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Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope) by Jody…
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Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope)

by Jody Hedlund

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Tessa Taylor ventures on a new start for her life when she travels to Michigan to be the new school teacher. Michigan is the frontier in 1871 and life is difficult for the small mining community. It takes commitment and fortitude to live in the harsh conditions and Tessa proves to herself that she can weather adversity and thrive.

The book is a romance. Tessa has two suitors. Tessa knows that having a relationship will be the end of her teaching career and is determined that she will not give into them, no matter how handsome they may be.

I enjoyed Jody Hedlunds writing. I learned new things about living in a mining town and how hard it was for the people it was to live through the winter when there wasn't a way to ship in new supplies. She brought to life the harsh realities of frostbite, deep snow (without snow plows), sickness, and child labor. The villain in this book is abusing his power and controls by fear. Hedlund also bought to light the power of love, friendship, integrity, and forgiveness.

This book is part of a series but can be read and appreciated as a stand-alone book. The book contains some violence and kissing. ( )
  Bookworm_Lisa | Apr 16, 2016 |
This book was a bit disappointing. Really well-written. Crisp, flowing, descriptive—and almost no padded or draggy areas. The villain, a cruel and corrupt man who forced women to sleep with him or their husbands would be killed was based on a real person and was surprisingly realistic. The book had a lot of exciting action, including a disturbing area where the hero and his brother were stranded on ice for a long time and some of the brother’s toes had to be amputated. But the heroine, Tessa, was kind of bizarre.

She moved to a mining town to start over her life after her absurd behavior towards her sister’s boyfriend gave her a dirty reputation. (She drugged the guy and lay in his bed so he would be forced to marry her. Ever afterwards people called her, poor little thing, a “loose” girl. Sorry, but that IS LOOSE! At least, I wouldn’t call it restrained.) I can appreciate the theme of an imperfect, ordinary girl wanting to be given a second chance. But Tessa was never particularly decent--in fact she spent the whole book almost slipping into intimacy. Her slutty pupil Josie openly despised and even blackmailed her when Tessa tried to correct her behavior, because Tessa really was an idiot.

Her lack of self-control was toddler-like. She rarely had any other thoughts in her head except “wow, that man’s body,” “wow, is that other man looking at MY body,” “wow, I could be removed from my job if I’m in a relationship, but I love kissing,” “wow, are those men gossiping about me,” “WOW, THAT MAN’S CHEST.” She also couldn’t disguise these thoughts from the men. I found her obvious drooling over Alex’s body, in his presence, slightly weird. The girl has a problem, I think. Not to mention the contrived rivalry between Alex and his brother Michael for her hand. When the brothers returned from the ice she threw herself YELLING on Alex, hungering for his lips, while Michael lay about 2 feet away almost dying with his toes falling off, and Tessa never once showed ANY CONCERN or looked at him. I could not believe he’d think twice about her again after she was so uncaring.

So—it stuck out from the crowd. Somewhat in the way a giant purple thumb does.

I was given this book by Bethany in exchange for my unbiased review. ( )
  SarahScheele | Feb 12, 2016 |
Friday, January 29, 2016
Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund, © 2016
Beacons of Hope Series, Book Three

uhn-dawn-tid; adj.
not put off, discouraged, or beaten

Eagle Harbor, Michigan, 1871
Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior
Tessa Taylor has arrived aboard the Temperance following a four-day journey on the steamer to begin life anew as the school teacher for the miners' children. Only when she arrives, she is told the T. Taylor they hired was expected to be male. With the onset of winter and the last crossing, it is determined she can stay until a replacement school master can take her place.

Tessa is rescued by a nearby fisherman, that will set her course. Humor and easy quips begin their meeting. I chuckled lightly when I discovered what his occupation was.

Eagle Harbor Light Station
You see, Miss Tessa has wanted to get as far away from lighthouses as she can get. Too much sorrow and robbing of the raging waters taking from her in the past. The slightest things in our past become a forefront need in the future. Her skills become assets for the community.

The series, although connecting, can be read as stand-alones. I would like the characters to get together again to see where the Lord has taken them. Proverbs 16:9.

What I like most about Jody Hedlund's stories is that they build family values and as you meet them, they become friends you would like to run into time and again. Strong character development wanting the best for each other. One scoundrel does not, however, and you would like him to get shipped off. It is a good focal of what selfishness looks like, while demeaning. This character could have had a turnaround, had he taken a clue from the others in how they treated each other despite his cruelty. I especially liked the storekeeper who was true to himself in loving others as they would want to be treated.

***Thank you to author Jody Hedlund for the invitation to be an influencer for book three in the Beacons of Hope Series, Undaunted Hope. I received a review copy from the publisher. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Beginning of Jody Hedlund's Beacons of Hope Series: Out of the Storm ~ Novella; Love Unexpected ~ Book One; Hearts Made Whole ~ Book Two

Beacons of Hope Series, Book Four
Forever Safe ~ Releasing June 2016 ( )
  lanehillhouse | Jan 29, 2016 |
Title: Undaunted Hope #3 (Beacons of Hope series)
Author: Jody Hedlund
Pages: 384
Year: 2016
Publisher: Bethany
My rating is 5 stars.
This series began with the novel titled Love Unexpected followed by Hearts Made Whole and now the third installment the subject of this review. When I completed the novel, I knew that to really appreciate the conclusion it would be helpful to readers to read the first two books in the series.
I would be hard-pressed to say I loved one book more than another as each brings out elements of faith with some romance. In the Undaunted Hope novel, there is tension in the small Upper Peninsula town in Michigan as one man holds people under his thumb via fear. The villain is Percival who runs the mines, the mining store, and the inhabitants of the town except for the two brothers who attend to the lighthouse. Michael and Alex run the lighthouse until the winter locks the town in its fierce winter storms when no steamer can get to them; it is then the two men have a break from their labor. Michael is a widower with two young children, a son named Gunnar and his daughter Ingrid.
When Tessa is hired as the local teacher, her heart wants nothing to do with lighthouses or the two brothers running them. All Tessa wanted to do is go so far that her dignity would remain intact, her past mistake wouldn’t be flaunted before the townspeople and she can teach. However, Tessa sees more that she believes she can do to help the poor come out from under their poverty and even have a better life. The results of her attempts will keep you reading for hours!
I couldn’t put the novel down till the conclusion because of the twists and turns in the plot that kept me glued to the book. The townspeople were captives of fear and I wondered if they were ever going to break free of the one man who wanted them to remain captive for his own benefit. Tessa’s contract stated she couldn’t marry plus she wanted to stay away from lighthouses, but she was falling in love with one of the brothers. Then, I wondered when the new mine owner came to visit the town if he had the wisdom and integrity to see who the real villain was and who the victims were before returning to New York.
In her exceptional way of weaving a captivating, heart-pounding story, I just so enjoyed Jody Hedlund’s latest Beacons of Hope work of fiction. My heart raced with anticipation in parts and other times I was just amazed at how some of Tessa’s acts of kindness could change the heart of one man in the town very few people took notice of or cared about. Please enjoy the three Beacons of Hope books. I can’t wait to see what Jody will share with us next from her imagination and research!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Jan 28, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764212397, Paperback)

Readers Await This Dramatic Conclusion
to the
Beacons of Hope Series

Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won't be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can't help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him.

Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she's the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 13 Aug 2015 23:56:44 -0400)

Running from the mistakes of her past, Tessa Taylor heads to the uppermost reaches of Michigan, planning to serve as the new teacher of the children of miners. She quickly learns the town has 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 irreplacable 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.… (more)

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