Sunday, March 1, 2020

Book Review: The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund

About the Book:

Haunted by Mistakes in Her Past, Will She Ever Again Trust Her Heart to Another?

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

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy, held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town's baker who has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella's affections, but also 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 left behind by her tribe. Intent on helping the child, 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 Thoughts:

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund surpassed my expectations. I started reading Arabella’s story and I could not put it down. Yes, I stayed up too late and read it all in one very long sitting. From the beginning, I rooted for Pete and Arabella to get together. The chemistry between the two of them rated as steamy without being inappropriate.

Aside from the amazing romantic tension, The Runaway Bride boasts a swoon-worthy male lead, character development, and occasional well-placed humor. Pete Kelly is an imperfect man, but he’s also compassionate, devoted, and encouraging. For all his statements about not being a gentleman, he displays respect and patience with Arabella and others. He genuinely struggles with some tough issues and, like Arabella, he has lessons to learn. Watching Arabella’s transition from being a bit of a snob to finding joy and fulfillment in her work was a pleasure. Her character development was completely different than Pete’s, yet still admirable.  In short, I loved this book and wish I had the time to give it a second read right now, but I’ll have to wait on that.

The Runaway Bride stands as the second installment in The Bride Ships series by Jody Hedlund. While it’s written as a stand-alone, I recommend reading the books in order as Mercy, the main character in A Reluctant Bride, plays an active role in The Runaway Bride. I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series. Five stars for The Runaway Bride!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

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