Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund


Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won’t be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can’t help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him. 
Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she’s the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.

Okay, so. This book.
Was. Beautiful.
I’m just going to dive in to the review because it’s awkward otherwise. 🙂
One thing that I just LOVE about Jody Hedlund’s books (at least the ones I’ve read), is that there is always a solid villain and storyline outside of the romance. They are definitely romance novels, but they still teach valuable lessons and we get to see a bit of the whole villain/hero showdown that everyone loves.
I think this book is my favorite in the whole series. I loved the other books, definitely. But this one… I found so much to relate to in Tessa, our main character. She’s sassy (which I like to think I am), sarcastic (which I also like to think I am), but very romantic minded. But she still has a smart head on her shoulders. She doesn’t think with her body. Overall, I really enjoyed Tessa as a character, both as a strong lead and a relatable woman.
And then there’s Alex. He is Tessa’s love interest and is very complicated but very well-written and easy to loved.
BUT I didn’t love everything about this book. As with every book, it had it’s flaws. One flaw, I found in the form of Alex’s brother. Where every other character was three dimensional, he stayed on the page and though he had a big part in the story, I wasn’t able to find myself to like him. Perhaps this was on purpose? If we had liked him, it would be because Tessa would have spent more time with him, which would have resulted in a love triangle. Mesa not like love triangle.
Anyway, I rate this book five stars. Very well written, with a strong female lead, good romance, and a driving story with a solid villain.

FOR THE PARENTS –
SPOILERS BELOW

Okay, so Tessa’s the sister of the female lead from Hearts Made Wholeand in that book she pretends to have slept with her sister’s fiancee. So that is mentioned, and also that the villain is sleeping around, and making moves on Tessa. Nothing explicit shown. Mild kissing.

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