Sunday, July 2, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels

book cover
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island
by Carrie Fancett Pagels

ISBN-13: 9781683220886
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books
Released: July 1, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Maude Welling expected to inherit her mother's inn, Winds of Mackinac, but her father refuses to let her run it now her fiance has come home married to another woman. He's even talking about selling the inn and moving to his farm. Maude decides to prove her ability to run the inn by secretly working as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist staying at the Grand Hotel, pursues a story about the hurried marriage of a rival newspaper owner's daughter to a local man. His boss wants to humiliate his rival. Ben is attracted to Maude and keeps her secret about working as a maid, though he wonders why she's doing so. He soon realizes that pursuing his story may alienate the very woman he's beginning to love.

My Review:
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 wasn'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.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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