Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Review: Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

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"In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice."

This was my first Jody Hedlund book and, based on the rave reviews I've heard/read about Jody's novels, it delivered the quality writing and story-line I was expecting. I enjoyed the historical setting and the well-researched historical details. The plot was definitely brimming with action.

I enjoyed the plot-line of the indentured servant. It added a different-- and suspenseful-- edge to the book. The fact that Susanna, one of the main characters, was a British loyalist made for an interesting point of view not very often done in pre-Revolutionary War novels (at least, not in any I've read). Experiencing those times from both opposing viewpoints, Ben's (a "rebel") and Susanna's, was an enlightening experience. I truly enjoyed the political talks scattered throughout the book.

From what I've heard/read, Jody is known for her romance yet, while many consider this a plus, I felt the romance was a bit overdone. Sure, there was great tension and romantic obstacles-- but Susanna and Ben's relationship seemed too sensual [emotion based]. The romance wasn't fluffy, per se, but there was just something about it.... However, finding out that Ben and Susanna represented John and Abigail Adams somewhat softened my view since, to tell the truth, it's interesting to think about the beginning's of John and Abigail's love.

Adding an undercover operation executed by the colonists under the nose of Mr.Wolf (I think that's his name), an evil-- tyrant-- British soldier, was the icing on the cake. I enjoyed my first Jody Hedlund novel and won't mind trying more of her work in the future. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It can be bought at Amazon.

** Much thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**


  1. Is there ever going to be a novel like this that does not apparently typecast all British soldiers as evil tyrants? Seriously those supposed evil tyrants were fighting an dying in Europe against Napoleon. Unless of course Americans regard him as a hero....

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