A Reluctant Bride

A Reluctant Bride

After facing desperate heartache and loss, Mercy agrees to escape a bleak future in London and join a bride ship. Wealthy and titled, Joseph leaves home and takes to the sea as the ships surgeon to escape the pain of losing his family. He has no intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, they must fight against a forbidden love....

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Title:A Reluctant Bride
Author:Jody Hedlund
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Reluctant Bride Reviews

  • Tamara

    I always love learning something I didn't know, but it's somewhat embarrassing when it's the country you grew up in. I had no idea that there were bride ships arriving in Vancouver Island, and to think that my Cdn. history class could've been so much more interesting if the teachers had though to add this little nugget of gold.

    As usual, Jody Hedlund latest story hits all the right spots for me. It may have been a bumpy ride from England to Victoria and Vancouver Island, but reading A Reluctant B

    I always love learning something I didn't know, but it's somewhat embarrassing when it's the country you grew up in. I had no idea that there were bride ships arriving in Vancouver Island, and to think that my Cdn. history class could've been so much more interesting if the teachers had though to add this little nugget of gold.

    As usual, Jody Hedlund latest story hits all the right spots for me. It may have been a bumpy ride from England to Victoria and Vancouver Island, but reading A Reluctant Bride was so smooth, and yes, I got a handsome man to swoon over, and a beautiful young woman to root for, but that's usually what I expect with anything that I read from Jody Hedlund.

  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    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-s

    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)

  • Aimee (Getting Your Read On)

    I don't think I've ever read anything about the bride ships that came to Canada from England. It doesn't necessarily surprise me that something like that happened but what does surprise me is the "how" of it all, I guess. The author took many of the events of this book from actual accounts so the story was very true to what really happened. I really love that because it gives me such a good feel for where the brides came from and how they may have felt and acted. It was so interesting! I love le

    I don't think I've ever read anything about the bride ships that came to Canada from England. It doesn't necessarily surprise me that something like that happened but what does surprise me is the "how" of it all, I guess. The author took many of the events of this book from actual accounts so the story was very true to what really happened. I really love that because it gives me such a good feel for where the brides came from and how they may have felt and acted. It was so interesting! I love learning about lesser known events in history which would explain my love for historical fiction.

    Mercy is such an awesome character. Despite her horrible upbringing she embodies everything kind, gentle and compassionate. I loved her almost instantly. The author does such an incredible job of bringing the characters in this book to life. They felt like real people with struggles and growth. The growing intensity between Mercy and Joseph was fantastic. I was completely caught up in it and invested every step of the way.

    This is one of my favorite books this year, I think. I have a handful of them now. I can't wait to see what comes next in this series!

    Content: peril, mild violence, kissing

    - I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Abbi

    Jody Hedlund's books are always fascinating to me! I love the way she takes a bit of history that is often overlooked or not even known about and creates a beautiful love story around it! This book, and the ensuing series, give us a peek into the lives of women who found themselves on one of the "bride ships" headed to the other side of the world.

    Mercy and Joseph were both great characters! Though they came from completely different stations in life they both had a heart to help others in need.

    Jody Hedlund's books are always fascinating to me! I love the way she takes a bit of history that is often overlooked or not even known about and creates a beautiful love story around it! This book, and the ensuing series, give us a peek into the lives of women who found themselves on one of the "bride ships" headed to the other side of the world.

    Mercy and Joseph were both great characters! Though they came from completely different stations in life they both had a heart to help others in need. I loved how even though Joseph was an aristocrat he never hesitated to help those who society deemed beneath him, regardless of what his peers thought. And Mercy had a servant's heart willing to literally give the clothes off her back if it meant someone else was taken care of. They had some obstacles to work through in their relationship but their romance was sweet.

    This book didn't have a lot of surprising twists and turns or any huge dramatic moments but I honestly really enjoyed that fact. It was at it's core just a beautiful romance set during a unique part of history. Definitely another win from an amazing author!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Amy

    So much love for this incredible book, the start of the ‘Bride Ships’ series by Jody Hedlund.

    Let’s just start by saying, yet again, she seems to be able to root out a piece of little known history and create something amazing out of it. I’d never heard of the Bride Ships, and it fascinates me. The journey alone takes a 1/3 of a year. Such an epic voyage to take to get from England to Vancouver Island. What’s more telling is the desperation of so many to leave all you’ve ever known to start fres

    So much love for this incredible book, the start of the ‘Bride Ships’ series by Jody Hedlund.

    Let’s just start by saying, yet again, she seems to be able to root out a piece of little known history and create something amazing out of it. I’d never heard of the Bride Ships, and it fascinates me. The journey alone takes a 1/3 of a year. Such an epic voyage to take to get from England to Vancouver Island. What’s more telling is the desperation of so many to leave all you’ve ever known to start fresh - knowing that marriage to a complete stranger awaited you at the end.

    I literally lost sleep over this book. It was so hard to put down. The characters were so expertly written, they felt real inside my head. You will live & breathe every experience with them. Both Joseph & Mercy are complex and their situation - one of the biggest taboo’s of the cultural day. Joseph being from the highest of aristocracy, and Mercy from the lowest rung of the dirt poor ladder. How could their lives even cross? Yet, they do, and this story is beautiful, intense & tender.

    You will find yourself fighting for them with every obstacle and challenge they face. Of course each is strong enough to live life alone, but together they make a powerful force to be reckoned with.

    Can not wait, for what comes next.

    Thanks to Bethany House for the complimentary copy. This is my honest review.

  • Deanne Patterson

    Why do I love historical fiction? This book is a prime example of why!

    After reading the book and about the author's research which sounds like she had a blast researching it by the way I realized this is based on a true event.

    I LOVE books based historically on true events.

    A Bride Ship! Doesn't that sound so romantic? Now I've read plenty of books about mail-order brides but none about Bride Ships, cue dreamy sigh!

    I love the main character's name as well, Mercy. Mercy truly is an angel of mercy.

    Why do I love historical fiction? This book is a prime example of why!

    After reading the book and about the author's research which sounds like she had a blast researching it by the way I realized this is based on a true event.

    I LOVE books based historically on true events.

    A Bride Ship! Doesn't that sound so romantic? Now I've read plenty of books about mail-order brides but none about Bride Ships, cue dreamy sigh!

    I love the main character's name as well, Mercy. Mercy truly is an angel of mercy.

    She administers to sick infants and children in the slums of London.

    Living among the poorest of the poor in London where disease and filth are prevalent she jumps at the chance of a better life by joining a bride ship except she doesn't know it's a bride ship. She thinks the ship that's bound for British Columbia is taking the women there for a better life of employment as nannies and housekeepers.

    Meeting Joseph Colville for the second time on the ship the Tynemouth, this angel of mercy brings a sick child to the doctor again and he sees her for the compassionate woman she is.

    Though he is not looking for romance just in caring for the ships passengers as their surgeon he and Mercy must fight against their romantic feelings for each other.

    With the woman being so strictly chaperoned will a chance at true love pass them by?

    I highly recommend this book!

    Pub Date 04 Jun 2019

    I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.

    All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Melissa Tagg

    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

    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!

  • Staci

    Great start to a new series!

    In A Reluctant Bride, Hedlund focuses on what life was like in London and how that influenced young women to leave their homeland and family to marry a stranger in a foreign country. Mercy and Joseph both have servant hearts. His upper echelon standing in society naturally puts a separation between them.

    I enjoyed being aboard the Tynemouth with Mercy and Joseph and living through a part of history I knew nothing about. The author's note at the end shares what was fact

    Great start to a new series!

    In A Reluctant Bride, Hedlund focuses on what life was like in London and how that influenced young women to leave their homeland and family to marry a stranger in a foreign country. Mercy and Joseph both have servant hearts. His upper echelon standing in society naturally puts a separation between them.

    I enjoyed being aboard the Tynemouth with Mercy and Joseph and living through a part of history I knew nothing about. The author's note at the end shares what was fact and what was fiction in the novel.

    I look forward to the other novels in the series. I'm hoping for a focus on a specific character. Time will tell!

    My gratitude to publisher Bethany House for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and the opinions expressed are my own.

  • Beth

    A new Jody Hedlund book is always something that I meet with great anticipation. When it’s the opener of a new series, even better! A Reluctant Bride is a lovely start to her Bride Ships series. I love that Hedlund tackles another intriguing historical event, this time women being a part of a bride ship to be sent to marry complete strangers. This is something I have vaguely heard about before but have never read any fiction concerning this happening.

    Our main character Mercy is a desperate woman

    A new Jody Hedlund book is always something that I meet with great anticipation. When it’s the opener of a new series, even better! A Reluctant Bride is a lovely start to her Bride Ships series. I love that Hedlund tackles another intriguing historical event, this time women being a part of a bride ship to be sent to marry complete strangers. This is something I have vaguely heard about before but have never read any fiction concerning this happening.

    Our main character Mercy is a desperate woman. Given the option of the workhouse, living on the streets, or perhaps an even worse fate, Mercy decides to forgo them all and agrees to sail on one of the bride ships. Bound for a colony and potential marriage to men they have never met, Mercy and the other women are kept under strict separation by their chaperones. Mercy, however, has a gift for tending to those who are ill, and becomes a great help to the ship’s doctor. This doctor, Joseph Colville, happens to be an aristocrat, and the stark contrasts between their stations in life is one of the fascinating elements of this story. From living conditions in London to sailing conditions on the ship, Hedlund shows the contrast between the sheer desperation of the poor and the ease of the rich.

    While this novel is classified as a historical romance, the plot doesn’t suffer any from that distinction. Plenty of plot points held my attention, and I also enjoyed Mercy and Joseph trying to work through their obvious differences in stations of life. The romance is easy to root for, of course, and readers looking for some sigh-worthy moments will not be disappointed. I’m hopeful that some of the secondary character from this story will be back with a story of their own in coming books.

    A Reluctant Bride is the perfect summer read to sink into with its fascinating history, endearing characters, and tender romance. I am eager to see where Hedlund takes the series next!

    I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review, and the opinions expressed here are my own.

  • Erin

    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

    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,

    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

    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.

    This review originated at

    *If you have any questions about the freedom and salvation that can be found in Jesus, please do not hesitate to contact me!

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