Held Captive by Grace A. Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ah, this was such a fun read! Rina kept cracking me up – I really lost it when she pulled out the bottle of rum like any good pirate and took a couple (or maybe more) swigs. She was truly a memorable character in so many ways! She was not this small, delicate woman like most Christian fiction heroines are. Nope, this girl was a pirate through and through! She was definitely my favorite character, but Xavier was also a good character opposite of her. His sense of humor won him some points there, and he was the type of guy to get along well with Rina. Not everyone can fall in love with a lady pirate, mind you – those are special sorts.
The plot of this book is not overly complicated, but that doesn’t mean in any way that it was boring or predictable. There were several surprises along the way! Even when there wasn’t action happening, the plot moved along as you found out more and more about Rina’s true identity and the consequences of that discovery. My favorite part of the plot was Rina’s character arc. She started as this wild pirate woman, and you’ll just have to read the book to find out what she becomes!
One small thing I would have liked to see different would be Rina and Xavier’s relationship. Nothing inappropriate happened between them, but they were very often in compromising situations. (Again, nothing immodest happened, but I wouldn’t recommend putting oneself in these positions.) Also, the Lord’s Name was used once in a way that could be taken as a swear. However, I believe Xavier was the one who said it, so I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was praying. Overall, though, this book was a clean read!
My absolute favorite part of this book was the duality between Rina’s discovery of her (spoiler here) noble birth and her salvation. She became something new and wealthy and beautiful, not because of who she was, but because of her father’s love in sending someone to seek her out and bring her home. This was just a beautiful, outward, almost-allegorical story of how the Lord saves us. Rina was first shown her family’s redemptive love, then she came to know the Lord, Who does all of that in a far better way than any man can fully show or describe!
My hat’s off to the authoress, and I am so impressed by the quality of her work at such a young age. I can’t wait to see where she goes from here. She preached the Gospel through words and through the story arc itself, and I absolutely love that. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment of Rina and Xavier’s story!
(Thanks to the author for a free copy of this book!)