Showing posts with label romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label romance. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Loyal Heart (An Uncertain Choice #4)

     In An Uncertain Choice, Jody Hedlund took us back to medieval times and introduced us to three knights in shining armor and a strong woman that catches their eye.

     A Loyal Heart continues Hedlund's YA series with characters introduced in the previous books. This newest release is filled with the same magnificence of the previous releases: Chivalrous knights in battle, a virtuous and strong Lady, romance—all in captivating medieval settings.

      Lady Olivia will do anything for family loyalty, rationalizing her actions to fit her faith. And she will risk her life to protect her younger sister. Lady Olivia is skilled with her sword, though still unable to keep herself and her sister from capture.

     Sir Aldric has walked away from his birthright, punishing himself for his past mistakes. He is now the captain of Lord Pitt’s army, and has been sent to capture an enemy’s daughters to use as leverage. Will holding them hostage persuade their father to succumb to the King’s leadership and stop his rebellion?

     This story holds a strong lesson about family loyalty versus morality. A promise versus virtue.  I especially love this series for young readers, as it gives a beautiful example of what true romance is when it comes to a wholesome relationship. In other words, how you would want a young man to treat your own daughter. The YA genre seems to be lacking in this area today. I’m so glad Hedlund has decided to fill the void.
     Hedlund uses two POVs—one from Sir Aldric's perspective, and the other in first person from Lady Olivia's.

     As I stated in my review of her previous YA release, I particularly love the way this author paints women as capable rather than powerless. Even though this leading lady is on more than one occasion a damsel in distress, needing rescue from a knight in shining armor, Hedlund still portrays her as a woman of strong character—courageous in the face of danger. And in this installment, Lady Olivia becomes the rescuer!

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     As with all her other books in this series, Hedlund paints vivid descriptions. She’s also done her homework on the technical aspects of the medieval period. Well edited, this story has a great pace. You won’t want to put it down.
     Even though this series is listed as Young Adult, it is enjoyable for all ages. I’ve read them all, and I highly recommend you do, too. Knights in shining armor—what’s not to love! 

     If you'd like to read the entire series, the Noble Knights Collection is available for Kindle as well as most other e-readers. It contains the first four books of the series.

     The prequel to this series is only available in e-book format, while the others are available in paperback, hardback and audio formats.

         Prequel to An Uncertain Choice

Books available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Review of Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

I had the pleasure of previewing Jody Hedlund's latest release--Never Forget. The setting for this final installment in the Beacons of Hope series is set at Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island, in the late 1800s.

Abbie Watson’s grandfather is the acting keeper of Rose Island Lighthouse. The only problem is Gramps is senile. Flipping from present day to somewhere in his long-ago past, Gramps is unable to carry out his duties as acting keeper. Luckily, Abbie is more than capable of tending the light and caring for her grandfather. If only she could make the superintendent realize it. If only Abbie’s husband hadn’t been a drunkard. Now that he is deceased, how will she ever convince anyone that she and Gramps should remain at Rose Island? Abbie will do anything to help Gramps remain at the only place he knows and loves.

Following at severe storm, Abbie discovers a man washed ashore. He has no memory of how he got there, or even who he is! Before she can figure out what to tell Gramps, he assumes the stranger is his former assistant one moment, and Abbie’s late husband the next.

Unintentionally, the strange man is led to believe that he is in fact Abbie’s husband. Guilt plagues her, but she allows the charade to continue, hoping it allows a little time for her to figure out how to keep Gramps on Rose Island.

I love the characters in this story. Abbie is proud, strong and loyal—the perfect heroine, even though she is tripped up by many imperfections—one being her ability to avoid the truth. She is easy to like. Nathaniel is giving, kind, tender, but has a tortured soul. He desperately wants to make up for the sins of his past life.

The added detail of dealing with a loved one suffering from dementia adds a bittersweet tone to this story. It's easy to understand how those rare moments of clarity are priceless to Abbie and her sister. What wouldn't we do to have those treasured moments?

The pace is very good from start to finish. I was immediate hooked into the story. The twist and turns were surprising. Just when you think things are coming together, Hedlund throws a curveball. This might just be my favorite in the Beacons of Hope series. 

As usual for Hedlund, the writing, editing, all the details are impeccable. A really good read.

Read in order, this series follows the journey of a wooden cross as it is passed along from one person to another. The individual stories are unique, so the books work quite well as stand-alones.

Never Forget is available for pre-order at Amazon for $4.99.  I highly recommend this one!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Review of Forever Safe by Jody Hedlund

After an introductory novella and three novels, author Jody Hedlund has gone the Indie route for this next (and likely final) installment of the Beacons of Hope series. 

This book brings full circle the story of a wooden cross and a letter penned by Isabelle Thornton that began with the novella Out of the Storm, and are passed along in each book of the series. You can read this book as a stand-alone, yet still enjoy the legacy of the cross by reading Isabelle’s letter on Hedlund’s website. 

This installment is a little more focused on the romance and a bit less on the historical aspect.
The plot is not as intricate as Hedlund’s past books, but she crafts the story well, building tension between the main characters. 

Spoiled heiress Victoria Cole is quite distinct from the other women in this series set in the 1800s. Though blushingly chaste, she is much more forward—to the point of being the pursuer in many of the romantic situations. Bodyguard Tom Cushman is tricked into having young Victoria as a client—a fact that sets the tension between the two from the beginning.

Lighthouses make awesome settings for romantic stories, and with Hedlund’s descriptive writing, it’s easy to visualize gazing out from the tower across the crashing waves of the sea. A huge difference in this fourth book is that the setting has been moved from the Great Lakes lighthouses of Michigan to Cape Cod’s Race Point Lighthouse in Massachusetts. I think the more-refined east coast setting is a great fit for the story. 

It’s not every day that secondary characters come close to being your favorites. Tom’s parents, James and Zelma, were wonderfully in love, with bold displays of affection and much advice for the young. They added a delightful element to the story.

I'm sorry to see the Beacons of Hope series come to an end. Wouldn't it wonderful if Hedlund had a story for every lighthouse in the U.S.?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it to fans of historical romance. It is available for pre-order and will release June 1.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review of Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Hedlund triumphs again with Undaunted Hope,
the third book in the Beacons of Hope series. 

Who doesn’t love lighthouses? The history behind the lights and their keepers along the shores of Michigan makes for great settings in this series of historical romances. 

Hoping to escape a tainted reputation from her past mistakes, Tessa Taylor arrives in a remote area of upper Michigan as the new teacher to the children of copper miners. From the moment she arrives in Eagle Harbor, she needs rescuing—time and again—by the handsome assistant lightkeeper. Tessa is drawn to Alex Bjorklund, but as a teacher, is under obligation to remain a single woman. Besides, she could never involve herself with a lightkeeper; she wants nothing to do with the lake or a lighthouse ever again.

The town of Eagle Harbor is being held hostage by the corrupt chief clerk of Cole Mine—the town’s source of income and supplies. The workers and their families refrain from standing up to the abusive boss for fear of retribution. Will Tessa be able to stand up against the evil Mr. Updegraff?

As always, Hedlund’s characters have terrific depth. They are faced with choices that cause them to rely on God’s guidance to discover their own strengths and weaknesses.

This page-turner’s plot is full of twists and turns. Just when you think there’s a resolution, another snare is tossed into the story.

This series has a common thread besides light houses—a wooden cross and a letter. Although this book is perfectly fine as a stand-alone, readers of the series will enjoy how the story of the cross and letter resolve in this volume.

My favorite part of all Jody's books comes after that last page, in the Author's Note. That is where she reveals the real people and real stories that influenced the novel. I only wish my high school History class had been so interesting! 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it for readers of inspirational, historical and light romance.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: The Doctor's Lady

The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund

I reviewed Jody's first book, The Preacher's Bride, in this post from January 2011. That book made me take another look at Historical Romance. I was always a more 'contemporary' reader, until I fell in love with that book.  Thank you Jody for broadening my horizons.

Her second book, The Doctor's Lady, was published in September of 2011. It currently holds a terrific 4.24 star rating on goodreads, and I think it's well deserved.  

I first read this book without realizing that it is based on historical facts.  (I found that out after the last chapter.) The Doctor's Lady is a story about the journey of two 1800s missionaries that were the first white women to cross the continental divide.  Jody gives a fantastic description of what that rugged journey must have been like.  I wish History class would have been this fun! But it is fiction, so Jody has added lots of intriguing details.

Of course, this story is also a romance. (I almost never read romances, but this is a Christian romance -- I don't have to blush.  And, if you haven't read any Christian fiction in a while, you might be surprised by what you find. It's not Grandma's fiction anymore.) The MC feels called to be a missionary to India, but the mission board passes a ruling that only married couples can serve in the mission field.  Enter Dr. Ernest.  He, too, longs to serve, but on a different field -- Oregon country working with the natives.  Even though Priscilla and Eli almost detest each other, the two soon realize that only by 'joining forces' can they obtain their dream, and thus enter into an agreement -- a marriage in name only.  A business partnership. But what happens if one or both decide to move beyond the 'agreement'?

This adventure/love story is not to be missed.
So why am I reviewing a book that came out last year?  Well, it didn't seem right to review her first and third books without including the second.  That's right -- she has a third book coming very soon!

Unending Devotion by Author Jody Hedlund
Unending Devotion will be released in September.  But guess what?  Yours truly will be reviewing it ahead of the release.  An advance copy of this novel will soon be in my mailbox.  I'm excited! Wanna know the best part?  The MC's name!  Yep, Lily.  That just tickles me pink.

Here's some more good news: Jody will be doing an interview right here on Becoming An Author.  Keep your eyes open for my next post.  And maybe even a future post about A Noble Groom.  Oops!  Getting a little ahead of myself there.  We'll take it one year at a time.

Please check out Jody's website and learn a bit about her. (For instance the fact that she home-schools five children! How does she find time to write?)