Together Forever -Book Review

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Marianne Neumann has one goal in life: to find her lost younger sister, Sophie. When Marianne takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York, she not only hopes to give children a better life but seeks to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train.

Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children–firm but tender and funny. Underneath his handsome charm, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden. As the two team up placing orphans amid small railroad towns in Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.

about the author:

Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including With You Always, Love Unexpected, Unending Devotion, The Preacher’s Bride, and A Noble Groom, and winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at

editorial reviews:

“Marianne and Drew’s friendship and romance bring a delectable sizzle and emotional intimacy to this historically informative, beautifully layered, and spiritually inspirational tale about loving someone enough to let them go.”–Booklist


“This second book in the Orphan Train series is a poignant and historical anecdote about courage and forgiveness. It is a great read for fans of Julie Lessman and Tracie Peterson.”–Christian Market


Praise for Jody Hedlund’s Orphan Train Series

“The first book in her Orphan Train series is a heart-stirring story of survival and love filled with memorable characters.”–Booklist (starred review)

“A powerful and historically grounded story about finding your own strength and worth through faith.”–Christian Market

my thoughts:

Orphan trains are a unique part of our country’s past and I was glad to see a book on this subject. I liked the author’s description of the orphan train, both its good qualities and seedy underbelly.

However, the good parts stop there.

There was so much clichรฉ and run of the mill tropes that I wanted to puke. Each character was exactly the way that they should be. She, delicate and elegant. He, handsome, strong jaw, dark past. Their romance? Completely unbelievable.

There were so many makeout sessions in front of the orphans that I felt scandalized for them. This is 1912, mind you, not 2018 where this type of behavior is acceptable.

Also, the ending made me throw the book across the room.

Why is this type of writing accepted? Do we have no standards anymore?!

I find it amusing that Marianne is so worried about her missing sister, yet does nothing to further the search. I guess she’s too busy, looking for her lost tongue. Oh wait. There it is, shoved down Drew’s throat.

Give me a break.

You can get your copy of this truly disappointing book here.

I received this book in exchange for my review from Bethany House. All opinions stated above are my own.


A Rebel Heart -Book Review


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Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family’s Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land.

Pinkerton agent and former Union cavalryman Levi Riggins is investigating a series of robberies and sabotage linked to the impoverished Daughtry plantation. Posing as a hotel management agent for the railroad, he tells Selah he’ll help her save her home, but only if it is converted into a hotel. With Selah otherwise engaged with renovations, Levi moves onto the property to “supervise” while he actually attends to his real assignment right under her nose.

Selah isn’t sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee, but she’d do almost anything to save her home. What she never expected to encounter was his assault on her heart.

about the author:

Beth White’s day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she writes historical romance with a Southern drawl and is the author of The Pelican Bride, The Creole Princess, and The Magnolia Duchess. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers’ Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Learn more at

editorial reviews:

“Full of intrigue, grit, and grace, A Rebel Heart is Beth White at her finest.”–Jocelyn Green, award-winning author of A Refuge Assured

“With great skill, Beth White combines intriguing history with inspiring romance, and then adds a good measure of mystery and suspense. Well done!”–Carrie Turansky, award-winning author of Shine Like the Dawn and Across the Blue

“Beth White’s careful historical research shines throughout this novel, as do her wonderful characters. Highly recommended.”–Robin Lee Hatcher, Lifetime Achievement Award-winning author of You’re Gonna Love Me

my thoughts:

A Rebel Heart is one of those quick, heartwarming reads. It is neither spellbinding nor boring. It is just one of those, “That’s an OK book” books. I probably won’t pick it up and read it again.

I liked our main character Selah, and the setting of just after the Civil War ended. I also liked the Southern perspective. Although the Northern-Southern love affair was entirely predictable, I still found it cute.

You can get your copy here.


This book was given to me in exchange for my review by Revell. All opinions stated above are my own.