7 Nov 2021

Review: A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund

 Bride Ships #3 

June 30th 2020, Bethany House 

Print, Ebook and Audio 


Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime.

Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he's devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she's marrying another man.

With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.


                                                   My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


  I did enjoy this book as the last one in the trilogy (Mrs Hedlund actually wrote another one and published it seperately), and I liked Abraham's character in particular. Zoe. Meh. She was likeable, but I fear she was also a borderline Mary Sue. You know the type. A person who has no flaws, and is perfect. Kind, loving, generous, the ideal woman who everyone adores.

I think what I liked most about this series was the setting, late 19th century Canada. The little known historical detail of "Bride Ships", ships of women sent to the early Candadian settlements to provide wives for the local trappers and miners provides the basis of this series, which is interesting.

What I didn't like:

- Abraham being referred to as "Pastor Abe". This sounded far too American. 19th century Brits did not generally refer to clergymen as "Pastor". We don't even now, except in like Baptist or Evangelical churches. Anglican Clergymen- which Abraham is supposed to be, are generally referred to as Ministers or were called Parsons historically.

- "okay". 1860s Boston slang does not belong in 1860s Vancouver. This just came across as jarring.

I would certainly recommend this series, its just this novel wasn't my favourite title in it.

 I requested this title from Bethany House via Netgalley of my own volition was wasn't required to write a positive review. I recieved no compensation and all opinions experssed are my own.




Review: The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund

 The Runaway Bride: Bride Ships #2 

March 3rd 2020, Bethany House

Print, Ebook and Audio 


Haunted by mistakes in her past, will she ever again trust her heart to another?

Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship, still bearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately attracts suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by making a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy, held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town's baker who has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella's affections, but also clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.

As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need—a starving girl left behind by her tribe. Intent on helping the child, Arabella leans on Peter's advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision, or will seeking what's right cost both her and Peter everything?

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I finally got around to reading this book after more than a year. I liked it a lot, and it was quite strong for the second novel in a series.

Arabella and Peter were both great characters and the story did a good job of exloring some of the social issues and condiitions facing the characters. Arabella was meant to represent a woman of the middle classes instead of a working class poor woman. For the most part, her character seemed realistic, although I think her secondary love interest was a bit of a charicature.

I didn't think the faith messages were heavy handed either. The characters had doubts but they did not seem contrived, nor were they condemned for having them.

I was not sure about all the langauge. The term "bakehouse" seemed to be an Americanism, but I did not notice very many of these.

Thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to read this title. I was not required to write a posiitve review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Review: The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

 May 26th 2020, Kregel Publications 

Print, Ebook and Audio 

Inspired by the incredible true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil.

The ideal of a new Germany swept up Sophie Scholl in a maelstrom of patriotic fervor--that is, until she realized the truth behind Hitler's machinations for the fatherland. Now she and other students in Munich, the cradle of the Nazi government, have banded together to form a group to fight for the truth: the White Rose. Risking everything to print and distribute leaflets calling for Germans to rise up against the evil permeating their country, the White Rose treads a knife's edge of discovery by the gestapo.

Annalise Brandt came to the University of Munich to study art, not get involved with conspiracy. The daughter of an SS officer, she's been brought up to believe in the f�hrer's divinely appointed leadership. But the more she comes to know Sophie and her friends, the more she questions the Nazi propaganda.

Soon Annalise joins their double life--students by day, resisters by night. And as the stakes increase, they're all forced to confront the deadly consequences meted out to any who dare to oppose the Reich.

A gripping testament to courage, The White Rose Resists illuminates the sacrifice and conviction of an unlikely group of revolutionaries who refused to remain silent-no matter the cost.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Beautiful story. I've seen the movie about Sophie Scholl but this really bought her story and that of her companions to life. The courage and heroism of the young students who opted for passive resistance when each faced with the horrors of the Nazi regime and the immorality of the Fuhrer's vison. The girls obviously weren't soldiers on the front, but each came to terms with what was happening in their country in various ways.

Although I knew how the story would end (at least for the Scholls) I found myself rooting for them all the way through and listening through gritted teeth at their increasing reacklessnes. These were students barely out of their teens after all, whose passion got the better of them in the end.

Like her last novel about Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Amanda Barratt has given us another story about shining lights and the power of love in the midst of evil, and the people who were willing to stand up to it in their own way.

Thanks to Negalley for approving my request for this title. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions experssed are my own.

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