Happy Saturday everyone! How are things in your part of the world? I’m sure similar to my area. Colleges, high schools and elementary schools are closed, the stores are out of sanitizer, toilet paper and pasta. I’m still working though – I think a lot of people seem to forget that those in public service still have to work. So I ask that not only you join me in prayer for the world right now, but pray for those who still have to go to work on a daily basis. In working with the public, you really don’t know who or what you’re going to encounter throughout the day.
On a positive note, with so many people at home, it’s the perfect time to grab a book (or several if you’re like me) and get some quality reading time. This week I devoured The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund. I mean, I was reading on my lunch break, while I was cooking dinner, during commercial breaks of our TV show, well you get the picture. This series is FANTASTIC!
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?
Book One in Series
The Runaway Bride is a fantastic story that readers will not be able to put down. Jody Hedlund is a pro at creating wonderful characters, vivid settings, romantic story lines, and a subtle faith thread that speaks volumes. I always know when I pick up a book by Jody Hedlund, I’m going to love it!
I adored the relationship between Pete and Arabella. Throughout the story Pete just put himself out there, pushed Arabella, helped her and talked to her. Although he was kind of full of himself, it was just different. Normally I don’t like those kind of characters, but Pete…..yeah I liked him. A lot.
Arabella is a character that I connected with early on. She constantly heard her stepmother’s voice in her head, telling her she wasn’t good enough, telling her to do things in a specific way. Don’t we all have that a time or two in our lives? I know I do. But Arabella had to learn to stop listening to that voice, just like we do. She is a reminder that we need to be who God would have us to be, not what others want us to be.
This book held so much emotion. There was a point when Arabella stood up for herself that I was so proud and happy. When Arabella had a conversation about her past, I almost had tears in my eyes. It was such a great, emotional read. Don’t worry, there’s also some swoony moments. The anticipation of a first kiss was probably more than any I’ve ever read. Oh my goodness, there were several fan moments. And then when it finally happened. WOW. Later when a character makes the ultimate sacrifice, well it had my emotions all over the place.
Perhaps the part that touched my heart the most was when Pete finally realized that even Christians face trials. His problem was that he thought God didn’t care. If something happened, he assumed it was because God didn’t love him or didn’t care. Oh how wrong Pete was. Seeing his character reach this realization was such a powerful message.
The bottom line is that this book, well the series really, is one that readers are going to love. Highly recommend you check it out! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“God’s given us each a gift- a talent – to use for His purposes. Mayhap that’s why you’re here in this place. To discover what that is.”
“He had a way about him of turning her careful ordered world inside out and upside down.”
“Character is much more important than class.”
Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).
When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.
What was the last book you read that touched your heart?