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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: A Daring Sacrifice (An Uncertain Choice #2) by Jody Hedlund

A Daring Sacrifice (An Uncertain Choice #2)
by Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Pages: 224
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings, Christian
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: 3 stars
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In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she's grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she's come to despise.


I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, I have to put it out there and say that this drew me in because of the synopsis. When I read that it was a Robin Hood retelling with a female Robin Hood character I was immediately on board for this. And, if I'm completely honest, the cover also had some sway in drawing me in. I mean, just look at it! It is breathtaking and the colors are gorgeous! 

What I liked
The characters are by far my favorite thing about this book. They are engaging, intense, and their chemistry is incredible! And not just the chemistry between Collin and Juliana, the two main characters, but the chemistry between all of the characters is written perfectly and believably. I couldn't get enough of these characters.

The story itself if fantastic. I love the Robin Hood retelling aspect of this story. The story is very strong and has all of the elements needed to make it a pleasing read. 

I loved the main character, Juliana. She is strong and wants to do right by her people no matter the consequence to herself. She was a delight to read about because she is so admirable. 

I enjoyed the epilogue. So many books have abrupt endings that leave you wondering what happened to everyone. The epilogue in this book was very satisfying while still leaving room for the next book in this series.

What I didn't like
I thought that the story slowed a little bit when Juliana was taken to Collin's home. It seemed like the only thing that was going on was the romance, and there was so much more opportunity to add to the story. I think that adding more mystery or even perhaps a betrayal involving Irene or perhaps a servant could have proven to be a great plot twist.

On the previous note, I think that adding to the story in general would have been a great addition to the story. The story is good, but it could be that much better with more added to it. The story is a little short for my liking. 

I didn't much care for all of the religious things included in the book, but that may be personal preference. The characters seemed to pray an awful lot and talk about their maker. It just seemed to have a religious overtone that I could have done without. It didn't really take away from the story being told, but it did stand out in my mind while I was reading. In the end I chocked it up to people from that time being a religious bunch and kept on reading.

Would I Recommend It

I would, yes. Overall, this is a wonderful read. There is action, romance, and a solid story with a moral. There is a strong female character that you will fall in love with! If you like Robin Hood or stories in that setting then you will love this! 

Excerpt from A Daring Sacrifice

I didn’t know what about him drew me, except that he was kind and concerned about me in a way I hadn’t experienced in a long time. Even though Bulldog cared about me as fiercely as if I were his own daughter, he never hugged me. He expected me to be tough, like a man. And I always had been.
But with Collin . . . He had a way about him—a tenderness—that seemed to break through the hard walls I’d built around myself.
I nestled my nose against the silkiness of his tunic and breathed in his spicy scent.
His hand cupped the small of my back and pressed me nearer, so that his chin rested against my head. In the short time I’d known him, it hadn’t taken me long to realize he was kinder and sweeter than any man I’d ever known.
“Tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it,” he whispered again. “I’ll do anything for you.”
I closed my eyes at the comfort that came from his words. I’d had to be strong for so long. I’d had to fight and scrap and struggle to stay alive. Everyone else depended upon me. And it felt so good to lean on someone else for a change and to know I wasn’t alone.
He held me quietly for a long moment. In a distant stable, the baying of a hunting hound rose in the night air. But otherwise, the orchard was silent, and the steady thud of Collin’s heart filled me with peace.
What would it be like to stop fighting? To stop thieving? To stop living in the woods? What would it be like to return to a normal life, one where I wasn’t hunting every day or being hunted by those who wanted me dead?
I shook my head and pulled back from Collin. “No. There’s nothing you can do.” I spoke the words sadly at first. But then the hopelessness of my life crashed back into me and renewed my anger. As long as Uncle lived, there was very little chance that my friends or I would ever be able to move out of our secret homes deep in the forest. We would have to hide there for the rest of our days, continuing to find ways to survive as best we could.
Revolt was out of the question. Look where it had gotten Father—he’d been mortally wounded during the uprising he'd led. Friends had brought him back to his hut where I'd been able to say good-bye to him before Bulldog had dragged me away into hiding. I'd heard that not long after our leaving, Father had been captured. Even though he'd been bleeding to death, Uncle’s men had still tortured him in the most hideous fashion.
Collin brushed a wisp of hair off my cheek. “There’s got to be something I can do to make you happy. Something I can give you.”
I wished there was. I wished there was a way to change everything. But the reality was that I would have to return to the forest at the end of the week. And maybe with Collin’s purse of gold and the diamond necklace, I wouldn’t have to resort to thieving for a while.
“Let’s just follow through with our bargains to one another,” I said, putting more distance between us. “That’s all I want.”
If only that really was all I wanted.

Taken from A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund Copyright © 2016 by Zondervan. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances including books for adults and youth. She currently makes her home in central Michigan with her husband and their five busy children.

As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.

She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.

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