Being English, I grew up with stories of naval battles, Hornblower, Bolitho and co. Being a girl, I mourned the lack of female role models in such tales of valor. And being an avid reader I just borrowed my brother’s books.
MaryLu Tyndall creates a fun heroine in her historical naval romance, Surrender the Heart, though there were times when I could wish the reluctantly betrothed Marianne were a little less headstrong. For someone afraid of water she’s dangerously careless on board ship, but she has her reasons. Perhaps a lifetime of feeling devalued makes her unable to see how much harm, or good, she can do.
The changing relationship between childhood foes, rich Marianne and Noah the merchant’s son, is nicely done. Both face secret hardship and haunted memories. Their world of ship and shore comes to vivid life, and the danger of war at sea is scarily real. The British are bad guys of course, since this is an American novel, but only a few play the part of irredeemable blackguards. The Americans are good, but not perfect. Meanwhile love and trust win through. Marianne, who can trust no-one, learns to identify herself with the Biblical Esther. Noah, who trusts only himself, learns of friendship and heaven. And a still small voice speaks subtly over the storm.
This is a Christian, American, historical novel, well-researched, intriguing, written with convincing characters and appropriate faith, and a really good romantic read.
Disclosure: I met the author on gather and was delighted at the chance to read and review a free ecopy of this novel.