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Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at JodyHedlund.com.
Posted August 25, 2013
Once again, Jody Hedlund has written a story that kept me wanting to turn the page to find out what would happen next. It’s a story of determination, danger, and romance.
Lily Young poses as a photographer’s assistant in hopes of finding her sister, who has become lost to the world of brothels and prostitution. Facing danger at every turn, she takes it upon herself to rescue all of the young women she can who are trapped in this hideous lifestyle, at times, barely making it out unscathed. All the while, searching different locations, hoping to run into her sister. To her surprise, she finds an unlikely ally in lumber boss, Connell McCormick.
Connell McCormick is the boss of three lumber camps. Trying very hard to live up to his father’s standards, he sets his sights on increasing business for McCormick Lumber. That is, until the lovely Lily Young steps into his life, distracting him from his goals. But every time he turns around, Lily is getting herself into hot water with her escapades of rescue. Connell doesn’t want to make an enemy out of brothel owner, James Carr, but when Lily gets herself into trouble, his protective nature kicks in and he finds himself rescuing her more times than he can count. And at the same time, falling for the girl with the big brown eyes.
I like the fact that, not only was the story based on historical events, but that some of the characters were actual people, as acknowledged in the back of the book. I would note here that, while Jody didn’t go into graphic detail concerning the subject of prostitution, it is still a sensitive subject and might be best for a mature reader to read first. It did make me stop and think, as a Christian, how would I treat someone who might potentially be in that kind of situation? Would I do my best to show them God’s love, or would I turn my back and walk away? Definitely food for thought. Great job, Jody! Two thumbs up!
Posted April 13, 2013
Poorly researched piece with a superficial story and only minimally developed characters. The premise was poorly conceived and the author failed to maintain a believable or logical plot; using unimaginative transitions and ended this shallow story in a lazy, preachy lesson in morality. A complete waist of timeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 2, 2013
This story takes place in 1883. We are introduced to Lily Young, a very determined and perseverant girl whom is very concerned for her sister who has ran away. Lily suspects that Daisy might have been exposed into prostitution. Jody Hedlund does and outstanding job in illustrating the reality of sex slavery, and how women are forced into this disturbing business; if you wanna call it that.
I was fascinated with the character Lily, because of her persistent and determined attitude. Not only that, but Lily finds her calling to help end this terrible thing - to help all vulnerable young women. Lily is a assistant traveling photographer. The photographer is an older man who sees Lily like a daughter. Being a traveling photographer gives Lily the advantage to search logging camps and towns. She feels that Daisy might be in Michigan- where most of the plot of the story takes place.
Jody Hedlund does and outstanding job in illustrating the reality of sex slavery, and how women are forced into slavery. She shed's light on how real sex trade is to this day. The portrayal of Lily's perseverance shows how one person be the change that this world needs. It shows how we must be activist and expose the evils and reality the reality of social issues like sex trade.
***I was provided this book for free by Bethany House Publishing Group in exchange for a review.
Posted March 11, 2013
Lilly believes her sister is being held in a brothel in an area filled with a lot of undesirable people. She helps to get women out of bad situations where they have been mistreated and taken advantage of by men. Connell McCormick, who runs his family lumber business in Harrison, comes into play when Lilly comes into town. Once she discovers what is happening in Harrison, she tries to open Connell’s eyes to the truth while trying to figure out what happened to her sister.
What I liked:
I really liked Lilly’s personality. She is a feisty, strong, and determined young woman. She will tackle a challenge head on if she believes in what she is doing. I think that is cool.
The story got off to a slow start, but once I was a few chapters in, I was the story picked up and I was able to get more into it. This is the second book by Ms. Hedlund that I have read, both of which were really good historical fiction stories. The writing was smooth and everything flowed well. She describes everything in vivid detail and makes the reader connect with the character. Unending Devotion is an engaging Inspirational Historical Fiction story that deals with courage, loss, and love. It is perfect for fans of Christian/Inspirational Historical Fiction.
** I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for nothing, but my honest review. Thank you!**
Posted February 27, 2013
Posted January 24, 2013
Posted January 3, 2013
Well written and exccellent story about how women/girls were being forced into selling their bodies for mens pleasure & money... Heavy subject but well written with no graphic detailsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 30, 2012
The storyline develops slowly, simmering at times, but ends with a great bang! While there may be times the reader is frustrated with the actions of Lily, her determination is understood-just not her timing. The story takes on different issues, such as family loyalty, profit versus preservation, and the age old question, “who is to blame-girls selling their bodies or those buying?”. Set during the boom for the lumber industry, Jody tackles these issues in a story that is relevant to today’s times. No longer limited to brothels and saloons where adult x-rated entertainment is provided, Jody sheds light onto the need for people to take a stand against this age old profession of prostitution and providing education to young girls who may feel they have no choice but to do that. Jody also shows that there is a real issue to the demoralization and desensitization of prostitutes/escorts and sexual trafficking. It was quite fascinating to read about the true life stories, whose characters were modeled after. Giving voice to those enslaved and even dead, Jody weaves a beautiful love story in the midst of such darkness and greed. This is a story that many will love and enjoy, while also feeling compelled to take action in their own communities, and teaching others that there is always a different way- God’s way.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 30, 2012
Loved this book. Jody Hedlund's always a sure thing. Loved Lily's spunk and Connell's steadfastness...and of course she gave us villians we can really love to hate. Another romance well told. Highly reccomend!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 2012
Jody Hedlund was already one of my favorite authors after I read her first two historical fiction works...but I am an even bigger fan now! I grew up in Michigan and my husband and I even pastored in Mid Michigan, near Harrison. I never knew all of the history. Thank you for bringing this story to life! Can't wait for your next book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 13, 2012
This book was everything I was hoping to find in an inspirational novel. It had a rich and intriguing historical setting, a spunky heroine and a plot that was enhanced by, but not overtaken by, the heroine's love interest. It was so gripping that I read most of it in one day.
" Unending Devotion" by Jody Hedlund is about Lily Young and her quest to find her sister who has ran away to a life of prostitution. Lily is determined to rescue the girl and give her a second chance at life. It isn't long before Lily crosses pathes with the ruggedly handsome Connell.
Connell is immediately captivated by Lily. She is virtuous in a place that has long since lost its moral compass. Her drive to do what is right no matter what the personal cost both enthralls and infuriates him. A few weeks with Lily is enough to leave him questioning his somewhat complacent lifestyle.
I loved everything about this book. Lily had so much zeal for life and for God. The book brought up many spiritual lessons and insights without feeling preachy. The setting was among the lumber camps in Michigan during the late 1800's which I found to be interesting as I have never spent much time reading about them before. I will be reading other books by this author as soon as I can get my hands on them!
I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House publishing.
Posted December 12, 2012
This book was great!!
It takes place in logging camps in Michigan in the late 1800s. The story is about a young woman named Lily who is searching for her younger sister Daisy, who ran away and is employed at a brothel. Feeling that she failed not only her sister but her dead parents also Lily makes it her goal in life to find and rescue not only her sister but anything/anyone that she feels needs help. It was a noble cause but Lily tends to take it a bit to far, to me that was the one and only bad thing about the book. Lily is oftentimes heedless of the danger she puts herself in by charging into brothels looking for her sister. Luckily for her she meets a man named Connell McCormick who is very intelligent, extremely handsome, kind, caring, and just an all around good guy.
Together Lily and Connell try to make the town a better place, but there are many dangers that await them....
My thoughts on the book: I LOVED IT!!!!!! and a special thanks to Bethany house publishing for sending it to me for free in order to get feedback on the book!
Posted December 2, 2012
Some say the logging industry of 1880's northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota built the expanding cities of the entire midwest and beyond. Dense virgin forests disappeared virtually overnight, leaving lands that were ill suited for farming. It wasn't until reforestation projects of the twentieth century that these lands became the "up north" that I and thousands of others love so much.
Author Jody Hedlund rightly points out that historical societies in both Wisconsin and Michigan try to capture the important impact this industry made over its short life, but these displays and "camp replicas" are a "white-washed version" of the true wild logging towns that sprang up. As Hedlund depicts in Unending Devotion, countless individual lives were as devastated as the landscape. Gambling and alcohol abuse was rampant and the brothels that littered the towns were what we would call today places of "white slavery" as young girls were enticed north with the promise of genteel jobs in hotels and eating establishments. What they found instead were lives as prostitutes trying to pay off never ending debts to the brothel owner.
Our novel opens as idealistic Lily Young helps a brothel girl escape in the wee hours of the morning. This is not the first time Lily has risked her own safety to save another, and she promises that she will continue doing so until she finally finds her own teenage sister who Lily believes has become trapped in a life of prostitution at an unknown logging town. Now, Lily travels with her adoptive guardian Oren, who photographs the shanty boys. Oren's presence provides the protection that Lily needs as she moves from camp to camp. When the pair arrives in Harrison, Michigan it appears that Lily's plans to rescue as many girls as she can may come to an abrupt end. There she meets Connell McCormick, a lumber baron's son who is intent on winning his father's favor, but as he becomes involved with Lily he begins to wonder if the "blind eye" the bosses have turned toward the "dark side" of town might be a mistake. While he is not ready to take a stand, he does know that he must protect Lily from harm and her own risk-taking. Even doing that puts him on a collision course with James Carr, king pin of illicit activities.At first I thought that author Hedlund had created a melodrama with a heavy hand of "lily-white" thinking vs. the activities of a dark villian. I could almost imagine Carr capturing Lily and pinning her to a train track, with Connell, armed with his knife, arriving in the nick of time. Then I read the afterward that explained that James Carr was a historical figure who did recruit young girls into life at his brothels through treachery. In fact, he was tried for the murder of one young girl who refused his demands. During that time period women spoke out for temperance and women's rights across the country, so I am sure that there were strong willed women like Lily creating their own movements against immorality. I don't want to reveal too much but I will say that the inevitable showdown between Carr and Connell is more skillfully written that my imaginary villain-heroine- hero scene. I applaud Hedlund for her portrayal of Daisy, a true "prodigal" sister.If you like historical fiction, this northwoods setting will deliver danger, romance, and a tale of right vs. wrong. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest review.
Posted November 29, 2012
Unending Devotion was written by Jody Hedlund and takes place in the late 1880s in the logging camps in Michigan.
The story is about a young lady named Lily Young, who is in search of her missing sister. Her search leads her through logging camps and small towns, until she reaches the town of Harrison. There she not only makes new friends, but confronts danger, corruption, and meets a man by the name of Connell McCormick.
Lily is determined to do what she feels is right, and Connell is forced out of his comfort zone in an effort to save Lily from the constant trouble that ensues.
Although I liked that the story took place in an arena I had not previously read about, this book read WAY too much like a Harlequin romance, than a Christian adventure/romance. Lily is continually needing to be rescued and doesn’t really learn from past misadventures, and while that I could live with, the constant talk about sex, brothels, people trying to keep their hands off each other, people cheating on their wives, etc. was too much for me-definitely not my taste. I did not like this book, and would not recommend it.
I do thank Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary copy to read, and I was provided with no other compensation for my review.
Posted November 22, 2012
This was an amazing book. I live im the Central Michigan area and am well aquainted with both Harrison and Bay City as well as what is left of the once boomtown of Averril. I knew of logging in the area but didn't know much of the detailed history that the author described. It is quite sad and horrifying to know that brothels and saloons were so prominate in tje area. Amd that so many young women had to endure such a harsh life at the hands of sich cruel men. I really loved this book. I loved that Lily was so passionate about ending the immorality and corruption in the towns that sprung up during the timber rush of Michigan. And I liked how connell, through Lily's influence. Sought to make changes in how the lumber companoes did business and worked toward cleanong up the towns near the lumber camps. I liked how the story focused on the fact that we ourselves cant change people, we arent in control. But God is and he can use us to influence others in how we view the world around us and in how we treat people. Great book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 11, 2012
Unending Devotion is the story of Lily Young, a woman determined to find her sister and save her from the life she lives. Lily braves going into a world filled with hardship and cruelty yet never backs down. I enjoyed the story very much. It reminded me that there are good people in the world willing to fight for those who cannot do so for themselves. It also reminded me never to give up on the ones we love.
*I received this book free for book review from Bethany House and my review is of my own thoughts on the book*
Posted November 10, 2012
This is a wonderful story of courage, faith, cruelty and hardship, set in the 1880s, in the logging town of Harrison, Michigan. Much of the story is based on fact and the history of the lumber industry is fascinating.
Lily Young is an orphan and a born crusader, dedicated to fulfilling God’s purpose in her life. She comes to Harrison with her adoptive father and friend, Oren, and is anxiously seeking her lost younger sister. Lily believes that her sister, Daisy, has been kidnapped and forced into prostitution as so many young girls and women have been.
Lily becomes attracted to Connell McCormick, son of a wealthy lumber baron, who supervises the work in the logging camps. Connell is a good man, but he accepts necessary evils as part of doing business. Lily believes in no half measures; it’s all or nothing, and she impulsively rushes into danger several times. Lily must learn to “trust God to unfold His purposes for her life” and Connell will have to face the hard truth about the lawlessness and corruption involved in the lumber business. Along with the turmoil of their conflicting priorities, Lily and Connell fall in love, but can their love survive their differences?
History enthusiasts will enjoy the authentic portrayal of daily life in the dangerous lumber camps. The story is heartwarming, adventurous, entertaining and inspirational, making an all-around great read.
I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of review. I am happy to recommend this book to adults and teenagers, especially those who enjoy historical novels.
Posted November 9, 2012
Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund
Lily Young is only eighteen but she has been taking care of her younger sister for years. While Lily takes a job and tries to make a life for them, Daisy takes things in her own hands and runs away from the home she is in. Lily will not rest until she finds her sister and pulls her out of a life she knows her sister truly wouldn’t want to live. Rescuing other young girls along her journey. Lily has lost sight of one thing though, that God is in control and not her. Can the young woman learn to let go and trust God to handle things?
Connell McCormick works hard and lives a clean life. He tries to please his dad by building their lumber empire larger. When he meets Lily she challenges everything he believes. Can he take the chance to stand up for what’s right if it would hurt his father’s business? Will evil men be able to continue in their ways because not one good man will challenge them?
This was an excellent read. Very emotional because many of the facts are based on true history. It was a time in the lumber business when men became richer but morals were poor. Where an evil man truly did falsely advertise for young girls to work in his hotel when it was actually a brothel. Very intense but so good.
**Received from Bethany House Publishers for review
Posted November 8, 2012
Reviewing UNENDING DEVOTION by Jody Hedlund.
I found this to be an emotionally charged and well written story of logging towns and life in the 1880's in Michigan. In particular, a town with a population of 2000 with 20 bars and few honorable men, except of course, for the 'hero' of the story.
It was well researched and tells of home remedies popular in that era; ranges from two and four-legged wolves to rescuing wayward girls trapped in prostitution. It is definitely a page-turner. I was very impressed with the beauty in which it told of a mother's scriptural training of her son, and shows him how to flee temptations. The hero/heroin of the story are referred to as the King of Patience and Queen of Rescues. Very appropriate.
I was given this book to review from Bethany House Publishers and not required to give it any particular praise. I would recommend it for all ages.
Posted November 7, 2012
I received a copy of UNENDING DEVOTION by Jody Hedlund from Bethany House. The cover is addictive – a young woman wearing a cape stands amongst skeleton trees while looking pensively out at the audience. Who can resist that?
I am never disappointed with Bethany House’s books. They have the perfect mix of religion, romance, and adventure, with a sprinkling of danger that keep you riveted to the edge of your seat. This novel was no exception. Lily Young has had a hard life. She’s had to raise her sister, but now her sister is trapped somewhere as a prostitute. Lily is determined to find and save her, so she travels around logging camps. Her companion is a photographer who uses Lily as his assistant. As they search for her sister, they save other unwilling prostitutes.
I adored the mingling of mystery and history. It really is one of those books that sucks you back in time. I never considered what life might have been like for prostitutes or photographers in the logging camps during the late 1800’s. This opened my eyes to the dangers and heartaches. I really felt for the helpless girls. I highly recommend this novel to history lovers like myself.