1. A Reluctant Bride, #1
    A Reluctant Bride, #1
    Jody Hedlund
    Bethany House / 2019 / Trade Paperback
    $9.99 Retail: $15.99 Save 38% ($6.00)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 57 Reviews
4.8 Stars Out Of 5
4.8 out of 5
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Quality:
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Value:
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.9 out Of 5
(4.9 out of 5)
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazing beginning to a new series!
    June 14, 2019
    Mia
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Jody Hedlund always baffles me with her keen eye for history and ability to really bring the context alive.

    My heart hurt for Mercy and the other immigrants whose lives have not always been kind to them.

    Jody also has a deft hand to write a believable character who walks the thin line of finding contentment despite having so little (as in, she's never had a cloke in her life). Mercy Wilkins is worthy of her name, but I mostly loved how Jody chose this to be because of the influence of her sister, Patience, and not a naive characteristic.

    Her compassionate heart will definitely bewilder aristocrat and doctor Joseph Coville. He has completely turned his back on society and traveled the world to fulfill what he believes to be his calling. In reality, Joseph never expected to inherit the title as it belonged to his elder brother. But cholera in one fistful event took those he held dear, and now Joseph avoids, though his dear friend Dr. Bates would way runs from, anything that reminds him of his grief.

    These two characters have nothing in common it seems having grown up in such divergent circumstances. But a heart that beats solidly for the same cause might just have its way in joining two unlikely people.
  2. Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Historical Fiction!
    June 14, 2019
    LifeofLiterature
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Jody Hedlund pens another winner! It did not take long for me to fall in love with the characters in this novel, for they are realistic with trials that pull at your emotions and make you connect with them as a reader. The plot is interesting and the author gives exquisite details about a fascinating part of history. There is conflict in the story to keep you as a reader guessing and wanting to learn more, and I found myself staying up way too late one evening to finish it! I always look forward to great historical books by this author and I am pleased that this new series is off to a fantastic start! I most highly recommend this book!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions of the review are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.
  3. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good, but leaves out something really important
    June 13, 2019
    ReviewsByErin
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Mercy Wilkins lives in one of the poorest sections of London. She's grown up assisting with the care of her siblings and neighboring children, and has often seen sickness and disease carry them away. Work of any decent kind is hard to find in 1862, much less if you are a young woman, but Mercy is determined to make a way for herself and to continue to help others. After seeing the struggles that come with marriage and motherhood, she promises herself she'll do everything she can to avoid both.

    At the urging of her sister Patience, Mercy agrees to travel to British Columbia under the care of the Columbia Mission Society. They are promising a new life in a new land desperate for female workers -- and brides. It isn't until Mercy is on board that she realizes the full extent of the mission's expectations.

    Dr. Joseph Colville has all but renounced his title and wealthy estate in order to serve the lower classes and travel the world as a ship's doctor. As a younger son, he was never supposed to inherit the responsibility of a lord. Though loving friends and family members question whether Joseph is a modern-day Jonah running from God, he insists he'll know when he's found the time and place to settle down.

    The trip on board the Tynemouth is full of dangerous situations. There are storms, emergencies, and even a mutiny! It was interesting to read in the Author's Note how many of the situations came straight from the real life history of this bride ship. I'd never heard of bride ships before, and it was somewhat horrifying to think of these women coming on board with only the clothes on their back, yet full of hope for the future. How bleak their lives must have been!

    There was once scene that left me shaking my head. A storm with hurricane intensity holds the ship in its grip, and Mercy fears she will die. When she confesses to Joseph that she doesn't know if she'll go to Heaven, he says, "If we are to perish this night, you most assuredly do not have anything to fear in standing before your Maker. You are the closest to an angel I think I shall ever meet on this side of heaven." That's a nice compliment, I suppose, but it doesn't meet Mercy in her eternal need. Mercy needed to know about Jesus' personal love, care, and sacrifice on her behalf. I find it sad that in a novel about Mercy wanting to live free from her past, true spiritual freedom was not a greater part of the story.

    As one can expect with any Jody Hedlund novel, there is plenty of romance. The story moves at a good pace and I was not entirely sure how it was going to end until I reached the final pages. I would recommend this for readers ages 16 and up.

    I received my copy of the book from the author. All opinions in this review are my own.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A fabulous new series by Jody Hedlund!!
    June 12, 2019
    Rachel's Back Talk
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Every book I read from Jody only gets better and better. And I absolutely LOVED the start to her new series. The characters of Mercy and Joseph were just so real and I enjoyed getting to dive in and learn more about them.

    Mercy was such a tender heroine, carrying so much emotional baggage. Doing what she thought was the only option to help those she loved, Mercy boarded a ship finding out later it was a bride ship and she had no desire whatsoever to get married. And yet, Mercy continued to be that "angel of mercy," always caring for others in need over herself.

    Joseph also discovered his tenderness and true calling through his time wandering about searching for his purpose. Though he grew up with wealth and could basically have anything he wanted, Joseph was instead dissatisfied. It was interesting to see his journey as the one who didn't know what he wanted to instead realizing exactly what it was God called him to do which just so happened to be what he was running from.

    On the outside, Joseph and Mercy seemed like such opposites and yet, it was on the inside where their similar passions lay. The reader can draw so much inspiration from Mercy's story and why it is so important not to merely dwell on who you were born as but who God is calling you to be.



    I received a free copy from the author. No review, positive or otherwise, was required all opinions are my own.
  5. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    You won't want to miss it!
    June 12, 2019
    Faye
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Mercy Wilkins is an Angel of Mercy on the streets of London, seeing only a bleak future ahead of her if she stays she heeds her sister's urging and joins the bride ship headed for British Columbia.

    Dr. Joseph Coville is titled and wealthy, a sought after match for many looking to secure a husband for their accomplished daughter. Joseph has encountered much loss in his life, and is caught between running away and his calling to make a difference in the lives of those without access to care. He signs on with the bride ship, and is struck early on by Mercy's selfless care for others, her compassion and beauty.

    Mercy is determined not to marry, but is it possible that God has other plans?

    The very first in a brand new series by Jody Hedlund, this book explores the situations and hopes for a fresh start that made women choose to take a chance on a new life. I was surprised by how much of this was inspired by a true story. Ms. Hedlund highlights the differences in class that held poor women back in London, and the opportunities awaiting them in a new home.

    Mercy is compassionate and selfless, automatically taking on a mother-like role for the younger girls on the ship, caring for them through every storm. While she is fearless when championing others, she struggles to see value in what she herself has to offer. Her natural nursing skills lead her to assisting Dr. Coville as he tends the sick during their long, rough journey. I admired her love for others, she is humble to a fault at times, with a courage that not even she knows.

    Joseph feels pulled in many directions, he feels called to help the less fortunate, yet has a passion for seeing the world. He is inspired by Mercy's selflessness and unassuming nature never expecting something in return, unlike his peers in society. As he gets to know Mercy, he begins get just a taste of her experiences, realizing that maybe he isn't as blind to class as he thought that he was. I think all of us can see a bit of ourselves in Joseph, everyday I myself have my eyes opened to the realities of this world through relationships with and the experiences of others.

    Strong tension throughout, whether from chemistry between the characters or through through situations. I was inspired by the bravery of these women headed to a place they had never been in hopes of a bright future where they could be anything. Ms. Hedlund does an excellent job of realistically showing the binds of class, and how it was so big a part of life for many in the 1800s dictating marriage, opportunity, etc. I loved Mrs. Moresby and how she represented the opportunities ahead for the women in British Columbia. Miss Lawrence is a kind and silent ally, an I am excited to read her story in the near future. A strong start to a new series, great character development and interaction. You won't want to put it down!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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