|Fantastic storytelling with this action packed inspirational romance!|
Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund
Bethany House, September 1, 2012
Paperback 384 pages
Review copy provided by the author, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:
High-Stakes Drama Meets High-Tension RomanceIn 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her to Harrison and into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber baron father.
Posing during the day as a photographer's assistant, Lily can't understand why any God-fearing citizen would allow evil to persist and why men like Connell McCormick turn a blind eye to the crime rampant in the town. But Connell is boss-man of three of his father's lumber camps in the area, and like most of the other men, he's interested in clearing the pine and earning a profit. He figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters.
Lily challenges everything he thought he knew, and together they work not only to save her sister but to put an end to the corruption that's dominated Harrison for so long.
This was such a fantastic story full of the sweet beginnings of romance with lots of danger involved, too! Lily is deadset on finding her younger sister who has strayed off of God's path and straight into a brothel run by the town's meanest and most evil businessman, James Carr. Eighteen year old Lily and her darling gruff guardian Oren travel to the Northern Hotel in Michigan and meet Connell, the handsome man who is leading the laborers at a lumber camp.
Connell knows the evil that James Carr creates, but is satisfied to look the other way in order to keep the peace. James Carr has his finger on everyone in the town, and he employs gangster techniques to maintain his powerful hold on the community. When Lily gallops in, she has no idea of the murderous lengths that James Carr goes through in order to terrorize the community, and she ends up getting Connell involved in her schemes to rescue the women enslaved into prostitution. Along the way, there are many characters to keep the story moving along with one mishap after the other that kept me turning the pages. There are several themes and storylines running concurrently, so there is a lot going on at once which was refreshing for an inspirational fiction piece, and I loved how I was entertained throughout the entire novel.
Especially refreshing was the outcome of Unending Devotion, and how not everything was a happily ever after ending. Lily was a young woman to be reckoned with, and even though she was not completely fearless she was willing to fight for her beliefs. It was very realistically told, and these characters were so alive and vivid that I missed them once I finished the book. A fabulous tale of romance, loyalty and adventure that I recommend to any historical romance fan.