Ms. Hedlund got me hooked on the first chapter. The start was riveting, as Emma, our main female character, along with her brother, Ryan was on a ship to a new land for job opportunities. Nothing special there, but then pirates attacked, and they were stranded into sea. And they are saved by our main character, Patrick.
Pirates have always been a hot topic throughout the ages, and in recent years from the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, to Disney's Jake and the Pirates characters, the topic doesn't seem to slow down. To be honest, I thought Ryan will be missing during the shipwreck until the end of this book and his story truly begins in another book of the series. However, with that said, it was not the case. Even though he's not the main character and he shows up randomly throughout the book, he's there. So there are elements of surprises.
Back to Emma & Patrick. She's a shy and hard working girl, with a sense of taking responsibility for all things that goes wrong. Is it a good thing? I don't think so. I'm usually partial to at least one of the main characters in books I read, but unfortunately, neither Emma or Patrick stands out to me. I find Emma naive and her stupidity in befriending ____ is unbelievable. Someone who's always out to berate your husband and yourself, how do you trust that person enough to share all your secrets or personal matters with? It just doesn't make sense to me. Patrick, on the other hand, I do find more believable, from his guilt to his love for his family. However, this character flaws in where he assumes everything about Emma, without ever opening his mouth to ask her. (I guess it goes for the same for Emma too, where she assumes a lot about Patrick, without asking, which I find it more disconcerting, when she starts off with let bygones be bygones.) As to characters, I find them all lacking in some aspect, and that is a good thing, because it's important for readers to see the growth of the characters. I do love both characters development with the Patrick's son. Even so, I just can't seem to fall hard for any of these characters.
As to plot, I do find it moving along quite well. It started well, and throughout the story, I was interested in finding out what will happen or how will this move on. Therefore, as a story, I do believe Ms. Hedlund did a great job. I am an avid historical novel reader, so there are areas that as a person in the 21st century I may find ridiculous, but for that time period, it can and is believable.
All in all, I do recommend this book for the story and the pretty cover, but if you prefer a book with strong character developments, don't have your hopes up.
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House for an honest review.