Title: Held Captive
Series: Daughters of the Seven Seas (Book 1)
Author: Grace A. Johnson
Genre: Historical Romance, Christian Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to leave an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.
Overview: It’s hard to go wrong with a book about pirates. Especially when it’s a Christian historical romance book about pirates. I first heard about this book a few months ago, and when the author offered me a copy in exchange for a review, I jumped at the chance. This is such a sweet story filled with great themes and equally great characters!
Characters: Rina is a fantastic protagonist. She’s very much her own person, with her own set of rules that she sticks to no matter what. I’d be a little terrified of her if I actually met her, but in time, I think we’d be friends. She goes through a lot of great character growth, and her arc is quite well done! Xavier is such a lovable hero. I liked how, even though he’s a great Christian man, he also has his struggles. He didn’t give off “perfect guy” vibes, which is always nice. He was as human as Rina. He also has a great sense of humor—always a winner in my book!
Content: It’s a romance, so… there’s romance. Rina and Xavier kiss a good bit, some of which are fairly detailed, though it focuses more on the emotional side of things than the physical descriptions. Several characters were born out of wedlock. Rina thinks a few times about how grateful she is that her pirate father made sure no men would ever touch her. Xavier and Rina’s relationship is sweet and innocent, but they do put themselves in a lot of… unwise situations. Xavier has a bad habit of coming into Rina’s room to comfort her after she has nightmares, and at one point he stays the whole night. Nothing happens, but still: not their best moment. A few characters have killed people in the past. Rina was brutally blinded in one eye. Rina has a fondness for alcohol and gets drunk a couple of times.
Writing: It’s hard to believe Johnson was only 13ish when she wrote this book. The writing is fantastic, and while there are a few typos and grammar/spelling errors, the whole thing is quite polished. The pacing and the plot flow well, with the story sometimes being slow but never dragging. In a strange way, this almost feels like fan fiction: that is, as if Johnson is just fangirling over her protagonists and has written this book to express her feelings for them. I don’t know if that makes any sense or not, but seriously, they’re such a cute couple!
Summary: I quite enjoyed this book. I wasn’t pleased with some of the decisions the characters made, but I definitely appreciated the Christian content, especially the full presentation of the gospel we get. This is a sweet read for ages 13+!