Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Review - Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

I enjoy reading books about the founding fathers of the United States. The brave souls who risked their lives to stand up to the mighty English military are inspiring and makes most every American very grateful for all that they did.

So what does that have to do with Jody Hedlund’s new novel, Rebellious Heart?

A lot.

The novel is set in Boston in 1763 right when the people in America were being put to the test by the Redcoats.

Susanna Smith, a woman with a quick mind and a saucy attitude, finds herself in a most difficult situation of doing the right thing by helping an indentured runaway woman and keeping her family safe from the repercussions of her actions. Trying to find a legal way to help the poor woman, Susanna turns to Benjamin Ross, a poor country lawyer, who tries to right the wrongs of the world around him.

Of course, Susanna and Ben are attracted to each other, but Ben aspires to marry a woman who he believes will help elevate his reputation and income. And Susanna’s mother wants her daughter to marry someone who will provide for Susanna in the ways she is accustomed.

 But as Ben and Susanna try to help the indentured runaway their attraction for one another grows. Through their trials, they develop rebellious hearts to fight injustice for the runaway, for their community, and especially for each other.

There are scenes I will long remember: Susanna and Ben meeting in the closet on the pretense of planning what to do for the runaway, yet each hoping for a kiss (great clean sensual tension, which Jody excels at); Ben asking Susanna’s parents if he could court her only to be rejected not only by them, but also by Susanna (breaks his heart and mine); and the pivotal moment when a sick Susanna storms into the courtroom to confess her part in hiding the runaway (Oh my stars!).

There are many more, but I'd have a very long post if I listed them all. And there were passages I loved. I think you’ll understand why once you read them.

 . . . She [Susanna] supposed not everyone would be ready to take a stand against oppression, that perhaps there were those who were content to live in safety rather than liberty. But could she sit back and do nothing, as she’d done for so long, or was she waking up to the need to fight for justice and freedom the way Ben had talked about? . . .

. . . There, framed in the open doorway and the swirling snow, stood Susanna. The wind had captured her cloak and swept the hood from her head revealing her loose hair. . . .

 . . . “Old Tom once told me that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind.” She grazed the scratchy stubble on his cheeks that he’d neglected to shave. “I think with the two of us together we’ll be unstoppable, don’t you think?” . . .

Like her other novel’s, Jody used actual people from history to pattern her main characters from. In this case Benjamin Ross and Susanna Smith are fictitious characterizations of John and Abigail Adams. And Jody sprinkled the novel with actual places, situations, and people from that time era. That’s what I love about her books.

 If you like a good, clean romance with lots of sensual tension that unfolds against a backdrop of history, you’ll love Jody Hedlund's Rebellious Heart.

You can purchase the book here.

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