Author: Michele Paige Holmes
Published Date: April 2011
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Softcover: 255 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
FTC FYI: I received a free review copy from the author that did not affect my review.
From the back cover:
Emmalyne Madsen sends a desperate plea heavenward as a band of lawless men makes their way up the aisle of the railcar. When one hauls her roughly from the seat, threatening and cursing, Emmalyne fears her adventure out West has just turned into a nightmare.
Thayne Kendrich has an urgent need for a school teacher, and he’s not above doing whatever it takes to get one-including forcing her at gunpoint across the scorching prairie. But the teacher he chooses turns out to be a little tougher-and softer-than he anticipated, and before long he finds himself battling emotions he vowed to never feel again.
Michele begins Captive Heart by pulling the reader in from the first page, during the kidnapping of Emmalyne from the train. She is on her way to teach in Sterling, but the bandit who takes her has different plans.
The action doesn’t stop once they’re off the train. Emmalyne isn’t about to be hauled off without putting up a fight, sometimes getting herself into worse trouble because of it. It doesn’t take long for her to realize, though, that her kidnapper is much more than he appears.
Thayne found what he was looking for: a plain-looking school teacher. He didn’t expect that she’d be so much trouble. Circumstances drove him to desperate action, and he joined the Martin gang to carry out his plan. He has a feeling that they won’t let his sudden disappearance simply slide. He needs to get himself and this surprising woman to the Black Hills before the Martin gang finds them.
Both Emmalyne and Thayne are written with depth and purpose. During the course of the story, especially the first half, I empathized with Emmalyne and her resentment of being forced into going somewhere she doesn’t want to go. As the story developed I started feeling for Thayne and what was driving him to do what he was doing. I really enjoyed the twist of having the initial “bad buy” become the “good guy” in the end.
I was swept along in the story not just because of the well-written action, but the natural way Emmalyne and Thayne’s relationship developed. It never felt forced, contrived or unbelievable. And their first kiss – woohoowee! Good stuff.
One of the things Michele and I have in common is that we love a good romance novel. We are also particular about what we consider a good romance novel. I know this care and passion for good writing is why I enjoy Michele’s books so much. Captive Heart is going up on my shelf of favorite romance novels, next to Courting Miss Lancaster and Cross My Heart. I’m already looking forward to reading it again. Maybe tonight…
Rating: 4.5 stars
Recommended: to anyone who loves a good story and a great romance
Sexual- kisses, no inappropriate touching or sex
Drugs & Alcohol- none