My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from publisher to review
Genre: Historical Romance
Book Description: 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.
My thoughts: 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.
About the Author: (taken from Goodreads) Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances including books for adults and youth. She currently makes her home in central Michigan with her husband and their five busy children.
As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.
She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.
Visit her Webpage.