Thursday, March 12, 2020

Review: The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


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?

My Review

What a match this was! Arabella is caught between the expectations and standards of her social class and being able to accept truly wonderful relationship with someone who doesn't fit. I was rooting the whole time for her eyes to be opened to the possibilities, freedom, and fulfillment in working for herself and not having to only rely on a husband for security. She has a wonderful character arc as she meets new people from all walks of life who challenge and reform her perspectives. I appreciated and admired her humble and compassionate nature, even though it made it easy for some to take advantage of her kindness.

Peter is a force to be reckoned with! Charming and confident, he sets a seemingly unattainable goal for himself when he decides that Arabella is the one for him. His pursuit of her turns into a humbling experience for him when she proves to be just as hard to catch as he anticipated. I loved the way they develop a friendship while baking together and caring for the native girl Arabella rescues. There's something about a hero who is a baker that is appealing- Peter has a strong work ethic and has made something of himself without the advantages that other men have had. He's not afraid of Drummond even though the officer holds more power in the community, and their personal war with each other has more layers than Arabella can see.

Overall this book has a wonderful balance of character development and spiritual growth, sweet romantic chemistry and tension, and just the right amount of intrigue and drama. This series just keeps getting better and I can't wait for the next book!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the other books in The Bride Ships series . .

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