Monday, September 29, 2014

"a bride in store" by melissa jagears

A mail order bride story with a twist, A Bride in Store is sure to satisfy lovers of historical fiction.

Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn't even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel's business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend's mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store--where she quickly proves she's much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they're willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams—or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

It's no secret that I love marriage of convenience stories. Most mail order bride plot lines fall into that category, so that's what I was expecting when I picked up A Bride in Store. (Obviously, I didn't read the description too carefully!) However, this novel—about a woman who finds herself falling in love with the best friend of her intended groom—is perhaps even more satisfying that a traditional mail order bride story because of the additional layers of guilt and questioning the woman faces. I also love that Eliza isn't your typical romantic heroine. She's not a classic beauty—or even a beauty at all—but she becomes beautiful to those who get to know her.

Will and Eliza are both great characters who are a bit too stubborn for their own good! And that leads to really my only complaint with the novel—Will and Eliza's stubbornness results in a failure to communicate that is basically the driving force of the middle third of the novel, and I felt like that part drug on about 50 pages too long. But overall, A Bride in Store is a great look at both small-town Kansas and some very endearing characters. This is the second book in Melissa Jagears' Unexpected Brides series (there's also a novella), but it stands alone. However, the couples from both book one and the novella appear in this book, and I definitely want to go back and read their stories now! 4 stars.

Buy the book.
Get Jagears' Unexpected Brides novella, Love by the Letter, free for Kindle!

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through its book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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