Friday, August 28, 2020

Review: "Almost a Bride" by Jody Hedlund

After loving Jody Hedlund's first three Bride Ships novels, I was thrilled to discover she had another one releasing!

Always close, but never a bride.

Longing to find true love, Kate Millington arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship. With countless men waiting to snag a bride, Kate has no trouble getting engaged. It’s staying engaged that’s the problem. After traveling to the remote mining town of Williamsville to marry her newest fiancé, she finds herself single again.

As the prosperous owner of a gold mine, Zeke Hart has everything he’s ever wanted except for a wife. At Kate’s arrival, he takes it upon himself to protect his childhood friend from the men clamoring to court her. The more he renews her friendship, the more he wants to win her for himself. But as much as Kate admires Zeke, she’s resolved not to marry someone who doesn’t share her faith.

When Zeke begins receiving anonymous threats, he unwittingly puts them both in grave danger. In the midst of peril, the past rises up to haunt them both, and Zeke realizes the fight for Kate’s affection may be his biggest challenge yet.

Though this is set more than a century earlier, I couldn't help but think of the movie Runaway Bride while I was reading Almost a Bride. Kate has been engaged multiple times, married none ... and each breakup was of her own doing. When she arrives in Williamsville, she realizes she cannot marry her current fiancé ... and she runs into Zeke, her longtime crush from back home. Zeke finally sees her has a woman, not as his best friend's little sister, but he doesn't share her faith, which is a deal breaker.

I enjoyed Zeke and Kate together—they certainly weren't lacking in the chemistry department—and, while I didn't love the way Zeke cautioned other men away from Kate and pursued her even when she asked him not to, those actions just highlighted how much of a difference Christ made in his life later on. But Kate was a difficult character for me to love. I could understand why she was so skittish about marriage, but her pattern of encouraging men she didn't want to marry and getting engaged and then breaking it off got on my nerves. Also, her (wise) insistence that she would only marry someone who shared her faith was puzzling in the way she applied that standard, as one of the men she was considering claimed to be a believer but had zero discernible fruit and even attempted to murder someone!

Hands down, my favorite part of this novel was Mr. Peabody, Zeke's butler/chef/caretaker. What a hoot! His scheming to get Zeke and Kate together was a riot, and I just wholeheartedly embraced his character. I hope Hedlund can find a way to incorporate him into another book!

While this may be my least favorite of the Bride Ships novels, it's still a very good book. I highly recommend it to fans of historical romance. 4 stars.

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