Angelique Mackenzie has known a life of hardship. And while her depraved stepfather has kept a roof over her head Angelique’s life has been anything but happy. Now that she’s eighteen she has no doubt her stepfather will soon be marrying her off to the highest bidder just as he did her elder sister, which resulted in the latter’s death. With war keeping everything hopping on Michilimackinac Island Angelique must tread lightly in a world that is falling apart around her. When her childhood friend, Pierre Durant, returns unexpectedly all the feeling Angelique had thought she had conquered return with vengeance as she tries to sort out her thoughts. Fearful of becoming a woman of loose morals like her mother was Angelique’s personal battle grows intense. She must make the right decision or risk everything she holds dear.
I have had less than desirable experiences with books by Jody Hedlund so it was with a little apprehension I picked up Captured by Love. Overall those apprehensions can be considered unfounded. I was immediately emotionally engaged with the characters. Even those who never made an appearance in the story I felt as if I knew them rather well through the descriptions and gradual release of backstories. The story line was perhaps a little cliche, but Hedlund did very well in bringing everything to life.
I’m not sure how I feel about some elements though. I realize that in the 17th century that for most people good morals were held in high regard, but that the “dress code” wasn’t exactly modest in fashionable circles. When Angelique is trussed up in a dress given to her by an officer’s daughter she feels (and quite frankly “she is“) unclothed. And Pierre ogles (perhaps too strong a word, but very close to it) her and admits he likes her new look as opposed to the dull clothes she is forced to wear by Ebenezer (stepfather). Come to that, honestly Ebenezer has some good ideas but he is really a disgusting character. I’m curious why in movies and books writers choose to portray characters with conservative ideas as fanatics and hypocrites. Anyway, that would probably fall under pet peeve since we did have one voice of reason throughout the story which would be Pierre’s mother. Kudos to the author for that. Overall worth a read if you like stories about characters who struggle to come to grips with their faults and improve themselves.
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” we would like to note that we received an electronic copy of “Captured by Love” provided by the publishers Bethan House, through NetGalley.com in exchange for our honest review.