Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Bride Ships #2
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship still wearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately has suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by a poor choice.
Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy and is held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town's baker and has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella's affections, but 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 abandoned by her tribe. Intent on helping the girl, 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?
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
I can always count on Jody Hedlund for a beautifully written story filled with colorful, realistically flawed characters that come alive on the page. The Runaway Bride is no exception.
Set in British Columbia in 1862, this tale is rich with the history of the British Bride Ships that carried women from Great Britain bound for marriage to the plentiful men living in Victoria, B.C. Arabella Lawrence finds herself with two very different suitors from contrasting walks of life. Lt. Drummond is a gentleman who is esteemed in society, while Peter Kelly is a baker who has built up a good business in the community. I absolutely adored Peter. His personality, confidence, and wit are so attractive and add much color to the story. I loved his compassion, courage, and the way he stood up for the underprivileged, and especially the native peoples. The relationship between Arabella and Peter was charming and fun and I enjoyed seeing it grow and develop.
Hedlund is a master at weaving uplifting messages into her stories. Themes of hope, optimism, courage, faith, and forgiveness are predominant in this tale and give it added dimension and depth. I’m always interested in the historical aspects of this author’s books, as it’s apparent that much research has gone into the writing of the stories. I would recommend this to those who enjoy historical romance.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund is the second installment of The Bride Ships series, and it did not disappoint.
This time the author focuses on brides from a higher class, who chose to seek a husband across the sea. In this case, our main character, Arabella Lawrence, is running away from a cruel man she was supposed to marry. Old enough to be her grandfather and a despicable character, she flees to Canada, where she hopes no one will find her. By accident, she meets Peter Kelly, the town's baker. Someone, she reminds herself, that is totally beneath her station in life. She also meets Lieutenant Richard Drummond, a correct choice for her class, but not for a girl looking for love. Fortunately, Peter Kelly doesn't care about class distinctions and pursues her right from the start.
I loved the interaction between these characters. Peter was cocky, charming, compassionate towards the less fortunate, and determined to win Arabella. Arabella, on the other hand, was stuck in the rut of thinking she needed to marry someone of her "class." Slowly she starts to see how a class distinction isn't what matters, but rather the character and heart of a person. I loved how Peter wouldn't give up, despite how everything was stacked against him.
This was a delightful story, and I'm looking forward to book three. I highly recommend it.
I received this book courtesy of Bethany House, through NetGalley, for my honest opinion.
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