Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope #1)Jody Hedlund
Stranded at Presque Isle port after their steamboat sank, Emma Chambers and her brother, Ryan, couldn't be farther away from security. While Ryan at least can find work, Emma can't even find a place to stay.An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper, who recently... Read More
An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper, who recently lost his wife and is struggling to raise his young son, arrives in town. A traveling preacher believes they might be the answer to each others' problems, and after a hasty marriage, Emma is headed back to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger.
But nothing in her wandering life has prepared her for suddenly being asked to raise a child and keep a house. Struggling at every turn, Emma also suspects Patrick may be keeping something hidden from her. In town she hears whispers about strange circumstances surrounding his previous wife's death, and it seems as though Emma's answered prayer for a home and family may actually be something much more dangerous.
- Product type: Book
- Format: Softcover
- Release Date: Nov 4, 2014
- UPC: 9780764212376
- Volumes/Discs: 1
- Pages: 348
- Publish Date: Dec 2, 2014
- Language: English
- Audience Age Maximum: 0
- Audience Age Minimum: 0
- BISAC: "FIC042030"
- ISBN: 0764212370
Customer ReviewsWrite your own review
- Powerful suspense & deception! by Nancee on 1/14/2015
The first in the Beacons of Hope series, Love Unexpected was much more than I expected from the book's description. The lightkeeper's wife suffered an untimely death, leaving Patrick with no means to care for his 2-year-old son and manage the lighthouse on Presque Isle. Steamboat passengers Emma and her brother Ryan, are victims of pirates overtaking their boat not far from the shore of Presque Isle. Rescued and destitute, Ryan secures a job in the local fishing industry, but Emma has no hope of a future until a marriage of convenience is arranged in order that she raise the lighthouse keeper's young son. Delighted at her good fortune in securing a home for herself, a life of untold secrets and deception threaten her future.
The events throughout this book kept me wrapped up in this fast-paced, suspenseful drama filled with deception and untold secrets. Brimming with intrigue, tragedy and dread this book kept me riveted to my seat. Unexpected situations lurked around every corner, threatening Emma's safety and reputation. Jody Hedlund has a gift for creating a setting and relationships that are unforgettable. She portrays the lighthouse and the area surrounding it on Presque Isle with accuracy and beauty. Her research is impeccable. Her description of the eastern coast of Michigan and Lake Huron, as well as historic events are commendable. Her characters are also based on individuals who lived on Presque Isle as lightkeepers in the past. In her Author's Note at the end of her book the author relays information regarding the importance and significance of lighthouses along the shores of Michigan. Historically correct and written with a gift for realism, both in suspense and romance, I highly recommend this inspirational book!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
- Review from Rambles of a SAHM by Fitzysmom on 1/2/2015
I find lighthouses to be just fascinating. Such a symbol of safety and hope. They are solitary in their position but they send out a beacon that reaches many. In the deepest darkest night and in the midst of the most turbulent storms they send out a light that can guide the viewer to safety. There are so many metaphors and examples of the function of the lighthouse and Jody Hedlund has woven them together into a beautiful story of redemption, safety, second-chances and lighted paths.
Love Unexpected is the first in Jody's newest series Beacons of Hope. The author doesn't piddle around with historical details to set the stage. Instead she plunges you right into the heart of the story. The opening pages contain a frightening scene of a ship being accosted by pirates and then set on fire leaving the passengers and crew to literally sink or swim. During this perilous ordeal we meet Emma and her beloved brother Ryan. The two are alone in the world and everything that they had the pirates just stole.
Patrick is the Presque Isle lighthouse keeper. It is a solitary job that seems to suit him. He's a man with a past that has been forgiven by God but remembered by those who would do him harm. His wife has recently died and left the care of their two-year-old son solely up to him. Not an easy undertaking in normal circumstances but the tasks of a lighthouse keeper make it near impossible.
As Providence is want to do, Emma and Ryan are rescued by Patrick and a path known only to God is put in place. Neither Emma nor Patrick could have ever guessed that the answer to their separate dilemmas was the person standing before them. But isn't that just like God, using our weaknesses to show Himself strong?
This is a beautiful story that will entertain you but it will also remind you about the One who holds your future in His hand. As you follow along the twists and turns that the character's lives take you will be prompted to consider Who guides each of us along the way.
As a bonus, this series has a continuing thread woven in that pertains to a mysterious carved cross and a letter. The letter and cross are to be passed on in an effort to spread hope to the recipient. To grasp the meaning behind the cross and letter, Jody has written a novella called Out of the Storm that tells the whole story about how it came to be. This is a great addition and rounds out the story nicely. At the time of this writing it is a free download for your ereaders.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
- A read you won't want to miss by Vera on 12/26/2014
As expected, Jody Hedlund has written another book to delight readers. The world and life for Irish immigrants in the Great Lakes region was one of poverty, risk, isolation, and danger. Marriage was often thrust upon folks for convenience and not for love. Women needed a husband to provide home and hearth and personal shelter. Children often lost mothers and marriages were arranged solely for the reason that the children needed a mother.
Emma lands in both of these categories. She needs a home. She needs a protector. And she needs to mother a motherless child - an adorable, loveable little boy.
The story has mystery surrounding the individuals and their past lives. There is the mystery of roaming and attacking pirates. There is the danger of suspiscious neighbors. And there is the story of love. Love of a woman for a motherless child. Love of a man that blooms unsuspectingly for this woman providing a mother for his child. And there is faith. Faith of individuals in each other. Faith of a minister of God. Faith of a man once lost and now redeemed.
A good read. A safe read. A read you won't want to miss.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by the author in exchange for a review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.
- Love Unexpected by PeanutsMom on 12/15/2014
This was a good book to remind us that God forgives us our sins and we must forgive ourselves also.
Emma has so much love to give and wants a family so badly. God has answered her prayers but she almost undoes it due to secrets and misunderstandings. I think this book is also a reminder to wives to communicate with your husbands and not to backbite them and gossip about the.
I received this book free as a Bethany House reviewer.
- It is beautifully written and keeps you turning the pages. I loved this book from page one. by aussiegirl on 12/15/2014
As always Bethany House usually has 4-5 books to choose from, most of them sound very good, but this time it was very hard for me to choose so I prayed about it. Later came back and chose the book I felt God laid on my heart to read.
I loved the cover of this book The light house in the back ground with woman and boy in front was very captivating. The cover draws you in with a breath of fresh air and peace. With that said come along on a journey of faith, love and not without some heart break with Patrick and Emma on their adventure that may just surprise you with all the twist and turns that's intertwined like a beautiful landscape laid out in front of you.
This book is like the characters reach out and grabs your hand to pull you along because he doesn't want you to miss the action and adventure they are on. As Patrick's life interwoven with Mitch and Holly, Bill and a few others keep you keep turning the pages.
This book had me from page one as it starts out with Emma and her brother Ryan on a steamboat headed to Michigan. The boat sinks out side of Presque Isle.
As you travel the journey with Emma and listen to her heart, her pain and all she's been through you grow to love her kind ways, as well as growing to love her brother and his protective ways for a sister he loved.
The characters in this story are so real you can't help but seem like you are a part of their lives, their town, their hurts, love, and their laughter.
This book was very well written I recommend this highly. If you love a book that keeps you on your toes then this book is for you. Please let me also say at the end of the book Jody gives information about how she got some of the material for her book, very interesting and gave me some knowledge of Michigan ( where I once lived) and some of the characters she had in her book, that is a very nice touch and addition to this beautiful book, thanks Jody.
I received this book free from Bethany House for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review just an honest one. The opinions I have written are entirely my own and no one else's.
Thank you Bethany House for another wonderful book. I pray by putting the ISBN # on my reviews that it makes it easier and faster for the readers of my reviews to find the books you'd love to get and read.
- Highly recommend! by Pamla on 12/9/2014
What a lovely read this book was.
It really brought up the point that the Lord has forgiven us our sins
and we should never judge others.
We can accept people just the way they are and if we allow them
to they can put their past behind them.
While the book is basically a typical romance where a couple is put together,
starts to find love, is separated, t
hen overcomes all the obstacles to continue their lives together.
I Just Happen to Love that scenario.
It gives me hope and makes me happy.
Another great point to this book is it is clean, no graphic stuff that I have to wash my mind of and try to skip past.
I recommend this book and you will also learn some cool stuff about lighthouse keeping on the Great Lakes.
I didn't even realize before this that lighthouses were needed on the Lakes.
I received this book free from Bethany House to review.
- A Gentle Romance by RamblingReader on 12/8/2014
"Love Unexpected" is a gentle romance with endearing characters and a beautiful setting. Jody Hedlund makes a mark on readers' hearts with her tale of faith, forgiveness, and love. I became easily ensconced in the lives of Emma, Patrick, and Josiah. The unexpected is present from the tense opening scene when Emma finds herself coming close to death at sea. In a short span of time, her life completely changes and she becomes a wife and mother. I was surprised at how suddenly Emma and Patrick enter into their marriage of convenience. In many ways, their situation is similar to "Love Comes Softly," and the marriage is just the beginning of the story. Emma's struggles and doubts as a new wife and mother make her a realistic character who is easily lovable. Her compassion and humility definitely stand out, and her interactions with little Josiah are absolutely heart-melting. The cover art captures their bond to perfection, and matches the essence of the novel in its entirety.
Patrick is the epitome of a gentleman, behaving with honor and restraint. Emma quickly loses her heart to him and readers will too. His character is one with multiple layers that add texture to the entire plot. His dark history is a stark contrast to the redeemed Patrick, which adds significant depth to the messages of hope and forgiveness. Patrick's job as the keeper of the Presque Isle light seamlessly incorporates Michigan's nautical history. The small village and its lighthouse are described with picturesque charm, while still acknowledging the hardships faced by those who settled in remote areas. Jody Hedlund has an undeniable ability to bring to characters to life and place them in historical settings, and that talent is prevalent in "Love Unexpected." The gentle love and the purity of emotion make this a memorable novel, whose light shines brightly.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
- Story of Second Chances Laced with Grace by Sally on 11/21/2014
1859 Presque Isle, Michigan
All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home and a family of her own, but as the steamboat she is traveling on sinks just off Presque Isle, she is left without a home or means to support herself. Patrick the lighthouse keeper rescues Emma from certain death and later that day buries his wife, leaving him with a difficult situation….how to care for his young son and keep the light house lantern working. The traveling preacher gives a solution to both Patrick and Emma’s situation by proposing a hasty marriage.
This is a beautifully written story of second chances laced with grace. It has enough historical background to make it factual with a fiction flare. It is filled with love, suspense, mystery, grace, forgiveness and even Pirates. I immediately fell in love with Emma’s character. I felt her pain, insecurity, doubt and the betrayal by someone she thought was a friend.
I was hooked from the first page and didn’t put it down until it was finished, so if you choose to read this book, (and I think you should), just be prepared to not be able to lay it down.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Baker Publishing Group, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.
- Faith, forgiveness and romance in 1859 Michigan. by Robin Willson on 11/18/2014
After reading the novella that came before, I was eager to read this next book in the series and was engulfed/immersed within the first couple of chapters. I love historical fiction and it's interesting to learn new things as you read. I didn't realize that there were pirates on the Great Lakes. And I never thought of how hard it would be to keep a lighthouse beam going all night, every night. Or that there would be people who didn't want it to shine - for their own gain.
Patrick has an ugly past and has come to the lighthouse on Presque Isle. He doesn't mind the lifestyle. He was saved and is befriended by Holy Bill, who helped to find this job. Grateful for a new chance, Patrick came there with his wife and toddler, and his wife has just died.
Emma and her brother are on a steamship that has been attacked by pirates. Maybe they should have stayed on Mackinac. But this was a chance for both of them for a new life. It had been a struggle since coming over from Ireland. Their mother died of starvation, and their father didn't cope well. Forced to jump into the lake and hang onto a barrel, Emma and Ryan are rescued by Patrick and taken to shore. They both look for work in an area where jobs are scarce.
Patrick buries his wife and is in desperate need of someone to look after his boy. In fact little Josiah runs up to Emma who had been watching the funeral. Holy Bill has been praying for Patrick and a better life for him. He encourages Emma and Patrick to be married that day so that she can take care of the boy and Patrick both. Emma had thought herself unattractive and that she'd never find a husband. She is grateful for a way to take care of herself and also have a real home and family - as well as stop being a burden to her brother.
There is a lot of romantic tension as Emma and Patrick get to know one another and begin a new life where they both may finally have a chance at happiness. There's a lot to tell about their past, but when is it ever a good time? In Patrick's case, will that telling make them lose the ground that they have gained? And then there are rumors about how his wife died, spread by his wife's cousin - who befriends Emma.
This is an excellent story and the characters are fully dimensional. I enjoyed getting to know them and see how their lives would play out. I was sorry to give this only four stars. As much as I loved the story, I did feel that it went on a little too long. I started to lose interest about 2/3 of the way through but read it to the end and and was glad to see how it wrapped up. I really loved the cover on this book too.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher from the Baker Publishing Group, Bethany - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.