Riding the Orphan Train

It’s not news that I enjoy reading—whether it’s an ebook on my phone or a physical “breathe in the scent” paperback—but I’ve not been one to listen to audiobooks. I find it easier to snatch rare moments reading on my phone, like while I fold washing or sit in the school car park waiting for my girls each weekday afternoon.

But audiobooks? I never thought they’d work with my lifestyle.

Miss F prefers audiobooks to reading, so I borrowed a library audiobook last year and semi-enjoyed the experience. (I did struggle with what to do while “reading” since I can’t sit and listen to a story for long.) Then in early December 2023, Audible offered a 3-month subscription for 99 cents.

How could I refuse such an offer?

I still prefer reading, but I’ve enjoyed the switch up and even broke my rule of only reading one book at a time… because an audiobook doesn’t count. 😉🙊

My first Audible borrow was Jody Hedlund’s historical romance Orphan Train series, and I enjoyed each story.

An Awakened Heart is a wonderfully heartbreaking introduction to the series. This novella sets the scene for the first book, so I suggest you read it first (not last, like Amazon has this book listed). We meet the “main players” in this short story, receive important context and familial information, and see why the Neumann sisters think and act the way they do.

With You Always is a forbidden love story between the near-destitute Elise Neumann and Thornton Quincy, a man on a mission to prove his worth to his wealthy father and mean-spirited twin brother. Ms Hedlund sprinkled her signature “sweet spice” throughout, with several “Where’s my fan?” fiery kisses. 🔥🔥

Together Forever is a love story overshadowed with grief and “what if’s”. Marianne Neumann and Drew Brady are both broken, giving what’s left of themselves to the orphaned children of New York City. As I read, I wondered how much trauma and disappointment two individuals could endure. The answer? A lot.

Searching For You is a marriage of convenience romance between Sophie Neumann and Reinhold Weiss. Reinhold stars in all the previous books, but shines most in this romance as he walks fully in his farming life. This novel completes the series with a fabulous mix of angst, friendship, simmering passion (there’s that “sweet spice” again! 🔥🔥), and an important reminder that God loves us despite our stains.

Are you an avid audiobook listener? Have you read any of Jody Hedlund’s books (I have!)? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

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