STORY: The New York streets are brutal to Elise Neumann and her young sisters. Following the recent death of their mother, the three girls become orphans. Housed by an uncle who cruelly demands more money from them, Elise decides she must strike out on her own before her family is torn apart. Leaving her family in the capable hands of a kind-hearted woman trying to start a mission, Elise sets out for unknown territory: Illinois.
Once there, a wealthy entrepreneur, Thornton Quincy, hires her as cook. Facing his own complicated challenges, Thornton cannot help an interest in Elise. Beautiful inside and out, Thornton begins to wonder if she’s his chance at true love – and to fulfill the challenges his father issues to his sons to marry for love.
With you Always, by Jody Hedlund | Book Review‘WITH YOU ALWAYS’: Romance on the Railway #FWarchives #HistoricalFiction Click To Tweet
Heartwarming with elegant simplicity, this novel is again a prime example why Jody’s stories have such a loved quality. Her signature voice and talent is fully employed in this charming story, which launches an all-new series. (Read the prequel novella, An Awakened Heart, currently free on Kindle.) As with her Beacons of Hope series (exploring the lives of lighthouse keepers), With You Always explores a time in history that’s often left untouched by the pen of the literary world.
As she did with her recent medieval YA trilogy, Hedlund has a knack for taking undiscovered eras and making them vibrant and interesting. This story is no different. She places these protagonists in an untapped world of possibilities. It’s the kind of world that feels “unsettled” because paralleling their personal strife, it is an unsettled territory. But in the capable hands of a skilled writer, the story uses a barren, unformed land to pulse life and excitement into its plot.
“Maybe she hadn’t known then what she wanted. But she had no doubts now…” – Jody Hedlund
These characters also assist in keeping the reader hooked. Elise’s calm grace and humble aptitude to do what’s right make her easy to love. Then there’s Thornton! He may not share traits or other similarities with his famous peer (*ahem* looking at you Mr. John Thornton), but he is nonetheless a memorable and swoon-y hero. His propensity towards caring for Elise is admirable as is his willingness to “take on” whatever responsibility loving Elise brings.
If you’re a fan of Jody Hedlund, you’ll enjoy With You Always. Each of her hallmarks are present including (though not limited too) fascinating historical details, engaging characters and of course, the cherry on top, swoony kisses! With You Always is a fascinating, and when necessary, charming and exciting beginning to a series worthy of praise and admiration. Historical fiction aficionados will love this, the latest romance novel from a familiar and popular novelist. ♥
A B O U T THE B O O K
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Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Author provided – thank you, Jody!
Publication Date: 2017
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Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Historical Fiction
Series: Orphan Train, 1
Sincere thanks to the author and publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book.