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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Review: Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall

About the book:
On the brink of the War of 1812, Marianne Denton must marry to unlock her inheritance. Without the money, her mother can't receive medical care and her sister will be destitute. But Noah Brenin needs to sail his cargo to England before the war commences in order to prove his worth to his father and make enough money so he won't have to marry at all.

Defying his father's wishes, Noah loathes the idea of marrying a woman he finds plain and pompous. Marianne wants nothing to do with the rogue who taunted her as a child, yet she must convince him otherwise or her mother will die.

But when Noah walks out on their engagement party, Marianne chases him down and ends up on his merchantman out at sea. The situation worsens when Noah's ship encounters a British man-of-war and the couple are impressed into the British navy. While a young lad's prophecy of destiny looms over them both, Marianne and Noah are forced to face their darkest fears as they desperately try to find a way to escape and fulfill their destinies-destinies that could change the course of the war and history forever. 

My Rating: 5 Stars

My Review: 
This is my first novel by MaryLu Tyndall, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  It's also the first novel that I've read that is set on the "high seas."  After reading this one, I will definitely add Mrs. Tyndall's other books to my wishlist.  MaryLu is certainly a gifted author, with an amazing talent for storytelling and a heart for God that shines through the pages!

My knowledge of ships is very limited, but it's obvious that MaryLu has done her research!  The setting really came to life for me, and I felt immersed into the story, like I was right there with Marianne, Noah, Luke, Daniel, and the rest of the crew.  I could feel the tension of the battle, the pain and fear the men felt accepting their punishment upon a British Navy ship, and the cold, salty sea spray from the ocean.  There is no doubt that MaryLu is a top-notch writer!

The characters were well-drawn and memorable, and I found myself being able to identify with Marianne.  She's not perfect in appearance, or in her faith, and that makes her so easy to relate to.  She believes in God, but  she makes bad decisions sometimes, and she sins.  She's not perfect, but she's forgiven by a God who is.  I appreciated being able to watch her grow in her faith, and come to a place where she could trust God and others.

As a Christian, this is exactly the type of book that I want to read.  I am entertained, while at the same time my faith walk is strengthened by the trials and the lessons that the characters go through.  For some readers, this may come across to them as "preachy,"  but for me, it's exactly what I want.  If I'm going to spend the time reading a fiction book, I'd also like to come away from it feeling like I've learned something, and grown right along with the characters.  Jesus used parables to teach us, and authors like MaryLu Tyndall do the same thing.  She has used this story to convey the messages of faith, trust, forgiveness, and redemption. 

I enjoyed everything about this book, from the action-packed adventure on the high seas, to all of the romantic tension!  And can I just say, the romantic scenes just took my breath away -- be still my heart!  If you love books filled with faith, romance, and enough action to keep you turning pages long into the night, this book is for you!  I highly recommend it!


  1. MICHELLE!!! Sooo glad you enjoyed this book -- I loved it, but then I love everything Ms. Tyndall writes and I love her too!

    I am doing giveaways of her latest book on my Journal Jots, so be sure to get in on that, sweetie.

    Hope all is well.

    Hugs and more hugs,

  2. Oh, what a sweet surprise! Thank you for stopping by, Julie! I read your review on amazon, so I just knew Surrender the Heart was going to be OUTSTANDING! I have Surrender the Night waiting on the shelf, and I hope I will be able to get to it soon. But first, reading The Colonel's Lady, then Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin, and then hopefully I'll have A Heart Revealed in my hot little hands. ;o)

    I will be sure to enter your giveaways for Surrender the Dawn! Thanks so much for the heads up!

    Hugs and more hugs backatcha. :D

  3. Great review...sounds like a good book. I've never read anything by MaryLu Tyndall. I have her Legacy of the Kings Pirates series on my bookshelf, but haven't got around to reading them yet.
    Just started Courting Morrow Little and enjoying it so far!

    Have a great day!

    Cathy :)

  4. Thank you, Cathy! I think you'll love the book!

    Happy to hear that you're reading Courting Morrow Little! Look forward to hearing what you think about it. : )

    Hope you're having a great day, too!