Book Review (and a Giveaway!): My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels

July 20, 2017 Carrie Fancett Pagels, Christian, giveaway, historical, romance 48

about the book

Journey now to Mackinac Island where… A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds. Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel. While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story. But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

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SERIES: My Heart Belongs #4
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Barbour Books
RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2017
PAGES: 256

Other Books In This Series

   

The Prince and the Pauper is one of my favorite Mark Twain stories, and I loved the references to it throughout Carrie Fancett Pagels’ latest novel! From the characters to the sermon to the author himself, this is very much a ‘prince and the pauper’ kind of story and will greatly appeal to fans of the same.

I also loved the setting at Pagels’ descriptive hand. Oh my goodness – the descriptions of Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel have me wanting to book a vacation there right away! You’ll be able to smell the sea air and hear the gulls (safest way to encounter those terrifying creatures is in the pages of a book lol) and see the carriages and bikes. Pagels has done an incredible job with setting here; her love for Mackinac Island comes through vividly in her words.

Everyone in this story, it seems, has at least one big secret. Whether it’s their identity or their motives or even some knowledge that they’re keeping close, My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island carries with it a lot of intrigue. You will find yourself trying to uncover those secrets that are hidden even from we, the readers, and this mystery-like element to the characters and plot keeps you engaged and invested throughout!

I love both Maude and Ben, though some of their actions didn’t really make sense to me and their instalove raised my eyebrows a bit. (Ben had only just met Maude … very briefly … and already is thinking sentiments like, ‘in my dreams she calls me darling’.) Still – their growing friendship made me smile more than once and a couple scenes had me reaching for my fan!

Bottom Line: My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island is a sweet romance with vivid scenery and intriguing characters. One Goodreads reviewer said that Pagels “rolls up romance, twists, turns, mystery, scandal, intrigue, inspiration, humor, and adventure into a sweet story beautifully” and I completely agree! Each book I read by this author is even better than the last! If you love progressive era/Victorian fiction, you’ll want to grab this book for your TBR pile!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Packing up for Mackinac Island at any moment

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on a couple of occasions

See what others are saying: Singing Librarian Tours

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Barbour | CBD | BOOK DEPOSITORYTARGET

ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper.” Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

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Carrie Fancett Pagels’ 10 Fave Authors

This is by no means an exhaustive list! I’m just including my current faves not all-time (like Lucy Maude Montgomery).

Ten of my Fave authors are:

Tamera Alexander, who gave me this beautiful endorsement:

“An enchanting love story, My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island is sprinkled with warmth and humor, grace and faith. A highly enjoyable read!”

~ Tamera Alexander, USA Today Bestselling Author of A Note Yet Unsung and To Win Her Favor

Julie Lessman – amazing historical romance with strong family ties
Susie/Susanne Dietze – a rising star in CBA fiction!
Tracie Peterson – I love her audiobooks in particular!
Julie Klassen – especially her early books
Michelle Griep — her Regencies are amazing!
Serena Miller – a lovely lady with equally lovely books – some set in Michigan
Debbie Lynne Costello – check out her medieval stories!
Rachel Hauck’s dual-time audiobooks are lovely
Suzanne Woods Fisher who gave me this wonderful endorsement:

Maude Welling in “My Heart Belongs to Mackinac Island” captures readers’ hearts after she is callously jilted by Greyson Luce, her fiancé, and doesn’t wilt in despair. Not Maude! She sets out on a plan to make a life for herself and gets tangled up with an ambitious young journalist who is investigating Luce for a story. Carrie Fancett Pagels’ talent for weaving historical detail into descriptive prose will pull you in and won’t let you stop until you find out who’s who in this riveting story, and better still, who ends up with Maude!  
 
~~~Suzanne Woods Fisher, bestselling author of “The Quieting”

Grand Prize Giveaway – Kindle Fire + Mackinac Gift Pack Set: postcards from Mackinac Island, bookmarks, hand-made earrings, winner’s choice of a signed paperback of this novel (or an upcoming release or other book if you already have read My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island), and a Mackinac Island mug.

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~AND~

Other Giveaway: If 10 or more unique commenters post on this blog, one commenter will be selected to receive a print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands (US only).

What about you? Have you been to Mackinac Island? What’s your favorite place to visit for a vacation?

Carrie

48 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels”

  1. Sabrina Templin

    I wasnt to read this! 😀 I’ve been following Carrie’s travels on Mackinac ISland and have to hear all about Maude 😀

  2. Lori Smanski

    this sounds like such a fascinating book. I have not read her books but they are now on my to read list.

  3. Michele Hayes

    This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Patty

    I have been to Mackinac Island, but only for a brief day trip. Would love to visit for longer period of time!
    My husband and I are going to another island this weekend. Hilton Head Island is a favorite place for my family to visit.

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels

      I used to love Hilton Head Island when I was in graduate school and could go down from USCarolina! I’ve been back once since then I think and it had changed so much! I hope that went great for you, Patty!

  5. emilee

    I have been enjoying Carrie’s Facebook post about her new book.I am always on the look out for it at books stores as well. I will post a picture and tag her if I spot it on the shelf. This book has a beautiful cover and I am looking forward to reading it!

  6. Paula S.

    Hi, Carrie and Carrie! You don’t need to enter me! I already won both of these books! Mackinac Island was fantastic! Have yet to dive into the other one. I really like your interviews and of course can’t get along without Carrie Fancett Pagels.

  7. Julie Waldron

    We’ve been to Mackinac Island several times, we’ve gone almost every summer since 2005. It’s my favorite vacation spot in my home state, we absolutely love it! Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Winnie Thomas

    I haven’t been to Mackinac Island. It sounds wonderful, though. I love Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks for fairly close vacation spots. Switzerland and Scotland are favorite far-away spots.

    • Carrie

      My dream vacay goal at the moment is the Tetons. One day!

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels

      Winnie and Carrie, We have a National Parks trip planned to Yellowstone that keeps getting pushed back but we’re hoping for next summer. I haven’t checked out Grand Teton, will have to do that. Blessings to both of you and check out Mackinac Island sometime for your bucket list! Hugs!

  9. Heather R.

    I have never been to that island but I feel like I have since I have seen “Somewhere in Time” the movie. This book sounds great!

  10. Evangeline

    You are a new author to me, and I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a great one! I have never visited Mackinac Island, but it certainly sounds interesting. Our fav place for several years has been Oak Island in NC. Thanks for the chance to perhaps win this book! 😊

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels

      Will have to check out Oak Island, Evangeline! Best wishes and I hope you get a chance to win this RT Book Reviews Top Pick 4 1/2 Star novel! Blessings!

  11. Carrie Fancett Pagels

    Thanks for hosting me on the Singing Librarian Blog Hoping, Meez Carrie! Thanks for reading my novel and for the lovely review! The Prince and the Pauper is a fave of mine, too! Blessings!

      • Carrie Fancett Pagels

        My son has decided to call me Dr. Pagels because when he calls “Mom!” all the ladies in the place look at him! He’s funny! I say I only make my hubs call me Doctor haha!

  12. Trixi

    Lovely review Carrie (MeezCarrie). I agree with you on those nasty seagulls, as I live on the Oregon coast. People feed them french fries in the parking lot of McD’s and you can’t go anywhere because there’s like a million of them…AND THEY DON’T MOVE!!!! So aggravating!! I love the sea salted air, it smells wonderful….unless you have a die-off of fish somewhere. Yeah, that happened 2 years ago….phew! Anywhoo, enough of that…lol! Love it out here 🙂

    Carrie Pangels, I loved the endorsement Tamera Alexander gave you. You shared that over on the OWG blog recently. I admire some of the same authors you do 🙂 In fact Julie Klassen was the first author who introduced me to Regency fiction & I’ve discovered many more who write in this genre. I love having a variety of books to read at my disposal 🙂

  13. Vivian Furbay

    Would love to win this book. I’ve seen pictures of the large hotel there and it’s beautiful

  14. Sara Paschal

    This sounds like an awesome read. Would love to win this one and thank you for the chance.

  15. Karen

    Mackinac is my happy place! I grew up camping in St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, and we’d take day trips to Mackinac Island. I never tire of the scenery, the history, or the fudge!! I haven’t been there in six years and miss it very much. Maybe next summer! In the meantime, I’m excited to read a story that’s set in one of my most favorite places. 😊

    • Carrie

      i’d love to go some day – you had me at ‘fudge’ LOL

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels

      Hi KAREN, I pray you’ll get back to Mackinac soon! The years I haven’t been able to get back I’ve ended up have dreams (nightmares actually) of missing out on and not being able to get there! This is a dream come true that God fulfilled for me to have this book and to be able to promote it for a month up here in Michigan! Blessings!

  16. Shash

    I love hidden identity stories! This sounds like a great one!

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels

      I had a fun time writing this story, Shash. If you get a chance, check out my Maggie Award in Excellence Finalist in Romance Novellas — “The Substitute Bride” which is written set 4 years before this novel and includes Maude’s mother briefly and also a secret character whose identity you can now figure out in MHBoMI! Blessings!

  17. Teri D

    This was such a fantastic story, Carrie! I agree that the setting has me wanting to book a Mackinac vacation STAT and I’ve been following your real lofe adventures on Facebook so it’s so easy to picture myself there! Love Maude & Bwn and was finally glad to see the little story the could become reality! Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com