A Reluctant Bride

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and Ms. Hedlund has become one of my favorite authors of the genre.  This is the first book that I have read about Bride Ships and yes, I have read plenty of mail order bride stories but none like this.

The characters are endearing, especially Mercy the compassionate young woman who treats sick babies and children in less than a desirable part of London.  She has virtually nothing but her time and desire to tend to those in need.  I loved Joseph and the two of them together are pure perfection. 

The journey the characters embark upon is not just an actual physical one but a soul searching one as well.  I loved this book and think the entire series will be amazing.

I received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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The Bride Ships series is one to watch for my friends! Mercy and Joseph are so sweet, yet professional. Their attraction is so obvious, to pretty much everyone on the ship (hence the reason others tried to separate them), except to maybe themselves. Mercy is this sweet, empathetic heroine who puts others before herself each and every time. She wasn't worried about her own health or happiness, just those around her. Mercy is an inspiration to us all. But in a time period where different social classes simply didn't intermingle romantically, it seemed as if the odds were against them. Never fear....Hedlund is here!

The premise of this whole story was interesting to me. The Society herded unwed, young women onto this ship like cattle. It just sounds so demeaning, and a horrible way to live. I was waiting for the gentlemen in British Columbia to act like animals, and frankly they did. Many of these men were looking for someone to take care of them, among other things. I couldn't imagine being subject to that! But Mercy. She was so naive, and yet so stuck in her ways. She didn't need a man, she just needed a job. And while of course that changes after she spends more time with Joseph, we can certainly understand why. Joseph is respectful, swoony, and just downright charming. I was rooting for him from the get go :)

With a fun romance, an interesting plot line, and several inspirational quotes, this first book in the Bride Ships series is a sure win. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book but I absolutely loved it! I was hooked from the first few pages. I really enjoyed the character of Mercy Wilkins, she's both relatable and inspiring. The history was also very interesting, how the prospective brides sailed across the ocean to meet who knows who on the other side in an entirely new land in the hopes of having a better life. It's hard to imagine that level of desperation. 

I enjoyed the characters of some of the other bride ship women, even the chaperone in charge of the women on the journey over who was very strict. 

I've enjoyed many of this author's books but I think this series may be my favourite yet. 

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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This is book one in the Bride Ships series. This book is full of history, romance, heartache and more.

Mercy is a loving, kindhearted beautiful poor woman just trying to do her part. When she feels she has no choice but get away she is shocked to realize she is actually on a bride ship. The handsome titled Dr. Joseph is running from pain and finds he needs help from Mercy. The sparks really start to fly.

I loved the sparks, drama, history and characters in this book. Some characters you love and some not so much. I look forward to reading book two from this series.
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*Slow start. Took me a while to feel connected to the story and characters. Mercy's living situation had to be properly set up for the reader to feel her desperation. Joseph's backstory felt a little unexplored. We know he is grieving his family but how they died was barely mentioned and his past, while mentioned in passing, was just missing it felt like. Very few flashbacks or memories were included that could have enhanced the story.

*Too much description at times. I found myself skimming some passages occasionally. 

*I always have a hard time connecting to characters that are anti-marriage. I could understand where Mercy was coming from initially, but she fought the idea of marriage one grand gesture too many for me. But on the whole, I enjoyed Mercy and Joseph's story. 

*The Author's Note added a lot to my enjoyment. You know how sometimes discussing a thing is better than the actual thing? Well, I feel like that's the case here. Specifically, reading which parts were based upon actual events added to the story.

A Reluctant Bride was good but not a perfect read for me. Once I got past the beginning, I finished at a decent pace. I struggled with some sections with too much description. I appreciated how much of A Reluctant Bride was based off true events and people. A Reluctant Bride gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read A Reluctant Bride? What did you think? Let me know!
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This book was nothing short of amazing!!! Jody did not disappoint. Like always she uses words to paint a picture. I was swept up in the story. Mercy was such a relatable character. I could see where she was coming from! We all have insecurities and feel like we are never good enough! Joseph is what all women dream of! He was so caring and kind. I loved how they found God and deepened their trust in Him!
LOVED LOVED LOVED!!! Cannot wait for the next book in the series!!!
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A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

______________________________________________________________________________

Story Notes

Jody Hedlund presents a lovely story that tells of the “bride ships” that used to sail to the Americas carrying hopeful young women in search of a better life.

When one hears the words “bride ship” it can mean different things to different people. Some are horrified that anyone would sign up to become an unknown man’s bride, others are intrigued by the courage of these women to leave the disparaging known for a chance of better in the unknown. I think I am a little of both but lean more towards admiring these ladies’ courage as they strove to make a better life with the options they had. Jody Hedlund gives her readers a good glimpse into how the process works and the thoughts of some of the ladies who sailed these ships. Mercy Wilkins needs to find a way to relieve the burden she is to her family but short of becoming a factory or workhouse worker she has no options. Hearing of a missionary society that is looking for clean, respectable young women to go to the Americas, Mercy quickly makes her way to their buildings. She manages to snag the last place on a ship leaving in a few days and also places her sister’s name on the list for the next ship. Surely they could both find a new home and a new job in such a large country. But Mercy did not realize that there is more than just a job waiting for her when she disembarks. Finding herself one of 60 young women heading to Vancouver, Washington to find a spouse, Mercy is praying that she will instead have the chance to find a job for a while before she is required to marry. However, the accompanying Reverend Scott is determined to make sure she is married quickly after her arrival. This is due to his false belief that the ship’s surgeon should marry someone of his own standing, preferably one of the Reverend’s daughters. Dr. Joseph Colville has other ideas and has found his growing friendship with Mercy to be a bright spot in the harshness that accompanies many of his days. But Mercy is truly a “reluctant” bride and despite her growing attraction to Joseph, she doesn’t want to hand over her freedom to a possible taskmaster. As Mercy works alongside Joseph in caring for the sick on board ship, she will learn that not all men want to make women subversive to their desires. Her heart is taught a new kind of love, one that sacrifices for the person to which it’s directed. Joseph was looking for any way to leave his snobbish upbringing behind, even working in the lowest slums to do so. But he is not certain he wants to give up his freedom to remain in one place, hence his agreement to serve as ship’s surgeon. But as both God and Mercy tug on his mind and heart, he will discover that when God calls you to a place and people He will give you all the freedom you thought you lost and so much more. As they dock in Vancouver, Mercy will have to decide if she will let others tell her how to live her life or if she will stand on her own. Joseph will have to decide if he is going to follow the direction of God or if he will keep running the other direction. I really enjoyed the history and the personalities Ms. Hedlund included in this story. I could tell she strove to keep everything accurate to the time period while also giving a more personal account through the fictional characters. I loved the tension she created and the well developed finish that dissipated all the tension and questions that arose. The faith journey of the two main characters was good but I found it a little too pat in its development. I will certainly recommend this book to others as it gave such a good look at this part of history. I believe this is first in a series Ms. Hedlund will be doing on this subject and I hope that the successive book will be just as good or better.

I received this E-book free of charge from Bethany House Publisher’s in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.
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I received an ARC of this book from Bethany House Publisher via NetGalley, this review expresses my personal opinion.

The reluctant bride by Jody Hedlund
 
We first meet Mercy, the descriptions of the slums are so sad, the death, the pain the sorrow. How there was not a chance to really live, but only to barely survive. She was trying to find honest work and there are no options. Jody Hedlund goes deeper into an unknown world and the way she describes it sound so realistic. And then we have Joseph Colville, Lord Colville he is a Doctor he has no family left, but an old maid aunt. He feels restless and I found interesting his struggle and that he doesn’t know what to do with his call. On page 12 Dr. Bates ask him a really important question. “ What’s the small part God is calling you to do? Are you seeking His leading or running away from it?” 
 
Mercy truly believes she had been abandoned by God and then something unexpected happens, her mom is let go from the factory she has been working and without that income. Somehow Mercy hears a small voice that say that she is a burden. Her sister Patience has been in the workhouse in order to keep her safe to married for necessity, and so she remembers about the Columbia Society and the opportunity ongoing to work on the Vancouver Island and British Columbia, she says that are looking for young and able women for a different type of jobs. And so, she makes Mercy promise her that she will take that chance. 
 
This was one my favorite quotes of the book from page 36 “I want you to remember that when we’re troubled on every side, Patience says her voice wavering” We can’t get caught up in seeing the problems from our views God is so much bigger and He has thing work out His way-ways we can’t begin to understand”
 
Mercy has no intention of marrying, due to the reality she lives since she was a child and what she doesn't know it is that the ship she going is actually a ship with single women with the intention of marrying the man of the Vancouver Island and the British Columbia, she needs to find a way to be free from that commitment. 
 
To make things even more interesting we have Joseph as Doctor in the same ship, The Tynemouth several people got sick during the journey and since she has experienced it is the best person to act as his assistant. From this moment I like how the characters are developed and the slow transition from strangers to friends. Jody Hedlund really takes her time and there a well balance situation from this point on, we have two characters one that came from the slums, extreme poverty and the other one that came from a wealthy background. 
 
I like this quote, especially for the situation that happens between Mercy and Joseph, even with their friendship. Page 118 “ Maybe we are all like ships, she finally offered “When we're born we’re put on the seeland we can’t always control our destiny or destination. We only have to ride in the journey the best we can” 
 
We can see how Mercy change and finally accept that he value is not for what she has of what she does and the same goes with Joseph we see he decided to stop running and face his pain. This book has so many layers, you have to take time to read it and to let God speak to your heart. Jody Hedlund once again did a wonderful job with a great historical background, filled with good characters, vivid descriptions, faith and a beautiful I can’t wait to read the next book of this series. 
 
Truly grateful for Bethany House Publisher for the ARC of this book.
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Les Miserables meets the high seas in Jody Hedlund’s A Reluctant Bride, the story of a woman from the slums who finds her worth on the bounding main.

Mercy Wilkins lives in one of London’s poorest slums.  Barely able to keep shoes on her feet, she nonetheless sacrifices all she can to help the neighborhood’s children and her own family survive.  Mercy’s sister, Patience, is slaving away in a workhouse and Mercy has been searching hard for a job that won’t force her to compromise her virtue while allowing her to support their numerous younger siblings and their mother, Twiggy.  Determined to save her ten-year-old brother from work on the docks when Twiggy loses her job, Mercy goes to the Columbia Mission Society at Patience’s suggestion.  There, healthy women with good reputations are being recommended for a ship that will deliver them to Vancouver and British Columbia, where there are jobs aplenty.

Mercy is nearly turned away, but a miraculous opening secures her a position not on a boat for domestics, but a bride ship named the Tynemouth that will provide women to lonely men in the mountains of Canada. If Mercy behaves well, the seriously sick Patience will be promoted for a journey to Canada on the next ship out.

During the voyage, Mercy’s amateur nursing talents soon become a help to Lord (and Doctor) Joseph Colville, a man she met when they tried to help one of her young neighbors while he served as a substitute physician at the local dispensary.  Mercy knows keeping her reputation virtuous is the only way she can secure a husband in Canada, but she cannot stop herself from doing what’s right and ministering to the women and men aboard at Joseph’s side, which sometimes requires her to be improperly alone with him.  As the journey goes more dangerous and they rely upon one another to care for the sailors and wannabe brides on the ship, Joseph draws closer to Mercy.  But she could never become Lady Colville and hobnob among the social upper strata, could she?

A Reluctant Bride is part story of romantic yearning, part philosophical story of religious faith complicated by the imperfections of human existence, and part story of blood-and-guts medical drama.  You’re not going to make it through this book if you have a weak stomach; there’s a lot of puking, a lot of boils, and a lot of burning, scarlet-cheeked fevers.

This vividness goes a long way to making the time period spring to life.  So does A Reluctant Bride’s chronicle of life aboard ship.  Kudos to Hedlund for fantastic research; you can feel the pitch and roll of the deck under your feet and smell the sea air as you read.

The morality quagmire that faces both Joseph and Mercy is a simple one – society versus the will of God.  The book provides an excellent examination of how the contemporary interpretation of propriety could get between proper medical care and a woman in the 1800s – and between her hope of a woman’s improvement in life and the hell of being labeled a slattern. Joseph only wants the best for Mercy, and Mercy only wants to do the proper thing; they’re two good people who ache to kiss and touch one another but cannot do it for fear of ruining Mercy’s life, and, in Joseph’s case, promising much more than he can offer.

Both of them are sympathetic, if a bit too self-sacrificing – there is a major caveat in that they can be doormat-ish almost to a fault when it comes to other people; some may find them too wimpy, but their trip toward self-actualization worked very well for me.  They manage to shake out of their self-denying torpor eventually, but for a while you may want to shake them.

I only have one other problem with A Reluctant Bride; I didn’t find the conclusion to Patience’s story satisfying at all – no matter how realistic it was  -  and I hope it will be revisited in the next volume in a happier manner.

Otherwise, this is a vivid, well-researched story of two people who, with faith on their side, come to respect and care about one another while battling back the social mores and class strictures trying to pull them apart.  It’s a good story about good people, rocky parts and all.

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I enjoyed reading this book that tells the story of Joseph an aristocrat who is also a doctor and Mercy who is born into poverty and has lived through terrible times surrounded by poverty, squalor and illness. Yet despite it all Mercy has a sweet spirit and has a kind soul. In a bid to find a better life Mercy has joined a bride ship, the only problem is that Mercy did not realize what kind of a ship it was. And Joseph who is the ship's doctor finds himself inexplicably drawn to her despite his best intention. But there are people who will stand in the way of the growing attraction between them. 

A lovely story. Does a good job of transporting one to a time when ships sailed for new lands bearing potential brides. Loved the characters. Looked forward to learning more about what happened to Miss Lawrence whom Mercy met on the ship and who obviously had some secrets in her past that was not revealed. I don't know if this is a going to be a series but if it is I'd really love to read the other books in the series.

Heartily recommend this.
Thanks to Bethany house and Netgalley for this book. This is my honest review.
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I found A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund to be a story that kept me reading.  It had twists and turns and wasn’t your typical story.  The premise of the women traveling west and the reason to travel was to become brides to the men of Canada.  The main lady, Mercy, travels at the last minute not knowing the criteria to marry, and having had a past of not being so much in favor of marriage, finds herself in quite a predicament.  There’s a doctor, Joseph, who is of high class station aboard and love soars.  I just loved it.  Another great one by Jody Hedlund!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


***Also posted on Amazon, B&N, ChristianBook
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What an amazing book! So many things I could say that touched me! How real is it today that we are still fighting people who decide your station in life? That you can't marry beneath you... not even for love! Jody Hedlund has taken historical facts and weaved a story that is so moving!

Two of my favorite quotes from the book! 
"Patience always said that we might be troubled on every side, but God's still there working things out in His way. And God's way is something we can't always see or make sense of."

"Don't get stuck, Mercy. Don't get stuck thinking you don't matter or you're not important enough. I know for people like us who come from lowly backgrounds, we all to often accept our place at the bottom and think that's where we belong. But that's just not true. God didn't create some people to be better than others. He created everyone to have equal value."

Don't miss out on this series! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the Publisher and was under no obligation to post a favorable review.
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I was enthralled by the journey of Mercy and her interactions with Joseph. There was a nice balance between the introspective thoughts of the characters and the adventurous plot as they travel through storms, illness, and other obstacles, all under the watchful eye of the bride program's chaperones. I loved the historical details that brought the era to life while the emotions of the characters brought the people to life. Mercy and Joseph both have a large capacity for compassion, and the self-sacrifice they see in each other draws them together. They are so well-matched, even though they come from completely opposite ends of society's spectrum. There is plenty of tension as they know they can never be together, but can't help falling in love. It was obvious to me that the future they could have together serving the less fortunate in London as doctor and nurse would bring powerful change, but I had to wait for them to realize and get on board with it ;) I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next in the series!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
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Story Line: 5 Stars
Depth: 5 Stars
Faith: 5 Stars
Love Story: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars



Author Jody Hedlund is one of our favorite authors for this main reason: she expertly weaves together realistic, intriguing storylines with a God who is intimately involved with his people. Throw in some romance and tender friendships, and we have yet another book to add to our golden list! A Reluctant Bride is the first book in Jody's new Bride Ships series, and this one kept us up late at night reading until every last page was turned. 

The story revolves around Mercy Wilkins, a young lady from the poorest of the poor slums in 19th century London. When she receives an opportunity to sail to British Columbia, she is eager to begin a new life for herself, not realizing her passage is aboard a Bride Ship - a vessel full of young women destined to marry men in the new world. Mercy is appalled at the thought of marriage, so instead focuses her efforts on assisting the ship's surgeon, Joseph. As they work together and get to know each other, both try to ignore the deep connection between them, but cannot deny the way God is moving them in their lives. 

Jody hits a homerun in just about every way in this book. The storyline is igniting and flows smoothly at an excellent pace, deep issues are explored and dealt with, God is a main character with the way He leads and loves His people, and the love story is touching and swoon-worthy. We cannot wait for the rest of this series!
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Wow, I was soooo all in on this latest release from Jody Hedlund! I've been a long-time Hedlund fan and have enjoyed so many of her books...but I think this one takes the enjoyment to a whole new level. I loved the characters and I LOVED the romantic tension. (Like, whoa, so much tension. So well done.) And the setting was an extra fun surprise for me...a lot of times, I don't super love it when a book starts in one place and roams to another. I tend to want to sink into whatever setting for the length of a book. But with this one, I felt fully connected to all three main settings - the seedy shadows of London, life aboard a ship at sea, and eventually British Columbia. I read this novel in one sitting and I'm now I'm just crazy impatient for the next in the series. Highly recommended!
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I haven’t read a Hedlund romance in a long time, not since 2013’s Rebellious Heart, a loose telling of Abigail and John Adams’s courtship and marriage (which I loved, btw). The Bride Ship, Book One, has a compelling historical context: a bride ship, in 1862, headed for Vancouver Island and British Columbia with poor women on board preparing to become the wives of the sparse-of-women British colony. One of them is heroine Mercy Wilkins, an angel of “mercy”, a gem, a flower, from the London slums. When we meet Mercy, she hurries towards the Shoreditch Dispensary with an ill child. Instead of the kindly, but getting-on Dr. Bates, a new, handsome doctor (more of him later) is ministering to the poorest of the poor, like Mercy, like the baby in her arms, like everyone in this wretched neighbourhood. When Mercy’s family has to eject yet another of her mother’s many children, Mercy, in hopes she can help her sister Patience leave the workhouse and at Patience’s urging, agrees to board the bride-ship.

Who is on board as ship’s surgeon but the young doctor she met in the dispensary, Joseph Colville, Lord Colville, Baron of Wiltshire. Throughout the long, difficult voyage, Joseph and Mercy are drawn to each other; at first, by necessity, as Mercy’s lack of seasickness leaves her free to assist Joseph; then, by friendship; eventually, by love and powerful attraction. Joseph and Mercy have so much against their being together. Neither wants to marry and both have numbed their feelings to survive emotional and, in Mercy’s case, physical, suffering. Joseph lost his family to cholera and is fleeing his grief by travelling the world and avoiding his lordly duties in England. Mercy, having watched her mother struggle to survive, negligent of her children (though Hedlund, to her credit, doesn’t play the evil mother card, Twiggy, Mercy’s mother, is feckless and ignorant, but not deliberately cruel) vows never to marry. Twiggy did what many women in her position had to. Mercy swears to never marry, having witnessed what marriage means, mouths one can’t feed and doesn’t have the strength, time, or energy to mourn. Two young souls, Mercy and Joseph, despite their differing social standing, find affection, mutual respect, admiration for each other’s strengths, and an overwhelming passion (to which they don’t succumb because this is an inspie after all).

The first half of Hedlund’s novel is stronger than the second. Her sympathetic description of the London slums, the tempest-tossed voyage, and Joseph and Mercy’s work ministering to the ship’s passengers make for powerful stuff. In particular, there’s one wonderful scene when Joseph and Mercy are thrown together, literally thanks to the sea’s roughness, that is sexy and moving, without anything by way of sexy times. While I enjoyed Hedlund’s descriptions and historical context, I can’t say I much liked her protagonists. Mercy is too good to be true: her ministering angel to all and sundry pushed the boundaries of believability. While I enjoy sentimentality and melodrama à la Little Nell, I wished would shut up with her exclamations of “blessed angel” and “little lamb”. It brought out the sarcastic curled lip in me. I liked Joseph better, believed in his emotional quandary: losing your family is HARD and being left quite alone as he was, no wonder he ran. Like Mercy, he was all about restraint and giving, but I liked it when he had to control those base instincts when Mercy innocently raised her baby blues at him. 

The second half of Hedlund’s romance grew tedious as Joseph and Mercy skirted their love and desire. I never bought either of their reasons for staying apart, but Hedlund had an didactic axe to grind in keeping them apart, an axe too oft repeated in inspirational romance and which I find utterly weird and historically skewed. Firstly, in a general sense, as Joseph and Mercy grapple with God and His purpose for them, it’s hard to believe in the terms in which they think. They sound like evangelical Christians, not Victorians, which is what they are. Sometimes, the light “God” touch as in the Griep I just read can work and sometimes it induces eye rolls. Too bad the latter was truer of Reluctant Bride. Secondly, Hedlund wanted to bring home the point that an aristocratic class system, as Mercy and Joseph would’ve been a part of, breaks the idea that people are created equal. She uses Mercy and Joseph’s cross-class differences to illustrate this theological point. This makes sense, but it doesn’t diminish the novel’s finger-wagging propensities. Though I enjoyed parts of Hedlund’s Reluctant Bride, I can’t say I’ll be on board for Bride Ships two. With Miss Austen, we say Reluctant Bride “had a high claim to forebearance,” Emma.

Jody Hedlund’s A Reluctant Bride is published by Bethany House Publishers. It was released on June 4th and may be found at your preferred vendor. I received an e-ARC from Bethany House, via Netgalley.
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Wow! Just wow! This book is beautifully written and captured me from the beginning. It is a lovely love story about learning to trust and recognize love, overcoming social expectations, and the plight of the poor. This is a story that I don't think I will be able to emotionally let go of for a while.

As I read about the living conditions in London during the middle nineteenth century and the conditions on the boat for the poor, I started to think of my own ancestors who made the journey during that time period. I am sure that they traveled in steerage and lived in the less desirable areas. I am filled with greater gratitude for them and the sacrifices they made for themselves and ultimately for me. This book is filled with history and doesn't sugar coat life for the people during that time period.

Jody Hedlund chose fictitious characters and put them in situations that really happened. I couldn't help but love the characters, the setting, and the time period. This book entertained me while opening my eyes to history. 

If you love romance and history, this is a book that I would highly recommend. It does contain kissing and Christian themes.

Source: I requested a copy from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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Mercy and Joseph’s story is more than the convergence of two worlds or a sweet tale of opposites and attraction. 

Hedlund digs deep to the very core of compassion and humanity by exposing and stripping away societal expectations, prejudice, and even legacy. Both characters struggle to overcome obstacles, navigate the literal and figurative stormy waters of life, and discover their God-given purpose.

A Reluctant Bride has not only sparked my interest in the historical aspects but it has also pricked my heart for those who are suffering in similar and heaven-forbid worse circumstances at this moment somewhere in the world. 

I highly recommend this story, eagerly anticipate the next installment of The Bride Ships series, and fully expect the characters, setting, and message to linger in my heart and mind for a long period of time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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It was a pleasure to read this book by Jody Hedlund.  I've read a few other books by Ms. Hedlund, but none of her recent books.

This book follows Joseph, a doctor and lord in England, and Mercy, a poor woman from the slums in London.  

The slums in London were a very foul place; with suffering and abuse rampant.  Circumstances allow Mercy a place on a ship heading to British Columbia.  Once aboard she realizes that rather than going in search of employment, she is part of a group of ladies destined to be brides.  

Joseph is looking forward to travel to British Columbia and the Hawaiian Islands.  He will be serving the ship as the doctor.  In his care are the 60 women destined to be brides.  

On board the ship, Mercy catches his attention and often assists him in the care of the passengers.  As time passes, Mercy and Joseph spend more time together and feelings develop.  Mercy knows that her status as a poor, illiterate woman disqualifies her as a potential partner for Joseph, a British Lord.

The story is beautifully told and once you realize it is based on actual events, it becomes more beautiful.  Both Mercy and Joseph must learn to face their emotions, and to see a person as they are rather than their social standing.

I enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading the other books in this series.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley.  I was not required to leave a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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Hedlund excels at histrotical fiction, and her new series is no exception. The Bride Ship makes for a fascinating part of history.
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