Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Review: "Pretending to Wed" by Melissa Jagears

I'm such a sucker for marriage of convenience stories! So I didn't have to think very long when the opportunity to review Pretending to Wed came along. I just said, "Yes, please!"

It’s a match made in heaven, as long as they don’t fall in love!

The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress.

Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow.

When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn't as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren't quite as compatible as they thought?

Pretending to Wed is the second book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like marriage-of-convenience stories that deal with the nitty-gritty of making a relationship work, you’ll love this authentic romance set in a time gone by that tackles issues still relevant for today.

Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: May 28, 2020

This is one of those books that, once I started it, I couldn't put down! I'm always a sucker for a marriage of convenience story, even though many are pretty similar. Pretending to Wed stands out for a couple reasons. 1). Corinne is not your average bride. She's an inventor (a bit of an absentminded professor-type), and she has a past not often talked about in Christian romances (though her experience would be far from unusual). 2). Marital intimacy is a heavy focus of the novel. Not in any salacious way—the actual content on the page is pretty tame—but it's talked about quite a bit.

I loved watching Nolan and Corinne fall for each other, and the conflict within their marriage felt realistic. And I enjoyed the supporting characters, both their friends and enemies. The bad guy was just bad enough to be a threat but not so bad as to be a caricature. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that, while this would not be classified as a romantic comedy, I laughed harder than I've laughed while reading in a long time as I read a certain dinner party scene. It just struck me so funny, and it added a nice bit of levity while still building on the romantic tension.

Now that I've read this book, I want to go back and read the first in the series, and I hope Jagears keeps writing about the citizens of Armelle, Wyoming. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book (affiliate link).
Read my reviews of Jagears' A Bride in Store (4 stars) and A Bride at Last (4 stars).

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a Gift Certificate for the winner’s Choice of Book (up to 16.99 plus S&H) from Melissa’s Local Christian Bookstore, Faith & Life Bookstore, and a signed copy of Pretending to Wed!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Follow the tour:
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 17
Writing from the Heart Land, September 17
Through the Lens of Scripture, September 17
Texas Book-aholic, September 18
Inklings and notions, September 18
For Him and My Family, September 19
Connie’s History Classroom, September 19
deb’s Book Review, September 19
Batya’s Bits, September 20
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 20
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20
lakesidelivingsite, September 21
Genesis 5020, September 21
The Book Chic Blog, September 21
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 22
The Collaborative Press, September 22
Betti Mace, September 22
Sara Jane Jacobs, September 23
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 23
Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 24
Remembrancy, September 24
Wishful Endings, September 24
Life of Literature, September 25
Book Love, September 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Bizwings Blog, September 25
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 26
Bigreadersite, September 26
Labor Not in Vain, September 26
CarpeDiem, September 27
Hookmeinabook, September 27
Splashes of Joy , September 27
Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 28
Artistic Nobody, September 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29
Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, September 29
Blessed & Bookish, September 29
Simple Harvest Reads, September 30 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Maureen’s Musings, September 30
NovelsCorner, September 30

Award winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She lives in Kansas with her husband and three children. Her ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. 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 on the link and make a purchase, I may 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."


  1. Wonderful review! Sounds like a must read. Thank you for sharing.

    1. It's a really good book! Thanks for stopping by, Caryl!

  2. I love marriage of convenience stories... sounds like I should try this one!


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