Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.
Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.
With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?
Once again Jody Hedlund has spun a magnificent historical romance that draws you into the pages with a unique plot and characters that are impeccably written. What an amazing start to a new series! This book went above and beyond my expectations and I expected it to be good! This story held my attention and tugged at my heart! Mercy was such a likable character with such a generous and kind heart. I will be honest and say that the first part of the book was difficult for me to navigate due to the devastating poverty and home life that Mercy was accustom to living in. However, reading about those things in the beginning of this story was absolutely necessary for understanding Mercy’s character and what shaped her into the person that she was. I appreciated her strength and her kindness so much more after reading about her life in London. So many characters with hardships are bitter and hard to like and Mercy was the exact opposite.
The interactions between Mercy and Joseph were obviously my favorite parts of this book. They were such a perfectly imperfect match, it just worked in spite of all the obstacles. I really loved the friendship and working relationship that was created between Joseph and Mercy. It was natural and genuine, which made their romance when it started to blossom all the more special. I was really rooting for them in spite of all of their obstacles of class and circumstance. I was heartbreaking to see them click in so many ways but know that their stations in life would prevent them from persuing a relationship.
This book definitely kept me on my toes a bit as far as these characters and where their relationship would end up. This book gave me a variety of emotions but I was so satisfied with the conclusion. I absolutely loved this book! It was a rich and heartfelt story about Mercy’s journey to a new life and love! I absolutely recommend picking this one up! I think this series is bound to be one of my favorites and I cannot wait to see what the next book in the Bride Ships series has to offer!
If you would like to purchase a copy of A Reluctant Bride or learn more about Jody Hedlund, visit the links below!
*I was given copy of this book by the Publisher but was not required to post a positive review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.