Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Bride For Keeps by Melissa Jagears

(Image courtesy of Google)

Found a new author to love!
This is Melissa's Jagears debut novel (But she published a novella Love By The Letter that fits in before this book!)
On a scale of one to ten, the romance in this novel is a 10. A sweet ten. This is a marriage of convenience story about a mail-order bride with a past that has hardened her heart against love. She fears being used because of her pretty looks and desires to be Everett's work partner, really, more than a wife. He struggles with worrying over whether Julia will abandon him like all the other women did. The story reminded me a bit of Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke which is a compliment!
The reader will become familiar with farm/prairie life and understand how difficult that life was without being bogged down with long descriptions or boring details. One of the things I enjoyed most is the author's writing style. She steered clear of overused phrases, and I appreciated the freshness. I thoroughly loved the way the story was written as well as the story itself. Everett and Julia's motivations were clear, and I cheered when they reached their goals (very romantic goals).
The author handled the spiritual aspect of the story beautifully. I won't spoil it, but the way she wrote about God's grace. . .perfect. We can't explain why God chose to send His Son to save those who trust in Him, except that He loves us. Such a beautiful fact to meditate on. . .
I will be reading Jagear's next novel whenever it is released. She's found a spot on my keeper shelf. I didn't even want this story to end. . .

Backcover Blurb:

Everett Cline will never humiliate himself by seeking a mail-order bride. Not again. He's already been jilted by three mail-order brides and figures a wife just isn't in his future. However, a well-meaning neighbor hasn't given up on seeing him settled, so she goes behind his back to bring yet another woman to town for him.
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. A mail-order marriage in faraway Kansas is a last resort, but she'll do anything to leave her life in Massachusetts and the heartbreak she's experienced there.
Although Everett doesn't see how a beautiful, cultured woman like Julia could be happy sharing his simple life, he could really use a helpmate on his homestead. Determined to prove she's more than a pretty face, Julia agrees to a marriage in name only. Faced with the harsh realities of life on the prairie and hesitant to explore the tentative feelings growing between them, can Everett and Julia ever let each other in long enough to fall in love?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

(Image courtesy of Google) 
Have you ever read a book that was well-written with a clear plot and plenty of historical detail. . .in essence, a perfect book. . .but the story didn't captivate, didn't plead with you to read it far into the night?
That was my feeling for Rebellious Heart. I deeply enjoyed Hedlund's previous two novels, but this one didn't stir me. I loved the cover, the title, the premise. . .all of it. But I didn't connect emotionally with this one, I'm sad to say.
But understand this--you may have a completely different experience.
I may try it again later and love it. Who knows?
I think maybe my problem could've been the hero Benjamin Ross. He was, as was mentioned numerous times, a poor man. And I grew tired of hearing him complain and say he needed to marry a wealthy woman just to better himself. It grew annoying and hardened my opinion of him.
My favorite character was Susanna's grandmother. She seemed like a sweet lady that would've been a delight to know.
Of course, I enjoyed the setting. I have a love of historicals for that reason.
I'll try this author's next novel, in hopes that I will connect with that story more.
Backcover Blurb:
Because she's a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she's determined to marry well, so she'll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.
Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smiths he's taken by Susanna's intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter.
When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely advisor. But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.
***I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.