Book Review of The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund!

About the book:

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?


My Review:

I loved the first book, A Reluctant Bride.

Pete, goodness, Pete! I knew from the blurb that Arabella would end up with Pete, it was somewhat obvious, ending with the question, “Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision, or will seeking what’s right cost both her and Peter everything.” Easy enough to see that they are the couple in The Runaway Bride.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to think about Pete, he’s a bit insufferable, arrogant, full of himself, and yet that’s all a way to cover his tender side.
At first, it felt like he only liked Arabella for her looks, it felt almost like it was only lust … Until I read when they were together and I started to like them as a couple, which was what the author wanted as she led in the other man competing for Arabella’s hand in marriage, Lieutenant Drummond, and may I say that I didn’t like him even from the start?

When starting a new book series from a favorite author it is easy to wonder if it will be as good as their former works, if it will be their new best, or even if it will be their all-time worse. Thankfully, I was quite pleased with The Runaway Bride, it is superbish.

The poor Indian got that Arabella tried to help was so sad, and sweet at the same time.

Arabella, I liked her from the start. The fact that she was a runaway bride surely came to light, the man she refused to marry was horrendous, slight spoiler but if you read this you should be warned that she has scars from him where he beat her, bit her, and hit her. So, just a warning.

Yet, Arabella is still a strong character that I enjoyed reading about, and the way she cared for those that came under her care was so sweet. I loved her and Pete’s banter, jokes, and Pete’s way of assuming that he would win her.

The ending was oh so sweet and even if I hadn’t liked the rest of the book the last chapter was worth it, but, I had one problem and that was the fact that so many times it felt like the main characters drifted toward lust and not real love.

About the author:

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.

Have you read any of Jody Helund’s books? If so which?

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