Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Captive Heart



The epic story of a n Amish community in peril

Ravaged by disease, preyed upon by ruthless bandits, the Bender family's second year in Mexico has taken a grievous turn. Faced with impossible choices, the expatriate Amish discover, more than ever before what it means to live by faith and not by sight.

But it's Miriam who must make the hardest choice as her heart takes her on a new and dangerous course. Domingo. "He is gentle," his sister said, "until someone he loves is threatened." Is Miriam that someone?

"Cualnezqui," he often calls her -- the Nahuatl word for Beautiful One. The chiseled native has proven himself a man of principle, grace, and power. Yet is he the pearl of great price for whom Miriam would sacrifice everything, or is he merely a friend? Tormented by conflicting emotions, she's haunted by vivid dreams: Dressed in the coarse cotton pants and the shirt of a peasant, she stands on the precipice of a sun-washed ridge searching desperately for Domingo. Domingo the fierce. Domingo the protector. Domingo the forbidden.

Inspired by actual events!

My Review:

The Wild West meets the Amish? Wait a minute does that mean this is a Western or an Amish romance? Actually -- it's both and definitely unlike any other Amish book I've read. For one, it's laced with a sinister undercurrent not to mention gritty prose that left me shuddering. If you're familiar with Westerns, you'll know that there's nothing worse than ruthless bandits and the kind they have in Paradise Valley are definitely more ruthless than most. Their evil is such a stark contrast to the peace-loving Amish and that made the emotions churning in this reader's gut more violent then the kind found within the book's pages. Definitely a nail-biting read.

This is the second book in The Daughters of Caleb Bender series but it was easy to follow the plot threads. Cramer did a good job of setting the scene and dealing with backstory so a reader who hasn't read the first book could easily pick up where Paradise Valley left off.  And while there is resolution at the end of The Captive Heart it's clear that there is much more to come. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Captive Heart, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please remember to put the title in the subject line so I can easily spot your entry.  Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 8.  Offer open internationally. Good luck!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


  1. I'd love to be entered in this giveaway, as well! It looks and sounds really good!!

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Consider yourself entered, Melanie. Good luck!

  3. Hi. Count me in. I just got the first book in this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  4. Oh my, Western and Amish! Wonderful review :)

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  5. This sounds like a great read! Please enter me!


  6. Kav, have you read any of Dale Cramer's other works? If not, I highly recommend them. He's one of my favorite authors. His prose, storytelling, & character development is always exceptional.

    Admittedly, I'm not an Amish reader, but I loved LEVI's WILL, and I enjoyed the first book in this series. As you said, he doesn't write typical Amish. I've got this one on order so don't enter me into your drawing.

  7. Oh this looks like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance to win.


  8. I would love to be able to read this book, I have not read his books yet but have book 1 on my kindle :)


  9. I read the first book last year, and I cannot BEGIN to tell you how badly I want to read this one. Please enter me.

    mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

  10. An Amish book set in Mexico, how intriguing. You hooked me with the "based on true events." And with Brenda's added endorsement of this author, he's definitely one I plan to try.

  11. I would love to be entered in this giveaway. Sounds very unusual with an Amish family and Mexico.


  12. I really enjoy Amish books and loved your review. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  13. I read the first in this series Paradise Valley and it was amazing! I have been waiting with bated breath for this one to come out...I even have it typed on my wishlist and saved to my draft folder! LOL! I would feel so blessed to win and thank you for the opportunity, Kav.


  14. would love to read this amish novel..thanks for the chance, kav :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  15. Phew -- Dale Cramer is obviously a popular author! This is the first book of his that I've read...but obviously won't be the last. Good luck everybody!!!!!

  16. would LOVE to read this book

    email is prayn AT live.com

  17. Kav, you have got to read the firt book in this series (Paradise Valley)-it's awesome! I don't think anything will be spoiled for you since you read the second one first, but I'm not sure as I haven't read Captive Heart yet. However, Dale Cramer assured me that this one is even better. Wow, how is that possible?


  18. I loved the first book in this series. Want to read this one....I didn't know that the Amish had settled in Mexico.


  19. Good luck, LyonsLady!

    whoa - talk about straight from the horse's mouth, Diana! I'll definitely have to read Paradise Valley!

    Hey Maureen -- I didn't know about the Mexican settlement either. What a place for those peaceful loving people to go to find peace! Oy! Good luck!

  20. Please sign me up! :)

    srstormo at yahoo dot com

  21. This is a great series by Dale Cramer. I read the first book Paradise Valley. I can't wait to read Captive Heart.