Character Spotlight ~ Jody Hedlund’s Carl & Annalisa

A Noble GroomMeet a German widow & a fugitive nobleman in

Jody Hedlund’s

historical romance

A Noble Groom


The Story

Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can’t prove it. Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

For nobleman Carl von Reichart, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He’s been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn’t commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he’ll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa’s farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.

Annalisa senses that Carl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He’s gentle, kind, and romantic–unlike any of the men she’s ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love–but her true groom is still on his way. And time is running out on them all.

Enjoy meeting Carl & Annalisa

Carl Richards

Brief physical description

He’s dark eyed and dark haired and has the regal features of a nobleman. Since he’s never done a day of hard labor in his life, he starts out the book pale like A Noble Groom-Carlbuttermilk biscuits. But by the end after months of farming, he’s bronzed like ripened wheat.


I imagined him with the looks of Keanu Reeves. But I like the cover model on the book so much more! I don’t think there could be a better representation!

Strengths and weaknesses

His strengths are that he’s optimistic, doesn’t take life too seriously, is sensitive, and thoughtful. He’s especially sweet to Gretchen (the heroine’s little daughter) giving her horsey-rides on his back and calling her a princess.

His weaknesses are that he tends to run away from problems rather than staying to fight through the challenges. Along with that, he’s always had his rich father there to bail him out of trouble so that he’s never really had to take responsibility and make his own way in the world.

Quirk (if any)

Carl is a scientist and inventor, so he’s always curious about the inner workings of things. He likes to tinker with mechanisms, fix them, and make them work better.

Annalisa Werner

Brief physical description

She’s thin from constant hunger, but is tawny from hard work. Her hair is the color of sun-warmed hay and her eyes like evening sky right after sunset. She often wears her hair in a braid and has a smattering of freckles across her nose.


I found a really beautiful picture on Daniella Marie’s blog. The picture looks the way I imagined Annalisa, especially with the long thick braid.
Jody Hedlund's Annalisa

Strengths and weaknesses

Annalisa’s strengths are that she really loves her daughter Gretchen and wants to give her a better life someday. She works hard without complaining and has the drive to try to save her farm.

Annalisa’s weaknesses are that she’s given up on believing in love. After having a disappointing and loveless marriage with her first husband, she has relegated love to fairy tales. She also often lets fear control her and has lost faith that God loves and listens to her.

Quirk (if any)

Annalisa loves to bake. She doesn’t often have many ingredients or much food to spare for her baking. But she has become known for her delicious pies. And of course, Carl, falls in love with her baking just about the time he falls in love with her too!

Your inspiration for the characters

I chose to focus on this German immigrant farming community because of my own German roots. My father’s family immigrated from Germany and eventually many of them became farmers. My dad grew up on a big farm in central Wisconsin, and even though he later became a Lutheran pastor, he carried his love of farming and gardening over into our family when I was growing up. I spent my summers snapping beans, shucking peas, freezing corn, and canning tomatoes that came from his enormous garden.

Background to the story

As I was studying Michigan history and browsing through research books, I ran across a community of German immigrants that settled in the Thumb area of Michigan.

This particular group had immigrated from Saxony Germany to Sanilac County Michigan and formed Colonial Saxonia. As miners, they had originally intended to settle in the Upper Peninsula and mine there, but due to reports on the severity of the weather in the northern parts of Michigan, they decided to settle instead further south, in Forestville.

The land around Forestville had once been a former logging community and was being parceled off and sold in forty-acre tracts to potential farmers. The land was covered with a tangle of dead trees, stumps, and fast growing brush. The soil was rich for farming but would take an incredible amount of hard work to clear and make suitable for the kind of farming that would support the families.

In writing A Noble Groom, I wanted to bring to life this era and the difficulty these immigrants faced in settling in a strange land.

Annalisa Photo Credit: Craig Owen, styling by Marina Didovich, for Fashion NZ, via Dustjacket Attic

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of Unending Devotion, The Doctor’s Lady, and The Preacher’s Bride
Character spotlight on Lily & Connell
Q&A with Jody
Character spotlight on Eli & Priscilla
Visit Jody’s website and blog
Buy A Noble Groom at Amazon or Koorong

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3 Responses to Character Spotlight ~ Jody Hedlund’s Carl & Annalisa

  1. This made me smile because…. I am reading the book RIGHT NOW and so far, so good! Cannot wait to get to the part where they meet each other. Annalisa has suffered too much and Glory be, something gooood is finally coming her way.

    Thanks for sharing, Jody and Rel!

  2. I really enjoyed this book!

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