A beautiful Mackinac Island, Michigan setting in June 1895, brings together a young woman and man posing as their opposites in society. Maude believes she must prove her worth and ability to run an inn to convince her father. Ben just wants a good story, so he can hopefully advance in his career.
There was a lot of deception and misunderstanding between the main characters, preventing them from really getting to know each other. Each one wrestles with their conscience, and has to decide if they will trust in God for their future, learning to look to Him for guidance, to discern His will, instead of holding tightly to possessions or misguided ambitions. The theme of forgiveness and looking to God to meet our needs was illustrated well in the story.
I like how this author used real landmarks and places in the story, researching the area, and painting a picture of what island life was like in the summer when wealthy tourists came to stay on the island. It sounded like a lovely place to vacation, biking and walking everywhere. The use of real people and their work, like Mark Twain and his book The Prince and the Pauper, added authenticity; the plot was even a bit of a take on this classic.The index had some interesting facts about the time and locale.
I had a hard time connecting to the characters in the first half, as the story seemed to jump around a lot. It came together nicely later on though. It was fun to see the nod to some of the author's characters from other stories in a few spots.
Recommend for readers who enjoy historical Christian romances.
(An e-book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.)
Set in my beautiful state of Michigan on Mackinac Island, I loved that Author Carrie Fancett Pagels did her homework and portrayed the island true to form. Even including the lovely lilacs its known for! It was tough to see the class differences on the island but that was very real for its day and Carrie didn't shy away from what would have happened and how people in all classes would have responded to situations.
Full of twists, turns, and intrigue, I was immediately pulled into this story. The characters of this book are very believable and they learn that trusting God is so very important. It was great to see growth portrayed as they learned this lesson, and to see how it affected their decisions.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more by this author!
I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review.
Rich in details and romance set on the beautiful Mackinac Island!
May 24, 2017
A beautiful island that is often deserted except for the locals most of the year with the exception of late spring and early summer, where Mackinac Island is the in spot for the wealthy and rich, and those looking for wealth in their romances. Maude Wellings simply wants the opportunity to run her families inn, but her father won't see it. Her mother worked herself to death, quite literally as he was concerned and he isn't about the let the same thing happen to Maude. She had placed all her hopes, dreams and future on one man returning home to marry her, Greyson Luce, but when he showed up on the ferry married to Anna, all she saw was her life coming to an end. That was the only way her father would let her take over running the Inn.
Ben Steffan was a society columnist for the Detroit Post, who was going under the name of Friedrich Koing, a weathly industrialist to find the story of the century and hopefully secure a promotion with his boss when he returned. He set out to expose Greyson and Anna Luce, for doing what so many have done in making plans to stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Find someone with money and marry them as soon as possible, often times before they discovered one or both of them had no wealth to speak of and were merely looking for ways to get rich quick.
The one thing Ben wasn't looking for was love and it landed right in his lap while trying to save Jack, Maude's youngest brother from crashing his bicycle into a rock wall. Yet it was just what God had planned even though Maude and Ben don't know it quite yet. Ben is simply attracted to Maude's ability to bounce back from what should be a rejection that broke her heart and left her devastated, not more determined than ever to prove to her father that she is more than capable of running their own Inn, even if it means going behind her father's back and becoming a maid at the Grand Hotel. She only hopes that no one will recognize her and turn her in for the charade she was hoping she might pull off.
I received My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley. This is such a timeless classic romance, because of the setting location and the determination of Maude's character to settle for what men in her life wanted for her, instead of listening to what she wanted instead. During the late 1800's it was common place for a lot of industrialist and wealthy men to look to securing a financial future with an equally wealthy and well to do women of the same station in life. Maude, defies all those odds and I love how simply working as a maid, made her more conscience of how she was treated her own maids at the Inn. For me, this one garners a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There are some great historical notes found in the conclusion of this novel that details what is fiction and what is fact!
A delightful read that will sweep you away to Mackinac Island!
May 10, 2017
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Travel back to the summer of 1895 to Mackinac Island. Envision and immerse yourself in the life and culture of the townspeople who live year-round on this tiny peace heaven. At least, I can imagine heaven would look like this a bit. You will fall in love with the townspeople as much as I did. And as a side note: I really need to travel to Mackinac and see it for myself! Carries stories vividly describe the area so well!
If this is your first story by Carrie Fancett Pagels, I will tell you, you will not be disappointed! I also encourage you to read her earlier books! Carrie is a talented writer!
Maude Welling is a lovely young woman with a broken heart, or maybe not. Maude is courageous, strong, determined, and faithful to the core. She takes care of her father and younger brother. She also helps run their inn. Her younger brother, Jack, is quite the character and runner! I was quite taken with his eccentric and energetic behavior! Oh, to have his energy!
Journalist Ben Steffan comes to the island on an undercover assignment as a wealthy businessman with a new name! But things tend to take a different turn once he meets the lovely Maude!
Ben and Maude discover a few mysteries and scandal around Mackinac Island. But they also discover something much more valuable between them. What starts out as tender friendship grows and beautifies into a lasting love.
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
"My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island" is a Christian romance set in 1895. It contained just enough historical detail to remind the reader of the time period, but the time period wan't critical to the events in the story (except for Mark Twain's visit). It's a nice enough romance, but I felt like the author tried to make Maude's part of the story much more complicated than it was.
For example, Maude's mother promised that Maude would inherit the inn but Maude's father acts like it's his. Rather than finding out who owns the inn (by asking the lawyer, her uncle, or her father), Maude decides to prove to her father that she can run an inn. Not by helping out at the inn but by working as a maid cleaning rooms at the Grand Hotel. Not sure how that proved she can run a business, but she also kept this a secret from her father, so how could it prove anything to him? And her brief employment as a maid didn't turn out to be necessary to her romance, her ambitions, or even Ben's story.
The terms of the will were critical to the story, but we don't actually learn what the will said until nearly the end. Much of Maude's worries would have been cleared up if she'd only found out the terms earlier (though some things earlier in the story made no sense in light of those terms). The romantic conflict ended up being that Maude couldn't leave the island but Ben's life and ambitions were in Detroit. So who will give up their dreams, or will they part?
The characters went to church and heard a sermon relating to Ben's struggles. At the end, Ben realized that God had been working behind the scenes. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this book to "clean romance" fans.
I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.