A while back I reviewed Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund. I loved it so much that I signed up to help promote her latest book "A Noble Groom". This is the first book that I have ever read before it was officially released! I receive review books all the time but somehow an advanced copy seemed extra exciting.
Annalisa has a love for fairy tales but her own life experiences squelched any hope that such stories could be true. When her husband died, he left her and her daughter nothing but bad memories and debt. The farm she lives on will only remain hers if she can manage to pay the loan on time. Her family steps in to help in the only way that they know how. They send for a relative from the Old country to marry her and care for the farm. The man who arrives is not her relative but a man named Carl Richards, who claims to be a school teacher. Annalisa accepts his help but keeps her distance, at least she tries to. It is almost impossible to do when he is the first man who has ever treated her as the strong and capable individual she is. Just when she is ready to let him in, disaster strikes and threatens to ruin everything.
The story takes place in Michigan during 1880 and depicts some of the difficulties that faced German immigrants during this era. I think setting and the characters are the strongest elements of this book. Both of the main characters start out with major weaknesses that they overcome by the end of the story. I enjoyed watching Annalisa find her voice and Carl let go of his past. Carl is not a typical hero. He is barely strong enough for farm work and he knows much more about science then manual labor, yet he is every bit a gentleman. It was good to see a man portrayed as more than something brawny to look at.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was somewhat predictable but still entertaining. It is a good cozy afternoon type of book.
To learn more check out the author's website.
It can be purchased here.
For anyone that enjoys writing I would recommend reading Jody Hedlund's blog. I am always finding useful information there.
I received an advance copy of this book from Bethany house publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.