A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund

Book Summary:

Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime. 

Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he’s devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she’s marrying another man.

With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.

My Review:
There is something about marriage of convenience stories that always entices me. A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund was such a unique marriage of convenience story! I really enjoy it when an author takes a familiar trope and twists it into a story that I had not expected! While I didn’t connect with the characters in this book particularly well, I did appreciate Abe’s servant minded spirit and Zoe’s generous and maternal nature. There were so many obstacles for these characters to overcome as they tried to form their new relationship. The story was sprinkled with a bit of danger and conflict keeping things a bit interesting along the way and I was happy with the conclusion of this book. I’m looking forward to seeing where the rest of this series is headed!

*I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher, however I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Set The Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

Book Summary:

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home. 

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time. 

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

My Review:

Amanda Dykes has gifted us with another captivating novel in her latest release, “Set The Stars Alight.”Her lyrical writing style and her eclectic cast of characters really give this story life and breath. I am again amazed at the way this author crafts her words to truly place the reader into her stories and allow you to feel and experience what her characters are going through. The themes of wonder and light are used expertly throughout this story to bring both of the storylines together to ultimately point to God the creator of all things. The layered details in this story make it so deep and rich! I loved the hidden gems of Biblical parallels! This book was truly fantastic and is definitely going on my top reads of the year list!

*I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher, however I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.