Tag Archive | Jody Hedlund

Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund

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Love Unexpected is the first full-length novel in Jody Hedlund’s Beacons of Hope series, and it starts off with a bang. Pirates pillage the steamer Emma and her brother are traveling aboard. They are forced to abandon ship and swim in the frigid water of Lake Huron off the coast of Michigan until the light keeper is able to rescue them. But then they find themselves in a remote area with no money to pay for passage.

Having been poor and transient most of her life, all Emma has ever wanted is a home to call her own. Through divine providence (according to Holy Bill), Emma finds herself faced with the opportunity to have a home and a family if she will marry a complete stranger.

I appreciate a good romance, and Patrick and Emma’s story was sweet and realistic. Both characters struggle with insecurity and past mistakes, but they learn to find their strength in and forgiveness from God. They also struggle with expectations–one having absurdly low expectations from the other based on a previous relationship–and fear of the unknown. If they could get everything out in the open, healing could begin, but they must experience a lot of pain before realizing that the truth will set them free.

Love Unexpected can be read alone, but I would encourage you to read Hedlund’s novella Out of the Storm first because it introduces the series and relates a wonderful love story. There are references to the characters from the novella in this book, but the characters in Love Unexpected are unrelated to those from Out of the Storm.

I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

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Out of the Storm by Jody Hedlund

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I received an email from Bethany House with a link for the free e-book, Out of the Storm: A Novella by Jody Hedlund, but it is also available on Amazon for free here. I read this short book in one morning and loved it. I am thrilled that I already have Love Unexpected, the first full book in Hedlund’s Beacons of Hope series, and I can’t wait to start reading it.

Out of the Storm is set in an isolated area on the shores of Lake Huron in Michigan in 1854. Isabelle Thornton lives in a small cottage with her father who is the lighthouse keeper. A deadly shipwreck spares one man’s life, and Isabelle learns to enjoy her life.

I read some reviews of this book online, and some reviewers thought there was too much passion for Christian fiction. Having read many other romance novels, I was only slightly surprised by the few moments of passion in Out of the Storm and not because I felt kissing was out of place in a Christian book but only because it seemed a little forward for the time period. I enjoy a good romance and love chemistry between the main characters. It makes the story more believable because real people face temptations and give in sometimes.