Can she forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?
After her father's death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren't supposed to have such roles, so it's only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper---even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.
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?
Jody Hedlund's Hearts Made Whole is the story of Ryan, a physically, emotionally, and spiritually broken Civil War veteran in search of redemption, and Caroline, a strong woman determined to keep her family together. When the two meet, they're immediately drawn to each other, but both Ryan and Caroline know he's in no shape for a relationship. The dance they do around their feelings adds a lot of romantic tension to the novel, and if you've ever read a Hedlund romance before, you know she creates just the right amount of tension!
Though Ryan is far from your classic romantic hero, I couldn't help but pull for him. I desperately wanted him to be with Caroline, even though for much of the novel he was absolutely not husband material. Caroline's character is wholly likeable, and I loved her determination to take care of her family, even when that determination led her to make decisions I didn't agree with.
The plot also features a bit of suspense--while it's not the focus of the novel, it is done well, and though I pinpointed the culprit early on, I didn't anticipate the way things would play out. I also really appreciated the way Hedlund handled Ryan's issues. I think it's great the way Christian fiction has evolved to include realistic people with realistic problems--in Ryan's case, PTSD and addiction. Who wants to read about perfect people with no issues? Not me!
Overall, I loved Hearts Made Whole. The ending is wholly satisfying, and the novel took a few turns that kept me guessing. I wouldn't say that this is my favorite Hedlund novel (that would be A Noble Groom), but it's still pretty darn enjoyable. 5 stars.
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Read my reviews of Hedlund's An Uncertain Choice (5 stars), The Vow (a prequel novella to An Uncertain Choice, 4 stars) A Noble Groom (5 stars), Unending Devotion (5 stars).
Find Jody online: website, Twitter, Facebook
Celebrate the release of Hearts Made Whole by entering to win an Afternoon at the Beach prize pack and RSVPing to Jody's June 23rd author chat party!
One grand prize winner will receive:
One second-place winner will receive:
- A copy of Hearts Made Whole
- A lighthouse journal
One third-place winner will receive:
- A copy of Hearts Made Whole
- A lighthouse necklace
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 23rd.Winner will be announced June 23rd at Jody's Facebook party. RSVP here!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. 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."