Book Review

Review: Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund

I’m always so excited when I see a new release by Jody Hedlund. Her books have a wonderful way of capturing truths about humanity, pulling the reader into the history of the setting, and characters that tug on the heart. Take all of those things that put them into the state of Michigan, and it is no wonder I love her books.

Michigan is unique for the number of lighthouses our state has dotting our shorelines. No other state has as many as we do. The history surrounding these icons can be quite unique and fascinating. Hedlund’s new series of novels are set at these landmarks, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. If you haven’t checked it out already, there is an ebook novella that starts this series off (it is even mentioned within the pages of Love Unexpected) that is free on Amazon as of this posting.

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**I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review**

1859 Presque Isle, Michigan What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives? All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she’s left destitute and with no place to stay. An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He’s just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other’s dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household. Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife’s death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

Love Unexpected is a beautiful novel. A phrase comes up a number of times in this book that is the essence of this story and something that we can all use a reminder of: “Let the past stay in the past.”

While the things in my past aren’t as extreme as that of the hero, Patrick, in this novel, I can relate to wanting to just let those things remain in the past and never have to bring them up again. Patrick’s greatest fear is that he will be discovered to be what he used to be, and that will shatter the life he has formed for himself.

All Emma has wanted is place to call home, so she jumps on the opportunity of a marriage of convenience to help raise Patrick’s adorable son, Josiah, while Patrick can focus his attention on the work associated with the lighthouse. But as they tend to do, gossip grabs hold of an inkling of truth and threatens the fragile relationship Emma and Patrick are beginning to form.

The nuggets of history contained within these pages was wonderful. Everything from Michigan’s lumber and fishing industries to the pirates who were active on the lakes are mentioned and have their own place in these pages–and this Michigander loved every page of it.

This is a novel about trust and love. It captures the way relationships are formed as Emma and Patrick’s feelings for each other grow. Josiah adds a bit of humor to the story with his antics, and I couldn’t help but adore the little boy (he might have been my favorite character, and “character” he was…).

I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad as I turned the final page and had to say farewell to this story. It was beautifully told. But, I can’t help but wonder where the next book in this story will take us.

I would love to hear from you! Feel free to add to the discussion by posting in the comments below.

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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