Any time I read a book by one of my favorite authors, I’m expecting a good story. Yet, a part of me wonders, will this be the book I don’t like? Because, over time, it’s possible that I’ll not like a book by one of favorite authors. (Possible, but it hasn’t happened yet!)
Fortunately, Jody Hedlund’s new release, Love Unexpected, is another gem of a story, and the only “unexpected” part is how the story will unfold. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for my review.)
Love Unexpected kicks off a new series centered on Michigan’s lighthouses. Being from the Midwest, I have a soft spot for the Great Lakes but have almost no knowledge about the area’s lighthouses. Michigan is a treasure trove for lighthouse lovers, it would seem.
This book is set at the Presque Isle lighthouse on Lake Huron and is based on a real lighthouse keeper from the 1800s. (This is one of my favorite things about Jody’s books. She uses characters from history and fictionalizes their stories while keeping many of the facts of their life intact.) Even if this wasn’t based on Michigan history, though, it would be a good story.
Emma Chambers and her brother, Ryan, are searching for a new life when their boat is attacked by pirates and they find themselves shipwrecked in the lake. They’re rescued by Patrick Garraty, lighthouse keeper, who has just lost his wife and is struggling to care for his two-year-old son while maintaining the lighthouse.
Prompted by the circuit-riding preacher, Emma agrees to a quickie wedding to this stranger. Marrying him gives her what she’s always dreamed of: a home of her own, a husband and a child. But she soon learns she isn’t as up to the task as she thought. And her new husband hints at an unsavory past that feeds Emma’s doubts about her hasty decision.
As her love for the child grows, so do her doubts about her new husband. Is this marriage what she dreamed of or did she just enter a nightmare?
Love Unexpected is part love story, part history lesson, part mystery, and Jody crafts a page-turning tale. I literally tell myself, “One more chapter,” half a dozen times before I have to step away from the story to take care of real life.
If you’re a fan of lighthouses, Michigan history or just really good inspirational fiction, I’d encourage you to check out this book by Jody Hedlund. (You can also read her Beacons of Hope novella, Out of the Storm, for free on Kindle.)
If lighthouses or Michigan aren’t your thing, you can check out her other books. Here’s a list of ones I’ve reviewed.
I’m looking forward to more lighthouse stories from Hedlund. And now I want to take a trip to visit them!