Always close, but never a bride.
Longing to find true love, Kate Millington arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship. With countless men waiting to snag a bride, Kate has no trouble getting engaged. It’s staying engaged that’s the problem. After traveling to the remote mining town of Williamsville to marry her newest fiancé, she finds herself single again.
As the prosperous owner of a gold mine, Zeke Hart has everything he’s ever wanted except for a wife. At Kate’s arrival, he takes it upon himself to protect his childhood friend from the men clamoring to court her. The more he renews her friendship, the more he wants to win her for himself. But as much as Kate admires Zeke, she’s resolved not to marry someone who doesn’t share her faith.
When Zeke begins receiving anonymous threats, he unwittingly puts them both in grave danger. In the midst of peril, the past rises up to haunt them both, and Zeke realizes the fight for Kate’s affection may be his biggest challenge yet.
Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the author, the words and opinions below are my own.
I once heard it said that a good author makes you feel something about their characters, regardless of whether that feeling is positive or not. Which is just as well, because the first thing to say about this book is that I did NOT like Kate. She wasn’t only a serial heartbreaker; she was a serial worrier. The premise is that she won’t marry someone who doesn’t share her faith, but I saw little evidence of her faith in action. Although Christians are instructed over 300 times in the Bible to not worry, Kate worries about finding the right man, and panics as the time for each set of nuptials draws near. But, thankfully, Kate is just one aspect of the final book in The Bride Ships series.
It’s 1863. In the land mass south of what we now know as Canada, a Civil War is raging. This is the year of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Slaves are escaping via the underground railroad and coming across the border. Such is the case with Kate’s friend Becca. Little of her background is given, but it is mentioned that she escaped and went west to San Francisco before traveling north to British Columbia. But while American men are facing life or death in war, other men are undertaking dangerous efforts to strike gold. It’s an interesting contrast and makes me wonder how many American men might’ve preferred to test their luck in the mines rather than on the battlefield.
What parts of Almost a Bride did I like? What positive elements were there? There were characters I did like. There was Zeke’s housekeeper, Mr. Peabody, with a liking for all things French – especially the language and food. Zeke also employed Mr. Peabody’s grandson, Wendell, who had an aptitude for numbers and an insistence on precision. Could he have been on the autistic spectrum? I don’t have much experience with autism, but his uniqueness stood out. I also liked the setting of the story and the town’s description.
Still, my heart is torn on this title. Zeke is under a lot of pressure to change, but aren’t we as God made us? How else does he need to change except maybe to reclaim the faith he once had? I felt he already seemed a decent enough bloke, especially in terms of how he treated his employees. I did like what Mr. Peabody told him towards the end, that Zeke didn’t have to be perfect for Kate.
I have it on good authority that this is absolutely positively the final title in The Bride Ships series. Do you need to have read the previous books to enjoy this one? Possibly. Do you need to read this one to feel the series is complete? Not really. Almost a Bride follows the same formula as the other three books but is, unlike the other books, self-published by the author. If you want to know more about Zeke, who was introduced in A Bride of Convenience, then read it. If you’re new to the series, I’d start at the beginning with A Reluctant Bride.
Publisher: Northern Lights Press
Publication Date: 25 August 2020
Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).
When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.
Jody Hedlund’s Website http://jodyhedlund.com/