The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep is a lush historical romance set during colonial times in America. Our heroine, Eleanor, is an English governess who is sent there to escape a lecherous employer. Eleanor has a letter of reference for when she arrives, and a bit of money, but both of those things are stolen. Eleanor has no choice but to be sold into indenture. A trapper, Samuel Heath, who is full of secrets and a past that won't leave him alone, decides to marry Eleanor in a marriage of convenience so he can have a mother for his young daughter. Yet, Eleanor and Samuel come from such different worlds, can they ever find common ground and truly be a family?
I really enjoyed the expertly drawn characters of Samuel and Eleanor. They both had quite a bit of emotional baggage going into the marriage and their efforts to overcome it all and understand each other is what makes this book so intriguing. The mystery of Samuel's past teases us throughout the book, but once revealed, gives us a three dimensional picture of this character and what drives him. Eleanor is trying to find her place in a new world---almost the opposite of the one she was brought up in. She is a fish out of water, but works hard to belong, which makes her relatable and likable since we all have that drive to be part of something. The setting is well done and the prejudices against Native Americans is poignant and realistic. And if that wasn't enough to draw in the reader, there is a little spy story on the side that will keep you turning pages.
Michelle Griep is a new author to me and I will definitely be looking for more from this author.
Here's the back copy:
Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. 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.
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