Historical Fiction Book Review: A Reluctant Bride

About the Book

Title: A Reluctant Bride 
Series: The Bride Ships (Book 1)
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: June 4, 2019

Publisher's Description

"Living in London's poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she's offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.


Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As 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 on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?"

Click here to purchase a copy of this novel for yourself. 


My Review


A Reluctant Bride, by Jody Hedlund, is the first book in The Bride Ships series. Rich with detail and drama, this compelling story is utterly engaging and memorable. Elements of adventure, history, and romance ensure that this book is fascinating and meaningful; while its immersive settings, authentic characters, and gripping plot elevate this novel and make it truly impressive. 

Ms. Hedlund’s style of storytelling is thoroughly captivating. From the grit and desperation of the London slums in the late nineteen century, to the power and beauty of unpredictable ocean waters, to the cramped conditions on a wooden sailing ship, to the stunning grandeur of northwest Canada, the settings of this novel fully appeal to the reader’s senses and imagination. 

Existing within the detailed settings, the characters in this novel add depth and heart to the story. They are believable, sympathetic, and intriguing. Their fears, desires, doubts, and motivations are thought-provoking and relevant. And it is through these characters that the plot flows easily, sweeping the reader along on an enthralling journey of danger, doubt, faith, and new beginnings.

Well-written and entertaining from the first page to the last, A Reluctant Bride is worthy of high praise. I absolutely enjoyed reading it, and I am eagerly looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I gladly recommend this novel to all readers.

*I was given a copy of this book from the publisher and from NetGalley. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.


My Reflection


Within its pages, A Reluctant Bride does a phenomenal job of affirming the inherent value of every human being. With beauty and grace, it draws attention to the substantial worth of each human soul regardless of education, wealth, or background. It boldly declares the Biblical truth that every person is precious, everybody has something to offer, and no one is beyond redemption. While leading the reader on an adventure of romance and second chances, this novel also encourages the reader to embrace the acceptance, mercy, and love that God wholeheartedly offers to everyone.

About the Author: Jody Hedlund



"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." --Biography from Jody Hedlund's author page on Amazon.com.

Click here to visit Jody Hedlund's website.

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