, a single banknote rested atop her palm along with a small parchment. "I grant 'tis not a large amount, but it should at least keep you fed on your journey."

Eleanor hesitated. She wasn't owed any wages for several more months. It didn't seem right, taking money from this lady. Still, her own paltry coins would get her nowhere.

Duchess Brougham stepped into the room only so far as to set her offering down upon the bureau. Before she turned to leave, she reached toward Eleanor, then slowly let her hand drop. "Godspeed, my dear."

With the closing of the door, the candle sputtered, fighting for life in the shadows left by the lady's departure. Eleanor stood, dazed, knowing she should move, should breathe, should ... something. How had her life come to this? And worse, what did the future hold? Gooseflesh rose on her forearms, and she fought the urge to whirl about and dive beneath the bedstead. She hadn't realized that allowing self-pity to enter her thoughts also invited fear to tag along, hand-in-hand.

Bear up. Bear up!

Despite her inner rallying cry, her heart skipped a beat. Too bad the silly thing didn't quit altogether, sparing her the horrors of traveling alone, unprotected. Bowing her head, she closed her eyes.

My precious Lord;
My only hope;
My Saviour, how I need You now.

CHAPTER 2

Two months later


Clutching the ship's railing with white knuckles, Eleanor closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. The salty tang of sea air did little to remove the stench clinging to her skirts and skin. Would she ever escape it? After seven weeks of sharing a coffin-sized pallet with two other women, it would take a miracle to scrub away the reek that soured her body, mind, and spirit.

Water purled against the hull, and she sighed, thoroughly sick of the sea. If land weren't sighted soon, she just might pitch herself into the black waters below and be done with it. For a moment, she held her breath, calculating just how long it would take before abandoning life to a cold, cold grave — then shivered from the horror of her twisted thoughts.

"Frightened, miss?"

The question pulled her safely back to the topside of the Charming Lucy, where she stood with one of her bunkmates. "No more than you, Molly. No more than any of us."

"Aye ... I suppose."

Eleanor glanced at the woman beside her, surprised once again at the courage contained in such a small frame. She herself could barely endure the voyage with the loss of comfort, her dignity, her dreams — and even her small valise, which had been stolen before she boarded. But Molly had lost so much more.

She laid her fingers atop Molly's arm, hoping to impart some measure of compassion. "Forgive me. I am a poor companion today, I think. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling. I am so sorry your husband ... that he ..."

"La, miss, don't fret." Molly patted her hand, then pulled back. "'Tis a sorry lot the fever took him. Dreadful way for Freddy to go, but his suffering's ended now. And truth be told ... I hardly knew him."

Eleanor gasped. "But you were his wife!"

Molly cast her a sideways glance.

Heat rushed to her cheeks. Would she never learn to keep her thoughts to herself? Why did the very same qualities she'd abhorred in her father flourish in her like so many weeds? "Oh, Molly, I have no right to voice such an astonishment. Please forgive —"

"No offense taken, miss. Why, you've been the gentlest soul I've encountered on this whole journey. The thing is" — she peeked farther down the railing where the finer ladies gathered, then inched closer to Eleanor — "Freddy and I were wed naught but two days afore we set sail, and even then I'd known him scarcely a fortnight. He was a charmer, but a stranger, nonetheless. Why, I feel I know you and Biz better than I ever did Freddy."

Eleanor frowned. Overhead, the sun ducked behind a cloud, as elusive as Molly's words. Though the woman's sentiment was common, Eleanor could barely understand it. Marriage for a governess was out of the question, but it didn't mean she hadn't considered what it might be like to be wed. If the opportunity were ever offered her — which it never would — she'd marry for love alone. Nothing less. On that she would not be moved.

Apparently Molly held other convictions. From the corner of her eye, Eleanor studied the woman's profile. Long lashes, surprisingly smooth skin, hair the rich color of dried tea leaves fresh from the Indies, though it'd not been washed in two months, or more. Yet even garbed in a filthy gown, there was no denying Molly's beauty. Surely many men had vied for her attention.

The ship canted, and Eleanor grabbed the railing. "Why, Molly? Why marry a man you did not know? The gentry do it out of necessity, but surely you were not forced into such a union."

A small smile curved her lips. "Nah, weren't nothing like that. Freddy, he ... well, he had this dream. It were like a faerie tale, miss. Freddy said after our five-year service, we'd have a little house on a little plot of land, with little ones runnin' around everywhere — all bright eyed and full bellied."

Her smile grew, lighting Molly's whole face and nearly pulling Eleanor headlong into Freddy's dream.

"Freddy's words filled me clear up with hope, miss. First time I ever felt so light. Like I were floating. You ever felt that way?"

A shadowed memory fought to surface. Light, love, promise ... despair. Even after all these years, the hurt was too deep, too raw. She blew out a sigh, dispelling the smallest whispers of remembrance, refusing to examine them. "Not often enough, I am afraid."

"Fear? Pah!" The words barged in from behind, accompanied by the clink of chain and drag of a cannonball across wooden planking.

A wad of chewed tobacco hit the deck beside Eleanor's skirt. A wiry woman, all bones and bluster, stared at her with eyes so blue and intense, it was a dare to simply meet her gaze. Eleanor couldn't help but smile. There was nothing subtle about Biz Hunter. The woman was inappropriate from the tip of her cursing tongue to the bottom hem of the man's waistcoat and jacket she wore over her filthy skirt. Even so, Eleanor admired her spunk and daring, though she claimed to be a year junior to Eleanor.

"Fear's for cowards!" Biz's voice rose to rival the flapping of the sails. "You won't last a day if you give in to such weak-kneed rot."

"We can't all be as brave as you, Biz." Molly's quiet tone couldn't have contrasted more.

"Aye." Biz cocked a brow. "That's a truth now, ain't it?"

In light of the sun, which had finally decided to break free from the clouds, a smirk slanted a defiant streak across Biz's face. Was the woman truly so fearless? Eleanor brushed an errant strand of hair from her eyes to gain a better view. "Do you not have a care who your new master will be?"

"Hah! I know who my master is." She thumped her thumb against her chest. "Me!"

"I own I'm a bit nervous." Molly smoothed her palms along her skirt, again and again, further wearing the threadbare fabric. Any more of that and she'd need to patch her patches. "Starvation in a familiar alley seems a mite more comforting than perishing on a foreign street."

Biz snorted. "The way I heared it, we're going to a land o' milk an' honey. And the way I sees it, the law did me a favor by packing me off on this tub o' boards. Good riddance to London town." She flourished her hand in the air, as one might flick off a horsefly.

Eleanor bit her lip instead of rolling her eyes at the woman's dramatics. No sense refuting Biz's embellishments. She lifted a smile to Molly instead. "I am sure Biz is correct. Whoever puts down money for you would not willingly see you perish. That would be a bad investment."

"La, miss." Molly quit smoothing her skirt. "Yer so smart."

"Not smart enough to travel with the real ladies, though, are you?" Biz nodded toward the upper-class passengers clustered near the bow. "I wonder why."

The challenge hung heavy on the air, like a squall about to break. As much as she liked Biz, she also wouldn't mind slapping the smirk off the woman's lips. "Curiosity is a dangerous virtue at times."

"And other times it pays off." Biz's eyes gleamed. Was she provoking on purpose, or did she really know something?

"All right, me beauties." One of Captain Fraser's men sauntered along the bulwark and joined them at the railing. The smell of hemp and hard work accompanied him. This was a change, for other than lewd comments, the sailors mostly kept their distance. Eleanor had thought it strange at first, until she realized were she in their shoes, she'd stay an arm's length away from death and disease as well.

The man lifted a finger, indicating the stairwell to the hold. "Time to take it below."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep. Copyright © 2016 Michelle Griep. 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.

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The Captive Heart (FREE PREVIEW) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast moving with adventures and mystery woven together. I would love to read more about their lives as they picked up the pieces at the stories end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Can't wait for another ....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was enthralled and cannot wait to finish it and wish it wouldn't end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
The Captive Heart***** by Michelle Griep Eleanor Morgan flees London for the Colonies to escape the wrath of an angry duke where she is to work for a Charles Town family. Only to find herself married to a man she has never met and taken far into a vast wilderness. A wilderness in which she knows nothing of, with challenges and dangers she never even dreamed of—evil men included. Nothing in her former life as a proper English governess prepared her for what she is now facing. Armed with her faith and love of children Eleanor faces each challenge with courage, determination and strength. Some of those challenges were dangerous—even life threatening—but she put into practice the lessons Samuel taught her despite her fears...not sure I could have, I would have fainted right on the spot in the same situation! I love the Cherokee name Samuel gives Eleanor, Tatsu'hwa: Red Bird, because of her red hair, which later becomes an endearment. Backwoodsman and trapper Samuel Heath needs a wife to help raise his young daughter, but ponders who would marry a man like him—whom some say is a murderer? Samuel is not the man he once was, he is a changed man as only God can change one. Now he lives his life to please God, not always easy, especially when he hasn't forgiven himself of his past. He is a man of integrity even as he comes across as a harsh man. This puzzles Eleanor at times as the days turn into weeks and they learn to live together. But can time heal the wounds they both have suffered and can they forgive others and themselves and learn to love and trust that God has a plan even in this? Will the evil that lurks, spreading its hate and destruction destroy any happiness they may have? Or will faith, love and hope cast out all fears? In The Captive Heart, Michelle Griep takes the reader to a young, beautiful and often perilous South Carolina of the 1770's. Vivid descriptions of Eleanor's travels from London aboard ship to the Colonies, the vast wilderness of Carolina and the Indian villages, weaving a gripping story with captivating characters that bring history to life.
MarB1 More than 1 year ago
Michelle Griep’s work is one of the best out there, in my opinion. With ‘The Captive Heart’ the author has reached my list of favorite-books-of-all-time. From page one, I was spellbound. Griep has an uncanny way to draw you into her stories and care for the characters like you’re one of them. Eleanor and Samuel were certainly among my all-time-favorites. The beautiful wilderness of South Carolina, a widowed man with a young daughter, and a young English woman who needs a new start are beginning a new life together in a small cabin in the woods, quite a distance from civilization. Having never lived in the wilderness, Eleanor is challenged on many levels; whether it is a bear or an Indian—she has never seen any of them and has to face many fears. Samuel brings a shameful past into the story and it is Eleanor’s task to unravel the mystery of the man and meanwhile protecting her heart from falling for him. This truly was a “Wow”- story that will live on in my heart for a long time.
BookwormMama2014 More than 1 year ago
There are a few times that I change-up my review schedule to accommodate a book. The Captive Heart is one such book. I kept hearing my friends praising Michelle Griep, and figured, I had better give it a try. WOW, I am so very glad I did. A compelling story of love and forgiveness. You will find a lot of adventure, mishaps, romance, and passion within these pages. I found this story not only tender and passionate between our hero and heroine, but also filled with the love and forgiveness of our Lord. His fierce love for us and His undying forgiveness is portrayed through this story. No matter what we go through, the trials that we see, the heartache we endure, the choices we make, He will never leave our side. Yet we must make the choice to walk in the light. To walk in His forgiveness and forgive ourselves. The minute you open The Captive Heart, you will find yourself transported back to Revolutionary America, and the tensions are high. With non stop adventures, you will find yourself unable to set this book down to you know, eat, cook, clean...With an excellent storyline and gracefully composed with an elegant hand, Michelle Griep has indeed captured my heart with this book. I received a complimentary copy of The Captive Heart through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
The Captive Heart is the first book I have read by Michelle Greip. I was pleasantly surprised. From the very first page I was drawn in. The characters were all very original, as was the storyline. I could never guess what was going to happen next, and loved every minute of it. When I was not reading the book, my mind kept wondering back to it, and what was going on. I will definitely be looking for more books by this author. The story takes place in 1770, and follows Eleanor as her life takes many unexpected twists and turns. Eleanor hasn't had the easiest life, and it doesn't appear that her luck is going to change anytime soon. Getting married to a stranger was never part of the plan, but what choice does she have? Samuel seems to have plenty secrets of his own and is happy to have a marriage in name only. But when she keeps finding herself in danger Samuel is right there to rescue her. And what woman can resist a hero? Will Eleanor want more than Samuel can give? Or will the situation be reversed? Let me just say that I fell in love with Samuel. He was such a different hero and I found him irresistible. It reminded me of how the more you get to know a person the better looking they can become. There was the perfect mixture of suspense and romance and I liked every minute of it. I really enjoyed this book and know you will too. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, all opinions expressed are my own.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
The Captive Heart is the first book I have read by Michelle Greip. I was pleasantly surprised. From the very first page I was drawn in. The characters were all very original, as was the storyline. I could never guess what was going to happen next, and loved every minute of it. When I was not reading the book, my mind kept wondering back to it, and what was going on. I will definitely be looking for more books by this author. The story takes place in 1770, and follows Eleanor as her life takes many unexpected twists and turns. Eleanor hasn't had the easiest life, and it doesn't appear that her luck is going to change anytime soon. Getting married to a stranger was never part of the plan, but what choice does she have? Samuel seems to have plenty secrets of his own and is happy to have a marriage in name only. But when she keeps finding herself in danger Samuel is right there to rescue her. And what woman can resist a hero? Will Eleanor want more than Samuel can give? Or will the situation be reversed? Let me just say that I fell in love with Samuel. He was such a different hero and I found him irresistible. It reminded me of how the more you get to know a person the better looking they can become. There was the perfect mixture of suspense and romance and I liked every minute of it. I really enjoyed this book and know you will too. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, all opinions expressed are my own.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I have to say, I am loving everything I read my Michelle. She truly is a talented author. From the very first chapter of this book I was drawn into Eleanor’s story and the journey she found herself on. Then was rough and tumble Samuel. Who on the inside is really trying to seek after God’s heart and will. I love his honesty in questioning what God is up to when Eleanor comes into his life. How often do we do that same thing? From their first meeting I could sense the tension would be great between these two characters and as they tried to fight growing feelings my heart ached for them. I can’t forget sweet Grace, Samuel’s little girl who will pull at your heartstrings. So many yummy layers to this book. If you enjoy a good historical romance this is a great one! A copy of this book was given to my through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good .?
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Eleanor, a governess, escapes England when her employer makes advances. She expects to be met by a man needing a governess for his children. When the man doesn't show up, she's purchased by Samuel to become a mother for his daughter. She doesn't expect the wild man who insists on marriage, but being penniless leaves her with no other option. This book begins with a bang and proceeds in the same way through the rest of the plot. Intrigue, suspense, and drama dog the footsteps of the couple as they try to weed their way through cultural differences, the beginnings of love, and a fledgling faith. I enjoyed the plot and how the author wove intricate details into the story. The character development was good and the backdrop for the story was well described and brought the story to life. I enjoy historical fiction, but don't usually pick this time period. I was glad that I did and I hope to enjoy more by this author in the future. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
June0 More than 1 year ago
Samuel needs a mother for his young daughter. When Eleanor arrives in America she finds herself forced to make a match with Samuel due to circumstances beyond her control. Nothing goes as she had planned. She finds herself loving the time she spends with little Grace but where is Samuel running off to all the time? And when he is around, he keeps getting hurt because of her. Did she do the right thing agreeing to marry him? My first book from this author. I really enjoyed it. Well developed characters and plenty of action and emotional circumstances. I'll be looking for more. Thanks to NetGalley for a digital copy of this great story.
Dawncatlady More than 1 year ago
Eleanor , an English governess, is forced to travel to the colonies with the promise of a job . Upon losing the reference , her shipmates and she are sold for the passage money after docking in Charles Towne. Enter Samuel, a trapper from the upcountry , looking for a caregiver for his daughter . Eleanor agrees to marriage and embarks on a journey to the land of the Cherokees with her new family. Mischief and danger is afoot from many sources and secrets to test the loyalty of the heart. Really enjoyed reading about colonial South Carolina with the upcountry settling . Enjoyed these characters as they found their paths growing together for a firm future. Ebook from Netgalley and publishers with thanks. Opinions are my own.
DianaFlow More than 1 year ago
In The Captive Heart, author Michelle Griep pens a spellbinding saga that sweeps the reader away to the heart of the strikingly beautiful, but perilous wilderness of South Carolina—fraught on every hand with wild animals, savage Indians, harsh elements, and unscrupulous, evil men. After her brute of an employer makes unwanted advances towards her, elegant English governess, Eleanor Morgan, has little choice but to flee to the colonies. When the family she is to work for never shows up, Eleanor is forced to settle for the only option available—marriage to a trapper and tracker who is determined to find a mother for his little girl, Grace. Samuel Heath is looked upon by many as a murderer with a scarred face, hair as wild as a Gypsy's, and piercing, penetrating eyes. Eleanor finds him quite frightening and enigmatic, but in spite of his brawny, formidable persona, he treats her as one should a lady—never stepping beyond the bounds of propriety—while continuing to protect her from dreadfully precarious situations. Just who is this mysterious man and why do the Cherokee Indians hold him in such high esteem, but not the gossiping townsfolk? And why does the prim governess's heart do a strange dance when he draws a bit too close for comfort? I have heard so many marvelous things about this author that my curiosity finally got the best of me and I decided to read her work. WOW! Talk about someone's heart doing a strange dance!? Mine was definitely racing out of control right along with Eleanor's during a wild animal attack, a terrible forest fire, and umm, well...definitely every time the the hunky hero showed up on the scene! lol Michelle Griep knows how to write an emotionally gripping novel that keeps the reader glued to every page...with complex, multi-faceted characters, descriptive prose, and suspense! Not to mention breathtaking romantic tension that left me weak in the knees. Oh my! I'm definitely a new fan and anxiously await her next book! If you don't read another novel again this year — BE.SURE.NOT.TO.MISS.THIS.ONE!
kymtmd More than 1 year ago
Eleanor Morgan has been a governess in a fine British home, but after the master of the house tries to force himself on her, her only choice is to flee to the American colonies. Upon arrival in the Carolinas, she discovers that her letter of reference and her money are gone - and with them, her hope of a respectable position as an indentured servant. Samuel Heath is a backwoodsman with little use for the town where he is generally reviled as a savage and even a murderer; but he wants his child to be raised with proper manners, and decides the only way to do that is to take on an indentured servant so little Grace can be brought up with English ways. And the only respectable option for him and for Eleanor is for them to marry. Eleanor quickly falls in love with the little girl, but everything about frontier life is foreign to her and she is frustrated by her own mistakes and ignorance that put her and Grace at risk sometimes, and that seem to try Samuel's patience. Little by little, though, Eleanor and Samuel learn to trust each other, and to consider the possibilities of real love and intimacy between them. Just as their relationship is showing promise, circumstances arise that cause them both to give in to mistrust and fear. I was drawn into this story right from the beginning, and I kept turning pages wondering about the details of the characters' past hurts and how the conflicts would resolve. I was a little frustrated at how long I had to wait to get the information on Eleanor's background, and then it was more hinted at than fully explained. I felt rather the same about Samuel's family history. The main characters were interesting, and their internal conflicts and the circumstances they dealt with were complex. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Ericka_nicole More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!! Once again Michelle Griep does it again! Eleanor escaped England and wants a fresh start, Samuel wants a mother for his daughter. In the end love prevails. I love how the story was richly written and makes you picture he wilderness of America in those early days. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
The Captive Heart is a frontier adventure you don’t want to miss! Michelle Griep takes readers to the Carolina backcountry, and with vibrant details and descriptions, brings to life the ruggedness of the American wilderness. All of the characters are richly drawn, and I loved Samuel and Eleanor and their tumultuous journey. Drama and danger abound as these two face numerous threats, all the time fighting to survive in the face of adversity. Bringing to mind The Last of the Mohicans, I was captivated by this story and would love to read more about these memorable characters! I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
BonnieRoof More than 1 year ago
Carolina backcountry - 1770 Abused by her employer, English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to America - with the promise of a governess position with an upstanding family in Charles Town. One and a half weeks after her ship docks Eleanor's prospective employer has yet to arrive. To avoid her being sold off to the highest bidder, her only option is to marry backwoodsman trapper Samuel Heath - who needs a mother for his toddler daughter, Grace - in exchange for payment of her passage. Having lived in elegance in England, Eleanor must now adjust to life in a tiny primitive log cabin in the American wilderness - a land fraught with wild animals, the threat of war, and other dangers. Hidden secrets, feelings of unworthiness, incompetence, and guilt wrack both Eleanor and Samuel - making a difficult situation even more so for both. 'The Captive Heart' is the first work of Michelle Griep's I've read - I can truly say my reader's heart was held "captive" while reading it. The descriptive writing, realistic characters, adventure, suspense, and romantic thread were so compelling I yearned to be able to devour the book in one sitting. I struggled, sympathized, and shared happiness with the characters - cared for them, and was inspired by the element of faith in this story of hope, forgiveness, redemption, perseverance, and love. I would love to read a sequel to Eleanor and Samuel's story, I eagerly anticipate reading more of Michelle Griep's novels! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was not required to write a positive review. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was not required to write a positive review.
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
The Captive Heart is a thoroughly entertaining and engaging story that captures the emotions. It contains two of my favorite things – Colonial America setting and marriage of convenience. My opinion of this book can be summed up in one word: more! I want more of the Colonial era, more of these characters, and more from Michelle Griep. The Captive Heart stands out in the areas that matter most to me … Setting – The South Carolina backcountry of 1770 is so vividly portrayed and is such an important part of the story that it becomes a major character. The CBA doesn’t publish many books set during my favorite period of history, the American Revolutionary era, so I was eager to read The Captive Heart. Michelle’s writing is somewhat lyrical and the multi-faceted characters spring off the page. In a time where the loyalties of families and friends were split between the Crown and the Sons of Liberty, this is the first novel I’ve seen that focuses on the role played by the Cherokee nation. I’ve visited Cherokee, NC and seen the play, Unto These Hills, so this theme touched me. Characterization – Samuel and Eleanor are richly-drawn, appealing characters. And what an unlikely pair! Eleanor fled England for America with the promise of employment as a governess awaiting her, only to find herself forced into indentured servanthood – and then marriage to a stranger. To me, she is the perfect blend of intelligence, femininity, strength and vulnerability. Samuel is a backwoodsman, half Cherokee, a man who “wore authority like a second skin.” And he has the most precious daughter! Romance – I loved watching their relationship build over several months’ time, growing from strangers uncomfortable with each other, to mutual respect, to undeniable attraction. The chemistry between them is so real and heartfelt. Michelle certainly knows how to write scenes that make you melt. Spirituality – Both Eleanor and Samuel had backgrounds that colored their present thoughts, behaviors and attitudes, and their relationship literally opened a floodgate in both of them. Samuel had come to Christ at the end of a sinful past before the story opens, and I loved seeing redemption played out in his life – more through action than words. But although he had accepted God’s forgiveness, he couldn’t forgive himself, as many of us can relate to. There’s so much to enjoy in The Captive Heart, including Eleanor’s two friends from the voyage, Biz and Molly. As I said at the beginning, I really want more of everything, so I hope this is the beginning of a series. Highly recommended. I received this book free of charge from the publisher.
Nutz2read More than 1 year ago
I’m going to be honest: this wasn’t a book I enjoyed very much. I’ve been a fan of Michelle Griep’s work since stumbling across her blog over a year ago and laughing my way through pretty much every post, so when I saw she had a new book coming out, I was so excited! And it’s a marriage of convenience story? Yes, I most definitely want to read it! Unfortunately, it didn’t quite meet my expectations, much to my dismay. I struggled to get into it, actually looking for excuses to not read, and sighing with relief when I reached a rather suspenseful part and the storyline picked dramatically. I rarely find novels set in Colonial times in America, so I was looking forward to that aspect of it, but found it sounded so much like another series I had read, that I fought to keep the two separate in my mind. I found myself checking the cover a time or two in order to verify the author’s name, otherwise I would’ve sworn it was an addition to the previous series. Having only read one of Ms. Griep’s previous books I can’t claim to be any sort of expert, but this book sounded nothing like the style I’m familiar with for her writing. It was neatly written, with all of the necessary historical detail and descriptions to bring the scenes to life, but the contrast was so blunt that I had to wonder: was this even her writing? The first few chapters started out with such promise, meeting colorful and quirky characters, but then it just seemed to fall rather flat. I struggled to connect with any of the characters and quickly lost interest in the story. Eleanor often came across as spoiled and easily frightened and too uptight to possibly survive in the wilderness. She doesn’t seem to really adapt much at all to her surroundings, a fact that made the ending rather unbelievable and left me feeling disappointed. Much of the story is spent hoping she’ll accept the challenges of her new life and thrive, but she doesn’t appear to succeed. Samuel is the character I saw the most growth in and I looked forward to the story coming from his perspective, because it is what kept things moving ahead. The suspense and climax of the story are of his doing, so I knew something interesting had to arise whenever it switched to his view point. Several of the chapters seemed to consist of Eleanor left at home, struggling to survive, while Samuel went off somewhere to hunt. I’m sure this may have been reality, but I found it slowed the story down significantly and I really wanted them to spend more time together, to see their relationship grow. It did pick up around three-quarters of the way through the book, but by then I really wasn’t interested in knowing what would happen and simply wanted to reach the end. I also found it confusing that Samuel called Eleanor by a different name and I actually forgot what her real name was for a while, since the story came from his perspective so often. Overall, I can say that I finished this book. I didn’t enjoy every second of it and I’m not entirely sure I would recommend it to anyone, but I did finish it. My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book! I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
ASCBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Passion, danger, a land on the brink of war! Michelle takes the passion just as far as I want any Christian fiction love story to go. This is definitely a book for more mature readers, with a touch of innuendo, but nothing overly explicit. The passion of these two runs deep! Filled with danger and secrets I didn't want to put this book down, and when I had to I couldn't wait to pick it back up. As a matter of fact, when I reached the last sentence I wanted to start all over at the beginning and read it again!!!!! I LOVE how spunky Eleanor is, and while I thought Samuel needed to work on his communication skills I still loved him! LOL! Plus those sub characters! :D LOVE THEM!!! They leave you longing for more books with them at the fore front!!!! I personally wish there had been a few more prayers from the characters, but love the addition of what's woven in. This is a GREAT journey filled with love, loss, joy, sadness, shocks, twists, passion, history, Faith, laughter, and SO much more! Songs: "Worth It" by Francesca Battistelli, " Songs etc. May be changed and/or added in the future. ~ASC Jeremiah 29:11 ~ASC *I received this book from Barbour for the purpose of reviewing it. This in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings about The Captive Heart. ~ASC
BrendaLee More than 1 year ago
Quality: 5 Value: 5 Meets Expectations: 5 Well I really don't know what to say other than "WOW"! The cover drew me in to start with and I knew I had to read this book even before I received a copy. I love books way back in the 1700 -1800s! Starting out as a governess in a dukes house in London, and because of certain circumstances, Eleanor ends up on a ship to America. She was scared to death but tried to be brave. She ended up being an indentured servant to Samuel, a man who needed a lady to raise his child. With war facing her and Samuel and having divided loyalties they still must survive and face the challenge before them. Emotional, dangers, and romance; what's not to like? I loved this story! If I could give this book 10 stars I would! Let me say "Yay" this time because this is my first book by this author and I can read the rest of her books!! I have found another new author that I love! You must read this book if you like historical fiction! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic story. Once Eleanor makes it to America how is she going to survive. Her indenture is bought out by a man who needs a woman to raise his daughter properly. Eleanor is scared when she first meets Samuel. Samuel isn't sure if he wants to support the crown or the Sons of Liberty. Many things happen in this story and the romance is good also. I received this book from Barbour for a fair and honest opinion.
TheFlawedStitch More than 1 year ago
I have not read a Michelle Griep book before, but if her other works are as good as this one, I'm hooked! From the first page to the last written word my attention, as well as my heart, was held captive by this beautifully written historical saga. From England to the new colonies in North America, aristocrats, servants, soldiers, savages, loyal friends and traitors traverse the pages and weave a tale of forgiveness, grace, redemption and enduring love. Having barely escaped her abusive aristocratic employer, governess Eleanor Morgan finds her life turned upside down. With the tiny remaining morsel of her dignity, a pittance of coins and a plan for employment in the new world across the great ocean, circumstances change and Eleanor unexpectedly finds herself forever attached to a backwoodsman in a foreign land she never dreamed could be so wild or so dangerous. Eleanor struggles to find her way in this strange land, but finds she has to continuously fight the taunting voices of her past, echoes of her unworthiness, and feelings of lonesomeness. Will she ever be anything more than someone's property? Samuel Heath has secluded himself and his young daughter, Grace, deep in the woods miles from Newcastle, a small community of settlers in colonial North Carolina. As much as he would relish leaving behind all society and everything it has to offer, Samuel desires to give his young daughter a proper upbringing, no matter the cost. Little does he know what this will mean to his heart or his solitude. And finding himself attached to an English woman is the last thing Samuel wants, but exactly where he finds himself. Haunted by his past indiscretions and the death of his first wife, Samuel guards his heart against this wisp of a woman with a gruff outward demeanor and frequent forays into the woods to hunt with his blood brother and friend, a "savage" Cherokee brave. As Eleanor and Samuel fight to find common ground, new obstacles threaten to destroy all they have begun to build together. Every bend in the road, every twist of truth, every calculated look, places their very lives at risk. Will Eleanor and Samuel ever be able to get beyond all these intrusive interruptions to find the plan God has for their lives? Will they be able to survive all that threatens their very existence? Because the author used great care and detail to relay Eleanor's and Samuel's story, I found myself living in the pages of this book. I traveled from England to North Carolina, I snuggled little Grace, I faced a raging bear and a blazing fire. I felt the same self-doubt Eleanor experienced, and I intimately knew the struggles Samuel dealt with. This book is packed full of adventure, plot twists, drama, humor, love and suspense and chock full of spiritual truth and wisdom. I loved it! I recommend this book to all who love a good historical romance. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a favorable review and the honest opinions expressed here are my own.