Friday, May 18, 2018

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

book cover
Together Forever
by Jody Hedlund

ISBN-13: 9780764218057
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: May 1, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Marianne Neumann became a placing agent with the Children's Aid Society with one goal: to find her lost sister. Her fellow agent, Andrew Brady, is a former schoolteacher with a way with children and a hidden past. As they team up placing orphans in homes in Illinois, they grow ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy changes their lives forever.

My Review:
Together Forever is a Christian romance set in June 1858 in New York City and Illinois. While the storyline about the orphan trains and the work of the Children's Aid Society was interesting, the romance felt more like something written for Hollywood than Christians. A child in the story asked Drew on several occasions why he was "eating" Marianne. They repeatedly got too physically intense. In public. In front of children. And when they weren't even engaged.

Drew and Marianne spent a lot of time kissing and touching. Marianne had doubts about marrying Drew, but she was very supportive of Drew and was willing to do the things he wanted to do. By the end of the story, she had learned to forgive herself for past mistakes but was unwilling to hurt anyone and so allowed herself to be pressured into wrong behavior.

Drew behaved selfishly toward Marianne and cared only about what he wanted. He briefly wondered how he was going to support Marianne but cared more about bedding her. This issue was never really resolved. He lost all my respect when he asked Marianne to go on a midnight walk alone with him (view spoiler). And then he pushed her to do something that frightened her and was potentially dangerous.

He didn't support her concerns or consider her feelings as more important than his desires. Instead, he decided to do whatever he had to to get his way. But Drew and Marianne were presented as a perfect love-match instead of a lust-motivated romance with a self-centered, manipulative hero. Yes, he's good with the children and they work well together, but there is more to marriage than that and physical attraction. There was no sex or bad language.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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