Monday, September 29, 2014

"A Bride for Keeps" by Melissa Jagears

About the Book

A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers

Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?

This book was release in October 2013
 This is a Kindle book that I own in my collection

My Review

“A Bride for Keeps” by Melissa Jagears is the first novel in her 'Unexpected Brides' series and her debut novel, and what a story it is. This is the second time I have read “A Bride for Keeps” and cried, laughed and enjoyed it as much as the first time through if not more so. Though this is part of a series it a complete stand alone book. Sure it might help to read “Love by the Letter” but really it is not necessary as there is an 18 year time gap between the story, and we meet up with the characters from “Love by the Letter” but those character's stories are told in a way that one is not lost.

We first meet Everett in “Love by the Letter” for he was connected to Rachel from that story. Everett's run of luck when it comes to brides is something that has become the town joke over the years sadly, and as a result has taken a toll on his pride and self-esteem when it comes to women. No matter what though Everett is an upstanding, hardworking, honorable man who though tries to protect himself, realizes his mistakes and does what he can to correct them. The lessons he learns through the story is something worth watching for he learns a lot about patience.

Julia is a woman with a secret, and not a little one either. She uses this secret as a way to protect herself to prevent the secret coming out or getting hurt with it. Her heart though is so large that she just wants to do the best that she can for all those around her. She took in people who needed a safe place with Everett's help, and gladly without thought gave away things she had. To watch Julia grow from who she was at the beginning of the story to who she was at the end was amazing and so glad that I got to watch it all over again.

The beginning is a little slow but frankly I think it is worth it for it sets up for so much that happens in the other parts of the book. This time around I understand a little bit better the need to go slower because frankly anything else and it just would have seemed as if things were happening just for the sake that Ms. Jagears could write it that.

The conflict is mostly an internal conflict that must be battled on two fronts, and battled it is. It was at times hard to watch the battle going on but then again I think that is part of the reason I enjoyed the story so much. There is an external conflict, though extremely small, and really never settled either oddly enough. I did keep expecting one thing to happen and then something else happened or never did. So this book is one that will keep people on their toes that is for sure.

I really enjoyed the character development on all the character's and felt as if they were so alive. I felt their fears, the angst that would over come them, the jealousy and even the love as it bloomed. These character's seemed more like friends in the real world instead of character's that are on paper.

I hope all who read this book enjoy it as much as I did.

Other Books in the Unexpected Brides series 
by Melissa Jagears

Love by the Letter
A Bride in Store