Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

January 10, 2017 Christian, giveaway, historical, Jody Hedlund, romance 74


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about the book

Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island

June 1880

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?

Abbie Wilson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.

Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.

Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.

The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

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SERIES: Beacons of Hope #5
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Northern Lights Press
RELEASE DATE: January 4, 2017
PAGES: 284

Other Books In This Series

  

 

“If we’re walking down the wrong path, it’s never too late to make a detour and start running down the right one.”

Pardon me a moment as I type one-handed while fanning myself with the other.  WHEW! There’s so much more to this book than kisses, but my goodness there are some fabulous kisses too! Like… the kind of kisses that make you forget how to breathe. The kind of kisses that make you worry slightly that your toes will be permanently curled by the end of the book (totally worth it though). The kind of kisses that you go back and read again immediately after finishing them…. and then maybe once more (at least) for good measure.

Wowzah.

Best to drag your fainting couch outside (or near your freezer, if temps in your area of the world are still balmy) for the duration of this read.  I don’t want to be responsible for swooning-induced injuries. Nor, I’m sure, does Jody Hedlund.

Goodness.

Ok… so … i did say there was more to Never Forget than kisses, didn’t I?

There is the richness of the historical setting and the depth of each character, both particular skills of Hedlund’s. From the dichotomy of Abbie’s grit and vulnerability to Nathaniel’s battle to live with integrity to Gramps’ meanderings in and out of dementia… these vivid characters evoke deep emotions from the readers and take up residence in the heart. These are characters I’ll be thinking about for a while.

Some gut-punching twists and turns will keep you on your toes (the ones that are permanently curled from those kisses!), but at every new bend in the path there is the steady truth that pulses throughout Never Forget – that no matter what your past, you can be a new creation in Jesus.

Bottom Line: Romantic chemistry off the charts! Kisses sure to melt even the most frozen of pearl-clutchers. A setting which perfectly complements the characters. Characters so dimensional you feel their joys and agonizings and fears and longings as clearly as if they were your own emotions. Life lessons that will linger, thanks to the beauty of the story. While I hate to see this series end, Never Forget is such a fitting finale and is without a doubt my new favorite of the bunch!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author via Celebrate Lit Book Tours. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / In a class by itself.

KissingBook Level: 5 / still fanning…

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about the author

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and Christy Award,  best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

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Other Books by Jody Hedlund

 

Which Do You Prefer: Series or Standalones?

By Jody Hedlund

Readers usually have strong opinions about whether they like series or standalones.

Some readers refuse to read books that are inter-related. Others can’t get enough books about their favorite characters.

I see the pros and cons of both.

For series, I don’t like feeling lost as I try to wade through previous characters along with their backstory. I recently started a series by a well-known author and was disappointed to realize the first book was connected to a previous series she’d already published. From the get-go, I felt left out as though I didn’t quite know who all the characters were or their significance.

On the other hand, for standalones, I sometimes feel as though I would like the story to continue. I’ve invested in the setting and characters and so enjoy when I can return to that place and continue to glimpse the characters I’ve fallen in love with—even if from a distance.

My favorites are books that fall in the middle between standalone and series. I like to think of them as standalones within a series. Becky Wade’s Porter brother series is like that. Each of the books centers around one of the brothers (and a tomboy sister). While characters from other books make an appearance in the stories, each plot is separate and complete without any reliance upon another book.

My Beacons of Hope lighthouse series falls in the middle too. The books are related in that they all take place at lighthouses and share a symbolic “cross of hope” that is passed on from one book to the next. A minor character in a previous book becomes the hero or heroine in the next book. But each book can be read by itself without having read any of the others.

In other words, readers can pick up my newest release, Never Forget, which is the fifth and final book in the series, and they wouldn’t be confused about who the characters are or what their history is. The plot starts with a bang and ends with a satisfying sigh. It is complete story unto itself.

And yet, for those who’ve read other books in the series, they’ll get to see the happily-ever-after of a character from a previous book. And they’ll also get to find out where the cross of hope finally ends.

If you’re not a fan of series, I encourage you to give the Beacons of Hope series a try. It might satisfy the need for standalones and series all in one neat little package.

To that end, I’m giving away all FIVE books in the series as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour to one lucky winner!

Tell us: What is your preference: Standalones, Series, or Standalones within a Series?

As Jody said, to celebrate her tour, she is giving away the entire Beacons of Hope series! Enter via the PromoSimple form below. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Click here to view this promotion.

Follow along with the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for a list of tour stops & more chances to win!

 *Special thanks to Melony Teague for the “fan warning” graphic!

Carrie

74 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Never Forget by Jody Hedlund”

  1. Carrie Turansky

    Thanks Carrie and Jody for all the great info about this new book! Sounds wonderful. I prefer stand alone novels within a series. But I like stand alone novels too. My least favorite are series where you are left hanging at the end of the book and you have to wait a long time for the next book. I like a satisfying ending with a peek into what might happen next to those characters. I’m looking forward to reading Never forget!

    • Carrie

      I don’t normally care for cliffhangers either – the one exception that I can think of is Terri Blackstock’s If I Run series. I almost don’t mind that the main storyline arc is still nowhere close to being resolved lol. It’s that good.

  2. Melody

    Confession: I haven’t read any of the books in this series. But they’re going on my TBR list post-haste!

    • Carrie

      you can totally read Never Forget without having to read the rest of the series…. but I highly recommend them ALL!!

    • Jody Hedlund

      Hi Melody! I hope you’ll have the chance to read the series! You can start in any order! (Although you can pick up the starting novella for FREE!)

  3. Kim

    As I was reading this review, I kept hoping I could just start with this book – thanks to your awesome review Carrie!

    I love series like Becky Wade’s where you can read each book as a stand-a-lone and not feel at all lost. I love when the previous characters make appearances in ways that if you haven’t read those books yet you immediately put them in your TBR pile, mountain, planet, etc.

    Thanks for a chance at this wonderful giveaway!

  4. MH

    What a great review. Thanks! I love series but also appreciate standalones and standalones in series.

  5. Brittaney B

    I love Jody Hedlund and her stories. I just finished Newton and Polly and am so excited to read this one. She is one of my go-to authors

  6. Haley Resseguie

    I am currently glancing out the window every few minutes waiting on my mailman to bring this book to me! I have loved the entire Beacons of Hope series (shoot, i love everything Jody has written!) and can’t wait to read this one. As far as standalone versus series, can I pick both? Lol.

    • Carrie

      I was asked this question in a reader panel at CFRR and my answer was “yes” lol – Yes to both series and standalones! Just give a book 😀

  7. Cathy

    I am looking forward to this final book in the Beacons of Hope, as I have very much enjoyed the others! If I am fortunate enough to obtain all the books in a series, then a continuation is great, but in general I prefer standalones within a series. Thanks for the review and opportunity to participate.

    • Carrie

      i do prefer not having to wait eons for a cliffhanger to be resolved lol but otherwise I’m not picky 🙂

  8. Patty

    I haven’t read any of the series, but love a good series. It is nice if the novels in the series can stand alone.

  9. Andi Tubbs

    Carrie,
    As I read every kissing scene I thought of you. Definitely need a fan while reading or read outside with snow on the ground. 😉

  10. Terri

    I love series and continuing with beloved characters, except, of course, when the author gets facts mixed up between beginning and end. 🙂

    • Carrie

      oh my goodness – you will LOVE!! I’m still fanning and trying to uncurl my toes! 😀

    • Carrie

      I like a series to have at least 3… 2 feels too short for me…. beyond 7 or 8 is generally too long 😉

  11. Terressa T.

    I like at and alone within a series but I want to know that it’s a series before I read the stand alone. Thankfully there is goodreads and Amazon to help decipher the orders of books. 😊😊

  12. Winnie Thomas

    I enjoy standalones and standalones within a series. I really don’t enjoy series with cliffhangers.

    Yet another book I must put on my TBR list/pile/planet! Thanks for the amazing review, my BFFF, and I definitely must read this one while there is still snow outside and cool temperatures. LOL

  13. Andrea Stephens

    This book sounds so good!!!
    I like stand alone within a series or stand alone books. I dislike cliffhanger books with a passion! I want to know if the book is in a series. I sometimes take issue with “cross contamination,” the only way I can describe it when a character from one series shows up in a different series. I feel like I need a cheat sheet.

    I would so love to win this series! Somehow I’ve only read book 2.

    • Carrie

      oh i LOVE it when characters show up in a different series – it’s like a little nod from the author to me 😀 lol.

      • Andrea Stephens

        Mary Connealy does a good job crossing over characters. I don’t mind her doing it.
        I don’t remember which author,(it was years ago) but a character from a previous series showed up in a new series with a completely different personality, doing things he would not have done before. Now when I see a familiar person somewhere else, it causes anxiety until I know they are okay.

  14. Lucy Reynolds

    Thank you for the review and interview. I prefer stand alone or stand alone in a series as I hate having to wait a year or more for an answer. Blessings.

  15. Pam K.

    When I read a series, I generally prefer stand-alones within a series because of the length of time between book releases. Sometimes, for certain authors, I will read a series of connecting books (where you have to read the next book in the series to really get the whole story). When I do that, I like to have all the books in the series so I can read them one after the other. I also like to read stand-alones. I like to switch things up, with genres too, to keep it more interesting. I do like it when characters reappear, even in a different series. Mary Connealy does this. It is so fun; it’s like being able to visit with an old friend or meet them all grown-up when you haven’t seen them since they were a child. If you haven’t read the other books and don’t know they’ve been around before, it’s no loss to you. It’s like a little gift for loyal readers.

    • Carrie

      I love that too, Pam! Mary does that well and so does Irene Hannon. All of her suspense novels are set in the same universe so past characters drop in from time to time. Love it!

  16. Marilyn

    Any book that Jody Hedlund writes is my kind of book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Marilyn

  17. Janice Moore

    I enjoy standalone books or books in a series where I can read the next one pretty close to the next in sequence! Sometimes it is hard to waid on the next in a sequence and I may get rusty on the details!

  18. Jeanne Bishop

    I love books in a series. It is so much fun to learn more about characters that are in the periphery of one book,but become the focus of another. Tamara Leigh’s series “Age of Faith” comes to mind.

  19. Alicia B.

    I love all three options, but probably series the most because if I love certain characters I don’t want their story to ever end 🙂 Looking forward to reading this one!

  20. Brenda Murphree

    I really enjoy a good series as long as most of the ends are tied up. But I read all three kinds and enjoy them all!

  21. Karen

    I agree that the standalones within a series are best!! The Porter family series is one of the top on my list of favorites!! I love reading about previous characters’ HEA. 😉

  22. Kelly Blackwell

    Great review. I lived in Rhode Island through my teens into my late 30s and we spent a lot of time in Newport. I have always loved the romance of light houses those alone are sigh worthy. 🙂

    As far as series and stand alone novels, I can’t say that I am firmly in any camp. I appreciate both. I am a big fan of a series though because I love getting to know a character more and more.

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