Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Review: "A Reluctant Bride" by Jody Hedlund

You know a book is good when you read it late into the night. That's what happened to me while reading A Reluctant Bride. It's a good thing I'm on vacation and didn't need to get up in the morning, as I read until 1:30 a.m. in order to finish it!

After facing desperate heartache and loss, Mercy agrees to escape a bleak future in London and join a bride ship. Wealthy and titled, Joseph leaves home and takes to the sea as the ships surgeon to escape the pain of losing his family. He has no intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, they must fight against a forbidden love.

I love how Jody Hedlund chooses to highlight lesser-known historical events in her novels. A Reluctant Bride is about the bride ship Tynemouth that took women to British Columbia to find work and, hopefully, become brides. I'd never heard of the bride ships before, but apparently several went from England to British Columbia in the 1860s.

Eager to escape a desperate situation in London and at the urging of her sister, Mercy signs up to take the Tynemouth to a new life in British Columbia. What she doesn't realize until she's on board is that the women aren't just going to find jobs—they're going to find husbands. After witnessing her mother's many relationships, Mercy has no desire to ever marry ... but Joseph, the ship's doctor whose station is far above Mercy's own, may just change her mind.

I loved every single thing about this novel! The history (fascinating), the romance (swoony), the life lessons (applicable today)—everything was wonderful! I especially loved Mercy's determination to do the right thing, even when it came at a high cost. And I thought Joseph made a great hero—not perfect by any means, but seeking to follow God. And the two of them together? Wonderful.

If you're a fan of historical romance, you can't do any better than a Jody Hedlund novel, and this one easily ranks up there with her best. 5 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of other Jody Hedlund novels.

Jody Hedlund is the award-winning author of multiple novels, including the Beacons of Hope and Orphan Train series, as well as Captured by Love and Rebellious Heart. She holds a bachelor's degree from Taylor University and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Jody lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. Learn more at jodyhedlund.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links; this means if you click the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small 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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