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Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Captive Heart...Review

About the book:
Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender's family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley.

When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail.

In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm's way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio.

What is a father to make of his daughter's obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?

The Bender family has survived a year in the wild Paradise Valley in Mexico.  Now, joined by others of their faith who have made the long journey in search of religious freedom, they hope for a peace which is not to be found.

Miriam finds herself falling in love with Domingo, their hired hand.  Not Amish and not even Christian, she knows that her father will never approve of her relationship with him.  She attempts to find happiness with an Amish man, but her heart belongs to someone else.

When Rachel and her brother Aaron are attacked returning home from a trip, Rachel is kidnapped and Aaron left for dead.  Jake and Domingo go after El Pantera and after rescuing Rachel, Domingo sacrifices his safety to let Rachel and Jake get away.  When they return home without him, Miriam and Domingo's sister Kyra go after him.

Wow.   What a story and a refreshing look at the Amish faith from a vastly different perspective than one normally sees.  I love these characters and I didn't want the book to end.  I especially loved the part with Ada, where we get a glimpse into her heart and mind as she struggles to save her young nephew and return home after the attack that resulted in such tragedy.  And Miriam is such a strong young woman, faced with difficult decisions.  The exploration of love vs. faith and religion is brilliantly executed.

I adored Paradise Valley, the first in this series and I anxiously awaited the release of The Captive Heart.  I am thrilled to say that Dale Cramer has done it again.  It's going to be a long wait until December for the third and final book in the trilogy.

Thanks to Noelle at Bethany House for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Dale Cramer here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 2/12

* * * * *
5/5 Stars


  1. I can't wit o read this one!!

  2. This sounds like a good series. I agree it's nice to see different perspectives on the Amish in these books!

  3. I agree, I love these books! :)

  4. I haven't read any of these; guess they need to go on my list.