As a writer I love to study her turn of a sentence, her ability to set the reader in a scene, and most importantly her...moreHedlund’s novels are excellent.
As a writer I love to study her turn of a sentence, her ability to set the reader in a scene, and most importantly her breathtaking love scenes that are clean and oh so romantic. Yes, they are that good.
In her latest release, Captured by Love, Hedlund has again created vivid fictional characters and placed them in a historical setting that is packed with facts of true events.
The story takes place in the 1800s on Michilimackinac Island better known by most of the world as Mackinac Island which is in northern Michigan. Michilimackinac was a pivotal location and very important to the fur trade industry, which made it prime land wanted by both England and the United States.
When the War of 1812 broke out, the Americans had controlled the island for nearly 15 years. At the beginning of the war, the American captain lost charge of the fort after the British invaded. Hedlund has laced her novel with actual events of that time and has done it through strong characters.
Angelique MacKenzie is a protagonist who has struggled all her life. Being raised by her step-father—who is a mean, horrible man—she has learned to go without. What really makes Angelique memorable is her compassion. Even though she’s nearly starving, she manages to take food to a blind woman, Miriam Durante. Poor Miriam has had to fend for herself with one son exiled for his loyalty to the Americans and one son gone because he is a fur trader. Miriam would have starved if it weren’t for Angelique providing what food she could.
See, already you like Angelique and are empathetic toward Miriam. But the story gets even better.
Enter Pierre Durante, Miriam's fur trading son. He has it all: rakish good looks, a bit of wanderlust in his veins, and a love for Angelique that he tries to ignore—since she’s supposedly engaged to his elder brother—but can’t. Pierre comes back to the island to trade his furs and finds his mother living in deplorable conditions. Right away he dives in to make things better. And he’s touched that Angelique has watched over his mother the best she could in her circumstances.
Does Pierre stay on the island to take care of his mother and also to claim Angelique’s heart?
Does Angelique fall for Pierre when she’s promised to marry his brother?
Does the brother arrive and upset Pierre’s plans?
Do the Americans attack and reclaim the fort?
Or do the British maintain their hold on the land and the people?
Some of the answers to these questions might surprise you, but learn for yourself and read this wonderful book. (less)
The Doctor’s Lady is a wonderful read full of everything you expect and more. It's about a young missionary couple determined to set up a mission in t...moreThe Doctor’s Lady is a wonderful read full of everything you expect and more. It's about a young missionary couple determined to set up a mission in the Oregon Country to help the Nez Perce natives. It’s the story about travelers on the Oregon Trail and the hardships they endured, but mostly it’s the story of a couple destined to be together and find love.
Doctor Eli Earnest is a rugged explorer of the West. The Nez Perce Indians want him to buy some of their land and set up a medical clinic and mission. He returns east with two young Nez Perce men in an effort to raise money to do so. However, once he raised the needed funds the Board of Missions won’t let him journey west until he marries.
FYI: The Mission Board during this time really did require those going into the mission field to be married.
Enter Priscilla White, a beautiful woman, who has refused to marry because she is unable to have children, has her heart set on traveling to India to do God’s work. She’s hoping the Board will make an exception in her case and not require her to marry. She is devastated when they reject her petition. But when she’s approached with the idea to marry Dr. Earnest and go with him, she readjusts her thinking and realizes that this may be an answer to her prayers.
FYI: At this time a white woman had never been west of the Continental Divide. Many believed that the West was no place for a lady. The women who had tried to live there were sent home in coffins.
Against Eli’s better judgment, he agrees to marry Priscilla, but promises her that once they arrive in Oregon Country, if she feels she can’t handle the hard life, he will give her an annulment and send her home. Their marriage becomes a business arrangement that will give them both what they want.
However, on their journey they are met with one hardship after another that tests their dedication not only to missionary work, but also to their “business” arrangement. After all this is historical romance.
FYI: This novel was based on the true story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. She was lauded as the first white woman (along with Eliza Spalding) to cross the Continental Divide and travel to the far West. Jody Hedlund says about Narcissa in her author’s notes, “Because of her willingness to brave the unknown, she [Narcissa] led the way for many women who would follow in her footsteps on what would later become known as the Oregon Trail.”
Hedlund has done her homework on this novel and it shows in the wonderful imagery and moving story about two people beating the odds and finding love.(less)
This novel should appeal to young adults and adults alike. It offers a lot of action and adventure mixed with romance. Most of the story is told in tw...moreThis novel should appeal to young adults and adults alike. It offers a lot of action and adventure mixed with romance. Most of the story is told in two view points: Ammon and Elena (the woman who captures his heart).
The main character Ammon lives up to his name being the strong, tall, handsome Nephite prince who has renounced the throne to serve God by spreading the gospel in enemy territory.
Elena is a wonderful leading lady in this tale, who is adventurous and handy with a bow and arrow. She has a strong loyalty to family and especially her father. And, of course, she's very pretty.
I really enjoyed this book. Moore had quite a task of telling a story that many LDS people already know, but she's added wonderful layers making the tale come to life with setting and tension. I loved reading scenes based on the story in the Book of Mormon and seeing how she handled them.
As always Moore's writing is smooth and draws the reader in. I especially like how she added character thoughts that ring true. For example, in a tender scene between Elena and Ammon, Elena thinks ..."She knew he had been born a prince and was meant for something greater than defending the king's flocks, yet in her eyes, his greatest service had been making her feel valued." Moore hit a universal theme. All women want to feel valued.
Told from a different point of view, this Christmas story was stunning. I felt the sand beneath my feet, heard the jingle of camel bells, and could al...moreTold from a different point of view, this Christmas story was stunning. I felt the sand beneath my feet, heard the jingle of camel bells, and could almost taste honeyed lemon peel and almonds. Great sensory details. A fascinating look at the wise men. (less)
Do you want a fun read with lots of intrigue that has sleuthing by two wonderful main characters who would rival Agatha Christie's Poirot? Well I've f...moreDo you want a fun read with lots of intrigue that has sleuthing by two wonderful main characters who would rival Agatha Christie's Poirot? Well I've found it in G.G. Vandagriff's book The Hidden Branch. This book is just plain fun! Not only does the mystery of the novel twist and turn, but so does your heart as you follow the characters and worry over them. My heart sank when Charles, Alex's fiance, has to leave to go to his dying mother. Though I hadn't read the previous book in the series, which showed the struggle of these two lovebirds getting together, that didn't stop me from rooting for them to maintain their love. (I'm going to have to read the other books in the series now. Thanks, G.G.) You'll have to read The Hidden Branch to find out if Charles comes back, and if Alex's love for him will survive as she works with Briggie to solve this murder mystery.(less)
I loved this book! The author was able to use humor in very delicate situations and turn it around so the reader felt the sorrow and yet saw hope. Exc...moreI loved this book! The author was able to use humor in very delicate situations and turn it around so the reader felt the sorrow and yet saw hope. Excellent!(less)
Great read of this infamous case in 1857 of Scott vs Sanford. At first I found the shifts of time and point of views confusing, but as I got into the...moreGreat read of this infamous case in 1857 of Scott vs Sanford. At first I found the shifts of time and point of views confusing, but as I got into the book I realized how important they were to show the complexity of this case and the people involved. Not a fast read, but well worth the time.(less)