Author Jody Hedlund continues her series by adding more suspense, drama and intrigue to this lovely Christian historical romance. Her characters come full circle to the original family of the cross and letter of hope.
Victoria Cole, soon to be married to a New York society son, Nathaniel Winthrop III, finds herself entangled in attempted abductions and threats on her life. Her father Henry Cole, among the wealthiest of 1876 New York, tries every conceivable plan to keep her safe.
Her bodyguard, Arch, is stabbed while protecting her in Grammercy park which brings the opportunity for his friend, Tom Cushman to take over his position until he recovers.
While more attempts are made to curtail the wedding, Tom devises a plan to lure the perpetrators from the shadows. He plans to take Victoria to an isolated lighthouse, Race Point where his father is the keeper. It is at the lighthouse where Victoria meets Tom’s mother who is bound to a wheelchair after losing her feet to frostbite.
Beyond the intrigue of trying to figure out who is after Victoria, are multiple threads where both Tom and Victoria have to face demons in order to move forward in their lives. Tom has avoided “coming home” because he blames himself for his mother’s condition. Now he plans to stay to be the assistant lighthouse keeper, but only as a guise to flush out the assailants. However he is in for a surprise of heart wrenching forgiveness and healing.
With her wedding postponed, pampered Victoria gets a rude awakening when she has to learn how to cook, clean and wash the laundry which is usually taken care of by hired help in her house. Tom’s mother, Zelma,teaches her each step of the way while also giving Victoria a sense of accomplishment and self worth greater than what money bought Victoria previously.
Victoria’s mother became blind in adulthood due to a inherited disease past down from her mother. The fear that Victoria might also succumb to the same disease gave her reason to break one engagement and leave another groom at the alter previous to her engagement to Nathaniel. Now that she sees how Tom’s parents love each other unconditionally, she has to face her fear if she ever wants to be married. It is her growth that propels the story as the reader watches her mature throughout the pages.
It all comes to a head when betrayal threatens Victoria’s life again. Lies are revealed and beliefs are contested to bring the story to a wonderful end. The cross and letter are passed on again, which perhaps could lead to book five?
Author Jody Hedlund weaves such a story that you can’t put the book down until the end. It is uplifting and inspirational that readers can emulate the love within these pages by taking the sage advice of Tom’s parents to heart. Hedlund pours her heart into these stories and it is abundantly clear her wish that her readers feel the emotions of her characters. If you haven’t read the others in the series, begin with the prequel novella, Out of the Storm, then to Love Unexpected (1), Hearts Made Whole (2), Undaunted Hope (3) and now Forever Safe (4).
Be sure to visit Jody Hedlund’s website to see all of her books at www.jodyhedlund.com
FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title by author Jody Hedlund and Northern Lights Press for review purposes only; no other compensation was awarded.