Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: Love Unexpected (2014)

Love Unexpected. Jody Hedlund. 2014. Bethany House. 348 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I loved, loved, loved Jody Hedlund's Love Unexpected. It is the first in a new series, Beacons of Hope, a series about lighthouses. The book is set in Maine in the nineteenth century.

In some ways, it reminded me of Love Comes Softly. (Two strangers marry for convenience. The marriage occurs soon after a funeral. The groom has a child already. The bride has no idea how to cook. Appreciation of coffee, check. Burnt biscuits, check. Toddler with temper tantrums, check.) But there are also plenty of things that set it apart and make it unique.

Emma Chambers and her brother, Ryan, are shipwrecked, in a way, stranded due to the work of pirates. Her brother is able to find work and a place to stay. But there really isn't any work for Emma to do, and, while she might find a family kind enough to let her stay for a day or two. She doesn't feel like she'd be welcomed and at ease.

Patrick Garraty has just buried his wife. He has no idea how he's going to tend the lighthouse and take care of a toddler at the same time. His lighthouse duties keep him on duty all night long. And during the day, he needs to go fishing and do general work around the house. (Not to mention getting a couple of hours of sleep at least.) Josiah needs plenty of supervision when he's awake, and, he can be intense at times. He IS a full-time job.

So when the traveling preacher--who knows and loves Patrick--suggests that he marry Emma, the stranger he rescued the night before, he sees that it might just work.

Emma has always wanted to marry, to have a home of her own. Josiah needs a mother.

So. I loved almost everything about Love Unexpected. I loved Emma. I loved Patrick. I loved watching Emma learn how to do everything. I loved seeing the relationships develop between Emma and Josiah and Emma and Patrick. The romance was nice. It was perhaps a bit more mature in nature than Love Comes Softly. But it wasn't horribly inappropriate either--for adults. I also loved the author's note!

I received a review copy from Bethany House.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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