TO CAPTURE HIS HEART, by Nancy Campbell Allen, Shadow Mountain, Oct. 12, 2022, Paperback, $15.99 (young adult/ new adult/ adult fiction)
A photographer and a detective join forces to capture a dangerous criminal in To Capture His Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen.
Seaside, England, 1886
Eva Caldwell is an accomplished and well-known photographer who often works with the local constabulary to assist in documenting crime scenes, which means she also often works alongside the handsome and charming detective, Nathan Winston. She appreciates his intellect and how he treats her like an equal, but Eva’s heart is still healing from a past relationship, so, for now, she decides to keep her feelings for Nathan a secret.
One evening, Nathan arrives on her doorstep asking for a personal favor. Would Eva be available to photograph his mother’s legendary, week-long dinner party and matchmaking event? The catch is that Eva would also have to pretend they are courting in order for Nathan to avoid the many single women seeking his attention.
Though wary of the charade, Eva agrees. Spending a week with the two things she loves most — her detective and her camera — sounds simple enough. And if she wants to imagine that Nathan’s pretend courtship of her is real, well, what’s the harm in that?
But when a criminal from Nathan’s past threatens revenge on the detective, Nathan must be extra vigilant to keep his mother and the rest of the partygoers safe. He confides in Eva, and as the two work together to solve the mystery and apprehend the criminal, they find that they might capture more than they expected — each other’s heart. —Synopsis provided by Shadow Mountain
To Capture His Heart is the second book in Nancy Campbell Allen’s Matchmakers series — The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart came out September 2021. Though the two books feature the same characters, it’s not necessary to read The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart to understand To Capture His Heart. That said, readers will miss out on some of the finer nuances if they skip the first novel, which is worth reading for entertainment’s sake.
At the center of To Capture His Heart are Eva and Nathan. Both are likeable characters that readers will want to root for. Eva is an independent woman in a world where that’s unusual. Nathan is drawn to her not only because of looks but because of her intelligence. Nathan, too, has forgone societal norms, working as a detective rather than coasting on his family’s money. He treats Eva with respect and celebrates her talents.
As with all of Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance line, from the start, you know the protagonists are going to end up together. And that’s no different here. The story, though, is filled with twists and turns throughout, making it an enjoyable read.
To Capture His Heart is a “chaste” romance that’s less of a slow burn and more of two minds coming together. Of particular note is how Eva and Nathan talk and work through issues, building a true relationship.
To Capture His Heart is well-paced and inviting. As always, author Nancy Campbell Allen’s writing is clear and comfortable. Though there are moments of violence and descriptions of death, it is still suitable for fans of young adult, new adult, and adult fiction.
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