Title: A Bride of Convenience
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
Genre: Historical, Mail-order Bride, Christian, Fiction
Series: The Bride Ships book #3
Synopsis: 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.
This is my first time reading a book by Jody Hedlund (I can hear the gasps of some of you even now), but it is the truth. For some reason, I have just never picked up a book by her. A Bride of Convenience is the third book in her Bride Ships series, I was not lost at all, so the book can be read at a standalone. However, I liked this one so much I ordered the first two books already and I am eagerly anticipating their arrival 😊.
Talk about a well-rounded character. Both Abe and Zoe (along with some great side characters) show that great thought was put into their makeup. Throughout the story, we find out little bits of their pasts, their struggles, and triumphs. It was like actually getting to know someone in real life. I particularly liked Zoe’s constant faith when faced with interesting circumstances. I thought that Abe balanced her out very well and I enjoyed his innocent thought process. They had some fun chemistry.
“She’d always believed callings were for ministers or missionaries. But what if God had something special for everyone to do?” (Kindle, p.828)
I so enjoyed this marriage of convenience storyline. It was fun and twisted to suit the character’s personalities, which only enhanced my enjoyment of the storyline. Marriage of convenience stories may or may not be my weakness when it comes to historical fiction; I have read too many of them to count. Jody Hedlund did a great job mixing this one up and bringing in some great faith-based aspects to the overall story.
I enjoyed this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars for the attention-grabbing first chapter, the well laid out characters, and the sense of humor interwoven through the story. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, and I highly recommend that you pick up this one to read in the meantime.
*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.
About the Author
Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).
When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.