Review: Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund

January 2, 2015

Title: Love Unexpected
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 348
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1237-6
Publication Date: December 2nd, 2014

Presque Isle, Michigan

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she's left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He's just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other's dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife's death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.
I count down to any release of Jody Hedlund. Her stories offer the perfect mix of romance and history. She creates wonderful heroes and heroines. They are lifelike, flawed, and relateable in some form or fashion.

In Love Unexpected, Jody brings a new background to life for me. I've never thought much on lighthouses, but in this new series, they are the background, and here, she bases her story off of the mother of women light house keepers. Woven through the romance and history is a lovely touch of mystery and pirates!

Emma is a young woman, who for most of her life has been dragged from pillar to post. Her dream is to one day settle down and have a house and family, but with the constant moving she and her brother do, it seems only a dream, especially with her age. However, things change when the steamship they were on is attacked and she and her brother have to swim for safety. It is here where are stories starts.

Patrick is a quiet man. He just lost his wife and has a young son to take care of, then throw in the care for the lighthouse, he is at his wits end and exhausted. Thanks to a friend and traveling minster, an idea has been formed and Emma and Patrick can help each other out. However, as Emma sets out on her adventure, she soon learns that there are secrets and all is not as it seems. It is interesting to follow along to figure them out.

Patrick's son Josiah was a cute kid and pretty realistic. Goodness, I felt for Emma, especially waiting till night to get things done. It's hard to get everything you want done with a kiddo around. Motherhood is hard, and Emma is thrown into it head first without any idea how to do it. I wanted to reach into the story and offer help, but she is a determined girl and tries her hardest.

I haven't really thought about the history of the lakes before, but I have to say, after reading this story, I'm intrigued and I can't wait to read the other books in her Beacons of Hope series!

Too Read 
4 out of 5

About the Author:
Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of seven novels, including Captured by Love, A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and The Preacher's Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence. 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 Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

She can be found online at

Thank you to Bethany House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Great review! I adored this novel and am super excited to read the next one.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Danica Page@Taking It One Page at a Time

  2. Danica, It was a good story! And I'm with you, I can't wait to read her next book! :-)


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