Book Review: A Noble Groom, by Jody Hedlund

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The day I started Jody’s latest book, A Noble Groom, I had a few bushes to uproot in our backyard and new plants to plant, along with various other tasks like weeding and watering. I indulged in the first few chapters of A Noble Groom, then set out to get the yard work done. Trudging around outside, shovel in gloved hands, I grumbled about the sticky Florida warmth as trickles of sweat raced down my brow and back.

Twenty minutes into my chores, the stubborn, spindly Hibiscus roots nearly got the best of me. Then I thought of Jody’s main characters in A Noble Groom, Annalisa and Carl, and about how much hard work goes into a family farm. Jody portrayed the rigor, joy, and literal pitfalls of farming life vibrantly in her latest book. This wonderful story also served as a reminder about my German grandparents and their farm in Ohio where my mom and my aunts grew up. Hard work was life. For many, whether fifty years ago or two hundred years ago like Jody’s characters, a farm was their only means of survival.

I told myself to suck it up and get the yard work done (mainly so I could get back inside and read more).

Jody has written four books, and the latest is another winner. From the back cover of A Noble Groom:

Annalisa Werner’s hope for a fairy-tail love is over. Her husband failed her in every way, and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That’ll be enough. A marriage for love…that’s something she’s given up on.

So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom. Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany, and a former schoolteacher – or so he says. He’s looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives.

With time running out, she accepts Carl’s help, but there’s more to this man than she’s admitting. He’s also gentle, kind, charming – unlike any man she’s ever known. But even as he is shining light into the darkness of Annalisa’s heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.

One of the things I appreciate about Jody’s writing is the attention to detail and historical depth she brings to her novels. I want to learn as I read, fiction or non, and Jody’s books brim with history about those who came before and their fascinating, often difficult lives. Add to that her uncanny ability to pen a page-turner overflowing with a zippy plot, realistic action, and romantic tension, and I’m hooked.

In A Noble Groom, Jody also touches on the residual effect of class struggles that the German immigrants dealt with, and the fact that many women were not given the choice about whom they married. I enjoyed the way Jody worked out the plot intricacies, from the mystery of who Carl was and where he came from, to the death of Annalisa’s husband, and especially as the author deftly mined the depths of Annalisa’s heart and Carl’s choices.

A Noble Groom is an exciting, sweet read that leaves readers gratefully filled. I highly recommend all of Jody’s books, this one included.

*******

I have an extra copy of A Noble Groom*, so I’m having a give-away! If you’d like to be entered, please leave a comment on my blog or on the Facebook post by Thursday, midnight EST. I’ll draw a name out of a hat, and announce the winner in a comment on Friday morning (and get in touch with you). I’d love to know what you’re reading right now, or about a recent great read! (Inside the continental U.S. only, please. Thanks!)

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

<<THE WINNER OF THE DRAWING IS REBECCA WILLS! THANKS EVERYONE FOR STOPPING BY AND COMMENTING!>>

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26 thoughts on “Book Review: A Noble Groom, by Jody Hedlund

  1. Warren Baldwin April 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm Reply

    Kerry,
    Jody is a very good writer, and I’m sure this book will prove to be as good as her previous ones. And, you are right what you say about farming!

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm Reply

      Hi Warren,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Jody is definitely one of my favorite authors. My grandpa was a crop farmer, and as a child, I was fascinated with a big scar on his lower leg, where he lost a fight with a piece of farm machinery. It’s like a badge of honor for a farmer. 😉
      I hope you have a great week! I’ll announce the winner Friday morning.
      God Bless,
      Kerry

  2. Rebecca Sullivan Dewey April 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm Reply

    I have yet to read a book by this author and would love to start with this one. I am getting ready to start Wings of Glass, by Gina Holmes and I just finished Madeline’s Protector, by Vanessa Riley.

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:18 pm Reply

      Hi Rebecca,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Jody is one of my favorite authors, and I also have Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes. She’s another favorite of mine. I’ll add Vanessa Riley to my list of authors to check out!
      I’ll add your name to the drawing, and announce the winner Friday morning on my blog.
      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  3. Carol April 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm Reply

    I’m glad to hear your opinion of the story. I have all of Jody’s books… THE NOBLE GROOM just arrived in yesterday’s mail, and I’m really looking forward to falling in love with these new characters and their story. (I’m in Canada and have my own copy, so don’t enter me for your giveaway.)

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm Reply

      Hi Carol,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I have all of Jody’s books, too. Just love them! Enjoy reading A Noble Groom — it was hard to put down!
      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  4. M. M. Ballasch April 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm Reply

    I want the book please 😀 Sounds great! 🙂
    Now I´m writing a novel (To behold the abyss) and readign The lovez of Bolzano, by Sandor Marai!
    A hug,
    M.

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm Reply

      Hello M,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Jody is one of my favorite authors, and I’ll be sure to put your name into the drawing for her book.

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  5. Brittany McEuen April 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm Reply

    I recently read this too, but would love to win my own copy! I am now reading A Place to Belong by Lauraine Snelling.

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm Reply

      Hi Brittany,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Jody sure knows how to write a page-turner, doesn’t she? I’ll add your name to the drawing. I’ve heard good things about Lauraine Snelling’s books — I’ll have to get my hands on one soon.

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  6. Sarah Monzon April 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm Reply

    Can’t wait to read this book 🙂

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm Reply

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! A Noble Groom is yet another great read from Jody. I’ll put your name in the drawing!

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  7. Linda April 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm Reply

    I am looking forward to reading A Noble Groom. While I’m waiting, I have just picked up The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd. Sarah is a new-to-me author.

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Jody has written another wonderful book, and I’ll be sure to add your name to the drawing. I’ll also add Sarah Ladd to my list of authors to check out!

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  8. Pam K. April 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm Reply

    Thanks for this great review of Jody’s new book. I would very much like to read this book, so thanks for the chance to win a copy of A Noble Groom. I’ve read quite a few good books lately (I average about one a week). I just started Mary Connealy’s new book, Swept Away. As usual, it is quite entertaining. I love her style of writing. A more serious book I recently read that was also terrific, but in a different way, was Jocelyn Green’s book, Wedded to War. I highly recommend it.

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm Reply

      Hi Pam,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I enjoy Mary Connealy’s writing so much, too! I’ll add her latest to my list of books to read, along with the other book you mentioned, Wedded to War. Thanks for the suggestions!
      I’ll add your name to the drawing for A Noble Groom.

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  9. Martha J. Sturm April 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm Reply

    I’m reading “Hidden Mercies” by Serena B. Miller. Know what you mean by feeling like work is sometimes too much. We should all remember what people in previous years had to do without: air conditioning, good medical care, running water etc.

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm Reply

      Hi Martha,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’ll add Serena Miller to my list of authors to check out. And I so agree — living in Florida as I do, I can’t imagine being here one hundred years ago, with no AC or mosquito repellant, etc.., as you said. It certainly makes one grateful for the basic things we tend to take for granted now.
      I’ll add your name to the drawing for Jody’s wonderful book.

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  10. Wendy Newcomb April 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm Reply

    I just started Mail-Order Christmas Brides.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm Reply

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’m sure that’s a great collections of stories!

      I’ll add your name to the drawing, and announce the winner Friday morning.

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  11. Christina Lasswell April 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm Reply

    Hi! Jody is a new author to me, but I love to read and write in this genre. I’m planning on reading this book for sure. I am currently reading “Keowee Valley” by Katherine Scott Crawford. Thanks for reviewing this!

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm Reply

      Hi Christina,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Jody has written four books, and I recommend all of them! I’ll add your name to the drawing, and announce the winner Friday morning. I’ll put Katherine Scott Crawford on my list of authors to check out, too! Thanks.
      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  12. rlwills April 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm Reply

    I would love to get this book. It was actually on a list of books to review and I didn’t get chosen, a little sad but I have hope! If all else fails I’ll suck it up and buy it lol. Keep up the great work, thanks for sharing God bless!

    • candidkerry April 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Jody’s written another great story! I’ll definitely add your name to the drawing!

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

  13. Patty April 24, 2013 at 9:08 am Reply

    I’m actually reading her third book Unending Devotion right now! Would love to win a copy of her newest release…

    • candidkerry April 24, 2013 at 9:23 am Reply

      Hi Patty,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I love all of Jody’s books, but Unending Devotion is probably my fave…barely! 😉 A Nobble Groom is so, so good, too. I’ll add your name to the drawing!

      Thanks and God Bless,
      Kerry

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