Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Captive Heart, The (The Daughters of Caleb…After a year has passed, we find Caleb Bender resting on a ridge overlooking Paradise Valley feeling a twinge of loneliness. Life has turned out to be prosperous for the most part for Caleb’s family there was just something missing. There were no other families in which to share the hardships and joys. News had spread to the Amish families still in Ohio of the danger on the roads caused by the Mexican bandits keeping them from moving to this strange land. All is well in the settlement for the time being, Mamm is busy with Ada and all the household chores, Rachael is anxiously awaiting her beau, Jake to arrive with the next set of families, Miriam finds her niche in starting a school where both the Mexican and Amish children are thriving and they have a hired hand named Domingo who helps protect them when needed. Eventually, more families including Jake come to Paradise Valley along with the news that Poncho Villa is dead. The bandits become more aggressive and run even more wild than before. Miriam starts to fall in love with Domingo even though she knows that relationship is forbidden. She decides to accept a proposal from Micah the only available young Amish man hoping to push the thought of Domingo from her heart. Micah knows of her feelings for Domingo but tries hard to win her love. Then Diphtheria breaks out in the new Amish community, Rachael, Aaron, Ada and little 18-month Amos travel to the closest town for the doctor. After a few scary nights almost losing Amos to the disease, they are inoculated and ready to return home. On their way home El Pantera, the most evil of outlaws in Mexico, stops their wagon and attempts to take Rachael. Aaron steps in between and gets knifed. Ada gets scared and grabs Amos and runs toward home and El Pantera’s men put Aaron in the wagon and shove it down the steep hill. The gang takes Rachael and heads to their ranch. When Ada returns home with Amos Caleb and Mamm know something has gone very wrong. Caleb, Domingo and Jake immediately head out in search of the others. They find Aaron severely wounded and Rachael no where to be seen. Caleb takes Aaron and heads home in the buckboard and Domingo and Jake continue in search of Rachael. When they find she is being kept in El Pantera’s barn they come up with a plan to rescue her only to find that they were being watched all along and are surrounded by a group of El Pantera’s worst men. Domingo is beaten until unconscious and Jake is given an ultimatum. He will fight El Pantera and if he wins both him and Rachael will be free to go. Jake refuses to fight to kill but offers instead to wrestle. Out of amusement, El Pantera agrees, until he finds that Jake has beaten him. Then his men all jump Jake and drag both him and Rachael to the barn where they are chained. El Pantera and his men begin to celebrate the fun they will have with torturing them in the morning while one his men tries to rape Rachael. Jake attacks the man and kills him making a way for them all to escape. The bandits soon follow and start to close in on them. As they move closer, Domingo tells Jake and Rachael to run, while he makes a stand to let them get away. Rachael and Jake make it home safe and word from Domingo doesn’t come. Is Domingo alive? Dead? Miriam and Kyra, Domingo’s sister, make the journey to bring back his body for burial. What will they find on their search? Will they come across any trouble? Find out what happens to them all by reading the rest of the book.
This series was an easy read keeping the action going at a fast enough pace that I would consider it a page turner. The story I felt was very well written and the character’s easy to relate to. I only hope that their will be a number three in the series.

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