Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
I hope you had a good Labor day (for those in the US). Today I’m sharing a review for a book I read last month.
About the Book
Inspired by a true story
Hawaiian Islands, 1779
As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.
But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.
Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.
John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.
When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.
I loved everything about this book. The diversity. The setting. The characters and connection to the author’s history.
Y’all, it was inspired by true events! How cool is that?
So let me collect my thoughts and start with setting. I’ve always admired Hawaii from afar. I haven’t been yet so I look forward to living vicariously through characters. Top that with it being a historical setting and I dug in.
There was so much history in here and I learned a lot. I could easily see the picture Ms. Todd painted and it made me want to go to the islands all the more.
And the diversity! Nothing more diverse than a Hawaiian heroine. I loved that aspect and how she taught me about the culture through her eyes.
And of course, this is a romance and I had all the feels. I truthfully couldn’t say enough about this book. I think all readers of romance should pick it up, even if you normally hang out in the contemporary arena.
*FYI: This book is not Christian fiction, but it is clean. There are talk of gods but in relation to Hawaii’s history.