You know how sometimes you pick up a book and just. can't. stop. reading. even though it's past your bedtime? It used to happen to me a lot. I have childhood memories of huddling under my covers with a flashlight, reading the latest Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, or Baby-Sitters Club book I'd gotten from the library. As I got older, the books changed and the lights remained on, but the late-night reading continued. Then I developed a chronic illness, and I realized just how important a good night's sleep was to my health. Now, I'm in bed (sans flashlight) by 10:30 most nights, and I get 7-1/2 to 8 hours of sleep.
Except on those rare occasions when I encounter an "unputdownable" book ... like Michelle Griep's The Captive Heart.
Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a an angry duke. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.
I actually had the opportunity to get a review copy of The Captive Heart, and I passed on it. (That summary could be a little more engaging, don't you think?) Then I saw all these great reviews coming from bloggers I respect, and I regretted my decision. Earlier this year, Amazon had a sale on the Kindle version, and I got it for $0.79.
Best. Decision. Ever.
The Captive Heart is not a perfect book—I found myself annoyed with both Samuel and Eleanor as they continually (internally) put themselves down, and a few plot points were left unresolved at the end—but it sure is an enjoyable one!
I began reading it on my lunch break yesterday (even though I have other books I'm supposed to be reading), and then I picked it up again after supper, and I didn't put it down until I finished it at 12:15 a.m. For the first half of the book, I kept telling myself, "I'll quit after the next chapter." But once I got past the 50% mark, my thinking changed to, "It won't take me that much longer to finish!" I was completely captivated, to say the least.
The story—which revolves around English woman Eleanor trying to adjust to frontier life with Samuel and his daughter Grace while Samuel balances his loyalty to his Cherokee roots with his responsibilities as a guide and tracker for the British and his growing support for the Sons of Liberty—is interesting, but, let's be real ... I was in it for the romance. And what a romance it is!
Samuel and Eleanor's first almost-kiss is one of the most memorable I've ever read. Then when they do finally have that first kiss, it's pretty memorable, too. I also loved how respectful Samuel was of Eleanor's feelings and her body. Though they were married, he made it very clear that he wouldn't touch her unless she wanted him to ... and he stuck to his promise. *Swoon*
The Captive Heart is the first book by Michelle Griep that I've read, but I'm sure it won't be my last. This was easily the most enjoyable reading experience I've had so far this year—so while I'm giving it an overall 4-1/2 stars, it deserves about an 8 for the enjoyment factor!
Buy the book.
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: THE CAPTIVE HEART, BRENTWOOD’S WARD, A HEART DECEIVED, UNDERCURRENT and GALLIMORE, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery OUT OF THE FRYING PAN. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”