Hearts Made Whole, which releases on June 2, did not disappoint.
Like all of Jody’s books, I had to block out a chunk of time to read it—mostly because I know that once I start, I won’t stop until I’m finished. Regardless of the dishes piling in the sink or the mountain of laundry that sits next to me on the couch, one thing is certain. I will read this book in one day.
Below is my honest review and recommendation.
Two hearts. Both broken and battered. One life shattered by grief and the burden of growing up too soon; the other haunted by guilt and permanently scarred by the cruelty of war.
Meet Caroline Taylor and Ryan Chambers, the main characters in Jody Hedlund’s latest book, Hearts Made Whole.
After witnessing her beloved father’s death, twenty-year-old Caroline takes on the responsibility of lighthouse keeper at Windmill Point Lighthouse while raising her younger siblings. Caroline, like most of Jody’s protagonists, is a strong female with a fiery spirit. Though she’s quite adept at her duties, the lighthouse inspector deems her unfit because of her gender and appoints Civil War veteran, Ryan Chambers, as her replacement. Ryan is incapable of tending to the lighthouse in his current condition. He’s wounded both inside and out and will do almost anything to escape the pain and guilt. Painkillers and hard liquor dull his ache, and Ryan fails in his keeper duties almost immediately.
Though frustrated by his weaknesses, Caroline sees something redeeming inside Ryan—the tender way he cares for her dying sister, the strength in his voice when he disciplines her younger brothers. He’s familiar with the loss that Caroline faces and she’s patient with him in his affliction. And there’s no denying the fact that these two have some major chemistry. However, when Ryan offers to let Caroline stay on as his assistant, strange things begin to happen. A mystery that turns menacing places everyone in Caroline’s life in immediate danger.
True to Jody’s style, Hearts Made Whole is an action-packed love story with a mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. Not to mention, I’m quite certain that you’ll swoon over the breathtaking exchanges between Ryan and Caroline. I love how Jody is able to write real characters with real struggles. Like all of us, they are imperfect and in need of grace and redemption. I highly recommend this book to anyone who roots for the underdog or loves a good redemption story.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.