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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

With You Always

Sometimes there are those novels that take the reader into a different time and place in history so well that they lose themselves in the present day and find themselves transported back in time. Jody Hedlund does such an exceptional job at that, through her research in her latest Orphan Train series and the first novel, With You Always. You can help but cheer for the underdog, hope the plans for the wicked are exposed and that true love always finds a way, and you will get all three by the closure of this novel.

The novel is set in New York City in June of 1857 and the Quincy Brothers, Thornton and Bradford have been given a challenge by their industrious and wealthy father to see who can take over the company, "In order to determine which of my sons is worthiest to inherit sole control over all my investments and companies, I am issuing a six-month challenge. The two conditions are as follows. First, each son must build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad. And second, each son must get marries to a woman he loves. Whoever succeeds in doing so by the end of six months wins the challenge and becomes owner of Quincy Enterprises."

Thornton has always been searching for the acceptance and respect he believes his twin brother Bradford has always received from his father and believes he will undoubtedly win in this challenge as well. Yet despite his uncertainty Thornton will attempt to give his brother the competition they have always promoted between them. In the end, hopefully the best man will win. While Thornton will attempt to build the town of Quincy up to his father's standards, his brother Bradford attempted to do the same with Wellington in honor of his father's forename. Now all he has to do is find a way to beat the brother who has always come out ahead of him, but he isn't quite sure how to do just that until he runs into quite literally, Elise Neumann, an impoverished German young woman who is attempting to out run some Bowery boy street gangs that have overtaken the city streets, with rioting, thieving and looting anyone they find in their path.

When Elise takes Thornton into the confines of the Seventh Street Mission, a place for women to escape prostitution and find a better way at earning a living, he believes Elise is just that type of woman despite all her appearances. But Elise has simply fallen on hard times being the only person left to care for her sisters Sophie and Marianne, as well as the caring of two orphans, Olivia and Nicholas when their own mother disappeared while looking for work. There is something behind the fiery blue eyes of Elise and her determination to do whatever it takes to provide for her siblings and orphans stirs something in the heart of Thornton. Will she be able to win Thornton's heart or will she have to leave everything behind that she loves in order to find a new start for her family aboard a train bound for Quincy with the Children's Aid society?

I received With You Always by Jody Hedlund compliments of Baker Publishing Group and Net Galley. In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, you should assume that every book reviewed here at Reviews From The Heart was provided to the reviewer by the publisher, media group or the author for free and were received, unless specified otherwise. This is so a beautifully historically accurate novel that conveys what the life of women were like that had to leave their families behind and find work in other towns in hopes of bringing the others along later with the money they could send home. The author's note at the conclusion of the novel brings all the historical facts together about the character's stories, even though the names are completely different from the original. This is always what inspired the series pertaining to the Orphan Train and the heartrending stories of the homeless and helpless young orphans who were taken from the streets of New York and other eastern cities and shipped west by the dozens. I can easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and looking eagerly to the ones to follow in this series.

For more information about With You Always, Jody Hedlund or where you can pre-order this novel due out in June of 2017, please click on the links below:

You can find Jody Hedlund on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on With You Always, please visit Baker Publishing's website. 

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