Tag Archives: Jody Hedlund

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

With You Always book cover

Elise Neumann is tired of being a poor immigrant in New York City—she is tired of starving daily and tired of being worked to the bone to care for her sisters. When she is presented with the opportunity to travel west in order to secure her future, she reluctantly leaves behind her family so she can provide for them. Along the rails, she reconnects with Thornton Quincy, a man she ran into in the middle of a gang scuffle several months ago in New York. Elise is cautiously thrilled to meet a friend, but she is uncertain why Mr. Quincy is also moving west and what his intentions might be for their friendship. But when someone threatens Elise’s new livelihood and the business of Mr. Quincy, their friendship takes a deadly turn.

What a wonderful start to a new series by a beloved author! I recommend reading the free novella before starting this book as it gives even more background to the characters in this first installment. The time period and events in this novel are very interesting to read about, and I appreciated that the author did not shy away from giving vivid descriptions of the deplorable conditions poor immigrants found themselves in upon arriving to America in the 1850s. The characters face certain difficulties, which make them realistic and relatable. I love the way the romance develops between the two main characters and that it does not feel rushed. I also enjoyed the surprises near the end of the book that were not altogether predictable. I am greatly looking forward to the rest of the series and highly recommend this novel!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Undaunted Hope book cover

Tessa Taylor accepts a teaching position for children of miners in remote northern Michigan, eager to escape a past of which she is not proud. The town is not expecting a female teacher, but the town’s chief clerk Percival Updegraff agrees to allow her to stay on temporarily. Tessa is grateful and immediately throws herself into the task of educating the poor and uneducated children and their families. Her passion draws the notice of more than one parent, including both the handsome father and suave uncle of two students, who think Ms. Taylor would be the perfect match for their family. As Tessa is confronted with a decision of the heart, she is also forced to face past fears. And danger is lurking among the mines, making her choice to stay one that may have dangerous consequences.

I love the characters in all of Jody Hedlund’s books. They possess such a deep complexity combined with a refreshing sense of honor that makes me fall in love with them. The setting of this particular novel was also interesting to read. The historical details of the miners and the dynamics of social strata were both fascinating and also a bit troubling, giving me a new perspective on the harsh conditions of the early 1870s. The introduction of multiple love interests made the romance exciting and some unexpected twists meant the novel was not predictable. Overall, I enjoyed multiple aspects of this novel and highly recommend it!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

Caroline Taylor has grown to love caring for the Windmill Point Lighthouse. It allows her to enjoy the peaceful lake and fills her with a sense of duty as she protects boats crossing the water. But the lighthouse board frowns upon a female acting as keeper in 1865 Michigan and appoints a war veteran to resume her position. Ryan Chambers is struggling with his own demons, however, and realizes upon arriving that Caroline can handle this task much better than he. Ryan convinces her to stay for a short time to show him how to manage the light, but someone does not want Caroline to remain in the position. As dangerous events continue to occur, each one suggesting something other than pure coincidence, Caroline must decide between staying and exploring her growing affection for the wounded soldier and moving the family she has sworn to protect from the dangers of the lighthouse.

What a wonderful read! The characters were interesting and possessed significant depth. They were flawed, yes, but their struggles made their personalities, trials, and victories that much richer. The setting of this novel was unique and was described so well that that I felt as though I could feel the breeze from the lake or smell the dew on the grass. The story contained surprising plot changes that created a novel that was not predictable. The romance was complex and the villain was not whom I at first suspected. A truly enjoyable book and most highly recommended!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Captured By Love by Jody Hedlund

Angelique MacKenzie loves the beauty of Michilimackinac Island despite the British oppression and cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer. She spends her time fishing on the picturesque lake and caring for a blind widow while waiting for her American fiancé to be able to return to the island. However, when long-time friend and fur trader Pierre Durant returns to the island after years away, she finds her heart stirred for her childhood love. Angelique struggles to determine which man has a greater hold on her emotions as she experiences famine and war on the island. Pierre, meanwhile, is devastated to see his family farm in shambles and works to keep his loyalties a secret. Both must depend on each other and decide what they will risk for love.

Captured By Love is well written, full of historical depth and fantastic character development. Angelique captures the heart of her readers immediately through her gentle and sweet spirit, her strength and courage, and her desire to help those even less fortunate than herself. Pierre has realistic struggles but his aspiration to be a better man is commendable. The plot flows seamlessly as the characters become intertwined in a complex story. Jody Hedlund includes true historical detail that adds a nice backdrop to the romance. She grips the reader’s attention and emotions in another beautiful novel. This book is highly recommended for those who enjoy historical romance.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

Rebellious Heart is full of historical details chronicling the political tensions between the British and colonials just before the onset of the Revolutionary War.  According to the author’s notes, the two main characters are based on John and Abigail Adams and Jody Hedlund does a wonderful job creating a love story amidst the social and political unrest.  Susanna Smith, a strong and intelligent lady for whom a greater education is denied, has compassion for the less fortunate and this admirable quality takes her into uncharted waters.  Her assistance to a young, indentured servant leads her into danger and causes her to begin to question societal rules and laws that she had previously willingly accepted.   Benjamin Ross, a poor country lawyer who struggles with his place in society, is drawn to Susanna’s spirit but finds himself battling with his own beliefs and values as he aids her in her cause.  The development of each person’s character is artfully told through mystery and adventure; both must learn to look to what God desires for His people and fight injustice and pride to fulfill His greater plan.  Not all the details were predictable and kept the reader turning the pages to discover if good would triumph evil and justice would reign in the end.  A very thoughtful and detailed plot combined with an excellent writing style and a beautiful romance creates a remarkable story.  This historical fiction novel is highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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