Saturday, May 23, 2015

Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund

  Recently the e-book LOVE UNEXPECTED by Jody Hedlund was on sale.  Before buying it, I checked to see if it was available from WPLC (Wisconsin Public Library Consortium) and since it was, I opted to borrow rather than buy.  I've read Jody's books before and enjoy the rugged settings of  1800's Michigan.  This title is the first in the series called Beacons of Hope.  Emma, an Irish immigrant whose life there was devastated by the potato famine, finds that misfortune has hit again when the steamship she is on sinks near Presque Isle in the Michigan Territory.

When a whirlwind set of circumstances lead to a "no-strings attached" marriage proposal, Emma accepts, hoping she will finally be able to let her brother go on alone to seek his fortune.  Quickly Emma finds that her new role as mother to a two year old is tougher than she anticipated.  She also quickly learns that her "husband" is a kind and gentle man which is why she has trouble believing some dark rumors that a neighbor keeps intimating.

Stormy weather, lighthouses, and Great Lakes pirates all mix with secret pasts and budding romance in this fast reading novel.  Hedlund is an author who makes the Christian message part of the story, not an added thought.  Emma has had too much hard luck in her life to see God's hand in much.  Her new husband Patrick only has to look at his own life to know that God gives second chances, but still he fears telling Emma too much about his past.

If you like a historical setting for your romance, then try LOVE UNEXPECTED.  I especially liked Hedlund's notes at the end in which she explained how her book aligned with the early days of the actual Michigan territory.

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