Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope Series #1)

Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope Series #1)

by Jody Hedlund

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Presque Isle, Michigan

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she's left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He's just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other's dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife's death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441264862
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/25/2014
Series: Beacons of Hope Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 43,805
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of seven novels, including Captured By Love, Rebellious Heart, and The Preacher's Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence and a finalist for the 2011 Carol Award in First Novel. She received a bachelor's from Taylor University and a master's from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She can be found online at
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

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Love Unexpected 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
This book has a lot to offer a reader. There's adventure when pirates threaten the waters near the Presque Isle lighthouse, a marriage of convenience, a vengeful gossiping neighbor, a man with dark secrets, a family trying to survive deep oppression, and sexual tension. It is a historical fiction set in the mid-1800's at one of Michigan's scenic lighthouses. Much of the material has basis in historical facts, including the presence of a circuit riding preacher, a pirate that robbed ships and goods at various docks, the lighthouse keeper himself and his wife, and the setting at Burnham's Landing. Patrick Garraty, the lighthouse keeper at Presque Isle, was a man with numerous secrets and a shady background, yet his story is one of miraculous redemption. But, as so often happens to us, the past rears its ugly head and threatens Patrick and his son's future. Emma Chambers and her brother Ryan are all the family they have left. Their mother died during the potato famine, their father leading them to America before drowning his sorrows in alcohol. His death on Mackinaw Island prompted them to take a steamer to Detroit to start their life over again. But on the way, pirates raided their ship, stole their life savings and the ship's cargo, and set the steamer on fire. Emma and Ryan swam to shore, guided by the nearby lighthouse's beacon. Reaching Burnham's Landing, Ryan found a job chopping firewood. But there was no place for Emma to stay. The only females in the area already had seven people living in their tiny cabin. When the kindly Reverend William Poyseor, the traveling minister often fondly called "Holy Bill", arrived to conduct a funeral, he suggested a solution to Emma's problem; she should marry Patrick Garraty. She agrees and married Patrick the day after her escape from the pirates. She immediately inherits the care of rambunctious 2-year-old Joey. But she sees in Patrick a dedicated, loving father and thoughtful husband. Despite Ryan's concerns she wants to stay in the remote northeast part of Michigan with Patrick. I enjoy reading historical fiction and the combination of that with a marriage of convenience is irresistible. In this case, Emma has never kept house, cooked a meal without burning it, or taken charge of a child. She feels woefully inadequate for the task. This leads her to befriend Bertie Burnham for guidance and cooking lessons. But Bertie secretly seeks revenge on Patrick. Emma allows Bertie's poisonous tongue to color her perception of Patrick, and coupled with the secrets he keeps, disaster nearly overtook the newlyweds before they became better acquainted. The suspense, mystery and revelations as I read this book made it difficult to put this book down at times. Not only is the action riveting, but the character development is well done. Several bits of Patrick's past haunts him so that he has to struggle with his new found faith to find inner peace. Like us many times, he is his own worst enemy when it comes to living under the umbrella of "no condemnation." The third part of this book I like is the author's use of comic relief through little Josiah, Patrick's son. His antics keeps the story warm and charming. His legendary temper tantrums tested Emma to her limits, although he is endearing nonetheless. He is essentially the glue keeping Emma and Patrick together while they work their issues out. This book is the first book of the Beacons of Hope series by Jody Hedlund. The prequal to the series is an ebook novella, Out of the Storm. I highly recommend these stories for you. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. 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.”
WildflowerMom More than 1 year ago
Another winner by Jody Hedlund! Great start to a new series. This one has it all: action, mystery, romance and historical detail, plus some really likeable characters, including an adorable little boy. There are some seriously sigh worthy moments too. It had me reading late into the night. Interesting facts surrounding the history of the lighthouse and the real couple this story is based on included in the index. Recommend for Christian historical fiction fans!
BookwormMama14 More than 1 year ago
Lighthouses are a thing of beauty. Yet they are also to be feared and respected. The dangers of being a lightkeeper are known all too well to Patrick Garraty. Emma Chambers has longed for nothing more than to settle down and have a home and a family. When her and her brother Ryan are stranded in Burnham's Landing, a little fishing village on Lake Huron, her dream becomes reality. Patrick Garraty, the head keeper at the Presque Isle Lighthouse, has recently lost his wife and is need of someone to help run the lighthouse as well as raise his son Josiah. Circumstances couldn't have worked out better, except when Patrick's past literally comes knocking at the door. Will his past crimes and sins destroy all that Emma has come to love? Will she be able to forgive him for his mistakes? Will they ever be able to cherish the unexpected love that has come into their lives? Jody Hedlund has done it again! She sucked me into this story until all I could think about was what was going to happen next? I have to admit I was quite anxious the whole time I was reading Love Unexpected. Not only because I was constantly hoping that Emma and Patrick would be able to work things out, but because of the realness of the past coming back to haunt us. I believe that a lot of people have things in their past that they would prefer to be left forgotten. But as Jody touched on so accurately, when we ask the Lord's forgiveness he forgives, and forgets. Tossing our sins into the swirling waves of grace where they are dissolved and never brought back up. The only thing left for us to do is forgive ourselves and walk forward. Trusting in Him and letting Him lead our steps. Then, if our past does try to resurface, we can rest in God. Knowing that that is no longer who we are or what we do. We have been forgiven, cleansed and are His holy children. I look forward to the release of the second book in Beacons of Hope series Hearts Made Whole. As part of their Blogger Review Program I received a free digital copy of Love Unexpected from Bethany House Publishers through Net Galley. Check out the prequel to Love Unexpected for free! Out of the Storm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great line and story you just want to keep tradibg
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
Seriously loved this first book in the Beacons of Hope series! I have a new favorite to add to the "marriage of convenience" list. Emma is so humble and so sweet. As a mother to a precocious toddler, I completely related to her struggles with Patrick's son Josiah. I felt the author realistically portrayed the joys and hardships of motherhood. Emma's trust and faith in Patrick humbles him and heals many past hurts and betrayals. I loved their developing relationship as they worked together and supported one another. There is an underlying feeling of tension and suspense with pirates on the loose, disturbing the communities along the shore and threatening ships on the great lake. The plot steadily progresses to a climax of dangerous action and with Patrick's past finally revealed, Emma's choices affect more than one life on the island. The main spiritual themes of choosing to follow God and accepting His forgiveness are thoughtfully portrayed. Once again I read the series out of order so it was a real treat to see Emma's brother Ryan more carefree before the war and the trials he faces in book two, Hearts Made Whole. Highly recommend this book and the entire series! (Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
GrandaddyA More than 1 year ago
I like lighthouses so the cover picture drew me to this book. Just as lighthouses are Beacons of Hope, this story is a beacon of hope. Emma Chambers gave up on God when her mother died and she has practically lost all hope of ever fulfilling her dream of a husband, a home, and children. After jumping into Lake Huron with her brother to escape a sinking steamboat one night and spending several hours in the frigid water trying to get to shore, she is suddenly pulled from the water by Patrick Garraty, the keeper of the Presque Isle Lighthouse. The ensuing story takes the reader on an interesting journey as Emma struggles to get a handle on cooking, taking care of a rambunctious, stubborn two-year-old, adjusting to being married to a stranger, and her desire to have a close female friend. Events transpire that bring hope only to see that hope slipping away, not only for Emma, but for Patrick and other characters in the story. The lighthouse was there to help ships avoid the rocky shoals and other dangers. The characters in the story also needed a Lighthouse to give them hope and to guide them to safety. The waves we encounter in life often rise and fall much like a roller coaster, causing our hope to rise and fall quite rapidly at times. The author depicts very beautifully how we need to cling to hope. I highly recommend this book for the interesting story and the sound guidance provided.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome historically
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could hardly stop reading.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
I have read several books by Jody Hedlund and enjoyed every one. I actually read book 2 in the Beacons of Hope Series, Hearts Made Whole, before reading this one and really enjoyed both. In Love Unexpected we meet Emma and Ryan Chambers, brother and sister trying to find a better life. When they end up stranded, Ryan quickly finds work to help gain money for their passage to Detroit. But Ryan’s new job keeps him busy and Emma feels out of place. When Emma meets little Josiah, she can’t help but adore him. His dad Patrick isn’t hard to look at, and when a traveling preacher suggest they marry, Emma jumps at the chance to have her dreams of a home and family come true. Patrick has a past and he worries that Emma will despise him if she learns about it. He is so thankful that Emma agreed to marry him and doesn’t want to push her away by revealing too much. Will the secrecy push them apart? Can Emma handle all the work that a ready made family comes with? I had a lot of fun reading this book. Hedlund kept my interest the whole time, and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. This story has many unexpected twists and turns and I enjoyed every one of them. She had me dying to find out what was going to be revealed and if they could overcome. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and romance. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this lovely story . Cant wait to see where Ryan adventure leads us
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible historical romance! I loved both of the main characters, Emma Chambers and Patrick Garraty. They have both had a very hard childhood which has left them wanting a secure home and family. In reaction to his childhood Patrick made some very poor choices as an adult. Then when he hit a very low point he found God. Emma has drifted along life with her brother moving from place to place with no idea how to achieve her dream. At the beginning of the book they are thrust together out of necessity. The rest of the story is about their efforts to work together and build that family and home life that they are searching for. Before that can happen though Patrick has to face his past and learn the full meaning of God’s salvation and forgiveness. His journey to discover what that means is a wonderful reminder to all of us exactly what God’s grace and mercy is all about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i have read several of jody's books and each one i would give a 5 star. this book i just finished and it was wonderful!
icm1955 More than 1 year ago
This was such a good book. From page one to the very last page,I never got bored. I didn't want to put this book down. I enjoyed each character,as well as reading about the lighthouse.A great read.
Andrea_Renee_Cox More than 1 year ago
by Andrea Renee Cox Love Unexpected took me by surprise. The first two paragraphs jumpstarted the story with a pirate attack, which snapped me to attention and piqued my interest. It slowed into a sweet romance that kept me engaged in every chapter. I felt I was falling in love with the characters just as much as they were falling for each other. There’s a strong similarity to one of my favorite movies, Love Comes Softly. In that movie, after Marty’s husband dies, she marries Clark so she’ll have a place to stay over the winter, and she can help raise his daughter in the meantime. In Love Unexpected, Patrick’s wife dies and then he marries Emma so she can help with his son and the house while he tends the light, and Emma will have a safe place to stay in a town full of lonely men. It’s the differences between these two similar stories that make each on its own unique and entertaining entity. Author Jody Hedlund artfully crafted a beautiful tale of a marriage of convenience, yet she managed to revive an overused plot by adding her own style to it. Who wouldn’t love a story that features pirates, a lighthouse, stunning Presque Isle, and characters you come to love—and a few you love to hate? The twists Jody brought into that juicy mix created a great atmosphere for a cozy romance tinged with mystery. As a lifelong fan of foreign accents, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of Irish accents in the two lead characters (and the heroine’s brother), who were Irish immigrants. The only hints within the dialogue that Patrick, Emma, and Ryan were from Ireland were occasional “nay’s” and “aye’s.” I kept forgetting they were Irish and instead heard American accents in my mind. I appreciated the reminders in the narration, but it would have created better continuity if the characters’ heritage was woven into the ways in which they spoke. That being said, this charming story held plenty of surprises and sweet moments to carve out a spot in my heart. I’m looking forward to reading more novels from the talented Jody Hedlund.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a story that takes place on Presque Isle, Michigan.  There is a lighthouse romance and pirates.  Who would have thought there were pirates in Michigan on a Great Lake.  I had never read anything about that before.  This really kept my interest throughout the whole book.  There were some twists and turns that helped the romance and hurt it.  People need to learn to talk and listen.  I really look forward to reading more in this series called Beacons of Hope.  I received this through Bethany House for a fair and honest opinion.
Faye_reviews More than 1 year ago
Goodness gracious, Ms. Hedlund just gets better with each book! Emma Chambers and her brother Ryan are left to fend for themselves after their steamboat is sunk by pirates just off the shore of Presque Island.  Emma doesn't want to be a burden to her brother as he tries to provide for himself, so she accepts the proposal of the local lighthouse keeper, Patrick Garraty who recently lost his wife, and is struggling to care for his young son while balancing his duties in the lighthouse.  But Patrick has secrets from his past that threaten to rob him of happiness with his newfound family... Set on the coast of Michigan, this book has it all, heartfelt heroes that you can't help but cheer for the whole way through, romance, mystery, secrets, pirates, an adorable little boy, and so much more! I loved Emma and Patrick, they both made the best of the situation, and had their reasons to be hesitant, yet through it all they were dedicated to their marriage and learned from their mistakes. Patrick is perfect tortured hero, and served as a wonderful example of how one truly becomes a new creation in Christ. Josiah was just so stinkin' cute! Even when he was being bad he captured my heart. I also really liked Ryan, Emma's brother, so imagine my excitement when I found out that he is going to be the subject of the next book in the series! Why can't it just be June already? Overall, a compelling and heartfelt read, from the beginning to the very end. I loved everything about it! I can't wait to tell all my friends that this is the book that they need to be reading! Thanks to Ms. Hedlund for the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book!
CarolJo More than 1 year ago
I could hardly put down this book by Jody Hedlund which is set in Presque Isle Lighthouse, Michigan in 1859. Emma and her brother Ryan are left destitute when pirates attack their steamboat and set it on fire.  They do manage to jump into the water and are rescued by the lighthouse keeper.  Emma’s mam died of starvation when Emma was small.  Her father and the two children immigrated to America where he became a drunkard.  All Emma has ever wanted is a home and family of her own.  Is the lighthouse that home?  Is Patrick the child of God he claims to be or is he having an affair?  She doesn’t think God will listen to her since she quit praying when her mother died but does he sometimes say wait or no? Jody Hedlund has done an excellent job making the characters come alive.  I look forward to the other books in the Beacons of Hope series.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Powerful suspense & deception! The first in the Beacons of Hope series, Love Unexpected was much more than I expected from the book's description. The lightkeeper's wife suffered an untimely death, leaving Patrick with no means to care for his 2-year-old son and manage the lighthouse on Presque Isle. Steamboat passengers Emma and her brother Ryan, are victims of pirates overtaking their boat not far from the shore of Presque Isle. Rescued and destitute, Ryan secures a job in the local fishing industry, but Emma has no hope of a future until a marriage of convenience is arranged in order that she raise the lighthouse keeper's young son. Delighted at her good fortune in securing a home for herself, a life of untold secrets and deception threaten her future.  The events throughout this book kept me wrapped up in this fast-paced, suspenseful drama filled with deception and untold secrets. Brimming with intrigue, tragedy and dread this book kept me riveted to my seat. Unexpected situations lurked around every corner, threatening Emma's safety and reputation. Jody Hedlund has a gift for creating a setting and relationships that are unforgettable. She portrays the lighthouse and the area surrounding it on Presque Isle with accuracy and beauty. Her research is impeccable. Her description of the eastern coast of Michigan and Lake Huron, as well as historic events are commendable. Her characters are also based on individuals who lived on Presque Isle as lightkeepers in the past. In her Author's Note at the end of her book the author relays information regarding the importance and significance of lighthouses along the shores of Michigan. Historically correct and written with a gift for realism, both in suspense and romance, I highly recommend this inspirational book! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Barb00 More than 1 year ago
Love Unexpected is one of the best books I've ever read. In my opinion, this book deserves more than five stars. To be honest, pirates, ships and the ocean are not my favorite setting for a book, but I think lighthouses are beautiful. So, I finally made myself pick up the book and sat down to read it. After I had read the first two pages of the first chapter, Jody Hedlund had captured my attention. I was totally intrigued and fascinated with Love Unexpected that I did not want to stop reading. I read into the late night to finish. I fell in love with Emma, Josiah and Patrick and enjoyed the mystery and romance. The plot and surprises were great. My family members are reading the book and I'm telling my friends about Love Unexpected. Jody Hedlund, you wrote an outstanding book. It says Love Unexpected is Book One in the Beacons of Hope series. I am excited and looking forward to Book Two. I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher in exchange for my honest review. This review is one hundred percent my opinion.
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
What I liked: Emma wanted a home of her own and a family. After years of moving from place to place she finds herself married to the local lighthouse keeper less than 24 hours after being in a shipwreck. I enjoyed the humor as she learned to be a mom and a wife. Her cooking disasters made me laugh. I have read a few books where a couple will marry without knowing each other and this book did a great job of telling such a story. Both Emma and Patrick had to work through issues to make the marriage work. What I did not like: How fast Patrick and Emma got married seemed way too unrealistic. Hey the preacher says he is a good guy so I’ll pledge myself to him without even talking to my brother first. This part of the story felt rushed. Patrick’s back story at first seemed kind of off but as the book went on and we learned more about his background things made more sense.      Overall I liked this book. The plot was very good and the characters were well established and likeable. I found myself also liking the island and picturing how beautiful it must have been. The ending had some good surprises as well. I also liked the spiritual side of this story. How we are all sinners and no matter how much we sin if we repent we are forgiven. Yes the consequences of our previous actions can still affect us after repenting yet we are forgiven and can move forward. I thought how Patrick had to deal with his past life and how he accepted it was spot on.   I am looking forward to the next book in this series. This is the first book I have read by this author and I really like her style.
palmtreegirl More than 1 year ago
Lighthouses and romance! First thoughts:  This was a story with a rich setting and vibrant characters, just like I've come to expect from Jody Hedlund's books. What it's about: It's about a young woman named Emma and how she finds the home her heart has yearned for in a most unexpected way, a marriage of circumstance. Just when she feels like she finally has what she has wanted most, rumors and doubt creep in. Who is this man that she has married and why does her neighbor feel the need to warn her about him? What I liked about it: I loved the layers of the relationships in this story. There were so many deep connections. The first one you see is the relationship between Emma and her brother and then you see her connect with her new husband, Patrick, and Patrick's two year old son. The lighthouse itself adds a layer as it helps Patrick and Emma connect to each other. Then there is the layer of faith that helps the characters through the darkest secrets of the story. What I didn't like: The timeline of events seemed rushed to me but I suppose they really would be rushed in a marriage of convince sort of setting. Who I'd recommend it to: I think anyone who loves historic or inspirational fiction would love this story. I received a copy of this for review thanks the the author and Bethany House publishing.
Sue5 More than 1 year ago
Learning about Love....This one had me captivated from start to finish.  Really a down to home book. Faith, Life, Love make this a good read.
luv2read30 More than 1 year ago
Another entertaining read by Ms. Hedlund that is sure not to disappoint! I love books with a marriage for convenience that leads to lasting love and this one will keeping you reading all the way to the end. Emma, longing for a home and a family and ready to release her brother from his obligations to provide for her, cannot refuse Patrick’s offer of marriage. Patrick, in desperate need of a help with his young son, is understandably thankful for Emma’s acceptance of his proposal. Young, naive and insecure, Emma does not know what to make of the kind man who is her husband; and Patrick with his shady past, feels undeserving of his beautiful and patient wife. I loved the setting especially after reading that the story is based around a real lighthouse and loosely around the female caretaker. Ms. Hedlund does an exceptional job of taking a common basic plot and putting just enough twists and turns to keep the story interesting and engaging! I enjoyed not only the main characters, but also some of the minor characters, like the circuit preacher and town busybody. This is a 5 star book for me! This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Lindz2012 More than 1 year ago
What a sweet story this book is. Emma and her brother Ryan start out on a steamer boat. They are attack by pirates. Emma see that the steam boat catch fire. Emma and Ryan jump into the lake and are now trying to survive. Patrick see the steam boat catch fire.  Things start to happen once they arrive to the island. Patrick is in need of a wife to watch over his son Joisah. There are secrets and a romance and a traveling preachers believe they may be answers to each other problems. Can they find the true meaningful word of wife and husband. Will Emma find her own home? Though for having faith you need to believe in god himself and not believe in people. You can not put all your faith in people you love to have all that you need. Does Patrick, Emma or Ryan find that faith? Do they find Joisah? To know these answer and more you need to read the book. Will Patrick get over his Past?