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Monday, April 4, 2016

Hearts Made Whole...Review

About the book:
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?

Caroline Taylor ran the lighthouse with her father and after his death, took it over completely. Running it well, while raising her younger siblings. A grumpy lighthouse inspector believes women are good for simply household roles and hires a new light-keeper.

Ryan, the new light-keeper, is a Civil War veteran suffering from one hell of a PTSD. He's addicted to pain meds and is in no way prepared or even able to run a lighthouse. He agrees that Caroline can stay on as assistant keeper.

But, even as Caroline finds herself falling for Ryan, trouble abounds and they will be pulled apart before they can even come together.

Jody has a way of writing that is gritty and realistic. Her characters are well rounded with a depth and complexity. I appreciated Caroline's strength and gumption. Her directness, but also her compassion. Ryan's shortcomings because of chronic pain from injuries were realistic as well as his way of handling it all. Addiction isn't a modern thing.

I love books about strong women. I realize that my perspectives are from a 20th/21st century perspective, but I know that had I lived during the 19th century, I would have had the same feelings about my own abilities, just as Caroline did. I come from a long line of strong women and have female ancestors who were, quite simply, amazing. Who crossed the plains as pioneers and who raised their families alone and who farmed and ranched without their husbands always present.

Second in the Beacons of Hope series, the story stands alone just fine, although Ryan is Emma's brother from Love Unexpected.

I have enjoyed the historical perspective as before reading this series, I was unfamiliar with Michigan and the Great Lakes. The idea that these lakes are so large that they need lighthouses amazes me.

Thanks to Bethany House for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Jody Hedlund here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/16

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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