A Reluctant Bride (2019)

About the Book

Book: A Reluctant Bride

Series: The Bride Ships #1

Author: Jody Hedlund

Release Date: June 4, 2019

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

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My Thoughts

Wowzers, what did I just read?! A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund is AMAZING. I loved every single second of this outstanding story. I was captivated from page one and absolutely refused to put this book down. I may have also stayed up way past my bedtime a couple of times reading. It’s been a minute since a book has captured my heart and my interest so all-encompassingly. I was blown away by the premise for this book — women from all walks of life choosing to get on a ship, leave everything they know to go to a land they have no understanding of so they can marry a total stranger. And this isn’t fiction. This is real history. Women actually did this. This fact alone was enough to fully captivate me. I had to know why a women would do this. But this is not the only reason why I loved this book so much. I absolutely adore Mercy and Joseph. Individually, they are remarkable people, but together they are a force to be reckoned with. Mercy is so good and loving. She genuinely cares about others and she is a natural nurse. She has the kind of character I aspire to: loyal, loving, eager to learn, willing to grow after facing her demons, and kind (oh my word, is she so, so kind). Joseph is the best hero. He is handsome, highly intelligent, and protective. He is also willing to learn and make correction when necessary — such a valuable trait! The best aspect to his character, however, is how he sees others. Joseph is a member of the British aristocracy. He was born into wealth and luxury, and has never known a minute of hunger or thirst. One would think that he might lean towards arrogance and superiority, but he does not. Joseph became a medical doctor and serves all people in need regardless of social class. He genuinely cares about humans and does all he can to help them, heal them, restore them to health. When he meets Mercy, he is able to see her true, beautiful heart and cannot help but be drawn to her. The chemistry between Mercy and Joseph is flammable, and I loved every second of their journey to love.

I could gush and gush about this book for hours, but I don’t want to risk spoiling anything. Suffice to say, A Reluctant Bride has definitely made my top-ten list of favorites books read in 2023. This story is SO, SO good. I highly recommend it. If you have not yet read this book, I implore you to purchase a copy ASAP. You will not regret your purchase!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on July 11, 2019, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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