Melissa Jagears has written a lovely, romantic mail-order bride story for our reading pleasure. Besides the beautiful cover, the theme of a marriage of convenience, memorable characters and plenty of swoon-worthy romance make this a novel that will definitely be on my re-read list.
The hero has had one girlfriend jilt him and three unsuccessful attempts at marriage to three different mail-order brides. After going through some bad experiences, the heroine feels like marriage is her only option to survive in life. These two come together in a rocky relationship at the start, but with perseverance, apologies, God, hard work and good friends they are able to make this marriage work.
I loved how the author was able to flesh out each character and gives the reader a sympathy for the personal difficulties that the hero and heroine face. The friends of the couple were given a good amount of page time without being in your face. There's a little bit of a villain, but he's more of an obstacle in their lives. I'm very glad because too many times villains get brought in and ruin perfectly good romance books. Oh, this book was also refreshing because there were only two viewpoints! Yay! I'm getting so tired of couples not getting enough page time together because of all the other friends' and villain's viewpoints. More couple time together, please, even if they're fighting, friendly or flirting. This book gave us all three of these instances and I loved that. The romance was beautiful with lots of moments and chemistry between the couple. Melissa did a great job with getting a good amount of romance/passion without going over the line. I appreciated that. The spiritual aspects of the book don't come to the forefront until about half-way through the novel, but they are well-written. Salvation and God's love are brought forward to complete this heart-felt, emotional story. Cannot wait to see what her next novel will be.
This novel reminded me a lot of Lori Wick's writing style in her older books. If you love Lori Wick or Karen Witemeyer than you will enjoy Melissa Jagears' book.
I was looking forward to Melissa Jagears after reading an excerpt of a work she's written. From the very beginning, ''A Bride for Keeps'' simply drew me in and I found its concept truly fascinating âˆ’ a woman running away from her past comes across a man who secretly nurses his own wounds, having been rejected time and time again. What both of them don't know is that their struggles are strikingly similar. The hero exudes a stark vulnerability that is not frequently seen in fictional male characters. Both Julia and Everett are beautifully complex and out of their struggles to adapt with each other, rises thought-provoking lessons that genuinely took me by surprised.
The depth of this story is simply phenomenal. What do you do when you've been rejected countless times, leaving you with a conviction that should you come across another chance, it'll soon disappear, finding you unworthy? The theme of fear plays a major role in ''A Bride for Keeps'' and using an engaging writing style, Jagears definitely leaves a reader pondering on it long after turning the last page.
Unfortunately, however, I have to admit something that hindered me from awarding five stars to this story. This had me wavering in my rating for it. As previously mentioned, I enjoyed the complexity of Julia's character but I thought she could have been a softer one. She's very, very stubborn âˆ’ insisting for example, to work herself to death when Everett continually tries to persuade her not to do so. Her obstinacy not only slowed the pace of the story, it affected the romance between her and the hero. At times, I really couldn't bring myself to believe in their relationship and this had me skipping some parts just to get to the conclusion of the story (Everett was very sweet, though âˆ’ toward the end, especially).
Nonetheless, Julia's stubbornness raises an important question, in my eyes. How many times have we wanted to have it our own way, oblivious to the fact that someone else knows better than us? I don't know about anyone else but the truths that ran through ''A Bride for Keeps'' really grabbed me and even now, refuse to let me go. In light of this, I give it 4 stars and truly encourage the author to keep going. Her debut novel is a very good read.
This is my honest review. Many thanks to Bethany House for a copy of the book.
What a fantastic read. From page one to the very last page this author draws you into the story. If this is Melissa Jagears debut book I can't wait to see what follows! She has made a fan out of me. I finished this book early this morning and I thought about it off and on all day. It made that big of an impact on me.
If you want to know how hard it was to live in the west in 1876 this book is for you. The characters are lovable, well most of them are, and the hardships are plenty. Brides are hard to find and men are lonely.
Everett Cline needs a wife and Julia Lockwood needs to escape from her life in the East. Is she making a mistake agreeing to become a wife to a man she doesn't even know?
This is the most touching book I have read in a long time. Many Christian fiction books refer to God and even quote scripture, however, the message that Melissa Jagears includes toward the end of this book between Everett and Julia made my heart overflow. Such a tender and intimate invitation for a man to extend to a woman. What a great God moment.
If you are reading my review I urge you to purchase a copy of this book. You are going to love it!
I won this book from Bethany House, thank you. I wasn't required to write a review. It was my pleasure to do so. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
I read "Bride for Keeps" as a free book by Bethany House as a book reviewer. I will have to say it is one of the best books that I have ever read. Of course, I love anything prairie. The book is about Everett, a local town guy who has had really bad luck with women. He had failures at four mail order brides. His neighbor went behind his back and orders him a bride. Julia is running from her past.
Everett and Julia decide to marry for convience, will they ever fall in love. She is a rich girl from Boston and isn't used to the poor ways of life on the prairie.
You must read the book to find out. It is one of those books you just can't put down. Recommend highly.
I really enjoyed this debut novel by Melissa Jagears. This is the story of Julia and Everett. What a moving mail order bride tale!
After being jilted by his sweetheart years ago, Everett set out to find himself a mail order bride for companionship as well as need for help around his farm. Three attempts and three failures later, he has given up. His friends, however, have not given up! Much to Everett's surprise, his new mail order bride has arrived!
Julia is typical of many mail-order brides in that she has something in her past that she is trying to escape from. Where Julia strays from the norm is that her past includes a very traumatic event that is going to make it extremely difficult to trust a man ever again.
When these two marry, will Everett be able to open himself up to his new bride, even after being jilted so many times before? Will Julia ever be able to trust Everett and be the wife he desires?
I found these characters to be very well written. Julia's fear is completely understandable, as is Everett's frustration with her! Watching these two find love is thoroughly enchanting!
I received a copy of A Bride for Keeps from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.