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Unending devotion

Title:  Unending Devotion
Author:  Jody Hedlund
Pages:  374
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Bethany House
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988
                Unending Devotion is a historical romance set in 1883 in the area of central Michigan.  The main characters are Lily Young and Connell McCormick.  The background is that of a lumbering milling operation and the nearby town of Harrison, Michigan.  The time of year is January and bitterly cold.
                Lily is an 18-year-old, spirited woman.  She fights for what she believes in with passion, gumption, and devotion.  She never gives up.  No matter what happens she will survive and continue to fight for what God has called her to do.  She and her sister Daisy were passed around between relatives as youngsters after their parents were killed.  They were left at an orphanage in New York City as their relatives could no longer care for them.  At that time, Lily had to grow up quickly to take care of herself and her younger sister.  She became mom, provider, and protector almost overnight.  When they were teenagers, the orphanage had no more room for them.  They had to leave and survive on their own.  Lily found a family to take in Daisy and a different, older couple where she could live.  Their experiences with these people are vastly different.  Daisy runs away, telling Lily she wants to live her own life now and that she is going to look for work at the lumber camps as she has heard women can make a lot of money there.  Daisy says she will come back for Lily.  Lily doesn’t wait as she just knows Daisy doesn’t know how to take care of herself.  She is an assistant to her employer, a photographer, who travels to different lumber camps, taking pictures.  Lily now has the perfect opportunity to search for her sister.
                Connell is a 26-year-old, protective, young man.  He has been placed in charge of three lumber camps near Harrison, Michigan.  He has been taught Christian values and to respect women by his mother, but has since become apathetic.  His father is a bully, and nothing Connell can do is ever good enough to please him.  The family business must make more money according to his father even though they are very wealthy.  Connell doesn’t want to rock the boat to upset his father when he meets Lily as she learns of all the brothels in business and wants them closed.  Lily has to remind him to stand up for what is right.  There is one particularly evil brothel owner who walks around wearing brass knuckles and uses them freely whenever he likes.  He is advertising in newspapers for young women to come and work in his “hotel”.  The whole town is afraid to stand up to Mr. Carr, except for Lily.  She wants to help God be about His business a whole lot quicker so they’ll both be happy and succeeds, more than once, in getting into trouble and needing to be rescued.  Who comes to the rescue?  Does she find her sister?  Will Connell wake up to God’s calling for him?  Can Lily and Connell have a relationship when they are from two very different backgrounds and seem to have very different views on certain matter?
                This is a book with good storytelling, character development, and Christian values.  This is a relaxing read and one to enjoy; it is definitely worth reading.
My rating is 4 stars.        
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