Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Runaway Bride (The Bride Ships #2) by Jody Hedlund

Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship still wearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately has suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy and is held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town's baker and has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella's affections, but clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.

As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need—a starving girl abandoned by her tribe. Intent on helping the girl, Arabella leans on Peter's advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision or will seeking what's right cost both her and Peter everything?

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This is a series I am so interested in and excited about.  I love the way this author infuses bits of history into these romances.  It makes the story come alive for me.  This is the second book in this series and while I think it can stand alone, I would recommend reading the first book before this one just because it really sets the stage for these women that came over from England on bride ships.  It's also really good.  You won't regret it.

Arabella is an interesting character.  Her backstory unfolds in bits as we get to know her.  I loved how she gradually came into her own and learned to think and feel for herself.  It was a precarious road for her but it felt real, vulnerable and human to me.  

Peter Kelly is larger than life.  I loved his character so much and I loved how he viewed Arabella.  The alternating perspectives in this book really helped hone in on Peter's motivations and his desires.  

This story had my heart fluttering.  The flames of attraction were burning bright and the love came softly, at least for Arabella.  For Pete it all came on rather strongly.  There were so many memorable moments in this book and I really, really enjoyed it.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, physical abuse, kissing, light Christian fiction.

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

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