A Bride of Convenience (The Bride Ships, # 3)
By: Jody Hedlund
Publication: June 30th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--Upon discovering an abandoned baby, Pastor Abe Merivale joins efforts with Zoe Hart, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Abe offers his hand as Zoe's groom. But after a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.
A Bride of Convenience is the third book in Jody Hedlund's Bride Ships series. The first book A Reluctant Bride was just okay for me, but The Runaway Bride was much more enjoyable for me. The characters were easier to connect to. I particularly loved Pete. And I appreciated that even though they kept things clean, Arabella and Pete were passionate about each other. So I wasn't sure which direction A Bride of Convenience would go. In the end, I devoured it.
Pastor Abe was present in the previous book, but he was so much more complex than I would have expected from the glimpse of him we initially had. He is from a good family in England and volunteered to be a missionary working for free with the mining communities. However, he and the Bishop in Victoria do not see eye to eye. Abe left England with an understanding of future engagement and marriage with a lifelong family friend. Yet he's shocked to learn that Lizzy is to marry someone else.
Zoe escaped England's Cotton Mills and her abusive father and addict sister. She's hunting for her twin brother who fled England before her. Zoe is grieving still when she arrives in Victoria the death of her 6-week-old niece when her closest friend on the bride ship dies as well. Zoe has a heart for orphans and when she witnesses a widower giving up his 4-month-old daughter she knows she has to step in and take care of the baby. But a single woman can't take on a baby alone in this world. Especially not while searching for her brother.
Pastor Abe, in a shock, agrees to marry Zoe so she can keep Violet and look for her brother. But he wakes up the next day wondering what he was thinking and initially wants to have it annulled. But he decides to honor his vow before God. Pete advises him to woo his wife. Pastor Abe doesn't quite know how to do that. The two get to know each other better over time and outside conflict. I enjoyed the journey.
-“Sometimes we want to know the whole plan and how it will all work out before we agree to start,” Mrs. Moresby continued. “But all we can do is take one step at a time, one day at a time, as He leads us along.”
-“Remember,” Mrs. Moresby said as she wrapped the scarf around her neck, “you don’t have to be perfect or have your situation all figured out to be used by the good Lord. If you have a willing heart, that’s all He needs.”
-He’d decided the fight for his way wasn’t worth the additional tension and had resigned himself to the fact that God could use him anywhere and in any church building.
A Bride of Convenience was more than I was expecting. I loved Zoe's heart for orphans. I found her experience to be so typical of a woman in wanting her husband to desire her yet being both thankful and disappointed that if he did he was choosing not to act on it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next and potentially last book in the Bride Ships series. A Bride of Convenience gets 4 Stars. Have you read A Bride of Convenience? What did you think? Let me know!