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 bookâ€” 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 bookâ€”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.
A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers.
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.
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?
I am not a huge fan of romances, but give me a mail-order bride story and I'm going to love it - guaranteed! This book was no different, despite a couple things I feel the need to mention along a negative vein. I felt this novel was focusing too much on the lack of a physical relationship between the characters, instead of developing that emotional bond that comes from just being together. That is the best part about mail order bride stories; the evolution of watching two characters grow closer together romantically. This writing was repetitive with emotions, situations and thoughts, and it did get tiring reading about it over and over.
Now to the stuff I really liked about the book! There was no sub-plot in this novel, and while that usually makes a book better, in this case, I enjoyed not having one. Having a sub-plot may have helped the repetitiveness I mentioned earlier, but Everett and Julia had enough drama between the two of them, it simply wasn't needed. There were times I wanted them to sit down and talk things out, but I was highly amused by the cat-and-mouse game they played for a while before the story was concluded. For a while it seemed as if they are going to go break things off - but doesn't every good story have some impossible situation/circumstance that gets overcome at the last possible moment?
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
Loved Bride for Keeps, a sweeping romantic novel placed on the homestead. Author Melissa Jagears has an effortless style of writing that allows you to get lost in the story. The characters and their unlikely romance caught my attention in the first chapters and kept it until the end. A story of love, loss, humor, and mail order brides, with a charming setting depicting life on the homestead. I would recommend Bride for Keeps to anyone who enjoys a good Christian Romance.
I would rate this book a 4.5. It was a great book, but not quite a 5 quality. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It is Melissa Jagears's debut novel, so I did not set my expectations high. I loved the story plot. This was a mail order bride story with a twist, the groom did not order the bride and he was not expecting her. Julia did not want to marry Everett and Everett did not want to be hurt by another woman and marry Julie. They both knew that they had to get married for convenience. Everett and Julia both started to develop feelings for each other, but they also both tried to ignore those feelings. Both of them had valid reasons for oppressing their feelings, but after a while I just wanted to yell at them to get over it and go tell the person how they feel. The reason why I did not give the book a 5 is because after a while it started to get old. There were times when I just wanted to tell Julia to stop being so scared to love her husband. Eventually things did turn around, but I had to wait until the end. I liked Everett and Julie as well as Rachel. The characters enhanced the appeal of the book in my opinion. I look forward to reading future novels by Melissa Jagears. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.
A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears is a most delightful story about mail order brides and all the problems that can occur when they arrive at their destination. Everett Cline is having problems keeping up with all the work on his farm so he decides to write for a mail-order bride. To say that Everett is unlucky when it comes to mail-order brides is putting it mildly. Though technically not a mail-order bride the first woman jilted him, the second was dead when she arrived, the third was already married to the town's shopkeeper when she disembarked from the train, and the fourth left after a week for a man with a larger farm. Everett is determined to never write for another mail-order bride but Rachel, the wife of Everett's good friend, decides to write for Everett but does not tell him until the bride arrives on the train. When Everett sees Julie he is sure that she will never marry him for she is the prettiest woman he has ever seen and he just knows that she will not want a farmer for a husband. Julie Lockwood left her home in Massachusetts to become a mail-order bride in Kansas for she finally had all she could take of being nothing but a pretty face for her father or simply a business acquisition for her former fiance. Everett is sure that Julie cannot be happy as the wife of a farmer and Julie does not want to ever get married, but after a short time, they decide to marry but it will be a marriage in name only and this leads to all kinds of problems that make for a great story.
All the characters in the story were very well developed and each one came to life as I read about them and by the time I finished the book I felt as if I had several new friends. Not only was the dialogue well done but at times it was very entertaining. Quite a bit of action took place in the story and it was so well written that I was right there in the middle of everything that was happening. I even felt the pain when Julie broke her leg. At times there was even some suspense in the story for I was wondering if Everett and Julie would ever come to love each other.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good historical romance novel set in the early days of the American West.
LibraryThing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.