Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Noble Groom

A Noble Groom 
Jody Hedlund
Bethany House Publishers
Fiction, Historical, Romance

It's 1881 and Carl von Reichart is fleeing Germany with his life. With the help of his manservant Matthias Carl is leaving everything familiar and fleeing to Matthias' brother Peter's homestead in Michigan. Having been convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit Carl is left with no choice but to go to America. Shrugging of his noble birth Carl is desperate to fit in in the small German community of Forestville. 

Recently widowed Annalisa is doing her best to provide for her young daughter on their farm in Michigan. She's awaiting the arrival of a groom from Germany who will marry her and take over the farm. Although Carl is not her intended his arrival is a welcomed sight. Annalisa has only 6 months to pay back the land grant her husband purchased. A widowed woman and a young girl can not toil the land themselves. Carl takes a job working for Annalisa but struggles with adapting to hard manual labor. 

Mystery abounds in this book. Annalisa has a feeling her husband was murdered but she has no evidence to prove it. She also senses that something about Carl isn't quite right but she has no choice but to trust him and allow him to help her on the farm. Against her better judgement  finds herself drawn to him. He's handsome and kind and unlike any other man she has ever met. He treats her like a rare jewel and seems to cherish her. 

Carl has only planned to stay in Michigan and hide out until his name is cleared. An aspiring chemist he's anxious to get back to his experiments and research. What he didn't count on was Annalisa. Despite the obvious class difference he can't help but be drawn to her and her little girl. Before he knows it he's fallen in love with both of them. 

Annalisa's intended groom is on his way and mysteries can not remain unsolved. As the groom gets closer to Michigan the book escalates. Lies are revealed, feelings are hurt, and the damage seems to be irreparable. Will Annalisa be with her intended groom or her noble groom? What will the future hold? And just who did murder her husband and why? 

Rest assured dear readers, the story does not end there. Everything is tied up into a neat little bow that will leave you with a very contented sigh of relief. We read fiction for the resolution that our own lives rarely have. Rarely will you find an author who so beautifully writes resolution. I found myself stressed out trying to figure out how Hedlund was going to fix this story. No need to fear, she did so perfectly and you'll love it. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Hedlund has quickly become one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint with this book. The characters are SO very well developed. I loved Annalisa and her little girl, I adored Carl, and I despised Annalisa's family. I believe it was all intended for me to feel that way. Carl will warm your heart and have you randomly wishing for your own German chemist. Which brings me to my next point, I loved the uniqueness of the characters. I don't believe I've ever read about a chemist turned farmer before. It was very intriguing and so fun to read. Annalisa is a sweetheart that you so desperately want to find true love and someone to cherish her. As for her family! Good grief, what an interesting cultural experience. Slovenly chauvinistic men that will have you applauding the leaps and bounds we've made in women's rights in the last 150 years. Thank you Susan B. Anthony! 

My props to Hedlund for writing a truly delightful read. I couldn't put this book down and I enjoyed every bit of it. You won't be expecting the twists and turns it takes and you'll be up long into the night. So brew some coffee now and get ready for an adventure in Michigan in the mid 1800's. Enjoy! 

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest and real review. 

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