The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer (book review)


Dale Cramer spent his formative years traveling the world as an Army brat, then settled in Georgia at the age of fifteen when his father retired.

After high school he became an electrician, a job that took him to places as diverse as power plants, stadia, airports, high-rise office buildings and a hard-rock mining operation.

Twenty-five years of experiences in the trades provided him with the wealth of characters, stories and insights that populate his novels.

When he married his childhood friend, Pam, in 1975 he had no way of knowing they would not have children until fifteen years later.

In his early forties, when Dale left his job to become a stay-at-home dad, he suddenly found himself with time on his hands, so he pursued a lifelong dream and taught himself to write.

Using an online writer’s forum as a training ground, he wrote his first short stories in 1996. As his writing skills improved he turned to novels, publishing his first book, Sutter’s Cross, in 2003.

Since then, Dale has published four more novels and garnered a measure of critical acclaim with two Christy Awards, a listing among Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2004 and numerous other Best lists. Dale and his wife Pam live in Georgia with their two sons.


Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender’s family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley. When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail. In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm’s way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio. What is a father to make of his daughter’s obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Captive Heart, go HERE

My Thoughts

The Captive Heart is a wonderful book about the Amish community. This is the second book in a series of three. This book could definitely be read as a stand alone, but it will keep you wondering will happen next. It is filled with love, action, decisions, anger and suspense. This story is about the threat of the Bandits that the Caleb Bender and his community are facing. They will not become armed, because it is against everything that they believe, but will they do in order to stay safe and keep their daughter out of harms way?

Within the community two daughters face decisions that could change their lives forever. Miriam has a choice that could change her life forever. Where will her heart take her? She is torn between two different men and her bond to her beliefs.

This a wonderfully written story by Dale Cramer and am highly anticipating the final book in the series to see what the fate of the Paradise Valley community will finally be. There are a lot of unanswered questions, but just enough to keep you wanting more.  I am also on the hunt for the first book in the series to see where it all began!


The IE Mommy

The IE Mommy

I am a stay at home mom of three; ages 7, 6 and 1! I love doing product reviews and finding the best things to use for my family. Reading and writing have always been my passions so this allows me to incorporate them with the things that mean the most to me!
The IE Mommy
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