In the second of the Southold Chronicles, Heather Flower, princess of the Montaucketts, is kidnapped during her wedding and left to die by a rival tribe. Rescued by the Dutchman Dirk van Buren and returned to her family and friends in Southold. While grieving her murdered groom, Heather Flower finds herself pursued by two white men: her rescuer and her dear friend Ben Horton. Their rivalry is heightened by war between England and Holland, and Heather Flower stands in the middle. Which man will she choose?
While I vaguely remembered the Dutch had settled New York before the English, I didn't know much more than that; thus the war between the English and Dutch in the New World made for an interesting read. However, it's hard for me to understand why the boys are all so keen to fight, when anytime they receive news of the war in Europe--be it of battle or peace--it is weeks or months after the fact. Ben is positively spoiling for a fight against Dirk, when really, the politics affecting their home countries have no practical effect on the remote colonists so far away; there is plenty room for everyone and no excuse for war. But then, it is a good depiction of how senseless war often is.
I do wish there had been more focus on Dirk--for someone who is technically one of the main characters, he rarely makes an appearance. Ben is in the spotlight far more often, as well as Ben's mother, Mary. While it is nice to follow up on the Horton family, I'd rather have had some of Mary's time (or Barnabas's time) devoted to Dirk, given that his and Ben's rivalry for Heather Flower is the main focus of the plot.
It does a good job depicting the history and early politics of Long Island, which proved considerably more complex than I had anticipated. I liked the emotional tug of the first book in the series more, but this one really delves into early colonial history, capturing the racial, political, and religious tensions that abounded.
Thank you Revell for providing a free book for review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.
1. A Place in His Heart
2. To Capture Her Heart
3. (coming 2016)
To Capture Her Heart Book Launch