Forever Safe / by Jody Hedlund. (Beacons of Hope, 4) 11.22.2016

Northern Lights Press ISBN 9780692691151

Adult Rating: 5

Jody Hedlund pens the fourth installment in her historical fiction series, this one set in coastal Massachusetts during the mid-1870s.

In Forever Safe, wealthy heiress Victoria Cole has run away from her earlier weddings, leaving two other grooms at the altar. Days away from her upcoming wedding to Nathaniel Winthrop, she is unaware that she is the target of a kidnapping plan. Her father hires Tom Cushman as her new bodyguard when it becomes clear that she is still in danger.

The wedding to Nathaniel is canceled, and Victoria is hidden away in an isolated lighthouse. Tom is appointed as assistant light keeper while Victoria poses as his wife. While she learns about living without luxuries, Victoria also learns to face her fears and her growing feelings for Tom. Will they find her attacker so she can stop running? Will Victoria discover why she runs from her weddings? Will Victoria finally get married–and to whom?

Hedlund excels in character development and historical details. While this book stands alone, readers might find it helpful to read the earlier books in order to understand the significance of the driftwood cross. These books are a blend of romance and mystery with well-researched historical detail.

The faith element is light, with the main characters facing their fears and broken pasts to find their ultimate security in God, not in their circumstances. Tom faces his own haunted past to embrace a new future. He is an honorable but troubled man who is the perfect match for the gently-bred young Victoria who learns to value others above herself.

Recommended for public and church libraries, and fans of her earlier books.

Carol R. Gehringer,

Earlier Series Titles Reviewed by CLJLove Unexpected and Hearts Made Whole (Sept/Oct 2015); Undaunted Hope (Mar/Apr/May/Jun 2016).