Monday, June 10, 2013

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund

cover of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund shows a well dressed man looking very sure of himself
A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund. Bethany House, 2013. 363p. (9780764210471)

When I first saw the cover of A Noble Groom and read the description I wanted to read this book. But the cover is a bit misleading. Carl von Reichert is the one pictured and he never looks remotely close to being that spiffy in America. He arrives with travel worn clothes and lice. I still liked it though.

Goodreads Summary:
Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can't prove it. Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

For nobleman Carl von Reichert, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He's been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn't commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he'll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa's farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.

Annalisa senses that Karl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He's gentle, kind, and romantic--unlike any of the men she's ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love--but her true groom is still on his way. And time is running out on them all.

My Review:
Is it just me or are recent Goodreads (i.e. publisher) summaries getting longer?

I enjoyed this story but was expecting a slightly different slant considering the cover. Karl is a good book hero: he works hard, is kind and considerate, perseveres, willing to learn – even “menial” tasks (at least tasks one would expect a nobleman to view as menial). But it was easy to believe his work ethic and non-snobbishness since he was rescued from certain death and given a new chance at life.

There were a few plot twists I wasn’t expecting and I still haven’t decided if I like one of them. But I did really like getting a glimpse of the life of German immigrants in Michigan and the difficulties they faced. The author’s historical note at the end was very informative.

I wouldn't quite give this 4 stars, probably 3.75 but that rounds up to 4 so... :-)

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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