Not the normal marriage of convenience ...Salt Flatts, Kansas, Spring 1876, and the train has just arrived in town with another mail-order bride for Everett Cline, only he didn’t order this one. He wants a wife, but he’s given up hope of finding one after one jilted him, one arrived dead, one arrived married and the fourth left him for a farmer with a bigger spread before they got married.
Julia Lockwood is from a well-to-do Boston family, but has run away to be Everett Cline’s mail-order bride on the advice of her pen-pal. But when she arrives, she finds Everett isn’t exactly pleased to see her—it’s as though he knows nothing about her…
I really enjoyed A Bride for Keeps. I’m always a sucker for a good marriage-of-convenience story, and this one was well done. Both Everett and Julia were hiding secrets, and that’s always a good source of conflict for a novel. What made this interesting is that we know Everett’s secret almost from the outset, and that provides some good comic moments as it seems that every female Julia meets in Salt Flatts was at one time engaged to her husband.
I also enjoyed the Christian aspects of the story. Everett is a strong Christian, but marriage to Julia reminds him of his responsibility to be the spiritual head of the house, even when he’s married someone who doesn’t share his beliefs (and while I don’t normally support this, I think A Bride for Keeps handles it well).
The writing is good, the characters are likeable but not perfect, the plot is an original take on an old staple, and it meets all the expectations of a lightweight Christian historical romance. Perfect entertainment.
Recommended for those who enjoy western historical romance from authors such as Karen Witemeyer, Carol Cox, Jen Turano and Mary Conneally. I’ll look forward to reading the next in the series.
Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Melissa Jaegars at her website.