Author: Heather Manning
Review by Grace Olson
When you’re reading a book, does the author picture or bio influence your view of the book? I know for me it sometimes gives me a new perspective on the story. Swept to Sea is unique, not only because of the beautifully told story, but also because of its author. Heather Manning is a teen writer who published her debut novel, Swept to Sea, when she was only sixteen. So what is her book about? Is it up to par with the other inspirational romances out there? Let’s take a look.
Taken from Astraea Press’s website synopsis of Swept to Sea:
Lady Eden Trenton never wanted to leave her privileged existence in London—until her father invites a dangerous suitor into her life. Left with few options, Eden devises the best reprieve she can: escape. Chasing freedom, she stows away aboard a pirate ship, praying she will gain her independence in the colonies before she is discovered by the nefarious crew.
Captain Caspian Archer has spent the last five years hardening his heart and searching to exact revenge for the event that tore his life to shreds. When he catches word that his enemy is residing in Jamaica, Caspian steers his ship toward the colonies in all haste. His plans soon change, however, when he discovers the young beauty hiding in his ship’s hold.
Cut from the only lives they have known, Caspian and Eden are pulled together as each pursues a fresh hope upon the sea.
Eden is determined to never marry, not after the experiences she had with her father and her former suitor. Caspian is bent on revenge and is not looking for love. As the two get to know each other better, however, their convictions begin to change. Eden starts to realize that not all men are cruel and Caspian desires to protect Eden and cannot bear to think of leaving her behind in Port Royal. All is not smooth sailing as their feelings for each other grow, however. They must face challenges from other pirates, a relentless suitor, and even Caspian’s own crew.
As far as the “inspirational” part of the book, Eden has always dealt with her problems by running away, but she’s never been able to fully escape her fear. She must learn the hard lesson that it is only through trusting the One who is always with her and will protect her that she can finally be free from fear.
Caspian’s thirst for revenge has put himself and his crew in danger before, but now with a young woman on his ship that he cannot help but feel drawn to, he must make a decision. Will he keep pursuing revenge for the death of his wife, or will he finally trust God to bring about justice?
One thing I should mention is a scene between Eden and a member of a crew that made me a bit uncomfortable. Eden is almost taken advantage of, but is rescued. This was the only part of the book that I did not like.
Biography from Heather Manning’s website: Heather Manning is a young lady who loves to read–and write. She has won multiple competitions for her writing with “Nextgen Writers” and placed first in some writing contests with the “Go Teen Writers” blog and is a proud member of ACFW. She lives in Missouri where she attends high school, acts in community theatre, eats donuts and reads every Inspirational Historical Romance she can get her hands on.
She is proud to say that her first novel was professionally published while she was only 16 years old. ~ To learn more about Heather visit her web page: http://heathermauthor.blogspot.com/
Overall, I enjoyed the opportunity to read Swept to Sea. Now I only wish it was available as a paperback copy so I could have it on my physical bookshelf. The coupling of high-seas adventure and sweet romance made this book a definite keeper for me. And as far as the age of the author? Not an issue. Swept to Sea is capable of standing on its own in comparison to other inspirational romances out there. I do hope Manning is planning on writing a sequel or two. Several secondary characters are introduced in the book that I hope to learn more about in the future.
After this review, are you more inclined as a reader to give teen authors a chance? Have you read a book by a teen author before? If you have, I’d love to know what your thoughts are.
I was given a review copy of Swept to Sea from Heather Manning for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.