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A Noble Groom

Jody Hedlund
A Noble Groom
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Recently widowed Annalisa Werner believes that her husband was murdered but can't prove it. She is alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased and the land is d... Read More

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Recently widowed Annalisa Werner believes that her husband was murdered but can't prove it. She is alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

For nobleman Carl von Reichert, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He's been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn't commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he'll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa's farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.

Annalisa senses that Carl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He's gentle, kind, and romantic - unlike any of the men she's ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love - but her true groom is still on his way and time is running out on them all.

A Noble Groom is a story of romance, faith and mystery from fan-favorite author Jody Hedlund.

Product Details:
Page Count: 368
Released: 03/2013

Additional Information

  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Apr 1, 2013
  • UPC: 9780764210471
  • Height: 0
  • Width: 0
  • Length: 0
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 363
  • Publish Date: Apr 1, 2013
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042000"
  • ISBN: 0764210475

Customer Reviews

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A Heart Touching Novel... by Pamela Jo on 7/8/13
Rating

"A Noble Groom" tells the tale of German immigrants who settled in Michigan in the 1800's. The focus is on Annalisa Werner, a young woman married to an uncaring and cold man. She tells fairy tales to her young daughter, yet lives with the reality that hers is not a fairytale life. Then her husband dies...or was he murdered?

Needing to save her farm, she agrees to allow her father to write to his brother in Germany, asking him to send a groom for Annalisa. Carl Richards arrives. A schoolteacher from Germany. That is the story he tells, but is he being deceptive?

Carl helps Annalisa on the farm until her "real" groom arrives. Annalisa is drawn to Carl, yet she has learned not to trust any man. Can she trust Carl? Will he betray her as her husband did? Carl proves to be a gentle soul who shows Annalisa nothing but kindness. However, the secret he harbors about his identity does not allow him to form a long term commitment to Annalisa.

Add to all of the plot twists an evil man intent on having Annalisa's farm, the terrible destruction of natural disasters (very well researched, by the way), a typhoid epidemic, and you will find a book you won't be able to put down. There is suspense, romance, heartbreak, and a theme of abiding faith within the pages of "A Noble Groom." I cheered, I cried, and I was sad when the story ended.

I was graciously provided with a review copy of this book from Bethany House. It arrived on Saturday morning and I finished reading it by Sunday afternoon! "A Noble Groom" is a heart touching story. Will this tale have a happy ending and find Annalisa finally marrying for love, or will "happily ever after" continue to elude Annalisa? Read this wonderful book and discover the answer. You will not regret it!

A Wonderful, Spell-Binding Tale! by Leahhhh12 on 6/11/13
Rating

Jody Hedlund has once again woven a spell-binding tale that left me breathless as I eagerly turned each page. I have loved each one of Jody Hedlund’s books equally and it’s hard to choose a favorite, but A Noble Groom is definitely near the top of my “All-Time Favorites” list.

I was entranced right from the start as we find Annalisa, who has been recently widowed. With a daughter and another child on the way, Annalisa needs help in order to run her farm in Michigan. Her father sends to their home country – Germany – for a suitable man to become Annalisa’s husband and help her run her farm.
While waiting for her “mail-order groom,” another German man by the name of Carl comes to their community. Carl finds himself helping Annalisa while she waits for her groom, and while he struggles with the chores, he finds himself wanting to prove to Annalisa that he is able to do what is required.

I loved this cast of characters and they easily found their way into my heart. As a Michigander, I am eager to read books that are written about my state, and this one had a lot of interesting history to go along with the fantastic story. I enjoyed learning more about the German immigrants in the state of Michigan, as well as some of the difficulties in farming in the 1800’s.
This book had a great mixture of love, struggles, mystery, and adventure. There were several events that left me wondering how things would ever get figured out. There were moments that took my breath away. There were moments that pulled my heart strings. Overall, I loved each page of this book and was only disappointed when it ended and there was no more to read.
Do yourself a favor and go read this book!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated are my own.

Wonderful story by dgottreu on 6/9/13
Rating

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund is a wonderful historical romance novel that is set in Michigan and takes place from 1880 to 1881. Annalisa Werner is a recent widow with a young daughter and another baby on the way. She feels that her husband was murdered but she cannot prove it. She cannot take care of the farm alone so she agreed to let her father write to his brother in Germany asking him to send a man to America to be her husband. Carl Richards, a nobleman in disguise, arrived at the farm after fleeing England where he was accused of a murder that he did not commit. Many thought he was the groom and were set for a wedding but being a Christian and an honest man, he told them that he was not the anticipated groom. He knew absolutely nothing about farming or any kind of manual work but he agreed to help Annalisa until her groom would arrive. Annalisa’s late husband was cruel and unloving and she thought that was the norm and did not expect to have a happily ever after marriage. As can be expected, Carl and Annalisa began to care for each other but she had a groom coming and he wanted to leave the farm and go to Chicago to teach.

The author did a great job in developing all elements of the story. The characters came alive on the pages of the book and the plot had several twists and turns that provided a good deal of suspense. The dialogue had German words scattered throughout the book and it is very evident that the author did a great deal of research before writing this story. Not only was I entertained by the reading of a very good story but I also learned some history at the same time. I was very impressed with the way the author showed exactly how hard life was for the German immigrants in the late nineteenth century. Her development of Carl’s character added so much to the book with one example being how his strong beliefs in God helped Annalisa regain her faith. She kept the suspense going through the entire book with destructive fires, childbirth, lice, murder, Carl’s fear of his identify being revealed, attempted extortion, lack of rain, and waiting for a groom to arrive. I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of some of Carl’s “inventions” that made life and work easier for Annalisa.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a well written and heart warming historical book that also shows God’s love and forgiveness throughout the story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wonderful historical romance with depth by Carole on 5/31/13
Rating

In A Noble Groom, Jody Hedlund combines rich romance, deep emotion and powerful drama in a moving narrative that thoroughly entertained this reader. The stand-alone novel, set in a Michigan immigrant community during the early 1880s, mixes fiction with actual events and vividly captures what life was like in the German peasant community there. It's also a book of contrasts: Contrasts between the aristocracy and peasants . . . between working to benefit the nobility in Old World Saxony and working to own their own land in Forestville, Michigan . . . between marriage for expediency and marriage with love and respect.


Summary

Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can’t prove it.

Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

For nobleman Carl von Reichart, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He’s been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn’t commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he’ll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa’s farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.

Annalisa senses that Carl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He’s gentle, kind, and romantic–unlike any of the men she’s ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love–but her true groom is still on his way. And time is running out on them all.


My thoughts

"Historical romance" and terms like "complexity" and "depth" don't usually go together, but A Noble Groom is a delightful exception. It's a wonderful romance, but with the addition of rich characterization, history, and solid writing.

Jody creates a reverse twist on the mail-order bride plot by putting Annalisa - a young, struggling widow - into a proposed arranged marriage with a family member from the Old Country. But instead of the family relation, Carl arrives and is at first mistaken for the groom. And thus the fun begins!

Life was extremely hard for these immigrant farmers, as they often faced hunger, disease, and discrimination - but if they succeeded, the result was ownership of their own land. It was hard to see how women were treated in this German community, for laws from the Old Country were brought with them - laws which permitted men to discipline their wives as they saw fit. Marriages were "a practical partnership, a coming together for survival and for having children. Love, mutual affection, even attraction - those emotions were reserved for stories . . . Annalisa had learned that not even happiness was a guarantee. Misery, frustration, anger had been her constant companion."

One of this novel's strengths is the characterization of Carl and Annalisa, not to mention the chemistry between them. Carl, who initially thought America was a home for unhappy peasants and poor dissidents, was full of arrogance and pride: "He wasn't meant for the life of a common laborer. He was destined for greater accomplishments, for better things, for the noble life to which he'd been born." And he responded to difficult situations by running away. Annalisa, the widow of a peasant farmer, felt she could never measure up - not as a daughter, a wife, or even an American. And she felt insignificant and unimportant to God. It is enjoyable to watch Carl and Annalisa change, both spiritually and emotionally, as the story unfolds.

Carl ranks among my favorite heroes in Christian fiction. I like male leads who are kind, self-sacrificing, tender, and have a sense of humor - and this certainly describes Carl. He was a flawed character, but from the beginning, he treated Annalisa with kindness and respect, worked hard to help save her farm, and I delighted in the way he interacted with her daughter, Gretchen.

I can't leave without saying how much I love the cover of this book! Kudos to Bethany House for choosing to feature the male lead with such a great shot.

A Noble Groom gives us a happily-ever-after ending that is still bittersweet in some aspects, and I liked that about it. I wish the ending had been a little longer - maybe less words elsewhere and room for more at the end. There are enough characters and unfinished storylines to allow for a sequel, which I very much hope for: Annalisa's sister, father, Dirk, Carl's family in Germany, and more from Carl and Annalisa, of course!

Reading A Noble Groom was pure enjoyment and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy inspirational fiction.

To learn more about Jody Hedlund and her books, visit . . .

Jody's website - jodyhedlund.com
Discussions questions - http://bit.ly/15pw2XN
Pinterest board for A Noble Groom - http://bit.ly/19u0van

This book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Lovely Characters, a Great Story! by Monica at Novel Characters on 5/29/13
Rating

A Noble Groom. How could any woman resist a title like that? Not to mention the cover that goes with it! As if that combination alone wasn't enough to give me a propensity towards liking the story, the main characters are also German immigrants (dear to my heart as my father is one), and it's set in Michigan with countryside a lot like my current home in the neighboring state of Wisconsin.

Anyway, those are the little things. The real substance is in the characters and the plot, which did not disappoint. When Carl von Reichart, the only son of a very unpopular Baron in Germany, is wrongly accused of a crime he takes refuge in America, disguising his identity. He's sent to stay with the relatives of his faithful manservant who are in need of a groom for their recently widowed daughter Annalisa. Upon arrival, Carl promises to stand in until her groom arrives by helping work on Annalisa's farm in exchange for food and shelter. But, with the dashingly kind Carl working for her, something told me from the beginning that Annalisa might not be so eager for her new groom once he arrives.

Tender and sweet, this is a story about God's love and the healing power of simple kindness. Annalisa wasn't treated well by her first husband, and Carl never realized the hurts he'd inflicted on the lower class citizens by being indifferent to their suffering. By being kind to each other they are both able to mature and grow in their faith.

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

Read Additional Customer Reviews Below

Additional Customer Reviews

Harsh conditions create tender affection by Svlemommy on 5/15/13
Rating

I enjoyed this book. Like any Christian romance novel, you can figure out what's going to happen pretty easily, but this one is still fun to read.

The story is centered around a family of German immigrants and a daughter, Annalisa, whose husband dies suddenly. She has to save her farm and to do this she needs a husband. Her dad "orders" her one from his brother in Germany. However, a man shows up with a note saying that he's there to "fill in" until the real groom can raise enough money to make the voyage.

The conditions in the family were harsh. Women didn't eat with the men. Women didn't do anything their husband or father didn't say was okay. People looked the other way with abuses. I have a hard time with believing a father wouldn't stand up for his daughter. Then again, I am not a German immigrant in the 1880s so I don't know what conditions were really like back then.

The love story is sweet and gut wrenching at the same time. The description hints that Carl is hiding something and I honestly kept expecting it to surface at any minute.

Annalisa fights not only nature but a ruthless businessman to save her farm and family. She is a strong woman and it was good to see her soften as the book went on.

I received a copy of the book from Bethany House for the purpose of this review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

This Is No Fairy Tale! by Nancee on 5/9/13
Rating

"A Noble Groom" is set in 1880 on the eastern side of Michigan's lower peninsula, near the shores of Lake Huron. Fleeing Germany in search of a better life, numerous immigrants hoped to work in the mines in Michigan's upper peninsula, but upon discovering how cold winters were that far north they remained in lower peninsula Michigan where land was cheap. Clearing the land and making it ready for planting crops was hard labor, but just owning a piece of property was important to these immigrants who came from nothing in the Old Country. Annalisa Werner's husband was killed, leaving her with a 2-year-old daughter, and pregnant with her second child. Her marriage had been unhappy, and as she told her daughter fairy tales she frequently dreamed about love and happiness in a marriage, wondering if such a thing existed. When Carl Richards arrived in Michigan from Germany, Annalisa's father mistook him for a distant cousin that he had requested as a husband for Annalisa. When Carl informed him that he was a teacher, and not Annalisa's cousin, he was hired to work Annalisa's farm until her prospective husband arrived from Germany.

Jody Hedlund has researched her Michigan history well, and has created a very poignant story of extremely oppressive times for the immigrants who came from Germany with virtually nothing but their work ethics and the hope for a better life. Marriage was a matter of necessity in order to produce children to assist in working the farms. Women had no value aside from their childbearing capabilities, and love was a rarity. Strong personalities are portrayed with detail, leaving the reader affected by these characters. The landscape is described in pictorial detail, creating images that enhance the issues described in the lives of these peasants. It appears that God has forsaken these people through harsh and significantly difficult times, but their faith remains strong, and hope prevails. The attention to detail in this book is magnificent! Jody Hedlund is an extremely talented and masterful author who creates a deeply moving and emotionally consuming story of struggle, survival, faith and love. Impressive!

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I received no monetary compensation for this review.

Historical Christian Fiction by tickmenot on 5/5/13
Rating

Young German-born Annalisa lives in a bleak world in 1880′s America. Men control every part of her life. In Annalisa’s world the men were served food first, the women got the leftovers–if there were any. If a man mistreated his wife, it was his right. Women counted for very little. Before marriage, her austere father controlled every part of her life including who she should marry. Her husband took over that role after marriage. In addition, he gambled and lost all their money, including the hard-earned money he stole from Annalisa. The death of Annalisa’s husband gave her no freedom. On the day of his death, her father made arrangements for a distant cousin to come from Germany to be her next spouse. Pregnant Annalisa and her young daughter Gretchen have no say in the matter.

Into Annalisa’s life comes Carl, and he is unlike any man Annalisa has ever seen. Carl acknowledges women, in particular Annalisa, as humans on the same level as men. Carl invites Annalisa to sit and eat with him, he has conversation with her, and he asks what she actually thinks. He tells everyone he is a teacher on the run, who was falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He left Germany to hide out in America. Annalisa’s uncle sent him to her family. However, Carl has a secret past, one that Annalisa and her family must never find out. It would destroy them, and Carl would be thrown out.

It is decided that Carl will work Annalisa’s farm until her new husband arrives. Carl admits he knows nothing about farm work, but he actually doesn’t know anything about work of any kind. He applies himself though. There is added pressure because Annalisa only has until the end of the harvest to pay off her farm loan, or she will lose it. Plus the local lumber mill owner desires her land for himself–and has been trying to force her to sign her land over to him. In fact, everyone believes her husband’s death was the result of his refusal to sell his land.

For the first time in her life, Annalisa is around a man who treats her and daughter Gretchen with kindness. Annalisa finds herself loving Carl. Although Carl is very nice to her in return, Annalisa isn’t sure if it is love–and Carl isn’t either. Also, even though months have passed without his appearance, Annalisa is promised by her father to marry her German cousin.

Will love grow between Annalisa and Carl? Will Annalisa be in a marriage that will give her true happiness, or will she be destined to another loveless marriage her father arranges with her unknown cousin?

This book was hard to read because Annalisa, and all the women of her community, have such hard and hopeless lives, and it appears life is destined to continue that way for them. The author did a good job bringing all the characters to life, and researching this people group, and their history. The story had a fairly good ending. However, there was much sadness and death before reaching the end. The life of Annalisa’s sister is especially difficult to read about. This is not a happily ever after story. Carl does have faith in God, but Annalisa struggles to believe God could care for her, in her words, a lowly woman. The pastor and his wife are the only bright spots in this community, but don’t seem to have much influence to change things. This is a story of many struggles. If you enjoy historical tales that contain hardships and heartache, this is the story for you. I give this book four stars.

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.

A beautiful love story for a girl who had given up hope that she could have a fairytale of her own… by PennedChronicle on 5/4/13
Rating

Carl truly was a noble groom in this story in the way that he cared for Annalisa, her children, family and community. I liked seeing Anna transform while being around Carl. All of the romantic hopes that she had buried deep within her came to the surface as he lovingly took care of her and her girls. I found Anna’s journey to finding love realistic. She had been abused in many ways except being physically hit by her first husband and that caused her to be quite jumpy around Carl when they first met. It was wonderful to see those walls fall around her and as she opened to his love.

In the novel there is also an underlying theme of having the right to choose for one’s self instead of strict filial observance. In the story we see Annalisa’s sister Eleanor, suffer with being married to an abusive husband. This seemed to a reality to the women in Anna’s community that they thought they had to live with until Carl upsets that way of thinking.

Overall I’d give this book five stars. I loved it! I will definitely read this story again and I can’t wait to read more of Jody Hedlund’s work.

Hard time, hard life, yet a noble groom by Vera on 4/20/13
Rating

About the book: Time and place - Michigan, 1880

Annalisa Werner's hope for a fairy tale love is over. Her husband failed her in every way and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That'll be enough. A marriage for love...that's something she's given up on.

So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.


Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany and a former schoolteacher-or so he says. He's looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives.

With time running out, she accepts his help, but there's more to this man than he's admitting. He's also gentle, kind, charming-unlike any man she's ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.

My thoughts: This was an interesting read giving insight into the plight of immigrants to the United States in 1880. Noble Groom specifically involves German immigrants seeking a new and better life free from the overlords and virtual enslavement of 1880 Germany and Europe. They initially came to work in the mines, but when that did not work out, they took advantage of the opportunity to establish farms on cheap land from which trees had been harvested. The land was filled with debris and tree stumps which made clearing the land and farming it formidable.

Determined to make this opportunity work and live as free men who owned their own land, they banded together into "communities." In our story, the heroine is left by the death of her husband to make her land pay so the debt can be paid off within the allotted time. She is expecting a baby. The community leaders meet and determine that a groom will be sent from Germany to marry her, further clear and farm the land, and pay off the debt with earnings from the land. She has no voice in her plight.

Indicative of the culture of the time, women were simply helpers and breeders. Their life was hard. Most were unloved; or if loved, the love was not expressed in any comforting way.

At the same time that the "selected groom" is suppose to arrive from Germany, another man of gentle, noble ways arrives. Carl is not hardened by life nor is his body hardened to hard, manual labor. He protests when a marriage to Annalisa is immediately initiated upon his arrival by community leaders. After making the mistaken identity known to the community, he does, however, agree to work the farm for her in exchange for his room and board.

This is an interesting read from a historical standpoint as well as relaxing and enjoyable. I found the characters believable and well developed and the story line easy to follow. The sweet romance was another plus and was presented in a wholesome way. I was again delighted to read another of Jody Hedlund's books and look forward to future works by her.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. Litfuse Publicity Group provided the copy on behalf of the publisher, Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group, and the author, Jody Hedlund.

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