Rebellious Heart

Rebellious Heart

4.7 30
by Jody Hedlund
     
 

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Jody Hedlund Brings History to Life Like Few Others

In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching

Overview

Jody Hedlund Brings History to Life Like Few Others

In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
09/15/2013
Susanna Smith, the daughter of a wealthy minister, has never known physical hardship, but she desperately wants an education beyond merely learning to read and cipher. Unfortunately, women are denied a higher education in 1763 Massachusetts, but Susanna continues to broaden her self-taught knowledge and isn't afraid to question the status quo. Poor lawyer Ben Ross struggled to attain his education at Harvard, and he understands Susanna's frustration, but class distinctions and her need to marry well leave them in the friend category. When Susanna reaches out to hide a runaway indentured servant, Ben's frustration with the British authorities leads him to help her and puts both of them in the crosshairs of the local redcoat militia. VERDICT Hedlund won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award from the Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope and Love Chapter in 2011 for The Preacher's Bride. In her second novel, she vividly captures authentic historical details as she explores the radical changes looming in light of the approaching American Revolution. In a note, Hedlund explains how she used John and Abigail Adams as her role models for her characters.
Publishers Weekly
Hedlund (A Noble Groom) offers another beauty for fans of historical romance, unfolding an unlikely relationship in the midst of political and social machinations in pre-Revolutionary War Boston. This fast-paced drama draws the reader in quickly while introducing engaging characters who wrestle with ethical and emotional challenges. As tensions begin to flare between the king’s soldiers and colonials, young lawyer Ben Ross finds himself winning court cases by day and smuggling molasses by night. He’s drawn to Susanna Smith, an intelligent young socialite with a heart for the less fortunate, but Ben knows his common social status is no match for her mother’s expectations. As their feelings for each other warm, Susanna struggles to reconcile her religious obligations and honoring her parents—duties that seem to conflict with her desires. Ben and Susanna form a growing, but seemingly impossible, bond while risking their lives to save an abused runaway. Both are faced with the same question affecting their personal and political loyalties: what is more important—doing what is right or obeying God-ordained authorities? Twin themes of faith and loyalty animate the story’s conflict. Don’t miss the author’s note revealing her real-life inspiration for these characters. Agent: Rachelle Gardner, Books and Such Literary Agency. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441262769
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/15/2013
Series:
Hearts of Faith , #3
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
78,170
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of Unending Devotion, The Doctor's Lady, and The Preacher's Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence, and a finalist for the 2011 Carol Award in First Novel. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. Learn more at www.jodyhedlund.com.
Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, 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 www.jodyhedlund.com.

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Rebellious Heart 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Savurbks More than 1 year ago
SSusanna Smith, daughter of a minister and his wife, lives a comfortable yet controlled life. When she meets Benjamin Ross, a man of few means, she realizes he will never be accepted by her parents as a suitor. Involved in his own adventures, Ben quickly becomes an advisor to Susanna as she becomes involved in a dangerous situation concerning a runaway indentured servant. Rebellion and revolution soon result to all that once was believed and held true… A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS: Inspired by the early courtship of the second President of the United States and his First Lady, John and Abigail Adams, Rebellious Heart weaves suspense, adventure, and romance together all while staying true to Christian values. I was excited to read another novel by Jody Hedlund and this story did not disappoint at all. I found I could not turn the pages fast enough; the action and drama were captivating! Cover-to-cover, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was only sorry to finish it. Congratulations to Jody Hedlund on an absolutely enthralling read! RATING: 5+ (out of 5) pennies *I received a complimentary copy of Rebellious Heart from Bethany House for my honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of jody's books up till now and would rate all of them a 5 star but, with this book i felt that it was very slow in reading. I kept reading it because i felt it would get better. Granted, i only got to page 90 and then i put the book down and decided to read something else. I think i will leave it be for a bit and then come back to it. I still have a feeling that it probably is a good book, maybe i just wasn't in the mood at this time. I still would recommend her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and loved that she based the characters on Abigail and John Adams.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
REBELLIOUS HEART by Jodi Hedlund is an exciting inspirational Historical Fiction set in 1763 Massachusetts. An approaching American Revolution, radical changes,mercy, justice,rebellion, political changes and the relationship between John and Abigail Adams is just a few things that make "Rebellious Heart" not only enduring but fast paced and action filled. Susanna Smith, wishes for more than she has, Benjamin Ross, a poor country lawyer, wishes to change the world, their relationship will lend Susanna to question everything she believes and once held dear. When a runaway indentured servant,Dolly, is threatened, Susanna will question everything she holds dear. For she and Ben are attracted to each other, but her parents don't believe he is good enough or wealthy enough for their daughter. With murder, danger, and secrets abound, can Susanna and Ben find happiness? Once again, Ms. Hedlund will hold her readers spellbound as the characters jump off the page, the storyline is fantastic, the history is true to the era. When justice and mercy collide, will Susanna's faith, and intelligence carry her to the end where she may find the love of her life. All is not as it seems. A fantastic read from beginning to end! A must read! I enjoy Ms. Hedlund's stories and this was no exception. Well done! I also enjoy reading stories where historical facts and fiction are weaved together to make a fast paced, action filled adventure. Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: SWEET REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Bethers More than 1 year ago
Rebellious Heart is a Historical Christina Fiction book by Jody Hedlund. Susanna Smith, a woman in 1763 Massachusetts, longs for an education but because of being a female, it is not an option to her. Since she cannot do formal education she decides to use her status to reach out to the poor. She feels lead to this kind of work and knows that when she marries, she will continue this work because of the status and resources she will have. Susanna meets Ben Ross, a poor farmers son, who went to Harvard and is now a poor country lawyer. He finds himself drawn to Susanna but knows that he doesn't fit the expectation. Rebellious Heart is the first book by Jody Hedlund I have had the pleasure of reading. I had heard of her and have her books on my to be read list. Jody Hedlund writes with authority about the 1700's, Massachusetts, the ways of life during this time period, and the historical events that happened during this time in our history. I love reading historical fiction, especially when it has historical facts within the fiction. The characters in this book are well written and interesting. Susanna's spirit and determination really grabbed me. All the characters brought the story together. I found myself unable to put this book down once I started it! I definitely held my interest and kept me guessing from start to finish. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction. You won't be disappointed. I look forward to reading more of Jody Hedlund's books. I give this book 4 STARS.
Sprinkle23 More than 1 year ago
Susanna Smith and Benjamin Ross both seek an advantageous marriage to improve their station in life. Susanna comes from a financially comfortable family, but was denied access to higher learning. She's determined to marry well so that she can maintain her school for girls.  Ben is a good lawyer, but his humble background has always deprived him of the respect that his actions merited. A wealthy wife would propel him into the world of the elite and open opportunities that would otherwise be closed. When Susanna helps a runaway slave, she finds herself turning to Ben for advice and protection. Yet, he is far from safe. Many Colonists resent the British and Ben's ideas seem almost rebellious.  Will Susanna and Ben obtain desirable matches? Or will they find a love worth more than aspirations? Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund is a stand-alone novel of drama and romance. I loved that this book was based on a real-life couple from Colonial times. The storyline hooked me from the beginning and carried my interest throughout the book. Ben and Susanna both underwent deep character development, but the plot never stagnated as they dealt with their issues.  Overall, Rebellious Heart was a great read. I was slightly disappointed with the ending. While it was sweet, I felt it left certain things unresolved. I'll definitely keep the book and read it again. However, some readers may find the lack of complete resolution off-putting. 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."
girlsmama More than 1 year ago
All I can say is that it was a good thing that I read Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund while I was on vacation sitting by pool because it afforded me time to keep my pages turning with little interruption. In usual “Jody Hedlund style” we are given a wonderful Historical Fiction novel inspired by the courtship of John (2nd president)and Abigail Adams. She creates two characters that mirror a lot of the same situations that John and Abigail faced- parental disapproval, the Colonial time frame, etc. As always with Jody Hedlund books we get strong characters, an interesting storyline as well as some pretty exciting moments along the way. Susanna Smith is a smart and well bred young woman whose been raised to understand that she need to make a profitable connection when it comes to marriage. And so when she first meets Benjamin Ross as a young girl she informs him that he is a “nobody, a Farmer and a shoemaker’s son and she would never marry anyone that is from the middling class, her mother wouldn’t allow it.” Thus sets the stage for Benjamin Ross ,years later, a poor country lawyer when he meets up with Susanna again. HIs thoughts of her are that she is still a snobby rich girl thinking herself above everyone. But as Benjamin gets to know Susanna a bit better by happening upon her at a party, he finds her socked away in a room “reading Milton”. He slowly comes to see that Susanna has grown up a bit since he’s seen her last and not only is she a beautiful woman, but she’s smart and kind as well, with a bit of gumption thrown in . Susanna’s heart is huge and she ends up getting involved in helping a runaway indentured servant escape a very cruel master. There is much danger involved with this situation as of course it is illegal to harbor an indentured servant. Susanna gets in a bit over her head and Ben comes to her rescue more than once. As he helps her escape one bad situation after another their relationship as well as their understanding and respect for each other just continues to grow.  I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It was nice to read a book in this time frame, just pre-revolutionary war as I haven't read many historical fiction that have been written during that time. The characters were interesting and compelling and when I realized, after I finished the book, that it was loosely based on the courtship of the real couple - John and Abigail Adams -that made it even more captivating for me. I think that those that enjoy a great and well researched historical christian novel with engaging characters, some twists and turns and a stand up and cheer ending, will definitely enjoy this one, please pick up Rebellious Heart- great read! 5 stars I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
The love story of John and Abigail Adams, so I was thrilled to discover after reading a few pages that this book is a fictional retelling. The author cares deeply about the history and clearly states what is true and where she had to guess. Rebellious Heart is an engaging tale of Susanna Smith's struggle to become her own person. Society has rigid rules that she's always abided by...but now some of them don't fit as well as they used to fit. Add in a lawyer who seems to only spar with her and murders that have the community and region on edge, and this is a rich story set against the Colonial backdrop. A wonderful read for historical fiction fans who love a strong taste of real history in their novels. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rebellious Heart was the first book I've read by Jody Hedlund, and it most certainly won't be my last. Hedlund has crafted a story rich with history and vivid details of the pre-Revolutionary War era. Woven with conflict and suspense, I couldn't pull my eyes away from the pages at all. Rebellious Heart is a real page-turner.  Susanna is an intelligent and witty heroine. She has a passionate heart for caring for the poor and providing an education to women. Likewise, Ben is a charming character. I adored both of them and the romance that developed between the two. Both Susanna and Ben undergo a transformation as the story unfolds that made me love them even more. As Hedlund writes in her author's note, this is a fictional story modeled after the true courtship of John and Abigail Adams. I wasn't sure how I would enjoy a novel like this, but Hedlund's words captivated me and pulled me into the tale. I'm now eager to learn more about the life of John and Abigail Adams. This is a novel of love, courage, and faith, and the characters and story have stuck with me even after I've closed the pages of the book.  I highly recommend this to all historical romance fans, especially those who enjoy the Revolutionary War era.
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
Rebellious Heart is a stand-alone novel by one of my favorite authors, Jody Hedlund. Set in the Boston area prior to the American Revolution, this captivating story is inspired by one of history's most famous couples, John and Abigail Adams, the second U.S. President and his First Lady. When it comes to historical fiction, Jody Hedlund is among the best. Rebellious Heart grabbed my attention from the first sentence - "He's guilty of murder!" - and it isn't long before Jody takes the reader on a wild ride from one riveting scene after another. So many elements combine to make this a fascinating read. Outstanding characterization -- Ben and Susanna are charismatic lead characters, and there's a strong cast of supporting characters as well. Ben Ross is a poor country lawyer, secretly involved in sedition against oppressive British laws. He fights against injustice "to give the downtrodden, like himself, a fair chance in a world in which those with the most power and wealth made the rules" . . . and he thinks he needs a wife with the right connections and social standing in order to increase his prestige. Susanna Smith, the witty and intelligent daughter of a wealthy parish minister, yearns for the kind of education denied to women at the time and feels she also has to marry well in order to achieve her goals. It is great to watch Susanna grow from the young child who told Ben, "I could never marry you. . . . You're a nobody" to a courageous woman who wasn't afraid of doing what was right in the face of injustice. Fast-moving narrative -- There's not much time for a deep breath because Jody keeps the action flowing with the extreme cruelty of British Lieutenant Wolfe and his efforts to expose the molasses smuggling operation . . . to secret passageways, hidden tunnels and nighttime flights of escape. Romantic tension -- Oh yes! I want to save the element of surprise about the scene between Ben and Susanna in Arnold Tavern when Lieutenant Wolfe walks in, but it's worthy of rereading a few times. And then there's the scene where Ben measures Susanna's foot so his father can make new boots . . . Ethical issues -- I thought the book's cover a little unusual at first, but then realized that it beautifully depicts an unsettled Susanna as the political situation in Colonial America causes her to wrestle with a belief ingrained from childhood, that of giving unquestioned obedience to those in authority over her. Compelled to help Dotty, an abused servant fleeing for her life, it comes down to a matter of justice vs. mercy. "Perhaps this very situation was beginning to happen between the colonies and Great Britain. They were indeed living under the authority of someone who could perpetuate abuse without recourse." Historical detail -- The Colonial setting of the Boston area, Braintree and Weymouth is vividly conveyed, and Jody doesn't hold back on the realism of the times. The fact that Ben and Susanna were inspired by John and Abigail Adams created much interest and made me want to read more about them. It was fun to imagine what their courtship might have been like, and I loved their witty sparring. Jody provides an Author's Note at the conclusion which gives much interesting detail. The narrative ends with these encouraging words spoken by Susanna's Mother: "You will never be content living an ordinary life. I believe you were born to do greater things. . . . You will do those great things beside a great man." Rebellious Heart is a compelling and thoroughly enjoyable novel, one that I highly recommend. This book was provided by Jody Hedlund in exchange for my honest review.
Apassion4pages More than 1 year ago
I love that Jody Hedlund can write just about any era in history and still manages to do it flawlessly. Rebellious Heart is her fifth novel and takes place in 1763 off the coast of Massachusetts near Boston. I'm not new to Jody's ways. I know she adores history and loves to find the most interesting tails from the lives of our ancestors to help guide her in her quest for her next fabulous story. This one is loosely based on the friendship and great love between President John Quincy Adams, and his wife Abigail. Rebellious Heart is the story of long-known acquaintances, Susanna Smith and Benjamin Ross, who are from very different upbringings. I loved that from the first moment we meet them, they are in the midst of watching a terribly unfair murder trial--or from Ben's seat as defending attorney, basically in the midst of losing the trial. But that horrendous first scene is Susanna's first glimpse of Ben in a long time. He's now a self-made man having studied at a prestigious university and rising above his father's low status of simple farmer. But it isn't this fact that grips Susanna's heart--it's "his heartfelt passion for his client and his appeal for compassion" that catches her attention. From there, Ben and Susanna are thrown into a multitude of situations--including trapdoors to hidden passages in taverns and midnight treks through snowy rain to rescue someone in dire need of saving--that grow their strength and character in a world full of gray areas concerning freedom and justice. Every scene in which they are thrown together simply oozes tension, no matter the fact that for half the book Ben is set on proposing to Susanna's cousin for the sake of bettering his social status. The lessons the characters learn throughout Rebellious Heart are so true to their struggles, I can see how Jody's Social Work degree has been put to work in her newest role as author. She knows how people work, why they behave the way they do, and what they need to learn to change for the better. She has an amazingly talented way of bringing these changes out through her fictional characters and the stories she creates around them. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
KarenLange More than 1 year ago
Ms. Hedlund's books have it all - action, intrigue, history, and a bit of romance. Rebellious Heart is no exception. It immerses the reader into life in Colonial America, and addresses tough issues related to indentured servants and the political unrest simmering above and beneath the surface. Rebellious Heart is loosely based the courtship between John and Abigail Adams. While the details were fabricated, I found this to be an interesting take on our nation's history. A story of this nature, while subject to the author's imagination, brings the past alive in an intriguing way. This book was engaging from beginning to end. I enjoyed getting to know the characters whose struggles were not so different from our own. The plot, rich with detail and purpose, offers an adventurous look at a pivotal time in America. Rebellious Heart is in my opinion, another wonderful book to Jody Hedlund's credit.
SweetPea_3 More than 1 year ago
I love it when a book far surpasses my expectations, and this book did just that. This is an exciting, fast paced adventure with imperfect characters that have you cheering them on immediately anyways. I appreciated that Susanna wasn't comfortable with her deceptive role in helping the indentured girl escape detection and she was very aware of the danger she was placing the live around her in by aiding the runaway. It wasn't an easy decision for her.  There is a lot of interesting details about the time period, what it was like to live in the young Massachusetts Colony under British rule. Jody Hedlund obviously did her homework. I shows in the writing. There were a few words I'd never heard before but I got the idea of what the item was by the rest of the description, and that never interrupted a vital part of the story. My only small complaint was that there was to much romance in this story, but in my opinion it did stay very clean. This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
LisetteRue More than 1 year ago
Growing up a woman in 1763 puts expectations on Susanna Smith of domesticity and docility. Indeed, she has been an outwardly obedient daughter, and she has a compassionate heart. Susanna is quick-witted and faithful. At one point she says, “Scripture commands us to obey our leaders and submit to those in authority. God’s Word isn’t open to subjective interpretation.” When Susanna crosses paths with a terrified runaway indentured servant who’s obviously been subjected to horrors, how will she proceed? To aid a runaway is treasonous, but how can she turn away the young woman? Benjamin Ross is a poor country lawyer Susanna hasn’t seen in years. She said something very regrettable to him in his youth, and Ben isn’t sure she’s changed in the intervening years. Ben witnesses her intelligence and independent spirit, and he’s unwittingly drawn to her. He may be a Harvard-educated lawyer now, but Susanna’s parents – and mother especially – still see him as the shoemaker’s son, which in Mrs. Smith’s mind, makes him a nobody. Perhaps it’s just as well, for Ben has embarked on a dangerous road. Both Ben and Susanna get involved with the Redcoats in the area and not in a neutral way. It will be dangerous. Hedlund’s plot asks readers: Which is more important? Doing what is right or solely abiding by the rules of a sovereign? This Christian historical fiction novel is filled with faith and trepidation, compassion and ruthlessness, love and murder. It’s even loosely based on a specific couple from history. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys any or all of the following: Christian fiction, romance, historical tales and/or whodunit? plots. -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own.
Laura_Pol More than 1 year ago
Wow what an amazing story! I had no idea that Rebellious Heart was based on the famous Abigail and John Adams! I left this novel having a new found respect for this couple who had such a great affect on history! Jody did a wonderful job of weaving a beautiful history lesson with plenty of surprises! I loved the characters Susanna and Ben who represented this amazing couple! They definitely were a perfect match for each other from the very beginning since they both had a heart of compassion for the poor and disadvantage. It greatly encouraged me to continue to keep putting my “love glasses on” as the singer Beckah Shae sings and help the people around me. There might be times where the government says that I can’t help so-and-so, but as these beautiful characters portray to us that helping others is never wrong. However with that being said I hope that I don’t have to stand trial such as a few of the characters almost did! However, my favorite character hands down was Mr. Cranch! I can see why Ben liked him because he has such a good humor and cheer anyone up. I was really glad that he was included in the story, but was definitely not happy about the Lieutenant! Jody did amazing job of having the reader (in my opinion) despise the bad guy! He was horrible and I just wanted him to get in trouble with his superiors because of his ruthlessness and anger! Also, Grandmother Eve was a second favorite of mine with her compassionate ways! My only complaint is that I wish every history lesson was given in the same inspiring, romantic, and suspenseful way that Jody had told this one! Rebellious Heart was an extremely insightful novel into history (even if some of it was fictional) and left me on the edge of my seat for most of the duration! The romance itself was fantastic (as always)! I strongly recommend it!
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
I must admit that as I read Rebellious Heart this past week, my husband had to listen to me say numerous times, “Oh, I am sooo enjoying this book!” Another phrase he heard me repeatedly say was, “This is so good!” Finally, as I finished this story that is set amid the first grumblings of the American Revolution, I uttered, “Oh, that was wonderful! I wish it never had to end!” With a well written plot and admirable characters, Rebellious Heart caught me up in its grasp right from the start and pulled me into the developing relationship of Susanna Smith and Benjamin Ross. These two characters have so much to recommend them. They care for others, love God and are deep thinkers. But can either of them give up on the idea that they must marry primarily to improve their positions in society? The attraction between Susanna and Ben sizzles. Throw in some heinous murders, Red Coats and a runaway indentured servant and you have a beautiful blend of romance and excitement. I would recommend Rebellious Heart to all readers who love historical fiction and romance. I received a complimentary copy of Rebellious Heart from the author and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Writingsof_Rosie More than 1 year ago
Hedlund's best yet! Rebellious Heart takes us back to 1760s, pre-revolution, Massachusetts. The colonies were just beginning to turn against the Crown. The timing in which I read this book is ironic. My family and I recently made a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, where we got a good sense of the era and what life was like during that time period. That being said, Hedlund did a great job bringing the era to life and staying true to the facts. I loved Susanna and Ben. Susanna made such excellent progress from where she started. Even when she made, in my opinion, a stupid decision, I could see where she was coming from and I understood her motives. Hedlund did a fantastic job crafting both Susanna and Ben. They responded to situations not as I wanted them to, but as real people would. This is definitely my favorite so far from Hedlund, and it will be keeping a permanent place on my shelf. There was a great balance of drama and romance, and I especially loved the author's note at the end, do not skip over it!! Those who love historical novels set in the pre-revolution/revolution era will enjoy this one. I recommend to ages 15 and up for readability and content. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Set in 1763, their story is one of sacrifice and love. Jody has done an excellent job of showing God’s unfailing love through the character of Ben Ross. He is a man who has been humiliated and rejected, yet he continues to open to his heart and the one woman he loves. Just as God continues to love us even when we are undeserving. Susanna Smith is a confused young woman who through the grace of God is offered a chance at redemption. She is afraid, but finds that God is her true source of strength, as she learns that just because it’s the law, that doesn’t mean that is morally right. I loved watching how her character changes and grows as the story progressed. It was like watching my sister fall in love and bring privy to all her secrets. I loved it! At the end of the book, Jody leaves an author’s note, telling the reader this story was based on the life of John and Abigail Adams. She gave detailed information about how the story runs parallel to their lives. I believe knowing this serves to make this book even more special.
booksandwindows More than 1 year ago
WOW! I completely loved this book. It is such a good read. I was completely immersed in the plot, the characters, and the history that was packed into this novel. This book is beautifully written. Susanna Smith is a compassionate and independent woman. She has a love for education and reading, but she has limited access to learning. Benjamin Ross is a poor lawyer who has a passion for speaking the truth and standing for justice. He desires to prove himself and do something important with his life. Susanna believes in following the law and respecting authority. But, when she meets a runaway indentured servant, her beliefs are thrown into disarray. She struggles between following the law and having compassion for this woman. Will she break the law in the name of doing what is right? And will Ben’s influence on her be good or bad? In a past encounter when they were children, Susanna made a hurtful and cutting remark to Ben that has been etched in both their memories. This provides for quite an interesting and amusing first interaction in the book, when, as adults, their lives intersect again. Ben wants to push Susanna’s buttons and see how she will react to him now that they are adults. From this scene, it is immediately apparent that Susanna and Ben will have dynamic interactions throughout the book. I think this quote is the most perfect way to describe Ben, and also what it is like to read his and Susanna’s scenes together: “He was infuriating and intriguing and altogether likable at the same time” (63). Ben and Susanna’s relationship was my favorite part of this book. It was always exciting and entertaining to read their scenes together, whether they were arguing, discussing important topics, or becoming close friends. I completely loved them together and they had a chemistry that jumped off the page. Their time together was always filled with intelligent conversation, romance, and tension. In their relationship, Ben and Susanna challenged each other, and through their conversations, they were able to sharpen each other and make each other better. It reminded me of this verse: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17, NIV This seriously has to be one of my favorite literary couples. Their chemistry and the tension between them provided for a dynamic relationship. A wonderful book- I loved it. One of my favorites of the year and I can’t wait to read it again. *I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.*
RachelleR More than 1 year ago
What I Loved Susanna was quite the conversationalist--her stubborn nature and quick wit was a delight to read. Despite only being able to pursue her love of learning by listening at the door while her brother worked with his tutor, Susanna is whip-smart and not afraid to show it.  Which not only quickly captured Ben's attention but put the sparks between the two of them flying. And yet Susanna goes through such growth in this book. At the beginning, she thinks she knows it all--it's the king's way or the highway, and she must snag some wealthy suitor. But she quickly figures out that all is not as it seems. Ben, least of all. Ben himself changes, too. Still dealing with the snubbing of certain upper class acquiantences even after having established himself as a Harvard-educated lawyer, Ben must deal with prejudice in his own heart. Did I mention that their love story is set against the backdrop of the pre-Revolutionary colonies and that danger and deception mix into this story in a way that makes it a page turner? Why I Recommend This Book History buffs (like me) who love the freedom-flaring of late 18th century America will fall for this fictionalized look into the early love story of John and Abigail Adams.  Also, I've said before that I love when social issues weave their way into novels such as this, and Hedlund does an extraordinary job of not only making the era come alive, but leaving the reader with a taste of what it is to fight for the freedom of those who cannot fight themselves. A sincere thank you to Harvest House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
Griperang72 More than 1 year ago
This book was a good one for me to read as I love books set in this time period.  I had a hard time putting this book down, it was one of those books that just suck you in.I felt for Susanna because I can't imagine not being able to be educated. Susanna is such a strong character that I enjoyed reading about her. The author did a very good job of including history and romance in this story. This book is loosely based on John and Abigail Adams life which to me added to the book and story. I recommend this book to all. 
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Rebellious Heart has got to be one of my top favorites I've read this year - if not of all time! The novel packed full of history, intrigue, mystery, suspense, and romance. Jody Hedlund has a way to keep you interested and not want to put the book down. I loved the characters and how she describes what was going on. I found myself living in 1763 and thinking how much turmoil going on in those times. I would love to see this made into a series and see the main characters during the Revolutionary War. I can tell that this story will be stuck in my head for quite some time and probably be read a second or third time. I would definitely say this is a must read and would Highly highly Recommend it. Much deserved 5 of 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Susanna and Ben seem to be opposites. She is an obedient pastor's daughter, with absolute loyalty to the king. He is an outspoken farmer's son, trained as a lawyer, and opposed to the burdensome taxes that continue to be levied against the colonists. But they find that they are both alike in their desire to help the poor and oppressed. Susanna's compassionate aid to a runaway servant puts those dear to her in jeopardy. Ben's selfless desire for justice saves many lives. This novel takes place in the days prior to the Revolutionary War. Both main characters have a desire to "marry well" in order to heighten their standing in the community. Fortunately, Ben and Susanna learn that the character of the person they marry is much more important than how much money they have. About halfway through this book, I wrote, "As I get more deeply involved in the book, I want to hurry up and find out what happens. At the same time, I want to slow down and savor it!" I highly recommend this book. Thank you to Jody Hedlund and Bethany House for an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book, which I enjoyed immensely.
wfnren More than 1 year ago
Another great book from Jody! Susanna Smith, the daughter of a preacher, grew up Massachusetts in what some would call the lap of luxury, not high society, but not poor, in other words hers was a family of good standing in the community. When she sees Benjamin Ross defend a murderer she remembers him from her school days and starts looking at him differently now, but since he comes from a farm family her mother would never let her marry him, even if she thought she wanted to. When Susanna finds a woman in the woods with no shoes and bleeding feet, she gives her the shoes off of her own feet. This is where the trouble begins for her, soon she finds out that the woman is a runaway indentured servant and is being chased by a very cruel man who would just as soon kill her as to take her back to her owner, so Susanna lets her hide in their barn without telling her parents. This causes her parents house to be torn apart by the British Lieutenant Wolfe. Things begin to get worse so she soon finds herself asking Benjamin Ross to help her with some of the situations she finds herself in and this brings her close to him yet she doesn't like him because of the things he seems to support. This book is not one of my normal genres but I love Jody's writing and I got totally into this story! I love the strong will Susanna has and how she's willing to stand up for the less fortunate even if it means putting her own life in danger, and Ben is there to help her even though he knows that is all she wants from him, is help for a young lady in fear for her life. Oh yes, run out and get this one friends, I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
T_Michaels More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and was even more interested in it when I realized that the main characters are based on John and Abigail Adams. Many of the situations and personality details of Ben and Susanna in the book were based these two real, extraordinary people who greatly influenced our country's history. Susanna is a strong and determined young lady who is incredibly interested in education. She would give much to have the educational opportunities that her brother has, but she is unable to obtain a formal education because she is a woman. However, this does not keep her from reading all the books she can get ahold of and improving her mind in any way she can. She is very civic minded and helps others as much as she possibly can, including helping poor women, teaching girls to read and even giving her shoes to a runaway indentured servant. She has been taught to respect authority and at the beginning of the book she is very passionate about following all societal rules and laws. She starts to struggle when morality clashes with laws and has to decide whether to help an abused indentured servant or to do as she has been taught her entire life and turn the girl in. Through Ben, she learns that sometimes one has to fight the laws of the country when the laws are oppressive and unjust. I enjoyed watching her trip from staunch patriot to questioning loyalty to fighting for what was right.  Ben's character was also real with his own struggles. He was brought up a poor working man and he wants to make a difference, which he thinks he can do if he marries well. He has decided to marry Susanna's cousin, but he is intensely drawn to Susanna and her character and intelligence. I liked his self-reflection when he takes his father's words to heart about the character of a man being more important than anything else.  This book was filled with rich characters, believable scenarios, historical details, and true character growth. I loved it! I received a copy of this book from Bethany House to review. The content of this review is entirely my own.