Finden Sie Ihren nächsten buch Favoriten

Werden Sie noch heute Mitglied und lesen Sie 30 Tage kostenlos
Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope Book #3)

Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope Book #3)

Vorschau lesen

Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope Book #3)

Bewertungen:
4.5/5 (24 Bewertungen)
Länge:
381 Seiten
6 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Dec 29, 2015
ISBN:
9781441269508
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

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.
Freigegeben:
Dec 29, 2015
ISBN:
9781441269508
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of over 30 historical novels for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Awards. Jody lives in Michigan with her husband, busy family, and five spoiled cats. She loves to imagine that she really can visit the past, although she's yet to accomplish the feat, except via the many books she reads. Visit her at jodyhedlund.com.

Ähnlich wie Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope Book #3)

Ähnliche Bücher

Buchvorschau

Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope Book #3) - Jody Hedlund

Cover

Chapter 1

EAGLE HARBOR, NORTHERN MICHIGAN

SEPTEMBER 1871

You’re not the new teacher," the bald, round-faced man said again in his childlike voice.

But I am, Tessa Taylor insisted. She pushed the wrinkled letter toward the proprietor of Cole Mine Company Store and Office.

The man’s chubby cheeks were flushed red. His eyes shifted in distress toward the shop door. And he refused to so much as glance at the official document she’d carried over the past week, her beacon of hope, her only escape from the past that haunted her.

The new teacher is supposed to be a man, the storekeeper said. And you’re a woman.

She braced her hands on the spotless glass countertop and leaned across it, taking in the name badge he wore pinned to his vest. Listen, Mr. Updegraff. I’m T. Taylor, which stands for Tessa Taylor. I’m the new teacher for the Eagle Harbor School. I’m sorry you thought you were getting a man, but lucky for you, I’m worth ten men.

At the sight of her hands on the counter, the man shook his head and made tsking noises at the back of his throat. When he reached beneath the counter, Tessa jerked her hands off the glass and took a quick step back.

She’d heard tales about the wild, untamed regions of upper Michigan, of the brawling, drunkenness, and lawlessness that were rampant. It would be just her luck if he pulled out a gun and shot her on the spot.

She could see the headline in the Detroit Free Press: Town Demands a Man Teacher, Shoots All Women Who Apply for the Job.

As Mr. Updegraff lifted his hand, Tessa started to raise hers in self-defense, but then stopped. It wasn’t as if she could catch the bullet if he decided to shoot her.

To her surprise, he plopped a frayed rag onto the glass and began to swirl it in circular, squeaking motions in the very spot she’d touched. His brows puckered, and his flabby jowls shook at his exertion.

Behind her, the store was deserted except for one woman with a baby propped on her hip and two children running around her in circles and tangling in her listless skirt, one giggling and the other crying. They were racing awfully close to the glass jars of pickled beets that sat on a low shelf.

For all the noise the children were making, the mother didn’t seem to hear them. Instead she let her dirt-encrusted fingernails trail over a grain sack of potatoes marked with a crude sign that read Two dollars a bushel in sticklike elementary handwriting.

Next to the potatoes stood barrels of apples, turnips, melons, cucumbers, cabbages, and carrots—apparently the stock of local farmers. But the prices on each of them were outrageously high.

I don’t suppose you take arms and legs in payment for the fresh produce, do you? Tessa couldn’t refrain from muttering.

But Mr. Updegraff was too focused on removing her fingerprints from the glass to pay attention to her sarcasm.

The shelves along one wall were stocked with flour, sugar, beans, tea, coffee, and rice. Another set of shelves running down the middle of the store revealed more practical items like lard, tallow, clothespins, baking powder, and condensed milk. A large portion of the store, near the back, was overflowing with kegs of powder, fuses for blasting, hard hats with candles, drills, sledgehammers, along with numerous other mining supplies she couldn’t begin to name.

It hadn’t taken Tessa long during her four-day voyage on the Temperance to realize the steamer was loaded with barrels and crates headed to Copper Country in preparation for the harsh winter that would soon cut the mining communities off from the lower part of the state.

The idea of being trapped in the north for the winter had given Tessa pause for only a moment before she’d cast it aside. She was going on an adventure, she’d reminded herself. And adventures always had an element of danger to them. That’s what made them exciting.

She drew in a deep breath of the strong odor of salt pork that mingled with the spiciness of tobacco. Even if she’d already run into the first major roadblock of her adventure, she wouldn’t let a little thing like a mix-up in her gender stop her.

If you’ll point me to the schoolhouse, she said.

You just go on and get out of here, Mr. Updegraff said, almost petulantly still rubbing at the glass. We’ve never had a woman teacher, and we’re not about to start having one.

Let’s call a gathering of the school board and parents and let them decide.

At a crash of glass, Mr. Updegraff’s head snapped up. His eyes rounded at the sight of the rapidly spreading pool of purplish liquid on the floor amidst shards of glass and lumps of beets.

The woman with the baby on her hip yelled at the two children who’d stopped running to stare at the mess.

Uh-oh, uh-oh, Mr. Updegraff said as he fumbled for a cornhusk broom in the corner, his worried eyes never once leaving the puddle.

For the first time since Tessa had embarked on her journey, she experienced a real pang of worry. Would she be out of a job before she even began? Mr. Updegraff, please listen—

He strode around the counter, broom in hand wielded like a warrior charging into battle. Go home, lady. I won’t talk to you anymore.

As he waddled with single-minded attention toward the broken jar of beets, Tessa released a whistling sigh and glanced out the grocery store window to the other businesses that lined the main street of Eagle Harbor—the smithy, several boardinghouses and taverns, a carpenter shop, livery stables, and the spire of the Methodist church rising beyond a smattering of identical-looking log cabins.

With firm, decisive steps, she crossed to the door, opened it, and stepped onto Center Street. The thoroughfare was little more than a dirt path engraved with wagon ruts.

She lifted her face, first to the thickly wooded hills that bordered the eastern edge of town, and then to the wide expanse of Lake Superior that hemmed in the west with its bald, rocky bluffs and fierce coastline. She drew in a breath of the September air that already had a nip to it.

Everyone had warned her that she was moving to the frontier, that life in the far north was more rugged than out west. But their warnings had only fueled her desire to travel to the Upper Peninsula all the more. It was the perfect place to distance herself from her past and to start life over with a clean reputation, where no one would ever have to know about her past mistakes.

She let her sights linger on the hundreds of gulls perched on rocks in the bay. Their calls were muted by the waves crashing against boulders. The constant roar even drowned out the shouts of the Temperance deckhands as they began unloading the cargo onto one of the two docks in the harbor where it would be transported and stored in the warehouse built near the shore.

Her faded orange carpetbag sat where she’d discarded it on the long wooden platform.

She might as well retrieve her bag and check into one of the boardinghouses. Then she’d at least know where to have her personal trunks delivered once they were unloaded from her berth.

With a bound to her step, she headed back to the harbor, the path growing gradually sandier as she neared the water. If the town thought they could get rid of her so easily, they were in for a surprise. She usually got her way, and she wasn’t about to let that change now. She’d simply have to convince everyone that she was the right person for the job—even if she wasn’t the man they’d been expecting.

Why are men always deemed more worthy? she muttered, thinking of the struggle her older sister, Caroline, had experienced when she’d wanted to become head lightkeeper of Windmill Lighthouse near Detroit. Even though she’d been more experienced and competent than most men, she’d faced discrimination simply because of her gender.

Tessa’s gaze slid to the lighthouse perched on a bluff overlooking Eagle Harbor. The side of the redbrick keeper’s house was attached to an octagonal brick tower that was rather short. She guessed it to be around forty feet in height. But what it lacked in height it seemed to make up for in girth. With the pounding of the wind and waves, as well as the harsh winters, she had no doubt the tower had been built to withstand the elements rather than win prizes in beauty contests.

But I don’t care, she said, focusing on the dock and her bag. She’d vowed to herself that once she left Windmill Point, she’d never step into another lighthouse as long as she lived.

She was done with lighthouses. Forever. And she wanted nothing to do with the sea either. If she’d had her choice, she would have traveled overland instead of by steamer. But since sailing through the Great Lakes to the north was the fastest option, she’d grudgingly done what she needed to.

The truth was that she’d never be able to forgive the sea or lighthouses for all they’d taken from her.

Turning her back on the tower, she found herself facing several deckhands rolling barrels along the dock. As the only woman on board, the captain had kept her under close supervision during her voyage out of Detroit and then out of the locks at Sault St. Marie. Now that she’d reached her destination, he was too busy to chaperone her.

She moved out of the way of the crew, stepping to the side of the dock to let them pass. As they neared her, she tried not to think about the fact that she was utterly alone in the world. That she was, for the time being, without the job she thought she’d secured. And that she was also homeless.

The first deckhand eased his barrel to a stop next to her. He gave her a smile, revealing yellowing teeth that contrasted with the dark scruff on his face. So what does our pretty little miss think of Eagle Harbor?

Pretty little miss? Was that what the crew was calling her behind her back? She didn’t return the man’s smile. As a matter of fact, the place is . . .

She glanced to the sprawling town set amid stumps of trees that had been cleared to make room for the mining community. Under the gray sky, the log cabins appeared shabby, the laundry swinging in the breeze dingy, and the coastline sharp and imposing. Distant wisps of smoke rising from the hills signaled the mine buried somewhere beyond the town.

I’m sure the place is charming, she said, adding cheer to her voice, trying to ignore how deserted everything looked. A few young children played in a heap of rocks and dirt that stood between cabins, and a haggard-looking woman with her hair covered in a scarf faced a pot that hung over an open fire pit. She stirred the contents slowly without bothering to look at the newly arrived steamer, the sailing vessels apparently an everyday occurrence here.

On the shore nearby, a lone fisherman in waders stood up to his knees in the water, reeling in his line. His two husky dogs lay patiently on the beach behind him. As if sensing her attention, the man touched the brim of his bowler hat in greeting.

Maybe the pretty little miss is having second thoughts about staying. The deckhand grinned over his shoulder at the two men behind him. Maybe she’d like to stay aboard the ship with us, eh, mates?

They nodded their agreement, looking at her with an interest that made her want to wring their necks.

She’d been told there weren’t many single women in the north, mostly mining wives. And she’d been fine with that, had decided it meant less worry about wagging tongues gossiping about her. Perhaps it also meant she’d have to spurn unwanted attention from the male species. After all, she hadn’t come seeking a relationship. She’d come to teach, and she didn’t want or need to be distracted by romantic notions.

She gripped the handles of her carpetbag more firmly and started to step down the dock toward shore.

The deckhand quickly moved in front of her and blocked her way.

Excuse me, she said, pulling back. I must be on my way.

Can’t you stay for just a minute? The man’s grin turned hard, and his attention focused on her mouth. And give me and my mates a kiss good-bye?

Absolutely not. She narrowed her eyes at him in what she hoped was a withering stare, but inside her stomach churned. Had these men learned about her reputation? Is that why they were being forward with her? Now, if you’ll kindly let me pass.

She moved to the side, hoping to slip past him. But he sidestepped with her and continued to block her path. Just one little kiss, the deckhand insisted, right here on my cheek. He tapped a finger against his scruffy face.

She stiffened her shoulders and bit back a slew of caustic words that begged for release. She decided instead on a different tactic. Hoping to keep the sarcasm out of her tone, she said, As tempting as the prospect is, I really must decline. I’m a teacher, and there are rules against teachers engaging in unseemly conduct.

This won’t be unseemly, he said, lowering his voice and winking. I promise.

She was tempted to slap him across the face, but she’d learned to control her impulses over the years of having to ward off inappropriate advances. Her best course of action was to bolt past him and run back into town. He surely wouldn’t attempt to accost her in the middle of Center Street.

She jolted forward and slipped past him as fast as a fish angling out of reach of a net. She only made it two paces when his rough fingers circled around her upper arm, jerked her to a halt, and spun her around.

She squirmed against his hold and dropped her carpetbag for more leverage. But he yanked her closer so that his hot breath fanned her face, and the sour stench of his sweat swirled around her. There were several small mackinaw boats tied to the dock and bobbing in the waves. Could she break free and jump into one?

Let go of me this instant! she shouted, stamping her heel into his boot.

The man only laughed.

I think you better do as the lady said came a voice from the shore.

She turned her head at the same time as the deckhand to the sight of the fisherman nearby. He was still up to his knees in water and was in the process of casting out his line again calmly and steadily, as if he hadn’t a care in the world.

Stay out of this, mate, the deckhand called. This isn’t your business.

With the way you’re treating the lady, you’ve forced me to make it my business. Mate. The fisherman watched his line arch out over the water and then sink beneath the waves.

"I suggest you keep out of things or you’ll force me and my mates to make you our business." The deckhand grinned at his friends as if pleased with his comeback. It was likely the cleverest thing the man had said all year—or perhaps in his life. Nevertheless, Tessa was tired of his antics. It was time to put an end to the situation once and for all.

Before she could knee the deckhand or bite his hand, the fisherman gave a short but piercing whistle between his teeth.

At the sound, the two dogs behind him bolted up. Their pointed ears perked, their snouts lifted, and their eyes riveted to their master. At their full height, with their silver-and-black markings, Tessa could almost believe the dogs were wolves. But their build was stockier, their coats thicker.

The fisherman cocked his head at the deckhands, and the dogs started toward the wharf, baring their teeth and growling.

Oh, so he thinks he can frighten us with his puppies, the deckhand said with a guffaw toward his friends.

At the sight of the dogs moving toward the wharf, looking like they would rip flesh from bones, the other two crewmen had lost their grins, deserted their barrels, and retreated back to the steamer.

The fisherman didn’t say anything further. Instead he reeled in his fishing line as unperturbed as before. Underneath the brim of his hat, Tessa caught a glimpse of a handsome face, but that was all she had time to see before her captor yanked her forward and positioned her so that she was acting as a shield between himself and the dogs.

Low to the ground, ears back and fangs exposed, the dogs continued to advance. If she’d been a timid woman, they might have frightened her. Yet all she could think about was devising a strategy for freeing herself from the deckhand so the dogs could charge in and chew him up like a piece of rawhide.

Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed the mackinaw. She’d break loose and leap into the swaying boat. It wasn’t much of a plan, but at least she’d be doing something more than standing here and allowing herself to be manhandled.

Before the deckhand knew what she was doing, she bent her head and bit the fleshy part of his hand between his thumb and forefinger.

He yelped and his grip slackened.

She didn’t waste any time. She wrenched away and leapt toward the edge of the dock. To her dismay, her feet landed in a wet spot. She skidded and tried to stop, but she found herself tumbling over the side of the dock not even close to the mackinaw.

She hit the icy water with a splash. The sharpness immediately took her breath away. She spluttered as murky waves battered her mouth and nostrils. The water wrapped around her, saturating her heavy linen overskirt along with the fuller underskirt. The weight of the wet material dragged her down, submerging her under the waves.

As she sank, her legs tangled in the floating linen, and she couldn’t get the momentum she needed to kick and force herself back to the surface. She flailed with her arms, but the pounding of the waves refused to release her.

Her lungs burned, and she had to resist the instinct to open her mouth for the air that wouldn’t be there. Darkness swirled around her. Suddenly all she could think was that her adventure had hardly just begun and she was about to die.

Chapter 2

She was going to die a watery death. Just like her father had.

Even though her father had known how to swim, and even though he’d taught her and her siblings to navigate in water almost as well as a fish, sometimes swimming wasn’t enough.

She’d learned that all too well.

The sea had already taken so much from her, and she wouldn’t let it defeat her today. With a desperate lunge, she grabbed at her skirts, trying to free her legs. Her chest seared against her rib cage with the need for a breath as she struggled to push herself up.

At a splash next to her, she reached out, groping, hoping to find help. Her fingertips grazed something. Then a hand shot out, gripped her arm, and heaved her upward until her face broke through the surface. She gulped in air, choking and spluttering as another wave hit her.

Strong arms slid around her waist and hoisted her above the waves, and she found herself staring at the fisherman. He’d discarded his hat and was now as drenched as she was. His hair was plastered to his head, and water trickled down strong Nordic features—a perfect nose, a strong angular jaw, and a chiseled chin that had the beginning of a dimple in it.

To say he was handsome was an understatement. In fact, she could quite confidently say he was one of the handsomest men she’d ever seen. More than any other feature, his eyes were beautiful. Not only were they wide and framed with thick lashes, they were a startling blue, like Lake St. Clair back home when it was calm in the morning with the sunlight brightening its surface.

Are you all right? His brow creased over those mesmerizing eyes.

For a split second she was tempted to answer him, No, I’m drowning in your eyes. But then she thought better of it and decided such forwardness wouldn’t put her off to a good start in Eagle Harbor—not that she’d gotten off to a particularly good start anyway.

Instead she sucked another gulp into her air-starved lungs. I’ve never been better. Such a friendly welcome.

One of his brows cocked.

A wave splashed into her face. At the icy touch against her already cold skin, she couldn’t contain a bone-jarring shudder. To her dismay, neither could she keep her teeth from chattering.

Well, he said, as much as you’re enjoying your welcome, I’ll have to insist on putting an end to this party and getting you back to dry land.

She smiled, realizing it was the first real smile she’d managed in days. She could appreciate quick wit when she heard it, which wasn’t often.

He tugged her forward, his hands still on her waist. She realized then that he’d been treading water, keeping them both afloat, and that now he was guiding her toward the shore.

Her legs were too stiff from the cold to be of much use. She imagined she was double her normal weight with her skirts and bodice having absorbed at least half the water in the harbor. But he moved effortlessly as if she weighed nothing more than a baby bird.

Put an end to the party? she said. So I take it that in addition to fishing, you have the occupation of being the local spoilsport.

This time he grinned. It was a lazy kind of smile that showed off even teeth and made him more handsome—if that was possible. Her stomach did a funny flip.

If you stay in Eagle Harbor long enough, he said, you’ll learn that I have a reputation for boring people.

She highly doubted he bored anyone, but before she could toss out a witty retort of her own, her feet grazed the rocky bottom of the lake. Soon she was standing, the water up to her chest now.

His hands fell away from her waist, and he straightened to his full height. She could see that he was no longer wearing the coat and shirt he’d had on while fishing. He was donned only in a thin cotton undershirt that was stuck to his chest, leaving nothing to the imagination. Every rippling muscle and taut bulge was visible. As he stepped forward, his entire body exuded vitality and power.

Close your mouth and stop drooling, she scolded herself. She attempted to follow him, but her legs were weak and the stones sharp and slippery, causing her to stumble.

At her splash and cry of frustration, he spun. He took one look at her half-submerged form and retraced his steps.

You wouldn’t happen to know how I can walk on water? she asked, hoping to cover her embarrassment at her bumbling and gawking. That might be an easier way to get to shore rather than making a fool of myself slipping over these stones.

I know an easier way. Before she could protest, he scooped her up and cradled her in his thick arms against that muscular chest of his.

For once in her life, words deserted her. She could only stare at his chin, not daring to drop her eyes any lower.

He strode through the rolling waves with ease. When his feet finally reached land, he lowered her as gently as a rare piece of porcelain.

On her feet again, she stared down at herself in dismay. Her lovely emerald skirt with its layers of ruffles was a soggy mess, with some of the lace having been torn and now hanging loose. She smoothed down the short-waisted basque bodice, noting a missing button near the frilly bow at her limp collar, which had been so crisp and white earlier when she’d dressed in her best outfit in hopes of making a good impression her first day in Eagle Harbor.

The fisherman took a step back, and she could feel his gaze upon her, as if he expected her to crumple at any moment.

Don’t worry, she said, peeling a strand of her dark hair from her cheek and tucking it behind her ear. I’ll be fine in a minute. If only she didn’t look like a limp rag doll that had just washed ashore.

A breeze swept off the lake and brought the nip in the air she’d felt earlier. It seemed to blow right through the wet layers and into her skin, so that her body began to shake.

The fisherman watched her for only a second before bounding toward the place where he’d dropped his fishing pole. He grabbed his discarded coat and shirt from among the rocks.

She could only stand and watch, huddled in a freezing mass of wetness, shivering uncontrollably and hugging her arms in a useless effort to warm herself.

He trotted back to her, his brow once again crinkling with worry. Where are you staying? I’ll help carry your things there.

I’m homeless for the time being. She tried to make her tone light, but a sudden heaviness began to weigh upon her. She’d come to Eagle Harbor hoping to make a new start to her life, but so far nothing had gone any better than it usually did.

He moved behind her and draped his warm wool coat across her shoulders and over her arms, tucking it under her chin before stepping away and putting a proper distance between them.

She wouldn’t have guessed a brawny man capable of such tenderness. No one had treated her so kindly in a long time. Thank you. She met his gaze and then wished she hadn’t when the blue of his eyes captivated her again.

You’re welcome, he said and crossed his bulky arms over his incredibly attractive chest.

And of course, thank you for rescuing me. She hoped he couldn’t read her thoughts, yet she had the feeling he could from the way his brow quirked.

It was my pleasure. His lips rose in a half grin.

She wished she could have met him when she was at her best rather than her worst. Forcing her attention anywhere but him, she turned and found herself taking in a scene that made her burst into laughter. There sprawled on the dock was the deckhand who had accosted her. The dogs were perched on his arms and legs, pinning him down. He lay absolutely still, paralyzed with fear. Every time he so much as twitched, one of the dogs would bare its teeth and growl at him.

It appears as though I owe my gratitude to your dogs too, Mr. . . . ?

He followed her gaze to the dogs and nodded. Bjorklund. Alex Bjorklund.

Mr. Bjorklund.

Just Alex.

Then I’m just Tessa.

Tessa. The way her name rolled off his lips, as if he were tasting a savory piece of cake, made her insides warm. Very pleased to make your acquaintance.

I’m the new teacher. She waited for him to say something about the fact that she was a woman and how Eagle Harbor hadn’t hired a woman teacher before.

Actually, you already know me. I’m the local spoilsport.

She laughed with relief. Maybe not everyone was as opposed to having a female instructor as the store clerk. Perhaps there was hope after all.

I suppose you could call your dogs off the man before they give him a heart attack.

I suppose I could, he replied, his eyes narrowing at the deckhand. His companions had long since escaped into the safety of the steamer. But I’m leaning toward letting my dogs scare him for a few more minutes just to make sure he learns his lesson good and well.

And what lesson are you hoping to teach him? How to play dead perhaps?

No, I only want him to learn to keep his hands off pretty women.

Ah, so he did think she was pretty. A measure of satisfaction wafted through her. Maybe I should start keeping a pack of dogs with me to ward off unwanted attention.

Sounds like a good idea. I’m sure you get a lot of attention.

The satisfaction swelled. She liked a man who knew how to flatter, and it was clear Alex was quite adept at it.

I tell you what, he said. Come spring, I’ll give you the pick of the litter.

She started to shake her head, but his smile stopped her words—and her heartbeat.

Purebred Norwegian Elkhounds. You couldn’t ask for a better dog to protect you. They’re fiercely loyal.

Yes, they do look fierce.

"Don’t tell me they

Sie haben das Ende dieser Vorschau erreicht. Registrieren Sie sich, um mehr zu lesen!
Seite 1 von 1

Rezensionen

Was die anderen über Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope Book #3) denken

4.3
24 Bewertungen / 5 Rezensionen
Wie hat es Ihnen gefallen?
Bewertung: 0 von 5 Sternen

Leser-Rezensionen

  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    This was a wonderful book. It has a message of hope, and is a beautiful romance! I LOVED IT!!
  • (5/5)
    Friday, January 29, 2016Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund, © 2016Beacons of Hope Series, Book Threeuhn-dawn-tid; adj.not put off, discouraged, or beatenEagle Harbor, Michigan, 1871Upper Peninsula on Lake SuperiorTessa 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 StationYou 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 TwoBeacons of Hope Series, Book FourForever Safe ~ Releasing June 2016
  • (5/5)
    Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund is the third book in the Beacons of Hope series. It is 1871 and Tessa Taylor is heading to Eagle Harbor, Michigan to teach school. Tessa is hoping for a new start on her life. She wanted to get away from home where everyone knew what she had done. Unfortunately, the town thought she was male. They wanted a male teacher for their students and Tessa had signed her letters T. Taylor (couldn’t they tell from the handwriting). Since the ship that Tessa came in on is one of the last ships before winter sets in, Percival Updegraff (Chief Clerk for Cole Mine Company Store and Office) decides that Tessa can stay the winter. Tessa wants to prove what a good teacher she is and how she can help the children as well as the adults in the community.Michael and Alex Bjorklund are brothers that run the lighthouse. Michael is a widower with two children. Alex joined him to help him with the lighthouse and the children. Ingrid (six) and Gunnar (eight) decide that Tessa would be the perfect wife and mother for their father. However, Alex is quite taken with Tessa. Tessa, though, wants nothing to do with lighthouses (nor keepers). She feels they have taken enough from her. But can Tessa fight God’s will and his plan for her life? Undaunted Hope is just delightful. It is my favorite book in the Beacons of Hope series. Undaunted Hope is well-written and very engaging. My interest was captured right away and was held throughout the whole book (it will also provide some good laughs). Undaunted Hope can be read alone, but I would highly recommend reading the previous books in this series (it does help). I give Undaunted Hope 5 out of 5 stars. I look forward to reading more books by Jody Hedlund in the future.I received a complimentary copy of Undaunted Hope from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • (5/5)
    Title: Undaunted Hope #3 (Beacons of Hope series)Author: Jody HedlundPages: 384Year: 2016Publisher: BethanyMy 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.”