Review: A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

This is the first in MAIL-ORDER BRIDE WEEK!!!! Everyone loves a good mail-order bride story and I’ve got quite the line up for reviews set for the next seven days! [Uh… with Sunday off because it’s God’s day – and because I don’t have another one in my “already read and need to review” stack :D.]

Today: A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears
Saturday: A Bride for All Seasons by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher
Monday: Twice Promised by Maggie Brendan
Tuesday: Perfectly Matched by Maggie Brendan
Wednesday: The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough
Thursday: Second Chance Brides by Vickie McDonough
Friday: Finally a Bride by Vickie McDonough

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?

I’ve met Melissa several times and she is the BFF of a local friend so I’d heard a bit about this book before it even sold to Bethany House much less had the blurb up on Amazon. I love a good mail-order bride story and this had all of the earmarks of one [even if one part of the plot hit a bit too close to a manuscript I’ve written most of – but have no plans to pursue ;)].

Overall, I enjoyed A Bride for Keeps. It didn’t wow me like I wanted it to, but it was a perfectly lovely read. I liked both Everett and Julia and the rest of the town [except the ones I wasn’t supposed to ;)]. I rooted for the two of them to fall in love and eventually they did. I loved the way he took care of her when she needed it. How hard she tried to learn how to help him survive on a farm in the prairie when it was so far outside her realm of experience.

I look forward to Melissa’s next offering and hope to enjoy it as well.

Overall rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy in exchange for my honest review.