Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review: Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

Hearts Made Whole
(Beacons of Hope,#2)
by Jody Hedlund  
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.46 
Published by: Bethany House Publishers
Published on: May 26, 2015
Pages: 384

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

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 been given the post as lighthouse keeper, and the isolation where he can drown in drink and hide from his past is appealing. He's not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who's none-too-pleased to be giving up her position. They both quickly realize he's in no shape to run the lighthouse, but Ryan's unwilling to let anyone close, ravaged by memories and guilt. Caroline's 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?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

Why did I decide to turn the pages? I adored the previous two in the series (the prequel and the first one). 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I have adored the previous two in the series, so to say that I was excited for this one is an understatement.

I was expecting a cute, fun read that would prove both entertaining and heartwarming. That's exactly what I got with this one. Hedlund is quickly making a name for herself as one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. 

Her stories are just cute; there are no other words to describe them.

She writes characters who get under your skin and refuse to leave. They're never perfect, yet you love them anyway.

I love that for this series she's chosen the backdrop of lighthouses. It's such a great concept. 

Definitely recommended for fans of the genre. Certain elements seemed far-fetched; others seemed predictable. But on the whole, I loved it. 

The Characters: Caroline and Ryan were two great characters.

Caroline was stubborn and yet she was selfless, kind, and loving. When Caroline's father's health started to fail, she began assisting her father with the lighthouse. Then after his death, that only increased. Until they decide she can't keep going because she's a woman. About to lose her home, Caroline's running out of options on how to keep her family going.

I liked Caroline as a protagonist. She was great to read about.  

Ryan returned home from the war wounded both physically and emotionally. With only one working hand, jobs aren't easy to come by. So when he's offered a job running a lighthouse, he agrees to take it. But he never expected he'd be kicking out a family to do so. Now he must fight off his demons and help Caroline. 

Ryan was such a beautifully flawed character. He had made so many bad decisions, yet he had a good heart. 

Major Strengths: Hedlund's ability to spin a heartwarming tale with characters who sink under your skin. 

Major Weaknesses: Predictability and the frustration the characters gave me. Though the latter, probably isn't a weakness. 

So why 4 stars? It's just such a cute read. 

Can I read the series out of order? Yes, this can be read as a stand-alone. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Some violence and slight mutilation of animals. References to drinking and drugs (opium). 

The Wrap-up: A lovely series. I can't wait to see what's next. 


Danica Page

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