Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Undaunted Hope Book Review

Beacons of Hope Series
Book Three

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 one 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 know, 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.

REVIEW:  Jody Hedlund's latest novel does not disappoint.  Tessa is a strong character who has learned from her mistakes and is trying to become a better person.  She also hopes to aspire those around her to better themselves by starting a night school for the miners and parents who don't know how to read, write or do simple arithmetic equations.  She has big plans to help the community but, unfortunately, keeps hitting roadblocks set up by Mr. Updegraff, who lives above the law and who keeps the miners and their families on a very short leash.  I was pleasantly pleased to see the changes in Tessa after reading the previous book.  She has really grown up in her thinking, actions and faith.  She tries to be a light to those in her little community when it looks like the darkness will never end, physically and spiritually.
     The struggles she has with her suitors is comical at times and very serious.  Sometimes they try to out-do each other when helping her with school house repair projects and little gifts.  When one decides to take a step back and let the other beau have a chance, Tessa doesn't know what to think or do.  She has a tough decision to make.
     To fully understand Tessa's abhorrence to lightkeeping and her insistence on keeping her reputation spotless, you need to read the second book in this series, Hearts Made Whole.  Even though she is a minor character, her background and actions are fully explained and makes greater sense.  This book does a great job of trying to fill in the gaps for those who haven't but doesn't go into great detail until later in the story.
     This is a delightful book.  I love how all is made right in the end and everyone has a happy ending.  The Beacons of Hope series, and this book, would make a wonderful addition to your bookshelves.

This book was provided by Bethany House for review without compensation.

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 makes her home in Michigan, not far from the lighthouses she writes about, and loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at

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