Historical Fiction, Review

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund is eye-opening and captivating! I’m completely thrilled with this story and the fact that it’s just the first of The Bride Ships series is like having a big scoop of ice cream on a hot slice of pie!

about the book

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund (The Bride Ships book 1)

A New Life Awaits Her across the Horizon

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins harbors little hope for a better life. So when she’s offered the opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. The journey abroad is her only prospect to escape a bleak future–both for herself and to help her sister, who’s suffering in a workhouse.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves everything behind and takes to the sea to escape the pain of losing his family. As the ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating along the shore of Vancouver Island, eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph miss their chance at true love, or will they overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

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my thoughts

Even after pondering this story for several days, I still struggle to wrap my mind around the reality of the impoverished people’s lives within. The toll such extreme lack inflicted on their bodies, minds, and spirits is simply staggering.

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. Tragically, slums and the seemingly fathomless depths of severe and widespread poverty (while blessedly beyond our comprehension in modern America) are not a strictly historical issue.

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.


about the author

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and finalist for the Christy Awards, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

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.

Visit her website or follow Jody on facebook, twitter, or Instagram!


The Bride Ships series

favorite reads A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund Almost a Bride by Jody Hedlund


Orphan Train series

With You Always by Jody Hedlund Together Forever by Jody Hedlund


I am loving the transportation thing Jody has going with these latest series!
Would you choose to travel by train or by ship, reader friends?!
Let me know if you’ve read A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund or are adding to your tbr.

2 thoughts on “A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund”

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