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"Swiftly becoming a well-known contender in the world of Christian historical fiction, Hedlund skillfully taps into her own German heritage to develop this tale of Old World romance and masked identity set against the backdrop of a nineteenth-century German American community." -- Booklist
Posted February 21, 2014
This is one of those books that I couldn't wait to get my hands on. I added it to my wish list on Amazon and drooled over the gorgeous cover every time I was on the site. So when it went on sale, I didn't hesitate to buy it.
At first, it was everything I had hoped it would be. The writing is beautiful and I loved both Annalisa and Carl. I really liked the way their relationship developed slowly from a sweet flirtation to a deep seeded love. Carl is a wonderful hero - just the kind of guy I like to read about. He is good and kind and sweet. He is not without imperfection, but I really liked the way he treated Annalisa and her girls. Annalisa's personal journey of self discovery was also well done and I loved watching her gain understanding about her self worth.
Although I really liked almost everything about the book, there were a few things that bugged me. The plot was generally predictable, but what romance book isn't? The ending is what I didn't like. I knew how the book would end, and the whole time I was reading I kept thinking that there was a much better, more obvious solution to their situation. I will refrain from spoiling anything, but I really really wanted it to end differently.
Regardless of the ending, I still really liked the book. It would appeal to lovers of clean romance and Christian fiction.
Content: Clean. There is some "desire" between the characters, but no boundaries are crossed.
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Posted June 17, 2014
Posted May 6, 2014
Posted April 11, 2014
The struggles of a German immigrant farming community are vividly portrayed in this story of a German nobleman fleeing for his life to America and the recently widowed Annalisa needing a husband to keep the farm running. The characters grow and develop as they face many challenges.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2014
Posted March 7, 2014
I actually got this from my local library. but i liked enough to write a rating here. It was some what predictable but it was a very sweet story of family and love. With faith written in without being preachy. just the right amount to allow the reader to see and understand the depths of their conviction. Enjoyed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2013
I have now officially discovered a new historical fiction author (new to me, that is), and I cannot recommend her highly enough! I was enthralled with this book from the very beginning, and it just seems that I read this book so fast. So much happened, and I connected with this story in the way I like to connect with historical fiction. Indeed Jody Hedlund is the kind of author that truly makes me love historical fiction. The story is well-researched, and even though liberties are taken, she can back up her story with evidence.
But let's get past all that. Carl and Annaslisa are delightful characters that just jump off the page from the moment you are introduced to them. I never found the story sappy. I had a vague idea of how the story would end, and the author added enough realism in the story to keep it true to form. I think if a guy like Carl came into my life, I would react similarly to Annaslisa. The strength of both characters comes through, and there are some delightfully funny portions of the story as well.
The best thing is that this is a Christian book, but it is never preachy. The characters all doubt God's existence and love, but in the end, they place their simple trust in Him. You will find nothing inappropriate, and I hope that the author writes a sequel. She certainly left the book concluded but still open to another story. I would highly recommend this book to those who love historical romances. But if you don't like romance, I think you still might like this book since the romance is quite minimal (but awfully sweet!).
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Posted October 30, 2013
Jody Hedlund does it every single time.
She impresses me. Yes, me, the virtually un-impressible. And yet she does it... every single time.
With that said, she doesn’t have nearly enough books out! This is only her fourth published novel (with Bethany House), and in my opinion, there aren’t too many authors out there who write half so well.
Also, before I start in on what I loved SO MUCH about the inside of this book, I have to add that A Noble Groom has THE BEST COVER EVER. I don’t often like covers with the hero of the book pictured, especially without the heroine involved at all! But this one went so well with the blurb about the book. Everything about it was perfect: the farm, the wind, the clouds, the suit, the cravat, the colors, the look on his face... everything about it matched everything inside the book to perfection.
I really don’t know how exactly Jody makes reading about two mismatched people working on a farm in the middle of nowhere Michigan in 1880/1881—speaking German (hypothetically) to one another no less—so enthralling. But like I said, she does it every time, no matter what she’s writing about.
I know what it is, actually. It’s her characters. Their emotions are so true, their thoughts so amazingly accurate. The situations they find themselves in... so complexly and perfectly orchestrated.
Both Annalisa Werner and Carl von Reichart have so much to learn throughout the pages of this book; about themselves and about each other, as well as about life in general. Although they’re both German immigrants from an area called Saxony, they are from extreme opposite worlds. Annalisa is the widow of a mean-hearted peasant farmer who’s family had relocated to America six years before because of the severe work conditions in Saxony... and Carl, the wrongly-accused fugitive, who happens to (secretly) be the son of the over-bearing Baron who caused the death of Annalisa’s older brother, and which resulted in her entire family immigrating to America in the first place.
Talk about complex! Although I did begin reading this book the first moment I had it in my grasp (and after, literally, stalking my mailman everyday waiting for it to arrive!), I did not end up reading it quickly. Partly because I simply didn't want it to end and partly because there were so many points in the book that I just had to stop reading so I could digest what all was (or at times, what wasn’t!) going on within and between these two characters. There were also all of the times when I felt that all was lost, and I had no idea how Carl and Annalisa were ever going to end up together by the end of the book....
Then I finally read the last twenty percent as quickly as possible because I couldn’t stand not to any longer.
And then I sighed again, and again, and again. (haha, that’s especially for Jody and anyone else who might have read the book already).
Now every time I see the cover of the book pictured anywhere, I simply sigh and say, “Oh, yes... that book. That wonderful book.”
I blessedly received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Posted September 28, 2013
After reading the last page in "A Noble Groom" I let out a happy and content sigh! The book was absolutely amazing and I can't say that I have let out a sigh like that in a very long time!
"A Noble Groom" had everything I want in a book: romance, suspense, action, and a deepness that makes you question your own thoughts.
I left the book reveling in the sweetness of Annalisa and Carl's romance that is based on a love that only comes from the hand of God! Jody did such a wonderful job of weaving how the Bible portrays love should be between a man and woman as well as the role that God calls the husband and wife to have concerning towards their spouse!
I also loved how Jody shows the battle and power of forgiveness! Through the different characters the reader can see that forgiveness is something that we all struggle with (especially when we have been deceived!), but once we decide to forgive their is an overwhelming freedom that comes!
Overall I think the thing that hit me most about this book was that we shouldn't take for granted the love that we have from family and friends surrounding us. There will be hard times that come, but like Annalisa mentions that we can't have "anything that was truly worthwhile without fighting for it" such as a farm, family, or true love. These immigrants gave up everything they had and worked all day, but were encouraged by hope. They had family that was their to help them in the hard times. That is something that I want to remember and take away from this book: No matter how hard life might get at times I do not want to pass over my family with frustration or bitterness, but with a gratefulness to know I that have someone fighting with me as well as hoping.
In my opinion, this is the best book I have read by Jody so far! It is so powerful and you will not be disappointed by the powerful message it brings!
I thought this book was wonderful!!! Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite authors. If you love historical romance you will love this book. The story between Annalisa and Carl was so much fun to read. The wonderful way that Carl was with Annalisa's daughters was wonderful. Please read this book! So far I have read three of her books and I would rate them all a five star!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 31, 2013
This is kind of like the mail order bride books, except with a twist. Make that a couple of twists. After Annalisa’s husband suddenly dies her father decides she needs a new husband and quickly. He takes matters into his own hands and writes a letter to a cousin to send an available male. The cousin receives the letter but sends someone else instead. The mystery man arrives just in the nick of time, but he’s got some secrets that he’s not telling.
I loved the new take on this age old tradition. Carl is such a breath of fresh air for this community. The men are very dominant and angry but Carl slowly begins to change things. It was a nice reminder that one person can make a difference.
I was struck by just how stark living conditions could be for people trying to eke out a living from the soil. No wonder tempers were short. Poverty was constantly knocking at the door. Men were designed to be providers and in this situation it is easy to see how they would feel like failures and become hardened.
The budding trust and affection between Carl and Annalisa was beautifully written. My heart broke when Carl’s secrets began to come to light. Jody Hedlund has once again put together a novel that touches on all your emotions. I think you will laugh and cry with the characters but most importantly when you close the cover for the last time you will sigh with contentment.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Posted June 26, 2013
Life as a German immigrant is hard, but when Annalisa Werner's husband dies, she is left to contend with the man who wants her land, the rigors of a struggling farm, the responsibility of raising her daughter and the preparations for her unborn child. Her father arranges for a distant cousin to marry Annalisa and take over the farm. Love is not needed. Carl Richards lived an easy life as a nobleman's son until he was falsely accused of murder. He travels to America as a fugitive and finds shelter and food as hired help for Annalisa. Their views on love and marriage are as different as their past lives. As Carl and Annalisa work together to grow a harvest to save her farm, they both find that they have much to learn about love. Can this relationship survive the revelation of Carl's past and the arrival of Annalisa's groom? Read more in A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund.
A Noble Groom is the first book I've read by Jody Hedlund and I'll definitely be on the lookout for her books in the future. I love it when I'm surprised by a book. I expected a romance with a medium-level of tension. The progressively playful banter and spark of attraction made for a sweet blossoming of love that maintained my interest throughout the book. However, quite unexpectedly, I found high drama interlaced with healing and growth. This marvelous combination was an excellent complement to the story line. I confidently recommend A Noble Groom to any fan of Christian romance.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
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Posted June 8, 2013
A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund is a wonderful historical romance novel that is set in Michigan and takes place from 1880 to 1881. Annalisa Werner is a recent widow with a young daughter and another baby on the way. She feels that her husband was murdered but she cannot prove it. She cannot take care of the farm alone so she agreed to let her father write to his brother in Germany asking him to send a man to America to be her husband. Carl Richards, a nobleman in disguise, arrived at the farm after fleeing England where he was accused of a murder that he did not commit. Many thought he was the groom and were set for a wedding but being a Christian and an honest man, he told them that he was not the anticipated groom. He knew absolutely nothing about farming or any kind of manual work but he agreed to help Annalisa until her groom would arrive. Annalisa’s late husband was cruel and unloving and she thought that was the norm and did not expect to have a happily ever after marriage. As can be expected, Carl and Annalisa began to care for each other but she had a groom coming and he wanted to leave the farm and go to Chicago to teach.
The author did a great job in developing all elements of the story. The characters came alive on the pages of the book and the plot had several twists and turns that provided a good deal of suspense. The dialogue had German words scattered throughout the book and it is very evident that the author did a great deal of research before writing this story. Not only was I entertained by the reading of a very good story but I also learned some history at the same time. I was very impressed with the way the author showed exactly how hard life was for the German immigrants in the late nineteenth century. Her development of Carl’s character added so much to the book with one example being how his strong beliefs in God helped Annalisa regain her faith. She kept the suspense going through the entire book with destructive fires, childbirth, lice, murder, Carl’s fear of his identify being revealed, attempted extortion, lack of rain, and waiting for a groom to arrive. I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of some of Carl’s “inventions” that made life and work easier for Annalisa.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a well written and heart warming historical book that also shows God’s love and forgiveness throughout the story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted June 6, 2013
This book was great. The story telling was superb and the setting was filled with rich details, that brought the story to life. I really felt the characters pain because the author put flesh and bones into them. I have falling in love with carl richards and i have no choice except to wait for my prince to come.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2013
Jody Hedlund has once again woven a spell-binding tale that left me breathless as I eagerly turned each page. I have loved each one of Jody Hedlund’s books equally and it’s hard to choose a favorite, but A Noble Groom is definitely near the top of my “All-Time Favorites” list.
I was entranced right from the start as we find Annalisa, who has been recently widowed. With a daughter and another child on the way, Annalisa needs help in order to run her farm in Michigan. Her father sends to their home country – Germany – for a suitable man to become Annalisa’s husband and help her run her farm.
While waiting for her “mail-order groom,” another German man by the name of Carl comes to their community. Carl finds himself helping Annalisa while she waits for her groom, and while he struggles with the chores, he finds himself wanting to prove to Annalisa that he is able to do what is required.
I loved this cast of characters and they easily found their way into my heart. As a Michigander, I am eager to read books that are written about my state, and this one had a lot of interesting history to go along with the fantastic story. I enjoyed learning more about the German immigrants in the state of Michigan, as well as some of the difficulties in farming in the 1800’s.
This book had a great mixture of love, struggles, mystery, and adventure. There were several events that left me wondering how things would ever get figured out. There were moments that took my breath away. There were moments that pulled my heart strings. Overall, I loved each page of this book and was only disappointed when it ended and there was no more to read.
Do yourself a favor and go read this book!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated are my own.
Posted June 1, 2013
I finished reading this book in 4 days and enjoyed the story. I loved the banter between Annalisa and Carl, sometimes it made me laugh out loud. This is my second book to read by Jody Hedlund and so far, I am not disappointed at all. I am looking forward to more from her.
*I received this book free for review by the publisher. My review is entirely my own thoughts on the book*
Posted May 29, 2013
A Noble Groom. How could any woman resist a title like that? Not to mention the cover that goes with it! As if that combination alone wasn't enough to give me a propensity towards liking the story, the main characters are also German immigrants (dear to my heart as my father is one), and it's set in Michigan with countryside a lot like my current home in the neighboring state of Wisconsin.
Anyway, those are the little things. The real substance is in the characters and the plot, which did not disappoint. When Carl von Reichart, the only son of a very unpopular Baron in Germany, is wrongly accused of a crime he takes refuge in America, disguising his identity. He's sent to stay with the relatives of his faithful manservant who are in need of a groom for their recently widowed daughter Annalisa. Upon arrival, Carl promises to stand in until her groom arrives by helping work on Annalisa's farm in exchange for food and shelter. But, with the dashingly kind Carl working for her, something told me from the beginning that Annalisa might not be so eager for her new groom once he arrives.
Tender and sweet, this is a story about God's love and the healing power of simple kindness. Annalisa wasn't treated well by her first husband, and Carl never realized the hurts he'd inflicted on the lower class citizens by being indifferent to their suffering. By being kind to each other they are both able to mature and grow in their faith.
I received a review copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review!
Posted May 22, 2013
Okay, I'll admit it. I enjoyed this book. I'm so glad to have discovered a Jody Hedlund novel. There was enough tension, twists, and turns in this novel to keep me glued to and invested in the story. Somehow, she was able to make me feel like I was right there with the characters and on the tumultuous journey with them.
A Noble Groom focuses on seemingly helpless Annalisa Werner. She is about to lose the farm, is in need of a husband, and is controlled by so many others. She's a likeable, hard worker, but I don't envy her situation. Then Carl Richards shows up. He's unlike any other man she knows, and she can't quite believe it.
I loved the setting of this book (farm country, Michigan--late 1800s), and that initially drew me in. But it is Hedlund's ability to create engaging, unique characters and driven, exciting plotlines that kept me reading. This story is much more than a simple love story--it's a mystery and war against the odds at the same time.
I will definitely be sharing this book with my fellow romantics. Hedlund is also an author I'm going to keep a look out for in the future.
Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Posted May 21, 2013
Let me start by saying I can tell how time and research Jody Hedlund put into this story. I started the book knowing next to nothing about German immigrants in Michigan during this time period and the author did a wonderful job of informing without taking away from the beautiful story. This was my first read by this author and now I cannot wait to dive into her previous three novels.
A Noble Groom is the story of Annalisa Werner, a young widow with a lot on her plate and Carl von Reichert, an entitled nobleman with secrets to keep. When her husband is found murdered, Annalisa is left with a infant daughter to raise, crops to be planted and a short amount of time to pay off the large loan on her farmland. Carl is sent by her uncle to help keep the farm afloat while hiding from false murder charges.
To say Carl is unused to manual labor would be an understatement! He starts the novel with a great deal of pride in his status and feels as though farm work and these people are beneath him but, he grows so much during his time with Annalisa.
Annalisa has always been meek and obedient, everything she thinks a woman ought to be. She may tell her daughter plenty of fairytales but she’s given up on real love. Carl’s views on women and his treatment of her and her daughters are completely different from anything she’s ever known. She grows a great deal as a character as well and eventually finds the strength to stand up for herself and open herself up to love.
This is an absolute must read and just may find itself on my best reads of 2013 list!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Posted May 19, 2013
This is the first book I've ever read by Jody Hedlund and I have to say I think I have found another author I want to see more from.
As I reflected on this book I realized what Carl does (become a peasant when he truly is a nobleman) and helps Annalisa is a perfect picture of what Jesus did for us. Carl defends Annalisa from her enemies, as Christ does for us.
Christ humbled himself so we can become His, His bride, his treasured possession.
Unlike Christ, Carl didn't want to humble himself and he didn't even want to fall in love but God used what was intended to harm Carl and Annalisa for both of their good and for God's ultimate glory (Genesis 5020).
I also think that Annalisa's attitude toward marriage is still believed today in too many marriages. We think this is the best it will ever get and marriage can't be some exciting, romantic adventure, but those are lies. Marriage is a symbol of our relationship with Christ, which should be exciting, and full of wonderful adventures.
If you are looking for a new historical romance I recommend this book.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.