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Customer Reviews for Bethany House Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook

Bethany House Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook

Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

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Customer Reviews for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Review 1 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Unexpected Brides #1

Date:March 15, 2014
Customer Avatar
Its About Time Mamaw
Location:Cleveland, Texas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Everett Cline has been tricked by his close friend and neighbor. His friend has sent for a mail order bride but his neighbor is married. The bride evidently is for Everett. This is not Everett's first attempt to marry a mail order bride and had no desire to try again. But his friend thought otherwise and arranged for a mail order bride for Everett.
Julia Lockwood had no idea her groom to be knew nothing about her or her arrival. But when all comes to the surface Julia is determined to prove to Everett she was more than a pretty face. She would work hard and show him what a good, if not perfect, helpmate she could be for him.
I enjoyed this story immensely and it's characters. Everett and his lack of faith in actually claiming a bride. Julia was so determined and learned things she never believed she would ever have done in life. Oh, how special it was to have such loyal and caring friends as their neighbors.
This was a journey leading to a beautiful romance which grew in faith with God and his path for their future together. They learned to not only trust in each other but in God.
The cover image caught my attention. Especially the expression on Julia's face. I could not wait to read the book. I was not disappointed. .
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Baker Publishing for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my honest opinion.
+2points
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Review 2 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I think this will be a good series!

Date:March 4, 2014
Customer Avatar
wfnren
Location:St Cloud, FL
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The last thing Everett Cline wants is another mail-order bride, what does Rachel think she's doing sending for one without even telling him. The town already laughs and talks about his luck with women. I mean who would want to try a fifth time after the first one arriving DOA and the other three marrying other men, one before she even arrived in Kansas. Not only that he'd originally been jilted by Rachel's sister who married a man and moved back east. NO! He does NOT want to go through with this.
Julia Lockwood feels that men only want her because of her good looks. Her mother died when she was nine years old after Julia 'let' her newborn brother die. According to her father she is to blame for the death of both of them, I don't know who he blamed for all of the other children that were lost, Julia was the only child that survived. Her father used her for a pretty pawn and he was forcing her to marry a man who only wanted her fathers business. When her fiancee pushes her too far and ruins her, Julia knows she has to run. After answering Rachel's ad for a mail-order bride and becoming friends, she goes to Kansas. Then when she's attacked again, in Kansas, she has even stronger feelings about not having a complete marriage or ever having children.
This was a good story about the struggles some mail-order couples went through. Melissa keeps you reading and pulling for the two to 'JUST TALK' to each other. One trusts God to get them through, the other doesn't think they are good enough for God to care about. It looks like this is going to be a great series.
+2points
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Review 3 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Likeable characters

Date:February 21, 2014
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
While I loved the premise, the characters, and many of the situations the characters were in, the continued lack of communication made it hard for the plot to progress, and the characters repeatedly stewed over the same issues throughout. I enjoyed the author's voice and will definitely be reading her next novel!
+2points
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Review 4 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 18, 2013
Customer Avatar
debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers.
Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?
My Review:
I am not a huge fan of romances, but give me a mail-order bride story and I'm going to love it - guaranteed! This book was no different, despite a couple things I feel the need to mention along a negative vein. I felt this novel was focusing too much on the lack of a physical relationship between the characters, instead of developing that emotional bond that comes from just being together. That is the best part about mail order bride stories; the evolution of watching two characters grow closer together romantically. This writing was repetitive with emotions, situations and thoughts, and it did get tiring reading about it over and over.
Now to the stuff I really liked about the book! There was no sub-plot in this novel, and while that usually makes a book better, in this case, I enjoyed not having one. Having a sub-plot may have helped the repetitiveness I mentioned earlier, but Everett and Julia had enough drama between the two of them, it simply wasn't needed. There were times I wanted them to sit down and talk things out, but I was highly amused by the cat-and-mouse game they played for a while before the story was concluded. For a while it seemed as if they are going to go break things off - but doesn't every good story have some impossible situation/circumstance that gets overcome at the last possible moment?
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
+1point
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Review 5 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Twist on a Well-loved Classic

Date:January 24, 2014
Customer Avatar
Andee Marie
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Who doesn't love a mail-order bride story? Hard-working farmer in a harsh, untamed land that's short on women--pretty or otherwise--places an advertisement for a wife. Beautiful (or not), down on her luck Eastern girl with nowhere else to turn answers the ad and heads west to face whatever adventures life has in store. It spells a page-turner every time. But what will that farmer do if the girl decides the farmer, or his farm, is just not good enough and she backs out? How many times will he try?
That's a story I had never read until A Bride for Keeps.
Melissa Jagears has taken the well-loved frame of the mail-order bride story and turned it on its ear with a jaded hero who has sworn off mail-order brides, and a wounded heroine who wants nothing to do with intimacy of any kind. Mix in Everett's irresistible goodness (that shows through despite his best efforts to hide it)--to say nothing of his good looks--and Julia's beauty and vulnerability, and you have a tale sure to win a place in readers' hearts, and on their keeper shelves.
I loved Everett and Julia. My heart broke for the pain that stood between them and happiness. I constantly rooted for them to overcome it and grasp with both hands the love that was staring them in the face. When they finally do, it's in a scene that may be one of the most beautiful romantic resolutions I've ever read...and that's saying A LOT!
The secondary characters are beautifully done as well. From Dex and Rachel Stanton, whom we met in the novella Love by the Letter, to some of the ladies who jilted Everett before Julia's arrival, the minor characters create a community that not only anchors this story in time and place, but also beckons readers to return for more in future novels.
+2points
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Review 6 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

LOVED the characters!

Date:January 20, 2014
Customer Avatar
Rebekah M
Location:Chicago, IL
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A Bride for Keeps begins with Everett Cline, a man who has had zero luck with women. Julia Lockwood is a woman desperate for a home and a protector. Together they agree to a makeshift marriage, leading to a very long road of love, faith, and hope.
The things I loved about this book— the CHARACTERS! You fall in love with Everett and Julia right away. Everett has been three times jilted and he is afraid to hope so he hardens his heart towards Julia. When he attempts to make it right, he turns into the sweetest man. Julia is scared of being hurt again and she’s afraid she’s only worth her looks. When she finally sees her worth through God’s eyes that made the story for me. And while I loved Everett and Julia, I must say that the secondary characters stole the show! Dex, Rachel, and their children were kind, generous, and simply hilarious! There were times when I just reread a moment with them and just laughed.
The things I did not like about this book—the plot was not unlike many other historical fiction, prairie based books I’ve read. That’s not to say that I didn’t love this one! A Bride for Keeps was different, because it made me laugh and cry and it kept me reading for the entire night! It caught my attention and kept it. But I still wasn’t thrilled about the repetitiveness of the story. There were times when I wanted to scream at the characters, “Gosh! Just wake up and realize you love each other and get on with your life already!” Julia certainly frustrated me to no end at some points.
Overall I would recommend this book because it did make me feel what the characters were feeling. Be it joy or pain I couldn’t help but sympathize even when I was annoyed. A Bride for Keeps is a love story, yes. But it was also a story of forgiveness, redemption, and moving on. I enjoyed it thoroughly!
**I received this book for free from Bethany House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are completely my own.
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Review 7 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Loved Bride for Keeps

Date:November 15, 2013
Customer Avatar
BrittCalle
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Loved Bride for Keeps, a sweeping romantic novel placed on the homestead. Author Melissa Jagears has an effortless style of writing that allows you to get lost in the story. The characters and their unlikely romance caught my attention in the first chapters and kept it until the end. A story of love, loss, humor, and mail order brides, with a charming setting depicting life on the homestead. I would recommend Bride for Keeps to anyone who enjoys a good Christian Romance.
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Review 8 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great Debut Novel

Date:November 6, 2013
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Sqwiggles
Location:California
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I would rate this book a 4.5. It was a great book, but not quite a 5 quality. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It is Melissa Jagears’s debut novel, so I did not set my expectations high. I loved the story plot. This was a mail order bride story with a twist, the groom did not order the bride and he was not expecting her. Julia did not want to marry Everett and Everett did not want to be hurt by another woman and marry Julie. They both knew that they had to get married for convenience. Everett and Julia both started to develop feelings for each other, but they also both tried to ignore those feelings. Both of them had valid reasons for oppressing their feelings, but after a while I just wanted to yell at them to get over it and go tell the person how they feel. The reason why I did not give the book a 5 is because after a while it started to get old. There were times when I just wanted to tell Julia to stop being so scared to love her husband. Eventually things did turn around, but I had to wait until the end. I liked Everett and Julie as well as Rachel. The characters enhanced the appeal of the book in my opinion. I look forward to reading future novels by Melissa Jagears. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.
+1point
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Review 9 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Story

Date:November 5, 2013
Customer Avatar
deanna13
Location:Jonesboro, LA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears is a most delightful story about mail order brides and all the problems that can occur when they arrive at their destination. Everett Cline is having problems keeping up with all the work on his farm so he decides to write for a mail-order bride. To say that Everett is unlucky when it comes to mail-order brides is putting it mildly. Though technically not a mail-order bride the first woman jilted him, the second was dead when she arrived, the third was already married to the town’s shopkeeper when she disembarked from the train, and the fourth left after a week for a man with a larger farm. Everett is determined to never write for another mail-order bride but Rachel, the wife of Everett’s good friend, decides to write for Everett but does not tell him until the bride arrives on the train. When Everett sees Julie he is sure that she will never marry him for she is the prettiest woman he has ever seen and he just knows that she will not want a farmer for a husband. Julie Lockwood left her home in Massachusetts to become a mail-order bride in Kansas for she finally had all she could take of being nothing but a pretty face for her father or simply a business acquisition for her former fiance. Everett is sure that Julie cannot be happy as the wife of a farmer and Julie does not want to ever get married, but after a short time, they decide to marry but it will be a marriage in name only and this leads to all kinds of problems that make for a great story.
All the characters in the story were very well developed and each one came to life as I read about them and by the time I finished the book I felt as if I had several new friends. Not only was the dialogue well done but at times it was very entertaining. Quite a bit of action took place in the story and it was so well written that I was right there in the middle of everything that was happening. I even felt the pain when Julie broke her leg. At times there was even some suspense in the story for I was wondering if Everett and Julie would ever come to love each other.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good historical romance novel set in the early days of the American West.
LibraryThing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
+1point
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Review 10 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Sweet romance.

Date:October 31, 2013
Customer Avatar
Kristin
Location:USA
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I had one major reason for wanting to read this book: the marriage of convenience aspect of the plot. I seem to have a thing for stories where the marriage comes before the romance. I feel strange admitting that, because it's not like I'd ever want to be in that situation in real life. :) I just find stories like that endearing. I blame it on too many childhood readings of Sarah, Plain and Tall (mail-order bride!) and an obsession with the Hallmark adaptation of Love Comes Softly as a teenager.
I was also intrigued by the fact that Everett, the main male character in the story, had been jilted by three previous mail-order brides. Poor guy! Add to that a female character who was running from something and a pretty cover, and I couldn't help but want to read A Bride For Keeps, by Melissa Jagears.
I have to admit that it took me a while to get into this book. The first couple of chapters are a bit slow, and I haven't had a lot of reading time either. But when I got drawn into the story, I could hardly put it down.
This is a strictly romance-based plot. Unlike most of the other Christian historical fiction I've read, there aren't any thrilling action scenes or awful villains (though there is a really slimy and abusive neighbor). And that was kind of nice for a change: just a good, character-driven romance. This whole book revolves around Everett and Julia trying to move beyond hurtful things in their past and seeing whether they can actually make this marriage of convenience grow into something else. The romance is very drawn out and slow-burning. A couple of times I just wanted to shake these two for taking so long to realize things. :)
Everett was a great character. He had been rejected so many times that I couldn't help but root for him! :) But I loved how kind and caring he was once he finally let his guard down. I loved how he was willing to keep his promise to Julia, though it was obviously a struggle for him (the poor guy was smitten). Julia was likable, and it was endearing how hard she worked on the farm. I could definitely relate to the fact that she was a people-pleaser.
The only problem I had with this story was the abruptness of certain things towards the end. Even though the romance is very slow, it seemed like Julia changed her mind a little too quickly. And the book became sort of preachy. It wasn't overbearing, but the first 3/4 of the book was so unpreachy that the change seemed pretty drastic. {Speaking of the ending, I was afraid that Julia's past would come back to haunt her at some point towards the end of the story...I mean, I thought Theodore or her father would show up. That would have been so cliché, so I'm incredibly glad the author didn't go in that direction!}
Overall, I really enjoyed A Bride For Keeps. It's not quite on my list of absolute favorites for this genre, but it was such a sweet romance. I felt so invested in these characters and I wanted them to get their happily ever after. Did they? You'll just have to read the book to find out...
*Note: I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.*
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Review 11 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great debut novel!

Date:October 30, 2013
Customer Avatar
Tamila
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
After three failing attempt to order a bride, Everett Cline gives up on marriage. But when his best friend's wife orderes a bride without his knowledge, he knows he must do everything to guard his heart. He's immediately attracted to her but what if she leaves him like the others? He doesn't want another heart break.
Julia Lockwood is running away from the past. She's grown in a city but must do whatever it takes to prove herself worthy of being a country wife and living a simple life an a prairie. They both get drawn to each other but because of their past, they can't see what the future can hold for them both, so they agree to marriage in the name only.
Great debut novel! I will defenetly look out for new books from this author!
Thanks you Bethany House for sending me a free copy of this book for an honest review.
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Review 12 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:October 29, 2013
Customer Avatar
Mixed Nutts
Age:35-44
Gender:female
A Bride for Keeps, Melissa Jagears’ freshman novel and published by Bethany House, is the story of two people whose fears nearly keep them from a most precious love.
On the unforgiving Kansas prairie, we meet Everett Cline, confirmed bachelor and overwhelmed farmer. Having been rejected by four fiances, three of them mail-order brides, Everett is finished with romance. Fortunately for him, his best friend’s wife and neighbor, Rachel, has one more trick up her sleeve.
After corresponding with the beautiful, fragile Julia, Rachel determines she would be the perfect helpmate for Everett. Bringing her to the small Kansas town of Salt Flatts was easy. Convincing Everett and Julia to make their partnership into a marriage – not so much. Julia’s past has left her dreadfully afraid of men, particularly tall, handsome, blond men who resemble her abusive ex-fiance. Can Everett’s gentle, godly personality eclipse his resemblance to Julia’s abuser? Will Julia’s rejection of Everett cause his already guarded heart to fully harden?
A Bride for Keeps is a gentle exploration of a blossoming love between two injured people facing not only the hardships of farming on a desolate land, but also falling in love in a desolate world. Melissa Jagears has cast an innocence over the entire novel, which may be enticing to many readers, particularly in the inspirational fiction category. I prefer a grittier treatment of these subjects myself. I also felt as though the author brought us to the edge of emotion and sort of left us there as she switched scenes. I never really became fully invested in Everett and Julia, and emotional investment in the characters is of utmost importance to me as a reader.
I give A Bride for Keeps 3 stars. Readers who like Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly should find this book thoroughly engaging.
I received A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears at no cost from Bethany House Publishers in return for an honest review. My opinions are my own.
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Review 13 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good Read!

Date:October 29, 2013
Customer Avatar
weatherlover1
Location:U.P Mi
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is the first novel for this author and it was a good read. Julie is a mail order bride hoping for a new beginning and Everett has given up finding a bride after trying his hand at mail order brides and ending up rejected. But a well-meaning friend has other plans any maybe this one will be the one.
What I liked: I really liked both Everett and Julia. Both their pasts made falling in love seem almost impossible but with their friends and God’s help they have a chance. I also enjoyed how right from the beginning it felt like I was part of the town. Dex and Rachel were great side characters.
What I did not like: This book goes into great depth about beauty. Not in a bad way and it fit into the story it just seemed a little much. Yes Julia felt her looks were all men saw of her and she was treated badly in her past but it just seemed it took a long time for her to move on and the focus of the physical attraction that Everett had for her got kind of annoying at times. I would have liked them to have spent more time talking then thinking how they were attracted to each other.
Over all I liked this book and I hope to read the novella that was written about Dex and Rachel and I also am looking forward to more books from this author. This author has great promise!
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Review 14 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Can true love overcome pride?

Date:October 29, 2013
Customer Avatar
Marilyn
Location:Coral Springs, FL
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"A Bride for keeps" is a wonderful, christian, historical, romance novel. I enjoyed the way the characters interacted with each other and both were very strong willed. For some reason I love mail-order-bride type books, it interest me how people actually did that and the many different reasons why someone would become a mail-order-bride, or look for one. This book will keep you reading to see if Everett and Julia can ever get over their past experiences and find a happy, loving marriage. If you enjoy good clean historical romance fiction you will love this book. I look forward to more books by Melissa Jagears.
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Review 15 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

Date:October 27, 2013
Customer Avatar
Wanda
Location:NC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Everett Cline had been jilted enough to wound any man's pride. After his best friend's sister-in-law left him for another man he decided to try his luck with mail-order brides only to be jilted by three more women. With a bruised ego, as well as a bruised heart, Everett refused to go that route again. Even though he longed for the companionship of a good woman he would no longer be fodder for town gossip. But when his best friend's wife, Rachel, ordered a bride without his knowledge he found himself enamored with the beautiful Julia Lockwood. Even though he would like nothing better than to have her by his side he knows he must guard his heart. What if she leaves him like the others? Surely this time would break his heart but can he love her completely and, at the same time, live with a marriage of convenience?
Julia Lockwood fled from Boston for two reasons, to get away from her father's scheming ambitions and to put distance between herself and a horrible nightmare. Why else would she agree to be a mail-order bride? All Julia had were her looks, or so she had been told, so what man would want her for anything more? Everett was a kind man but Julia felt she had to prove her worth. She worked as hard as any man but she was afraid that when Everett found out about her past he would no longer want her. How could he love her if he knew? Her past also kept her from accepting the love of her Heavenly Father. Could Everett help her come to understand her own self-worth, not only in her eyes, but in his eyes and the eyes of God as well? Can she come to love her husband despite her fears? Will God heal her heart and give her the love she never dreamed she would have?
Let me start by saying I absolutely loved this book. This is the first book I have read by Melissa Jagears but I am already looking forward to the next one (hmmm maybe one about William?). The plot is one that is always a pleasing read to me. Both Everett and Julia had feelings for each other but kept them to themselves which made for some great tension. Julia's feelings surfaced more toward the end but there were little hints earlier on that she didn't seem to recognize as the beginnings of love. Although this type of plot isn't new it sure had some new angles that enriched the story. I won't give away any significant parts (no spoilers here) but it also dealt with an issue that is rarely addressed in historical fiction and I loved that. I loved Everett's heart too. It was as big and wide as the land he lived on and the way he loved Julia through her fears and doubts only endeared him to me more. If you love historical fiction and great story lines you will absolutely love A Bride for Keeps. I highly and irrevocably recommend it!
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest review.**
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Review 16 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a fantastic debut novel

Date:October 27, 2013
Customer Avatar
Marianne
Location:Wanham, Alberta
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
There are quite a few mail order bride novels on the shelves these days, but this one is a fresh look, a different perspective, really. Everett has tried the route of finding a bride from out east numerous times already, but why that happened, the reader will find out in the book. He will not try it again! The situations and characters are humorous at times, at other times frustrating, but always entertaining. Melissa caught my attention and my heart from the first page where I met Everett Kline coming out of the mercantile in Salt Flatts, Kansas and kept it through out the novel as I followed the residents of the small prairie town. Never a dull moment, it seems as, everyone in the county has advice that they are only too willing to share with him. And as with all close knit communities, each one knows the other one's business better than he himself does!
I will recommend this to my friends and look for more books by Melissa!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
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Review 17 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 26, 2013
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debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers.
Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?
My Review:
I am not a huge fan of romances, but give me a mail-order bride story and I'm going to love it - guaranteed! This book was no different, despite a couple things I feel the need to mention along a negative vein. I felt this novel was focusing too much on the lack of a physical relationship between the characters, instead of developing that emotional bond that comes from just being together. That is the best part about mail order bride stories; the evolution of watching two characters grow closer together romantically. This writing was repetitive with emotions, situations and thoughts, and it did get tiring reading about it over and over.
Now to the stuff I really liked about the book! There was no sub-plot in this novel, and while that usually makes a book better, in this case, I enjoyed not having one. Having a sub-plot may have helped the repetitiveness I mentioned earlier, but Everett and Julia had enough drama between the two of them, it simply wasn't needed. There were times I wanted them to sit down and talk things out, but I was highly amused by the cat-and-mouse game they played for a while before the story was concluded. For a while it seemed as if they are going to go break things off - but doesn't every good story have some impossible situation/circumstance that gets overcome at the last possible moment?
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 18 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent first book

Date:October 24, 2013
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momofmhasr
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A Bride for Keeps ~ Melissa Jagears
I truly enjoyed this book; it was a wonderful read from a first time author! I found the story captivating, to have a mail order bride set up for you! Wow! What could you do when everyone thinks you are doomed before she even meets you because of your record with other mail order brides? And if you were the woman trying to prove you are better able bodied then your looks relate? This was the perfect recipe for a great read!
I found this to be a wonderful story of two people who are searching for love and settling for what they deem is enough. Wanting to prove to themselves that they are worth more then others think of them. While trying to each other that they are the perfect one for what the other one needs. Can love ever blossom between to such characters? I sure is fun to read and find out! I am very much looking forward to the next book by this author.
I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.
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Review 19 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wonderful Read!

Date:October 21, 2013
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A Reader
Location:NC
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Melissa Jagears has written a lovely, romantic mail-order bride story for our reading pleasure. Besides the beautiful cover, the theme of a marriage of convenience, memorable characters and plenty of swoon-worthy romance make this a novel that will definitely be on my re-read list.
The hero has had one girlfriend jilt him and three unsuccessful attempts at marriage to three different mail-order brides. After going through some bad experiences, the heroine feels like marriage is her only option to survive in life. These two come together in a rocky relationship at the start, but with perseverance, apologies, God, hard work and good friends they are able to make this marriage work.
I loved how the author was able to flesh out each character and gives the reader a sympathy for the personal difficulties that the hero and heroine face. The friends of the couple were given a good amount of page time without being in your face. There's a little bit of a villain, but he's more of an obstacle in their lives. I'm very glad because too many times villains get brought in and ruin perfectly good romance books. Oh, this book was also refreshing because there were only two viewpoints! Yay! I'm getting so tired of couples not getting enough page time together because of all the other friends' and villain's viewpoints. More couple time together, please, even if they're fighting, friendly or flirting. This book gave us all three of these instances and I loved that. The romance was beautiful with lots of moments and chemistry between the couple. Melissa did a great job with getting a good amount of romance/passion without going over the line. I appreciated that. The spiritual aspects of the book don't come to the forefront until about half-way through the novel, but they are well-written. Salvation and God's love are brought forward to complete this heart-felt, emotional story. Cannot wait to see what her next novel will be.
This novel reminded me a lot of Lori Wick's writing style in her older books. If you love Lori Wick or Karen Witemeyer than you will enjoy Melissa Jagears' book.
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Review 20 for Bride for Keeps, Unexpected Brides Series #1 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Deep insights.

Date:October 19, 2013
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JesuSaves
Location:Canada
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I was looking forward to Melissa Jagears after reading an excerpt of a work she's written. From the very beginning, ''A Bride for Keeps'' simply drew me in and I found its concept truly fascinating − a woman running away from her past comes across a man who secretly nurses his own wounds, having been rejected time and time again. What both of them don't know is that their struggles are strikingly similar. The hero exudes a stark vulnerability that is not frequently seen in fictional male characters. Both Julia and Everett are beautifully complex and out of their struggles to adapt with each other, rises thought-provoking lessons that genuinely took me by surprised.
The depth of this story is simply phenomenal. What do you do when you've been rejected countless times, leaving you with a conviction that should you come across another chance, it'll soon disappear, finding you unworthy? The theme of fear plays a major role in ''A Bride for Keeps'' and using an engaging writing style, Jagears definitely leaves a reader pondering on it long after turning the last page.
Unfortunately, however, I have to admit something that hindered me from awarding five stars to this story. This had me wavering in my rating for it. As previously mentioned, I enjoyed the complexity of Julia's character but I thought she could have been a softer one. She's very, very stubborn − insisting for example, to work herself to death when Everett continually tries to persuade her not to do so. Her obstinacy not only slowed the pace of the story, it affected the romance between her and the hero. At times, I really couldn't bring myself to believe in their relationship and this had me skipping some parts just to get to the conclusion of the story (Everett was very sweet, though − toward the end, especially).
Nonetheless, Julia's stubbornness raises an important question, in my eyes. How many times have we wanted to have it our own way, oblivious to the fact that someone else knows better than us? I don't know about anyone else but the truths that ran through ''A Bride for Keeps'' really grabbed me and even now, refuse to let me go. In light of this, I give it 4 stars and truly encourage the author to keep going. Her debut novel is a very good read.
This is my honest review. Many thanks to Bethany House for a copy of the book.
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