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Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He's secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation--the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He's not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who's angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he's in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he's unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope...and possibly love?
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Beacons of Hope
Captured By Love, Michigan Brides Collection Series #3Jody HedlundBethany House / 2014 / Trade Paperback$8.49 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 52 Reviews
$14.99Save 43% ($6.50)
DonnaGeorgiaAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Inspirational romantic historical fictionJune 4, 2016DonnaGeorgiaAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Jody Hedlund has given us a wonderful, moving and enjoyable story of romance, suspense, drama, courage and so much more. The setting for this story is 1865 Windmill Point, Michigan. I love that Jody's historical insight, description of the lighthouse and Windmill Point made me feel like I was there. The characters are depicted so well and showing all their flaws.
Caroline Taylor has lost her mother and now her father. She feels like she can continue taking care of the lighthouse but also knows that women are not supposed to have this role in society at this time in history. She is also now responsible for her siblings. With no where else to go what will she do if she can't stay at the lighthouse? Caroline is very pretty, strong, determined and has compassion.
Ryan Chambers a veteran of the Civil War is having a hard time dealing with the horrors of the war. He is lost, in pain, addicted to drugs and alcohol. He has been given the job of the lighthouse keeper hoping for isolation, but he knows nothing of how to handle the lighthouse.
Although angry that Ryan has taken her job can Caroline begin to help Ryan heal? Will Ryan realize that along with Caroline he also needs God's healing?
I like the way Jody develops the relationship between Caroline and Ryan. An amazing story line and well developed characters written by a very talented author. A great read.
If you love inspirational and romantic historical fiction with some suspense you will love this book. I highly recommend it.
I received a free copy of this book from bookfun.org for my honest opinion and review.
KaylaGrand Junction, COAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5...riveting story full of Truth...April 24, 2016KaylaGrand Junction, COAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Yes! Jody Hedlund has done it again with this second installment of the "Beacons of Hope" series. Any time I see Ms. Hedlund's name on a cover, I know I am in for a story full of endearing characters, timeless truth and historical fact. I did read the first book, "Love Unexpected" but this book could stand on its own. The first book was sweet, but lacked some of the depth found in this second book. Hedlund hit her stride with this one. I couldn't put it down!
As always, the author presents scripture and the truth of the gospel that is relevant to our modern day and age. By far, the male character, Ryan Chambers, was my favorite. Of course, I loved the heroine, Caroline (and in many ways, I could see ME in her) but it was Ryan's story that moved me to tears. This novel was realistic and full of tough issues that carry through to our world. Ms. Hedlund always writes incredible characters. Ryan is a Civil War Veteran and the tragic change we see in him from Book 1 to this book broke my heart. However, Ryan's struggles didn't start when he went off to war. The true mark of a brilliant author is to do some work behind the scenes and we as the reader see hints of Ryan's struggles even in the pages of the first book. Ryan's father suffered from alcoholism and it ultimately killed him. Choices that Ryan made then made an impact and shaped the choices he continued to make as he grew into a man. These choices, though small steps away from God's will, all added up and over time, Ryan found himself so far away from God. He did things as a soldier he was not proud of, and he suffers from opium addiction and alcoholism as a coping method for the physical and mental pain he faces daily. Ryan wants to be free from his addiction, he wants to be a better man, but alone he could not succeed. When left to fix his problems in his own strength he failed. The author does not sugar coat the struggle he goes through. I feel that she portrays his story respectfully and realistically. My heart broke for Ryan. It was refreshing to see a character who wasn't a hero, he didn't have his life figured out. He certainly was not perfect. The change however you see in him from beginning to end are so like our own lives when we allow God to be the source of our healing. We are all flawed in need of healing. How often to we look to ourselves or others instead of to God?
So often in stories that hold such a strong influence of romantic interest, it is easy to let one character in a way "heal" the other, and mildly incorporate God's plan in the story theme. Jody never minces words and she does not take the easy way out with this story. The heroine, Caroline, was very forgiving of Ryan's past and his mistakes. I think in a sense, this helped Ryan find some measure of peace. But just as the story starts to wrap and things look like they are going to wrap up all nice and neat...Jody throws one more heart wrenching curve ball at the readers. Ryan makes a difficult choice, knowing he is not ready for marriage until he can rely on God's strength, right his past wrongs and be the man he needs to be. Caroline would have accepted him as the broken man he was and they probably would have made a marriage work and been happy. But ultimately in the end, Ryan needed to find ultimate healing and hope in God alone. And though it broke both of their hearts, they went their separate ways for a time.
Oh, how true is this of our lives? I cried for Caroline towards the end of this book, thinking that was where Jody would leave the story. I have felt that pain, that pain of heartbreak. A broken heart is painful, and though sometimes it is the right thing, it doesn't mean it won't hurt. The right thing for these characters was to give their lives, love life included, over to God to control.
I absolutely loved this book. There are strong themes that Ms. Hedlund handled beautifully. GOD IS GOOD all the time.
There are some very adult situations presented in this book and for this reason, I would not recommend to young readers under 18. Other than that, read this book. I hope it changes your life like it has mine.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
GrandaddyAAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Keep the Light BurningMarch 25, 2016GrandaddyAAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This story is full of action, suspense, romance, treachery, and timeless truth. Although it is an exciting read, the truths about God's attributes, such as goodness, mercy, grace, forgiveness, patience, love, and hope make it a great story. Jody Hedlund doesn't beat the reader over the head with them but masterfully weaves them into the story using her characters to bring them to light. I enjoyed the interaction between Caroline and her siblings. Her 10-year-old twin brothers can stir things up quicker than she can blink an eye and get into more trouble than Caroline and her younger sister, Tessa, can get them out of. Ryan Chambers, who we met in the first book of the series, has spent several years in the Union army and is trying to recover physically and emotionally. Caroline has been the acting light keeper of the Windmill Point Lighthouse since her father's death, but Ryan has been appointed to replace her as the new light keeper. Dealing with the lighthouse inspector has caused some tense moments but Ryan's arrival causes tensions on numerous fronts. Attacks seem to be coming at Caroline from every direction and I got caught up trying to figure out the real villain. There seemed to be a number of possibilities. At times the reader even finds it difficult to discern who is being targeted by the attacks. I recommend this book as a good story with a strong message. I encourage you to read the books in sequence.
loriwellerLancaster,PaAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Fantastic Book!February 27, 2016loriwellerLancaster,PaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Hearts Made Whole is book two in the Beacons of Hope series. It is a fantastic book. It can be read and appreciated as a stand alone but is better understood if read as a series. The characters each face their own share of problems and together face more trials. There is love, alcoholism, drugs, illness, fire, faith, family, and offers of marriage. I enjoy all of this author's books and this one did not disappoint. I look forward to reading more from Jody Hedlund.
I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
JeaniePhoenix, AZAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Beautiful Historical Christian FictionJanuary 17, 2016JeaniePhoenix, AZAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Hearts Made Whole is a historical novel set in post-Civil War Michigan at the Windmill Point Lighthouse. I very much enjoyed everything about this novel, from the setting to the characters and the story itself. It grabbed my heart from the beginning and didnt let go.
A storm was setting in on Lake St. Clair, and Carolines father had to take the doctor back to town, crossing the lake in a little rowboat. Quite a distance from shore, before the eyes of Caroline, her sister Tessa and twin brothers, the rowboat overturned. As hard as he fought to grab the boat, he was no match for the storm. They mourned and grieved, and Caroline took over the lighthouse duties.
The lighthouse inspector brought not only the bad news that Caroline could not keep on as acting the acting lightkeeper, but that the little family, including her bedridden, ill sister, had a week to pack up and leave the cottage as a man returning from the war would take over the position. Caroline had nowhere to go unless she married the son of the local tavern owner and smuggler.
When Ryan, the new lightkeeper arrived, they had not yet moved. He was in no condition to manage the position; Caroline offered to show him the job and he slept in an outbuilding for propriety. Tessas deceitful scheme was about to cost Caroline the man she was coming to respect and deeply care for. The explosive situation could also cost her and her younger siblings everything. Where was God in all of this?
This riveting historical drama is even better than I had imagined. Caroline, Tessa, then Ryan were very well developed with the progress of the story. The tavern keeper, his son, and other townspeople were as developed as necessary for their roles as evidenced in their speech and behaviors. Caroline and her siblings, then Ryan, experienced their rich heritage of faith, but were very honest about their feelings and struggles with the Lord in light of their situations. When the novel was through, I wasnt it was hard to leave especially Caroline behind!
The story itself demonstrated the historical time period, not in the dry words of dusty history tomes but showing with glowing word pictures the beauty and wild-ness of the location, the culture, and surrounding details. There was not a dull sentence, and every word was chosen well. The second in Jody Hedlunds Beacon of Hope series, it is easily read as a standalone. The title, Hearts Made Whole, sums up what is needed for the aching hearts and broken spirits of the protagonists, and reflects how their faith might be used. It was easy to be swept away to the lighthouse, see the value of women at that time and the expectations on those as the country struggled to recover from the war. It is not, however, predictable; various plot twists change the landscape of the story with stunning intensity. I highly recommend this admirable, exciting novel to women who appreciate Christian historical fiction of the time period, strong women protagonists, romance, and even mystery. It is one of the best Christian historical dramas I read in 2015, and one that I could absolutely enjoy again.
With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the For Readers Only group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.