With You Always

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Hedlund, Jody. With You Always: Orphan Train Series- Book 1. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Having lived on the streets previously with her younger siblings, immigrant Elise Neumann must find a way to support them. Boarding a train from New York to Illinois in the hopes of finding a job, Elise makes an acquaintance with Thornton Quincy, a member of New York’s elite society trying to build a new town along the Illinois Central Railroad and in the process of hiring skilled workers. When an attraction sparks but threatens progress, Elise and Thornton must make choices which may affect more than just their own futures…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Reading anything author Jody Hedlund writes, of course I knew I would read her newest novel, With You Always. In her true style, she writes a heartfelt, moving, compassionate story which ends way too soon but thankfully, is only Book 1 in the new Orphan Train series. Appreciating the research into the time periods as well as the Author’s Note at the end of the story where she explains the history, I applaud her for telling the story from the different perspective of women during the time. A strong introduction to a new and interesting series!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

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Undaunted Hope

Hedlund, Jody. Undaunted Hope: Beacons of Hope- Book 3. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2016.

undauntedhope

SUMMARY:
Hoping to leave her past behind, Tessa Taylor travels to Eagle Harbor, Michigan, to accept a teaching position. As a mining town, Tessa learns the hardships lived by both adults and children alike. Expecting a male teacher, chief mine clerk and self-appointed town supervisor, Percival Updegraff, is hesitant yet interested in the new young teacher much to Tessa’s dismay. However, much to her unexpected surprise, brothers Alex and Michael Bjorklund, keepers of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, begin a brotherly contest to win her affection. Lurking in the corner though may be danger she just might not be able to escape…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having read and enjoyed the previous two books in the Beacons of Hope series, I knew Undaunted Hope would definitely be on my to-be-read list. An amazing author, a historically romantic novel, and an engaging storyline make for an excellent book. Being very familiar with the area in Eagle Harbor makes this novel even more perfect for me. Humor, suspense, romance, history and faith all mingle together in one of my now favorite books. Beautiful cover, too!

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Undaunted Hope from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Luther and Katharina

Hedlund, Jody, Luther and Katharina. Colorado Springs, CO: Waterbrook Press. 2015.

SUMMARY:
lutherandkatharinaMartin Luther, well known for his reformation of the Catholic church, denounces isolation and promotes the goodness of marriage. Cloistered since age 5, noblewoman Katharina Von Bora defies the expected and finds her deepest desires for love and family through and with Martin Luther. Class conflict, religious tensions and status norms cause both to reconsider their beliefs and succumb to the heart…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Being familiar with the story of Martin Luther but less with Katharina Von Bora, not only did I enjoy the story but also the history. Though different than the usual genre of Jody Hedlund I have read, as a favorite author, I would read just about anything she writes. Full of tension, stubbornness, strong wills, and unlikely romance, Luther and Katharina was definitely an excellent novel. I fell in love with the cover and then the story within. Though not due out until October 2015, I am already hoping for another book of the same type from this author…please?

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Luther and Katharina from Blogging For Books for my honest review *

Hearts Made Whole

Hedlund, Jody. Hearts Made Whole: Beacons Of Hope-Book 2. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2105.

SUMMARY:
hearstmadewholeAs the keeper of the Windmill Point Lighthouse in Michigan, Caroline Taylor defies the norm. Usually a man’s position only, Caroline continues on after witnessing her father’s death until the newly appointed lighthouse keeper appears, Ryan Chambers. A Civil War veteran with battles of his own, Caroline feels a tug of her heart towards him yet circumstances may stand in the way…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Loving the Michigan lighthouse settings of this new series, Beacons of Hope, this book was no exception. Not only a favorite author of mine but a truly good writer, Jody Hedlund pens an exciting albeit difficult story set in the mid 1800’s. With references to some of the characters from Book 1, Love Unexpected, this novel could also be a stand-alone without issue. I found it interesting that this novel was inspired by a true light-keeper heroine from Michigan, along with the author’s hope that readers will turn to God for their every need. Again, well done!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Hearts Made Whole from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Love Unexpected

Hedlund, Jody. Love Unexpected: Beacons of Hope-Book One. Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
hedlundWanting only to have a permanent home to call her own, Emma Chambers isn’t sure that will ever happen. When her steamboat catches on fire due to pirates and sinks, she and her brother find themselves near Presque Isle, Michigan. Meeting the new lighthouse keeper, Patrick, proves to be a possible answer to her hopes but he comes with baggage, history and a young son. After a quick marriage, Emma finds herself discovering parenthood, love, regret, faith and forgiveness stronger than she ever thought necessary…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Of course I was going to read this book…the author is one of my favorites and I just knew I would like it!¬† I was not disappointed as I encountered pirates, blossoming love, a rambunctious toddler, persevering strength, and forgiveness beyond measure- all along the shores of Michigan. As the first in the Beacons of Hope series, I am looking forward already to Book Two set to release in June. (Now, if only Jody Hedlund could write faster!)

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Love Unexpected from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Captured by Love

Hedlund, Jody. Captured by Love. Bloomington, MN: Bethany house Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
jodySet on Michilimackinac Island, Angelique MacKenzie endures a hard life. Having lost her parents, she is forced to live with Ebenezer Whiley (her cruel step-father), provide food for herself and the British Army invading the island, care for her elderly blind friend, and become betrothed to a man she respects but doesn’t love. When Pierre Durant returns after many years away to find his childhood friend, Angelique, all grown up, they both must decide where their loyalties and hearts truly lie…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Wow. Jody Hedlund does not disappoint! Through adventure, suspense, romance and history, the author tells a tale so artfully told it was hard to put down. Now a popular tourist spot, the telling of the history of Michilimackinac (Mackinac) Island was so very interesting and accurate. Alive with canoes, the Great Lakes, wilderness, forts and fur trading, the story was authentically real. Combined with those elements is a deep storyline strewn with pieces of faith which just keeps progressing. I only hope Jody Hedlund is in the writing process of her next book already. Again…wow.

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Captured by Love from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Rebellious Heart

Hedlund, Jody. Rebellious Heart. Bloomington, MN: Bethany house. 2013.

SUMMARY:
revellious heartSusanna Smith, daughter of a minister and his wife, lives a comfortable yet controlled life. When she meets Benjamin Ross, a man of few means, she realizes he will never be accepted by her parents as a suitor. Involved in his own adventures, Ben quickly becomes an advisor to Susanna as she becomes involved in a dangerous situation concerning a runaway indentured servant. Rebellion and revolution soon result to all that once was believed and held true…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Inspired by the early courtship of the second President of the United States and his First Lady, John and Abigail Adams, Rebellious Heart weaves suspense, adventure, and romance together all while staying true to Christian values. I was excited to read another novel by Jody Hedlund and this story did not disappoint at all. I found I could not turn the pages fast enough; the action and drama were captivating! Cover-to-cover, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was only sorry to finish it. Congratulations to Jody Hedlund on an absolutely enthralling read!

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Rebellious Heart from Bethany House for my honest review*