Awaken My Heart
The colony of Texas of 1803 is the setting for the star-crossed love story between a gently-bred Virginia planter’s daughter and the mestizo rebel whose band kidnaps her. Desperate to help his people hold onto their homeland of La Flor, Armando Garcia at first agrees to the kidnapping. He soon regrets his complicity, especially when his young captive Marianne Phillips proves not only fluent in his language, but an advocate for his people’s cause. He also learns Marianne’s personal kind of Christianity and turns his heart back to a God he once abandoned.
Armando and Marianne admit their love, but the social and political environment and Marianne’s obedience to her parents cause her to agree to become engaged to Don Lorenzo. But when her father plans to sabotage La Flor and sacrifice its inhabitants, she rushes to warn the people she has come to love. She comes home in time to say goodbye to her father, whose cruel and unhappy heart has given out on him.
In a novel full of adventure, humanity, and her protagonist’s humility, DiAnn Mills treads around the didacticism that sometimes infects this genre. The reader is left with good questions to ponder after an entertaining prance through an exciting part of Texas history before statehood. Well done.