A Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1   -     By: Melissa Jagears
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A Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1

Bethany House / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764211684
ISBN-13: 9780764211683
Availability: In Stock
Series: Unexpected Brides

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Publisher's Description

"Melissa Jagears is a stand-out talent! Her fresh new voice is strong, stylish, and makes A Bride for Keeps a page-turner for anyone who fancies a stirring love story."
-Rosslyn Elliot, author of Fairer Than Morning and Sweeter Than Birdsong

"A Bride for Keeps
treats readers to an engaging, prairie romance...delivering a heartwarming, satisfying read."
-Maggie Brendan, CBA bestselling author of The Heart of the West and The Blue Willow Brides series.

"Melissa Jagears has penned a tender tale of a mail-order bride who takes both the groom--and herself--by surprise when love comes softly...quietly... to heal their broken hearts."
-Julie Lessman, author of Love at any Cost

"A Bride for Keeps is just beautiful. It put me in mind of Janette Oke's sweet prairie romances but with a bit more edge, which I found compelling...I loved it."
-Mary Connealy, author of Fired Up


Everett Cline will never humiliate himself by seeking a mail-order bride. Not again. He's already been jilted by three mail-order brides and figures a wife just isn't in his future. However, a well-meaning neighbor hasn't given up on seeing him settled, so she goes behind his back to bring yet another woman to town for him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. A mail-order marriage in faraway Kansas is a last resort, but she'll do anything to leave her life in Massachusetts and the heartbreak she's experienced there.

Although Everett doesn't see how a beautiful, cultured woman like Julia could be happy sharing his simple life, he could really use a helpmate on his homestead. Determined to prove she's more than just a pretty face, Julia agrees to a marriage in name only. Faced with the harsh realities of life on the prairie and hesitant to explore the tentative feelings growing between them, can Everett and Julia ever let each other in long enough to fall in love?

Author Bio

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. A Bride for Keeps is her first novel. Find her online at www.melissajagears.com.

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Displaying items 1-5 of 49
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  1. Its About Time Mamaw
    Cleveland, Texas
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Unexpected Brides #1
    March 15, 2014
    Its About Time Mamaw
    Cleveland, Texas
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Everett Cline has been tricked by his close friend and neighbor. His friend has sent for a mail order bride but his neighbor is married. The bride evidently is for Everett. This is not Everett's first attempt to marry a mail order bride and had no desire to try again. But his friend thought otherwise and arranged for a mail order bride for Everett.

    Julia Lockwood had no idea her groom to be knew nothing about her or her arrival. But when all comes to the surface Julia is determined to prove to Everett she was more than a pretty face. She would work hard and show him what a good, if not perfect, helpmate she could be for him.

    I enjoyed this story immensely and it's characters. Everett and his lack of faith in actually claiming a bride. Julia was so determined and learned things she never believed she would ever have done in life. Oh, how special it was to have such loyal and caring friends as their neighbors.

    This was a journey leading to a beautiful romance which grew in faith with God and his path for their future together. They learned to not only trust in each other but in God.

    The cover image caught my attention. Especially the expression on Julia's face. I could not wait to read the book. I was not disappointed. .

    I highly recommend this book.

    Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Baker Publishing for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my honest opinion.
  2. wfnren
    St Cloud, FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    I think this will be a good series!
    March 4, 2014
    wfnren
    St Cloud, FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The last thing Everett Cline wants is another mail-order bride, what does Rachel think she's doing sending for one without even telling him. The town already laughs and talks about his luck with women. I mean who would want to try a fifth time after the first one arriving DOA and the other three marrying other men, one before she even arrived in Kansas. Not only that he'd originally been jilted by Rachel's sister who married a man and moved back east. NO! He does NOT want to go through with this.

    Julia Lockwood feels that men only want her because of her good looks. Her mother died when she was nine years old after Julia 'let' her newborn brother die. According to her father she is to blame for the death of both of them, I don't know who he blamed for all of the other children that were lost, Julia was the only child that survived. Her father used her for a pretty pawn and he was forcing her to marry a man who only wanted her fathers business. When her fiancee pushes her too far and ruins her, Julia knows she has to run. After answering Rachel's ad for a mail-order bride and becoming friends, she goes to Kansas. Then when she's attacked again, in Kansas, she has even stronger feelings about not having a complete marriage or ever having children.

    This was a good story about the struggles some mail-order couples went through. Melissa keeps you reading and pulling for the two to 'JUST TALK' to each other. One trusts God to get them through, the other doesn't think they are good enough for God to care about. It looks like this is going to be a great series.
  3. Heidi
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Likeable characters
    February 21, 2014
    Heidi
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    While I loved the premise, the characters, and many of the situations the characters were in, the continued lack of communication made it hard for the plot to progress, and the characters repeatedly stewed over the same issues throughout. I enjoyed the author's voice and will definitely be reading her next novel!
  4. Andee Marie
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Twist on a Well-loved Classic
    January 24, 2014
    Andee Marie
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Who doesn't love a mail-order bride story? Hard-working farmer in a harsh, untamed land that's short on women--pretty or otherwise--places an advertisement for a wife. Beautiful (or not), down on her luck Eastern girl with nowhere else to turn answers the ad and heads west to face whatever adventures life has in store. It spells a page-turner every time. But what will that farmer do if the girl decides the farmer, or his farm, is just not good enough and she backs out? How many times will he try?

    That's a story I had never read until A Bride for Keeps.

    Melissa Jagears has taken the well-loved frame of the mail-order bride story and turned it on its ear with a jaded hero who has sworn off mail-order brides, and a wounded heroine who wants nothing to do with intimacy of any kind. Mix in Everett's irresistible goodness (that shows through despite his best efforts to hide it)--to say nothing of his good looks--and Julia's beauty and vulnerability, and you have a tale sure to win a place in readers' hearts, and on their keeper shelves.

    I loved Everett and Julia. My heart broke for the pain that stood between them and happiness. I constantly rooted for them to overcome it and grasp with both hands the love that was staring them in the face. When they finally do, it's in a scene that may be one of the most beautiful romantic resolutions I've ever read...and that's saying A LOT!

    The secondary characters are beautifully done as well. From Dex and Rachel Stanton, whom we met in the novella Love by the Letter, to some of the ladies who jilted Everett before Julia's arrival, the minor characters create a community that not only anchors this story in time and place, but also beckons readers to return for more in future novels.
  5. Rebekah M
    Chicago, IL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    LOVED the characters!
    January 20, 2014
    Rebekah M
    Chicago, IL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Bride for Keeps begins with Everett Cline, a man who has had zero luck with women. Julia Lockwood is a woman desperate for a home and a protector. Together they agree to a makeshift marriage, leading to a very long road of love, faith, and hope.

    The things I loved about this book— the CHARACTERS! You fall in love with Everett and Julia right away. Everett has been three times jilted and he is afraid to hope so he hardens his heart towards Julia. When he attempts to make it right, he turns into the sweetest man. Julia is scared of being hurt again and she's afraid she's only worth her looks. When she finally sees her worth through God's eyes that made the story for me. And while I loved Everett and Julia, I must say that the secondary characters stole the show! Dex, Rachel, and their children were kind, generous, and simply hilarious! There were times when I just reread a moment with them and just laughed.

    The things I did not like about this book—the plot was not unlike many other historical fiction, prairie based books I've read. That's not to say that I didn't love this one! A Bride for Keeps was different, because it made me laugh and cry and it kept me reading for the entire night! It caught my attention and kept it. But I still wasn't thrilled about the repetitiveness of the story. There were times when I wanted to scream at the characters, "Gosh! Just wake up and realize you love each other and get on with your life already!" Julia certainly frustrated me to no end at some points.

    Overall I would recommend this book because it did make me feel what the characters were feeling. Be it joy or pain I couldn't help but sympathize even when I was annoyed. A Bride for Keeps is a love story, yes. But it was also a story of forgiveness, redemption, and moving on. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

    **I received this book for free from Bethany House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are completely my own.
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