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Unending Devotion

(Michigan Brides #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,776 ratings  ·  311 reviews
Michigan, 1883
In Her Darkest Hours, Is He the Man She Needs?

Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer's assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan--and the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father
Paperback, 374 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Bethany House Publishers
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  2,776 ratings  ·  311 reviews

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Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wanted to give this book five stars, purely because of the importance of its subject matter (fighting sex trafficking and forced prostitution). I saw the book recommended on a blog that I enjoy so I figured I'd read it although these days, I do generally try to avoid romantic fiction, Christian or not. It's set in the late 1800s in Michigan and I did find the historical background of the story quite interesting.

I've been trying to figure out what was wrong with the writing and I think it comes
A sad and haunting tale, this story moved me. I found it hard to like the h in the beginning, but her character definitely grew on me. Despite her judgmental spirit, the reader could see the good intentions in her heart. Likewise with the H, his good heart was masked by his fatalistic outlook and outward apathy. I can identify with both these characters and struggle to find that blessed middle ground where you let God decide how He can use you in His redemption story.

So why not more stars?
Andrea Cox
Jun 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
by Andrea Renee Cox

The fight against evil is a tough one. I like that Ms. Hedlund tackled this difficult topic in Unending Devotion, but the good fight got lost for me. The leading lady was controlling and closed-minded, not to mention bossy and rude and pretty unlikable. The leading man was too passive for seventy-five percent of the story, which always drives me crazy because, biblically speaking, men are supposed to be the leaders of their families and communities.

There was also a lot of muck
Lily Young would give up her life to save and protect her sister. When she arrives in Michigan, she is close enough to discover what happened to her beloved Daisy, but finding her is not that easy especially if she must fight alone the most dangerous man she has ever encountered. When all hope is lost, will she find any help from the other people of the town? What if it is too late to save Daisy?

If I had to choose a single word to define this book, it would be powerful. A powerful story, a
Michelle Sottile
Unending Devotion... I picked this up at my local library, I had a feeling it would be good, but I wasn't expecting AMAZING. I couldn't put this one down. You could say I had an unending devotion to this book. This novel story and its characters rang true to the title. Moreover, it reminds us of God's unending devotion to His people.

Lilly Young is trying to find her runaway sister. Searching the red-light logging towns, she rescues prostitutes along the way and delivers them to a safe home for
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
“If she had to leave an imprint of herself for all time, she wanted it to reflect the happiness of her life, not the heartache.”

I’ve said this about 37 times before, but Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite authors and reading Unending Devotion sealed the deal. This was such an great novel on every level…the storyline, the characters, the faith lessons and the deeper purpose.

Lily’s devotion to her sister is inspiring and I love the changes Connell goes through. Not only a heartwarming story of
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books
Review on Amazon:
Review on my blog (to be posted 9/17):

Unending Devotion is the first of Jody Hedlund's books I've read, but I don't think it'll be my last. After reading it, I now really want to read her previous novels!

I loved how some of the things in Unending Devotion actually took place in real life and that a few of the characters in this book were real people. It added a lot more meaning to the story and I
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Where I got the book: review copy provided by publisher. This review first appeared on the Historical Novel Society's website and in the Historical Novel Review, issue 63.

This inspirational romance is set in the lumber camps of Central Michigan in 1883. Lily Young’s search for her sister Edith leads her to the shanty towns that house the lumberjacks and the brothels that service them. Protected by the friendly photographer, Oren, for whom she works, Lily believes she can cope with shanty boys
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
A thrilling historical drama by a bestselling author and a fabulous storyteller.

“Unending Devotion” is the latest from the pen of a talented author. I found the story unique from her previous two titles in that the themes were almost a bit…darker. But I actually liked the mood of the story. It broods below the surface as Lily fights to save her sister from prostitution.

Lily is a determined heroine. What she wants she sets her mind too and she wants her sister back. She has honorable
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hard to put this down once I have begun!
An interesting setting of the lumber industry back in 1800s Michigan, of the lumber barons and debauchery that goes on when the shanty boys (lumberjacks) are off work.
Lily's passion in changing the world is admirable, but I find her a tad too stubborn & self righteous, it would be hard to work with her! (glad she realized she is not-so-perfect at the end of the novel)

Sensual for a christian novel, not one I would recommend to teenage girls,
Patricia Kemp Blackmon
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
1883, Central Michigan

Lily and her sister Daisy were orphans and was moved from one place to another. Daisy ran away from adoptive family without even telling Lily she was doing so. Lily was heart broken and was determined to find her sister. She knew that her sister had no skills to get a job and she was so very young. Lily feared Daisy had me forced into white slavery to work in one of the brothels in the lumber camps in Michigan.

Lily was fortunate to be living with an older couple that were
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book in under 24 hours, so that should tell you how interesting and hard-to-put-down it was. :) I have previously read Jody's first book, The Preacher's Bride, and LOVED it. So I was very excited when I found out that I won a copy of Unending Devotion in a giveaway. :) I really, really enjoyed this book, and if it weren't for the large amount of mature content, then I'd give it 5 stars! Jody Hedlund just has a way with her books were you end up reading a lot more that you would think ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
Again, Jody Hedlund has crafted one of the best books I've read all year–probably since I finished reading her second book, The Doctor’s Lady (last November).

There are books that I can tell are books... and then there are books that simply draw me in so far that I’m right there inside the characters. And I don’t want to leave. There are books that take me long days and even weeks to finish because I know I am reading a book... and that I keep having to read the book to see what happens in the
Maureen Timerman
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Unending Devotion is just that. Lily Young will risk everything to find and rescue her sister. Just when she thought her sister was fine and in a good loving home, she learns that she has run away. Now she is looking everywhere in the Michigan logging towns.
When you read that some of the people in this book really existed and were as bad as they are portrayed here as they were in real life. You are looking at the face of pure evil, and the facts that are presented as fiction, some did actually
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: almost-favorites
I really enjoyed this historical Christian romance novel. The protagonist, Lily, was also very driven to rescuing and helping women stuck in prostitution. This theme helped the novel have a level of intrigue. In any case, the novel was well-written, and the characters were well drawn. The only reason this novel is on my almost-favorites list rather than my favorites list is because Lily is so annoying in her naive determination to "save the world." Anyhow, I look forward to reading more of the ...more
Hedlund does a great job addressing a fascinating aspect of history--how the lumber industry in Michigan gave rise to prostitution (some forced) and debauchery in the lumber towns. Not the typical topic for an inspirational fiction story, but Hedlund managed to make it interesting and informative. Lily is a firecracker of a main character, and Connell's struggle to find what his place is in the fight against immortality is so realistic.

Very well written, and stands out from the hundreds of other
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I found that I am not as impressed with this one as I was with her other two books. I feel like this plot and time period have been done before. Maybe it was just my mood when I read it, but it felt overdone to me.
I do really like Hedlund's way of writing though. I think her descriptions are done well and she writes some really fun side characters. I just didn't get into it, so I skimmed till the end. I was more interested in the authors note about the true stories of the lumbering workers and
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I really enjoyed Jody Hedlund's second novel The Doctor's Lady and looked forward to this one. While I liked Lily and Connell well enough, this wasn't a story that truly resonated with me. Although noble, Lily was little too good to be true. The logging aspect was fascinating. The descriptions were vivid and the story had compelling aspects. Fans of historical fiction and Jody Hedlund especially will enjoy it. I found it a nice diversion and an easy, comfortable read.
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Jody Hedlund novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her background research on the lumber industry during that time period was excellent and showed throughout the plot. The storyline really captured my attention and the character development was excellent. I really liked how both Lily and Connell grew and changed in their faith as the story developed. I also thought the prodigal ending was very appropriate.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have finally read this amazing book, and fell in love! I would add more of a review, but I am at a loss for words, because it was beautiful!

Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Oh man. Can I not rate this book? I think I am going to go with 2.5-3 stars.
A couple things:
1) Mature subject. For older teens and adults. The main plot of this book is rescuing girls out of forced prostitution, and the author spares no expense to make sure the reader gets the full experience with every gruesome detail. None of it was really outright inappropriate, but it was there and it was intense and graphic.
2) Because of the evil schemes of the runners of the brothel, the main characters
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I have found a new favorite author. This is only the second book I have read by Jody Hedlund but I am already hooked. I really like her writing style. This book was a lot heavier then the first one I read since it deals with prostitution and white slavery. The villain in this book was actually real, he was not made up by the author. He was evil to the core! He tricked young girls into coming to work in his “hotel” and then would beat them into submission. So so sad!
So, this is a
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved the strong willed lily character and her drive to make a home and family for herself and orphaned sister. Strong values are displayed in lily as she tries to track down her sister that has been taken in by the brothels in Michigan lumber towns.
Connell is my hero. An upstanding man or morals that develops more strength in his convictions to make his town better.
Rachel Brand
I've just finished listening to this novel on audiobook, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the story, there's something that stops me from rating it above 4-stars. It's hard to put my finger on what I didn't love about this book, but ultimately, I think it has something to do with Lily's judgementalness and the holier-than-thou attitude the protagonists had about purity. I know that this accentuated their flawed, realistic characters and that they were challenged about their attitudes towards ...more
Lydia (Overweight Bookshelf)
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Full review here:

Inspired by true events, Unending Devotion places a spotlight on the lumber industry’s apathy towards white slavery and human trafficking in the late 1800s through an emotive and compelling fictional story of one woman’s relentless search for her indentured sister. This book is not only a work of historical fiction, but a medium through which to consider the present state of society and the prolific human trafficking trade that continues
Unending Devotion is a story that was inspired by true events andI LOVED that - it's like history coming alive! It helped the story to stick in my head and I also learned a lot about the Michigan lumber industry in the 1880s.

The subject matter in the book was surprising to me - I wasn't expecting something so...well...shocking. I didn't realize how prevalent sex slavery was in Michigan at that time. I always think of prostitution as being more in the wild wild west at that time in history, but
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ever since I first saw the cover of Unending Devotion, I knew I was going to like the book. I anxiously awaited it to come out and when it did, I quickly got my copy. But somehow the book got buried in my to-read pile and I just now finally got to it! Let me tell you, I wish I hadn’t waited so long because I absolutely loved this book!
Unending Devotion follows the story of Lily Young who is searching for her lost sister throughout the lumber camps of Michigan. Having been orphaned at a young
Keli Gwyn
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hedlund's latest story reeled me in from the start. I fell hard and fast for Connell. Wow! Talk about a hero that is sigh-worthy. This hunky, hardworking, principled logger earned some serious hero points. The more I got to know him, the better I liked him. I enjoyed watching him deal with Lily as she challenges everything he stands for.

Lily is one feisty heroine. There are times her impulsiveness gets her in trouble, but I admire her determination. In an effort to save her sister, she’s willing
This was a creative way to bring the issue of sex slavery in the sex industry to the forefront of our minds once again. While those situations and that industry did exist, this story showed that apathy about something that seems too big to impact (like changing an entire town) can be done if one person is brave enough to take a chance and fight for what is right. Lily saw them as victims, and more than that, people. She didn't reduce them to "whores" in her mind like many of the townspeople, ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 19, 2014 05:29PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 2 Oct 22, 2014 05:15PM  
Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 4 Aug 06, 2014 05:36PM  
Location 9 25 May 08, 2013 06:42PM  
Christian Fiction...: ❀Caitlyn and Dawn❀ Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund 20 15 Nov 29, 2012 03:41PM  
Christian Fiction...: ❀Elizabeth and Rita❀ Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund 1 7 Sep 27, 2012 12:32PM  

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Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that

Other books in the series

Michigan Brides (3 books)
  • A Noble Groom (Michigan Brides, #2)
  • Captured by Love (Michigan Brides, #3)
“When things don't turn out the way we want, about the only thing we can do is know God is still there piecing together all the scraps of the events in our lives the way He has planned. He sees the big picture even when we don't.” 16 likes
“You don't have to let his definition of success be yours” 14 likes
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