|To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino|
Set in 1653, "To Capture Her Heart", is book 2 of the Southold Chronicles—a series inspired by the author, Rebecca DeMarino's, ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton. Rebecca transports the reader, with adventure and suspense, to the wild land that eventually becomes Long Island, New York.
The conflict between its people - Dutch and English settlements, as well as tribes of the Montaukett and Narragansett - play an important part in the development of the story. There is much doubt and unrest as to where one's loyalties should lie - word traveling slowly from the court in New Haven, Connecticut, and the English uncertain as to whether they are at war with the Dutch, who are giving the Indians firearms. The English are concerned their interests will be compromised if the natives interfere. Having suffered much in their homeland, they want the peace of worshiping in their own way, without interference from others. They hold a strong belief they must keep those who profess a different faith-out of Southold.
Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, and her groom, Keme, are celebrating their wedding feast when the village is attacked by the rival Narragansett tribe - murdering Keme and others, as well as kidnapping Heather Flower and thirteen other women of her tribe. Even though her ransom is paid by Englishman, Lion Gardner, Heather Flower is bound by her captors and left to die.
There is an attraction on the part of both, when Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren is chosen to lead a militia to rescue her. Still grieving from the loss of Keme, and not yet ready to return home to the scene of the massacre, she stays with her aunt Winnie at the Corchaug village in Southold, near the home of English friends Barnabas and Mary Horton and family. As she heals, Heather Flower finds herself torn between her affection for Dirk and her long-time friendship with Ben Horton, son of Barnabas. At the same time, she worries she will lose a part of herself by living in the white man's world; her mother is much more concerned with their race being obliterated through intermarriage than about Heather Flower's heart and love.
I became thoroughly engrossed in the characters of "To Capture Her Heart", and enjoyed learning more of the history, customs, and people of that era and area. Rebecca DeMarino paints a story rich with heart-warming family scenes, realistic characters, and vivid descriptions that capture the reader's heart and imagination - there is inspiration from the strong element of faith in trusting God to provide. It is a beautiful story of romance - a woman torn between her heart's desire, uncertainty, and feelings of obligation. A shocking twist in the final pages provides a heart-warming conclusion - "To Capture Her Heart" definitely whetted my appetite and desire for reading books 1 ("A Place in His Heart") and 3 of the series, also!
Giveaway: We're giving away a paperback copy this week on OWG blog. You'll have two opportunities to enter the drawing. So leave a comment on this blog and on Diana's review on Thursday to get two entries for winning the book!