Good Day! I hope everyone is surviving this time of isolation. It is a good opportunity to catch up on chores at home (or sit and read). I collect vintage mystery series like Cherry Ames, Vicki Barr, Trixie Belden, and Beverly Gray. I have been hunting for one book to complete the Vicki Barr Flight Stewardess series for year. Whenever The Brass Idol Mystery is listed on Ebay, it is usually above my price point ($45 and up). I had an alert set up and this week I found it for $12.99. I was shocked and excited. I went online and purchased it immediately. Those of you who love books will understand my joy. Now I just need a vintage Ski Nurse Mystery from the Cherry Ames series to complete that collection. Here are some cozy mysteries that will be coming out this year. Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan is the debut of An Alaskan Diner Mystery series. It comes out May 5 and I will be featuring it on May 6 as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Thread and Dead by Elizabeth Penney releases August 25. It is the second tale in The Apron Shop series. Goodnight Moo by Mollie Cox Bryan also comes out August 25. It is the second A Buttermilk Creek Mystery. Murder Outside the Lines by Krista Davis is the third A Pen & Ink Mystery. It releases on October 26. All of these books are available for pre-order. I enjoy waking up and discovering new books on my kindle on release day (I am a book nerd).
|Victoria, British Columbia 1862|
The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund has Arabella Lawrence fleeing England aboard a bride ship Tynemouth for Victoria, British Columbia in September of 1862. Upon Arabella’s arrival, she has men vying for her attention. Two, though, are more ardent than the others. Lt. Richard Drummond, a gentleman in the Navy, who would provide Arabella with a life like she was accustomed to in England. Peter Kelly, the local baker, is working hard to make his business a success and to purchase land he has coveted. Arabella would not have fine clothes nor servants. The two men have history which adds tension as they compete for Arabella’s heart. Peter and Richard have different views regarding the natives and how they should be treated. Early one morning, Arabella discovers a native girl who is starving and ill. She immediately takes the girl to Peter knowing he will help. The more time Arabella spends with Peter, the more she is attracted to the charming baker. But she cannot help hearing her stepmother’s voice in her head lecturing her on the proper way to behave and act. Arabella also worries that the man she fled from in England has sent his servant to drag her back to England. Which man will win Arabella’s affections? Can Arabella get the courage to make the right decision?
The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund grabbed by attention from the very first page. I have not yet had the opportunity to read The Reluctant Bride (I have moved it to the top of my pile). I was glad that The Runaway Bride could be read as a standalone. I thought the story was well-written with realistic, developed characters. Arabella Lawrence has left England for a new life in British Columbia. She fled England before her wedding to Mr. Major. The match was arranged between her father and Mr. Major. The man was old enough to be Arabella’s grandfather and his other wives only lived a couple of years after they were wed. Arabella has had rigid rules drilled into her by a nasty stepmother. She arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship and hopes to make an advantageous match that suits her position. Lt. Richard Drummond is among the dignitaries greeting the ship and he is instantly taken with Arabella. Peter Kelly, the local baker, meets Arabella the same day and knows she is the woman he wants to marry. Two very different men with differing belief systems vying for Arabella’s attention. Peter Kelly is a charmer from the very beginning. I can see why Arabella was taken with him. I could feel Arabella’s mind versus heart dilemma. She knows she should marry someone of her social station, but Arabella is attracted to Pete. She also feels she can talk to him and that he likes her despite her flaws. The author showed the contrast between the two men as well as how society would perceive Arabella if she did not do as expected of her. I thought Jody Hedlund captured the time period and how it felt to arrive in a new country on a bride ship. These women had no idea what the area would be like or what type of men would be waiting for them. I liked that none of the women were forced to marry. They were allowed to take their time in finding the right life partner. The author’s vivid descriptions brought the story alive for me. I could visualize the scenery and the characters. I felt I was in the canoe with Arabella as she saw the wildlife and traversed along the water to the native’s village. Included in the story is a little girl who needs help. Smallpox has infected the natives, and many were worried it would claim those in Victoria. There are those who wished to help the natives and others who wanted to drive them away. Why Arabella fled England is revealed a little bit at a time. I do want to let readers know there is violence which will make you cringe. My favorite phrase from The Runaway Bride is “If we’re living rightly before God and pleasing Him, then that’s all that matters.” Christian values were beautifully incorporate into the story. It is an integral part of The Runaway Bride. I stayed up very late to finish this moving historical novel. I am looking forward to reading the other books in The Bride Ships series. The Runaway Bride is a touching story with a beguiling baker, fierce frays, a shocking sickness, rapid rumors, a spiteful soldier, and beautiful brides.
The Runaway Bride is available from Amazon* (Barnes & Noble, CBD, Kobo, Google Play and other booksellers) along with the other novels in The Bride Ships series. The first novel in the series is The Reluctant Bride. A Bride of Convenience is available for pre-order and releases on June 30. The fourth book in The Bride Ships series is Almost A Bride which comes out August 25. I hope you find The Runaway Bride as enjoyable as I did. Thank you for visiting today. Tomorrow I am sharing my review of Light Shines on Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard. It is the fifth novel in The Promise Lodge series. I hope you have a day filled with joy. By the way. . .Why is Peter Pan always flying? He neverlands! Please stay home if you do not need to go out. Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
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