Love Unexpected, Beacons of Hope Series #1   -     By: Jody Hedlund
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Love Unexpected, Beacons of Hope Series #1

Bethany House / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

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 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 Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764212370
ISBN-13: 9780764212376
Availability: In Stock
Series: Beacons of Hope

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of seven novels, including Captured By Love, Rebellious Heart, and The Preacher's Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence and a finalist for the 2011 Carol Award in First Novel. She received a bachelor's from Taylor University and a master's from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She can be found online at www.jodyhedlund.com.

Product Reviews

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  1. Grand Junction, CO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    ....sweet romance; good series opener...
    April 11, 2016
    Kayla
    Grand Junction, CO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Jody Hedlund I count as a leading author in Christian fiction. She has always woven stories rich with history and characters you cannot help but love. I was intrigued by the setting of "Love Unexpected" and I learned quite a bit about life on the Michigan shores. I had no idea that a culture of lighthouses and light keepers existed along the Great Lakes. Once again, Ms. Hedlund has chosen a perfect setting to not only educate readers but also tell a unique story that does not fit the "cookie cutter" mold of most Christian fiction.

    I always feel that Ms. Hedlund creates riveting and lovable characters. I really appreciated how she chose to tell a story about a marriage of convenience in a new and refreshing way. I found that I could really relate on a personal level with Emma Chambers. Her hopes and dreams and situation in life are so like mine and my heart went out to her and her situation. Her personality is even a lot like mine and I had a moment in this book where I vocally said, "YES! Someone else gets it!"... 'someone else' being a fictional character of course, but I felt a connection with Emma. And I learned a lesson along with Emma about putting your hope in people and situations that will ultimately let you down. I am a people pleaser in every way. I want to do my best at everything and never let anyone down. At the same time, I rely on people and friendships to be my source of 'hope' or at the very least, my way to re-charge. But, what would I do if suddenly all those people were taken out of my life? My hope has to be in God alone, only He can bring me the kind of fulfillment that restores and nourishes. I love how the author, Jody Hedlund always is able to inspire and convict me in areas of my life that need work.

    Out of all the books I have read by Ms. Hedlund, this one was not my favorite, but it was still good. The romance was sweet (although I would not recommend it to readers under 18 years of age do to the nature of the characters being married right away...and there is a certain level of sexual tension as this romance unfolds.) I feel like this was handled tastefully however and as always, Ms. Hedlund tells a story with a godly perspective on romance. I cannot recommend this author enough.

    The story did feel a little anti-climactic to me, and towards the climax I felt like the plot became weak and even a little cheesy in some of the dialog. However, it is book one in a series of three, so I hope the others just get better.

    If you have read Jody Hedlund before, you won't be disappointed with this series opener. If you are new to reading this author I would not have this be your first book. I would recommend "A Noble Groom" or "Rebellious Heart" to start with.

    I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
  2. Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Never Lose Hope
    March 23, 2016
    GrandaddyA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I like lighthouses so the cover picture drew me to this book. Just as lighthouses are Beacons of Hope, this story is a beacon of hope. Emma Chambers gave up on God when her mother died and she has practically lost all hope of ever fulfilling her dream of a husband, a home, and children. After jumping into Lake Huron with her brother to escape a sinking steamboat one night and spending several hours in the frigid water trying to get to shore, she is suddenly pulled from the water by Patrick Garraty, the keeper of the Presque Isle Lighthouse. The ensuing story takes the reader on an interesting journey as Emma struggles to get a handle on cooking, taking care of a rambunctious, stubborn two-year-old, adjusting to being married to a stranger, and her desire to have a close female friend. Events transpire that bring hope only to see that hope slipping away, not only for Emma, but for Patrick and other characters in the story. The lighthouse was there to help ships avoid the rocky shoals and other dangers. The characters in the story also needed a Lighthouse to give them hope and to guide them to safety. The waves we encounter in life often rise and fall much like a roller coaster, causing our hope to rise and fall quite rapidly at times. The author depicts very beautifully how we need to cling to hope. I highly recommend this book for the interesting story and the sound guidance provided.
  3. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Great Read!
    October 27, 2015
    Jaquelyn
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have read several books by Jody Hedlund and enjoyed every one. I actually read book 2 in the Beacons of Hope Series, Hearts Made Whole, before reading this one and really enjoyed both. In Love Unexpected we meet Emma and Ryan Chambers, brother and sister trying to find a better life. When they end up stranded, Ryan quickly finds work to help gain money for their passage to Detroit. But Ryans new job keeps him busy and Emma feels out of place. When Emma meets little Josiah, she cant help but adore him. His dad Patrick isnt hard to look at, and when a traveling preacher suggest they marry, Emma jumps at the chance to have her dreams of a home and family come true. Patrick has a past and he worries that Emma will despise him if she learns about it. He is so thankful that Emma agreed to marry him and doesnt want to push her away by revealing too much. Will the secrecy push them apart? Can Emma handle all the work that a ready made family comes with?

    I had a lot of fun reading this book. Hedlund kept my interest the whole time, and I couldnt wait to see what was going to happen next. This story has many unexpected twists and turns and I enjoyed every one of them. She had me dying to find out what was going to be revealed and if they could overcome. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and romance. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
  4. Salinas, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This is an incredible historical romance!
    August 17, 2015
    Debbie Wilder
    Salinas, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved both of the main characters, Emma Chambers and Patrick Garraty. They have both had a very hard childhood which has left them wanting a secure home and family. In reaction to his childhood Patrick made some very poor choices as an adult. Then when he hit a very low point he found God. Emma has drifted along life with her brother moving from place to place with no idea how to achieve her dream.

    At the beginning of the book they are thrust together out of necessity. The rest of the story is about their efforts to work together and build that family and home life that they are searching for. Before that can happen though Patrick has to face his past and learn the full meaning of Gods salvation and forgiveness. His journey to discover what that means is a wonderful reminder to all of us exactly what Gods grace and mercy is all about.
  5. Texas
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Sweet romance at a lighthouse.
    June 4, 2015
    Andrea Cox
    Texas
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    by Andrea Renee Cox

    Love Unexpected took me by surprise. The first two paragraphs jumpstarted the story with a pirate attack, which snapped me to attention and piqued my interest. It slowed into a sweet romance that kept me engaged in every chapter. I felt I was falling in love with the characters just as much as they were falling for each other.

    Theres a strong similarity to one of my favorite movies, Love Comes Softly. In that movie, after Martys husband dies, she marries Clark so shell have a place to stay over the winter, and she can help raise his daughter in the meantime. In Love Unexpected, Patricks wife dies and then he marries Emma so she can help with his son and the house while he tends the light, and Emma will have a safe place to stay in a town full of lonely men. Its the differences between these two similar stories that make each on its own unique and entertaining entity.

    Author Jody Hedlund artfully crafted a beautiful tale of a marriage of convenience, yet she managed to revive an overused plot by adding her own style to it. Who wouldnt love a story that features pirates, a lighthouse, stunning Presque Isle, and characters you come to loveand a few you love to hate? The twists Jody brought into that juicy mix created a great atmosphere for a cozy romance tinged with mystery.

    As a lifelong fan of foreign accents, I couldnt help but notice the lack of Irish accents in the two lead characters (and the heroines brother), who were Irish immigrants. The only hints within the dialogue that Patrick, Emma, and Ryan were from Ireland were occasional nays and ayes. I kept forgetting they were Irish and instead heard American accents in my mind. I appreciated the reminders in the narration, but it would have created better continuity if the characters heritage was woven into the ways in which they spoke.

    That being said, this charming story held plenty of surprises and sweet moments to carve out a spot in my heart. Im looking forward to reading more novels from the talented Jody Hedlund.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from netgalley.com in exchange for this review.
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