It’s been a while since I read this as a shortlist judge for the INSPYs last year, but I want to share a brief review of it because it is a solid story from Jody Hedlund.
It is 1814 and the British have taken hold of Mackinac Island and its fort, forcing American residents to swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a voyageur–a fur trader who left his family home to find freedom and adventure. He’s been gone five years and when he returns, his family’s farm is at the mercy of the British invaders.
Torn between the life he’s grown used to and guilt over leaving his brother and mother, he’s drawn back into the loyalist fight against the British–and into a relationship with Angelique Mackenzie, a beautiful local girl who’s been befriended by the daughter of the British commander. As tensions mount and the threat of violence increases, both Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties rest, how far they will go to find freedom, and how much they will risk to find love.
Jody has written another great story with themes of honor and sacrifice. With meticulous attention to historical details woven into the lives of these characters, I thought it a fresh take on a historical romance. The setting provides an interesting background for the characters’ stories to unfold — while far removed from the Revolutionary War, tensions and an impending (and new-to-me) conflict brings new problems and complications. And, plenty of emotional conflict with bright characters who exhibit selflessness and the power of love.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for the review copy.