25 September 2014

Review: Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

Excellent Historical Detail

Angelique Mackenzie lives on remote Michilimacinac Island, Michigan Territory, in 1814. The island is occupied by the British, and all the loyal American men have left, including her fiancĂ©, Jean Durant, but not her cruel step-father. With Spring comes the return of Jean’s handsome and adventurous older brother, Pierre … who Angelique had feelings for even as a young girl.

I don’t know what I think about Captured By Love. The writing was good, the research was excellent and I got a real feeling of time and place, but something didn’t work for me.

I didn’t like the love triangle. It’s not that I’m against the concept of a love triangle as a plot device, but this felt too contrived (especially as one character kept returning as if from the dead). Perhaps it was because I didn’t like the choice Angelique had to make: honour, or love (and I couldn’t help but think that it was never a choice she should have had to make).

I didn’t like Ebenezer. There was nothing redeeming about his character. It could be said that at least he financially supported his step-daughter, but I’m sure he more than recouped that with the bride–price he extracted. And none of the other characters felt real. It was as though they all existed merely to propel Angelique’s story along.

The Christian elements were a strange combination of not enough and too much. Not enough, because I never got the impression Angelique had any great (or even small) faith in God. Too much, because the climax depended on her supposed spiritual revelation. I wanted to love Captured By Love, and while I was totally engrossed by the historical setting and the war between the British and the Americans, I was less engrossed by the actual plot and characters.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Jody Hedlund at her website.

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