Forlag Bethany House Publishers
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The Runaway Bride is installment #3 in The Bride Ships Series and I knew from the first chapter that I would love this book. It has a theme and a plot that interests me as I have not read any work set in British Columbia before.
Gentlewoman and banker’s daughter Arabella Lawrence has run away from her family in London, who has tried to marry her off to a violent man old enough to be her father. She has to adjust to new dangers and challenges trying to carve out her new life in British Columbia.
The plot contained descriptions of the appalling conditions the native population suffered. They were callously treated by the immigrants during smallpox outbreak. I found this part of the story very hard to read. I did, however, enjoy the native characters I got to follow as part of the plot.
Main character Arabella Lawrence I found to be a well rounded, if not exactly skilled, woman. Two very different suitors are competing for her hand in Victoria, and I feel for her when she gets very confused.
Baker and rebellion Pete Kelly is really punching above his weight trying to woe Arabella, as she wants to court a gentleman of her own social standing. I found his character to be realistic, with plenty of shortcomings. He seems a hot-head with a good heart who doesn’t shy away from a bit of a brawl, especially if he is trying to defend someone. I think he is a very likable character and my favorite who adds great interest to the plot.
Lieutenant Drummond I really disliked. While he knows and lives by all the intricate rules of English society, he has no problem manipulating and stops at nothing to get what he wants. Lieutenant Drummond is my least favorite character who makes my skin crawl. I found him an excellent scoundrel character.
Absolutely hilarious when Arabella tries to attend to kitchen duties and makes a total mess of it. As a gentlewoman she is used to having servants and is clueless with any kind of practical work. These parts of the story put a constant smile on my face.
I found the writing of The Runaway Bride absolutely captivating as it contained vivid descriptions of the Vancouver area of 1862. I absolutely loved the vivid descriptions of nature and wildlife adding depth to the plot. I appreciated the clear faith element running through the story,.
The Runaway Bride is the first work I have read by Jody Hedlund. While I would have preferred to read The Bride Ship Series #1, I jumped right into installment #2. Reading The Runaway Bride as a standalone was no problem at all, but as I loved it so much I will definitely go back and read #1 in The Bride Ships Series. I’m confident there is a story line I may pick up from the beginning. Fans of Jody Hedlund will love this work, as will readers of historical romance fiction.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for this eARC, which gave me the opportunity to share my honest review. All opinions are completely my own.
My rating: 5 stars / 5
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