Inspired by true events during the 1800s, A Reluctant Bride takes place on the Tynemouth, a bride ship sailing from England to provide brides for the colonies’ miners. The author does an impeccable job of portraying the conditions of those on board and displays the environment of women in the slums of London who were so desperate for food, boarding, and employment they were willing to endure the treacherous journey and uncertain outcome.
I instantly sympathized with Mercy Wilkins. Her gentle heart is apparent, and she is humble and engaging. The physician onboard, Lord Joseph Colville, is unconventional, looking past social differences and expectations. Both of these characters are strong in their own ways and teach each other so much. I like how their attraction slowly builds, making it feel authentic.
This story holds an abundance of history, and the slow-building romance is swoon-worthy. With themes of finding your worth, following the path God has for you, and persevering through hardships, this is an edifying and satisfying historical read. I can’t wait to read the future books in The Bride Ships series.
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Series: The Bride Ships Book 1
First Line: “Hang on a little longer, my lamb.”
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a positive review.