The Blue Enchantress
(Charles Towne Belles, #2)
by M. L. Tyndall
Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical
Barbour Publishing, Inc.
(from Mary Lu's website):
Betrayed by the man she longed to marry, Hope Westcott finds herself on an island in the Caribbean being auctioned off as a slave to the highest bidder. Raised in an unloving home and after enduring a difficult childhood, Hope's search for love and self-worth have led her down a very dangerous path. All she ever wanted was to find true love and to some day open an orphanage where she could raise children with all the love she never experienced as a child. But how can a woman with a sordid past ever hope to run an orphanage, let alone attract the love of an honorable man?
Determined to overcome the shame of his mother's past, Nathaniel Mason worked for many years to build his own fleet of merchant ships in an effort to finally acquire the respect of Charles Towne society. Ignoring the call of God on his life to become a preacher, he forges ahead with his plans for success at a distant port in the Caribbean, when he sees a young lady he knows from Charles Towne being sold as a slave. In an effort to save Hope, he is forced to sell one of his two ships, only to discover that her predicament was caused by her own bad behavior. Angry and determined to rid himself of her as soon as possible, Nathaniel embarks on a journey that will change the course of his life.
For some reason, I just could not immerse myself in Hope and Nathaniel's story. I was really looking forward to it, because I enjoyed The Red Siren immensely. Maybe I just wasn't in a "pirate" mood at the time, but I was about two-thirds of the way through the book before I became emotionally involved with the characters. If the characters are hard for me to relate to, it's harder to get wrapped up in the story. I did finally reach that point, which was a huge relief! Normally, when reading Mary Lu's "pirate" books, I'm hooked from page one....such as with her Legacy of the King's Pirates series, which I couldn't read fast enough. =)
I think Hope was part of my problem. She was really hard to like at times, much less feel compassion for. Once God got His hands on her though, I started to like her more and more! As we come to discover, she has a reason for acting the way she does, and it all stems from a horrible tragedy that she has kept a secret for many years. In no way does this excuse her actions, but it does explain a lot. This is when I started to become emotionally involved with her, and began to understand what she was going through. Mary Lu's unique brand of writing shines through in certain parts of the story, which I'm always happy to see.
It was a pleasure getting to know Nathaniel better. It's amazing what all he endures to keep Hope safe, though at times he practically despises her. He is a true gentleman in every sense of the word, and does his best to defend her honor, even when it seems she doesn't deserve it. Growing up, Nathaniel was practically an orphan, but he is determined to make something of himself, even if it mean's ignoring God's call for his life.
As it turns out, both Hope and Nathaniel discover that when God has a plan for you, He works it out however He sees fit. The Blue Enchantress is full of adventure, sacrifice, painful memories, and forgiveness. I thought the most important lesson of all was, learning to accept yourself as God sees you.
If you haven't had a chance to enjoy any of Mary Lu's books, please visit her at her website to find out more about her, and them...you'll be glad you did!
***I received my copy of The Blue Enchantress compliments of Bonnie Calhoun @ Christian Fiction Online Magazine, via their Box of Books contest back at the end of 2009. Thank you, Bonnie!***