I always find it interesting to read a sequel to a book I previously read that features a character I did not particularly like in the other book. I feel certain that it is because that character is seen through the eyes of the primary character of the other book and usually has some negative interaction of some sort with that character. Tessa Taylor is one such character. She caused untold grief for her sister Caroline in “Hearts Made Whole” and I did not expect to like her as much as I did in “Undaunted Hope”.
I was reminded of a sermon I once heard about how the vows and judgements we make sometimes come back to haunt us. Tessa has taken a job as schoolteacher in Eagle Harbor, Michigan because she is determined to keep as far away from a lighthouse as she possibly can. So what does she quickly encounter? Two brothers who are lighthouse keepers and two adorable children who desperately want Tessa to be their new mother. Naturally she finds herself embroiled in their lives and spending more time than intended at the lighthouse. Then there is Percival Updegraff, the man who seems to run the town. Because Tessa refuses his advances, he takes it upon himself to punish her by hurting those she cares about. At times it looks as if the town itself cannot possibly survive the long winter. I liked the Tessa in this book much better than in “Hearts Made Whole”. She has definitely matured and regrets the bad choices she made. Her true caring nature is revealed through the sacrifices she makes for others throughout the story.
The plot moved along at a steady pace with plenty of action, drama, romance, and even a touch of humor. As always, this author’s characters are well-rounded and realistic. I particularly liked Tessa and hero Alex. Even Percival was well-developed. I enjoyed each book in this series and look forward to Jody Hedlund’s next book. I hope it will be soon!
This book was provided for review by
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Eagle Harbor, Michigan
In a Town Mired in Darkness,
She May Shine the Light They Need
Running from the mistakes of her past, Tessa Taylor heads to the uppermost reaches of Michigan, planning to serve as the new teacher to the children of miners. She quickly learns the town had requested a male teacher, but Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since it’s too late to replace her. Tessa can’t help but thank him and say she is in his debt.
Determined to make herself irreplaceable once spring thaw arrives, Tessa throws herself into her work, and soon two students have decided Miss Taylor is the right match for their grieving father. At the same time, charming assistant lightkeeper Alex Bjorklund makes his interest known, surprising Tessa, who has never had men fight for her hand before. But not all is well as she feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher’s Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. 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 Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at www.jodyhedlund.com.