Author: Jody Hedlund
Review by Grace Olson
Taken from Bethany House’s website description of Love Unexpected:
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 great start to Jody’s new series, Beacons of Hope. I fell in love with this book for several reasons. 1. I love lighthouses. I always have, so when I found out Jody was writing a series that is set around lighthouses I got very excited. 2. The suspense in this novel is excellent. Just when you think you understand what’s going on and know what will happen next, Jody throws a curve ball that alters the course of the story. 3. The characters in this book are so real, and they are what I’ve always loved about Jody’s books. Emma wants a home and a family. Patrick wants to be able to keep the job he loves and the son he adores. They find that the other is the answer to their problems, but that’s only the beginning.
I liked how Emma is not portrayed as a beautiful heroine. She sees herself as plain and nondescript. She’s not confident in her abilities, but she’s humble and willing to learn. Her interactions with Josiah, Patrick’s son, were great. Jody was really able to capture the essence of a toddler, with all the joys and struggles. I also liked how Emma made mistakes, some big ones at times. She didn’t always do what was wise or what was right—meaning she’s a lot like me sometimes.
Patrick is a different type of hero as well. He’s hesitant to grow closer to Emma, because he’s afraid of being rejected like he has been in the past. He wants to protect her and himself, but by doing so he risks pushing her away and ruining the chance of every having a family like they could. His background is slowly revealed, and I found it fascinating. It was definitely a twist on this character.
Overall, I loved this book, as I knew I would. Jody does an excellent job crafting the romance, the characters, and the suspense, making Love Unexpected a novel I would highly recommend to those in my circle. If you’ve never read anything by Jody before and would like to give her a try (for free!) please check out the prequel to this book, Out of the Storm. It’s not very long, only novella length, but it’s a very sweet story. You won’t want to miss out on it. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Out-Storm-Beacons-Hope-Novella-ebook/dp/B00NB3LMEG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1418755418&sr=8-3&keywords=jody+hedlund
About the Author
Biography from Baker Publishing Group’s website: Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of seven novels, including Captured by Love, A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and The Preacher’s Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She can be found online at www.jodyhedlund.com
I was given a review copy of Love Unexpected from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.