Saturday, July 4, 2020

Review: "A Bride of Convenience" by Jody Hedlund

A new Jody Hedlund book is always cause for celebration!

Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime.

Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he's devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she's marrying another man.

With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.

Once I got past the fact that the heroine of this novel shares a name with the title character of the CW show Hart of Dixie, I really loved reading it! (Seriously, there's probably a decent overlap in Jody Hedlund fans and romantic comedy-drama lovers, so I can't be the only one to notice ...)

A Bride of Convenience has taken over the top spot as my favorite of Hedlund's Bride Ships novels! I mean ... a marriage of convenience coupled with Hedlund's trademark romantic chemistry? How could I not love it?

I absolutely loved Zoe's spunk and her determination to care for the children God placed in her path. And Abe's concern for the miners, even at the potential cost to his relationship with his superior the bishop, was inspiring. Abe's dilemma—serving God or man, which is even more complicated by the fact that the person most in opposition to what Abe felt called to do was the bishop—is something we all can identify with, and I thought his struggle felt authentic.

And then there's the romance! I love Jody Hedlund's romances because of the intense chemistry between characters, and that's certainly true of Zoe and Abe. Because of the way they got married (which led me to chuckle a few times), they had plenty of things to work through ... but chemistry was never their problem!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the humor in this novel. I can't recall laughing so much while reading a Jody Hedlund novel before! Much of the humor came because of Zoe and Abe's sudden marriage, and it added a welcome levity to the story. (I'm still chuckling as I think of the scene in the mercantile.)

Basically, from start to finish, I was completely immersed in this novel. I only wish it didn't have to end! 5 stars.

Note: While this is the third in the series, it can be read without having first read the other novels. Abe is a character in The Runaway Bride, and the main characters of that novel (Pete and Arabella) do play minor roles in this story, as do a few other overlapping characters. But you don't need any knowledge of them to enjoy this story.

Buy the book (affiliate link).
Read my reviews of the other Bride Ships novels A Reluctant Bride (5 stars) and The Runaway Bride (4-1/2 stars), as well as other 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

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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